Tyne & Wear Metro services are currently operating to a reduced timetable as part of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus and services may be reduced further next week.
All additional peak hour services between Pelaw and Monkseaton or South Gosforth have already been cancelled until further notice.
Metro said it is otherwise operating a normal timetable service, with some cancellations where drivers become unavailable at short notice, between Airport and South Hylton, and South Shields and St James, throughout the day and evening.
The changes have been introduced so passengers can be certain when trains will run, and is being reviewed on a daily basis. Government advice is that people use public transport for essential travel only, mainly for getting to work or buying food.
Huw Lewis, customer service director at Nexus, said: “We are constantly reviewing this situation, and are doing all we can to keep trains running. The Metro service is vital in getting people to work, including thousands of key workers in the NHS and emergency services.
“We have already seen a reduction in passenger numbers and that will decrease further as schools close and more people self-isolate. The health of our own employees is also of paramount importance to us, and rightly, anyone showing any symptoms is following official guidance and self-isolating.
“With fewer passengers and fewer staff, a further reduction in service is to be expected. We are still confident there will be enough Metro trains to meet demand, although passengers may have to wait longer.”
Nexus is discussing ways of reacting to the pandemic with other transport authorities, said Lewis. “We’re in close contact with transport providers in other cities and regions, including Transport for London, and within Tyne and Wear all public transport operators, including Nexus and commercial bus companies, are working together to plan services and monitor the impact of the virus.”
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