Revamp will close stretch of Metro line for weeks

A MULTI-million-pound redevelopment of North Tyneside’s Metro network will get under way in the spring.

More than £22m is to be spent on modernising the stretch of track between Tynemouth and Byker.

The line will need to be closed for 23 days starting in mid-March to allow the works to be carried out.

The closure will last from Saturday, March 12, until Sunday, April 3.

A replacement bus service will be in operation.

Metro network operator Nexus says it hopes passengers will be inconvenienced as little as possible during that period.

Nexus is launching an information campaign, including putting up posters at stations, to make sure passengers are kept informed about the upcoming disruption.

Bernard Garner, pictured, director-general of Nexus, said: “This modernisation work is vital if Metro is going to continue meeting the needs of the people of Tyne and Wear, and its economy, for years to come.

“The year ahead will see Nexus invest more than £20m between Byker and Tynemouth on projects including track replacement, renewing Victorian embankments and bridges and modernising stations.”

As well as closing the line between Byker and Tynemouth for most of March, Nexus will be shutting it over some weekends before then and some stations will also need to close early at night, from 8pm.

A second closure of 23 days will be needed later in the year to complete the works.

More than 14,000 passengers a day use the line between Tynemouth and Byker.

Ken Mackay, director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, said: “We know this will cause inconvenience, but the work cannot be done safely without closing lines, and the best way to do it is through a small number of concentrated blocks of work in one area at a time.”

As well as the major line closure from March 12, other work which will affect passengers includes:

n Weekend closure of the line between Byker and Tynemouth every Saturday and Sunday throughout next month.

n Modernisation of Meadow Well, Howdon and Chillingham Road Metro stations, requiring partial closures for four months from March.

n The North Shields Metro station building is to be demolished and rebuilt from March onwards, with temporary entrances to platforms created during building work.

n Night-time working along all sections of the line, possibly creating some noise, during track replacement works.