METRO lines between Hadrian Road and North Shields will be closed for five weekends from the end of February to allow for modernisation work to be carried out.
Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising Metro, is carrying out its first major work of the year, strengthening bridges and embankments that are more than 150 years-old on Metro lines in the borough.
The weekend line closures start with an all day closure on Sunday February 26, Hadrian Road to North Shields. Full weekend closures are planned for the weekends of Saturday March 3 and Sunday March 4; Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12; Saturday March 18 and Sunday 19 and Saturday March 25 and Sunday March 26.
Once the Olympic Games are over Nexus is planning a second 23 day major line closure and is also trialling plans to reduce the extent of line closures by planning work on mid-week late evenings instead of weekend as for the first time.
These closures will take place over four nights, March 12-15 from Northumberland Park to West Monkseaton, and March 19-22 between Longbenton and Benton. These closures start at 9pm.
The work is the latest stage of the £385m Metro: all change modernisation programme, which will see the network transformed over 11 years, with vital infrastructure renewed across Tyne and Wear.
Metro: all change is the largest capital project to take place on the system, used by 40 million passengers a year, since it opened than 30 years-ago.
Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Ken Mackay, said: “This is going to be another busy year of modernisation work on the Metro system. This starts with the upgrade of bridges and embankments in North Tyneside that are more than 150 years-old.
“Weekend line closures will be necessary throughout the year and we are also planning a 23 day major line closure in late summer after the Olympics has finished.
“We will do all we can to minimise the disruption for passengers, and when we do close lines a frequent replacement bus service will run.
“Our engineers are testing new ways to carry out work to reduce the number of hours lines are closed.
“New ticket machines are being installed and the first refurbished Metro trains will be entering service. We’ll also be replacing large sections of Metro track and other infrastructure.
“Passengers will also see more Metro station refurbishment work starting, as well as the completion of projects in North Shields, Howdon and Meadow Well stations.”
Passengers can keep in touch with work which may affect their journey through the website nexus.org.uk, and My_Metro pages on Twitter and Facebook.