During this Covid-19 pandemic, the actual performance of our light railways and tramways has been quite a way from the front of our minds but recently the Tyne and Wear Metro have started to publish the stats again. These show that performance is slightly improved but there is still room for it to get even better!
The period between 24th May and 20th June 2020 saw 88% of all trains arriving on time (on time for the Metro is within three minutes earlier or 30 second earlier than scheduled). This compares to the same period in 2019 when 87% of trains were on time and the previous four week period when 93% of trains were running on time.
The period under review is the first four weeks when more normal services have been running on the network following the start of an increase towards a full timetable operating. As such, with extra trains on the network it was unfortunately inevitable there would be a decrease in services running on time as with more trains out there the more chances there are for things to go wrong and impact on other services.
The performance poster usually gives a couple of examples of what went wrong in the period and passenger satisfaction levels but this has changed with information given instead of how they are trying to make the Metro a Covid-secure environment.
This includes details of the cleaning regime, the hand sanitiser points installed at the busiest stations and signage updated to help people travel safely.
Advice also includes that everyone should wear a face covering and to this end some vending machines on the network have recently been updated so that it is now possible to purchase a face mask alongside the usual chocolate, crisps and drink. Being sold at cost price – Nexus have confirmed no profit will be made on their sale – a pack of five cost £3.70. Despite their availability Nexus have still advised people to use their own face coverings where possible.
The Selecta vending machines which have the face masks available can be found at South Gosforth, Gateshead Interchange, Four Lane Ends, Heworth, Jesmond, Monkseaton, Monument, North Shields, Regent Centre, Tynemouth, West Jesmond and Whitley Bay.