Metro strike action for One Direction gig

One Direction fans travelling to their gig in the North East next week have been told Metro will still run a high frequency service, despite strike action by members of the RMT union.

Concert-goers are being urged to travel in plenty of time when using Metro to get to the Stadium of Light for the One Direction concert, with doors opening at 5pm.

There will be a Metro train every 15 minutes during the day between Newcastle and Sunderland rising to a train every five minutes after 4pm, with the high-frequency service continuing after the event to make sure large crowds can get away from the venue.

All passengers going to the concert should use St Peter’s station only, which is the nearest station to the Stadium, before and after the concert. They may not be able to get off or on trains at other nearby stations to assist with crowd control.

There will be a reduced train service on other parts of the system including early evening line closures if the strike goes ahead.

Metro has issued the following general advice to passengers if the strike goes ahead:

Metro services will start at the normal time but with a reduced frequency.

A 15 minute service will run on all line from 8.30am until 4pm, compared to the normal 12-minute frequency.

From around 4pm there will be no Metro service between Regent Centre and Airport, Benton and St James and Pelaw to South Shields.

Frequent services up to every five minutes will run between Newcastle and Sunderland before and after the concert. Go North East is also providing additional bus services around the venue and to areas including South Shields, before and after the concert.

There will be full advice for passengers on the travel information website and through North East Traveline on 0871 200 22 33.

Anyone using Metro on Wednesday, 28 May is advised to plan their journey in advance, leave extra time and consider alternative travel options if need be.

Sharon Kelly, Customer Services and Operations Director at DBTW, which operates stations and trains on behalf of Nexus, said: “We are disappointed that the RMT has chosen to take this action, which is targeted at Metro customers on a very busy day for the North East.

“Should the industrial action go ahead, we will still be able to operate a Metro service. We are making the line between Sunderland and Newcastle a priority to support the concert, a major event for the region, with frequent Metro services between the two cities.

“We have met with Sunderland City Council, the football club and police this afternoon to discuss these plans and we are happy the event, and travel to and from it, will run smoothly.

“We want to offer as much notice to passengers and advise them about the potential strike and its effect on services now so they are prepared. We are urging everyone to plan ahead and start thinking now about their travel arrangements for Wednesday.

“We urge the RMT to call this action off and for this matter to be further discussed and resolved, without causing unnecessary disruption to thousands of passengers.”