Part of Metro to close for three weeks

Howdon Metro Station.
Howdon Metro Station.

REDEVELOPMENT work on the Metro will see a section of line in North Tyneside close for three weeks this summer.

The line between Wallsend and Tynemouth will be closed between Saturday, August 11, and Monday, September 3, to allow for major modernisation work.

This will be on top of weekend closures during July.

Work will be done on the infrastructure, including the replacement of tracks and renewal of embankments, bridges, signals and communications technology.

A replacement bus service will be in operation in a bid to ensure passengers see as little inconvenience as possible.

The closure has also been planned while schools are on holiday as commuter numbers are lower, and after the Olympics, which will see football at St James’ Park.

Operator Nexus said the weekend closures would avoid major summer events including the Mouth of the Tyne Festival.

Nexus director general Bernard Garner said: “These works are vital to secure the future of this section of Metro line and provide big improvements to the passenger experience.

“We have stepped up our modernisation programme this year and Metro passengers will increasingly start to notice the difference.

“The amount of modernisation work we are now delivering on Metro is much larger than at any time since the system was first built in the 1970s.”

Ken Mackay, director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, said: “To deliver these works in the safest, most cost effective and least disruptive way possible, we need to have a major line closure, similar to the one in March and April last year.

“We know this will cause inconvenience, but the work cannot be done safely without closing lines.

“I would like to thank the public for their patience while we carry out this vital modernisation work, which will secure Metro’s future for many years to come.”

The line closure will cover 23 days and weekend closures will be July 7 and 8 and July 21 and 22

Night time working along all sections of the line which may involve some noise during the track replacement works.

Two further weekend closures will take place on September 8 and 9 and September 22 and 23, following the major line closure.

New smart ticket machines have now been installed at most stations in North Tyneside, and the refurbishment of Howdon and Meadow Well stations is complete, while building work on the new North Shields station will be completed this summer.

This work dovetails with the completion of the conservation and restoration work which has been carried out at Tynemouth Station, which is a listed building.