AN enormous amount of money has been spent on the new Metro Station at North Shields.
I know that the ticket barriers are not yet in use, but understand it is more or less complete otherwise.
I wonder whether any of the designers have been present on a cold winter’s day when the wind whistles through the platforms from the west?
Have they tried to shelter from the rain under canopies which are less than half the length of the platform, too high and not wide enough to protect the waiting passengers?
Will they be prepared to sit their bottoms on stainless steel seats which feel colder than the surrounding air?
Will they watch the rivulets of water running from the guttering down the miserable, matt, grey concrete walls?
I wonder too whether they will give a thought for the mothers with prams and those in wheelchairs queuing for the single lift on each platform while there were ramps before?
What then is the purpose of the elaborate, but unusable ramp and steps at the west end?
What happens when the lifts break down as they most certainly will – there is no way for a wheelchair to cross the track at either Tynemouth or Cullercoats?
All things considered, the old station did what was required of it: this steel and concrete monstrosity is neither use or ornament.