The popularity of the Tyne and Wear Metro with passengers to get around the local area during special events has once again be shown with half a million extra journeys estimated to have been taken over the summer. Events including sold-out stadium concerts by Ed Sheeran, the Tall Ships Races in Sunderland and the Great Exhibition of the North took place over the summer with extra services out on to cater for the extra journeys.
Nexus have estimated that 500,000 extra journeys were made for one-off summer events plus an additional 90,000 journeys on the day of the Great North Run alone. More than 200 extra trains were put on and the service was extended into the early hours to get people home of five separate nights. In addition staff worked thousands of additional hours both driving and in customer services roles.
Chris Carson, Metro Services Director, said: “Tyne and Wear Metro has a proud record of supporting major events including the annual Great North Run, by providing extra services, special tickets and good customer service to look after passengers and keep them moving. The summer of 2018 tested our resources to the limit through an unprecedented programme of exhibitions, stadium concerts and open-air family events and we are delighted to have passed the test and helped so many people have a good time. I want to say a huge thanks, on behalf of our customers, to the staff who made this possible – Metro is part of everyday life but we’re also there when North East England throws a party. We have been moved by some of the positive comments on social media and sent to us by email from people telling us Metro helped make their day special.”
It is thought that these extra journeys will help to halt a recent decline in overall passenger numbers caused by the changing retail market and changing work habits, although confirmation of this won’t be seen until the overall year figures are released by the DfT in the middle of 2019.