There will be a little bit of history on the Tyne and Wear Metro on Monday 8th July when South Shields will become the very first station on the network to close permanently. Since the Metro network opened 39 years ago no station has been closed never to reopen so this marks a bit of a milestone although it shouldn’t be seen as a negative as it will be replaced by a brand new station as part of a new transport interchange due to open on Sunday 4th August.
South Shields is a terminus and for four weeks from Monday 8th July services will instead be terminating at Chichester (the last station before South Shields) to allow for signalling, telecoms and platform upgrades to take place at the new station. The very last trains will call at the current South Shields on Sunday 7th July before it closes for the very last time. The new transport interchange is located just 100 metres away.
The current South Shields station, located on King Street, opened in 1984 when services on the network were extended here and one of its main claims to fame is that it appeared in Franz Ferdinand’s song Stand on the Horizon released in 2014.
Huw Lewis, Nexus Customer Services Director, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing Metro move into South Shields Interchange, which gives the town the best new railway and bus station in Britain. We’ve never closed a station before, and I am sure many people have memories of the old South Shields – it’s been part of everyday life for so long for the daily commute, trips to the seaside or during the Great North Run. I used to go through it almost every day myself so in some ways it is sad to say goodbye, but the difference in quality will be obvious as Metro moves across the road. We’re really looking forward to welcoming our first passengers there next month.”
Whilst the station will close it will still remain in position until the autumn when it will be demolished to make way for a new walkway into King Street. As for its replacement this is part of a £21 million project to build a new transport interchange for the town which will include escalators and lifts to the platforms.