Tyne and Wear Metro completes tactile paving installation at all stations

Every platform on every Tyne and Wear Metro station now has tactile paving on the platform edge – making it the first rail network in England to have this feature, giving a major accessibility upgrade for blind and partially sighted people.

The final 12 stations on the network have received this upgrade over the past year which now means all 60 stations have this feature in place.

Cathy Massarella, Major Projects Director at Nexus, said: “I am delighted to say that Metro is the first railway in the country to have tactile paving on every platform edge. This provides a major accessibility improvement for customers who are blind or partially sighted. We worked closely with RNIB, Guide Dogs, and other local disability campaigners to bring this project to fruition. Forty-eight stations on our network already had tactile strips and this project was all about bring this in at a further 12 stations so that all 60 stations have this feature.

“It is a huge stride forward in making our network safe and secure for people who are visually impaired. It means that Metro corresponds with the national accessibility guidance set by the Department for Transport. Metro has a very high accessibility standard. We have already invested in tactile paving, dual height handrails and anti-slip surfacing to improve accessibility for customers with disabilities. All of our stations have step-free access from the street to the train door.

“When our new trains arrive they will have automatic sliding steps, allowing for seamless boarding, eliminating the gap between the train and the edge of the platform. The new Metro fleet will be transformational in terms of improved accessibility.”

The 12 stations to have received the tactile paving over the past year are Monument, Manors, St James, Jesmond, Gateshead, Heworth, Four Lane Ends, Regent Centre, Byker, Chichester, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. Those at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth needed listed building consent before the work could be done and for Whitley Bay there will be £2 million more invested to restore its glass canopy roof.

The next step in improving accessibility across the network will be tactile paving installed on all staircases at stations.

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