Boss’s delight that Sunderland Metro is back in business

Ken Dunbar, from Sunderland Business Improvement District.
Ken Dunbar, from Sunderland Business Improvement District.
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“We are absolutely delighted.”

So says Sunderland Business Improvement District (Bid) boss Ken Dunbar who is over the moon that Metro services have been restored.

It has been unfortunate, but when you put it in the context of what has happened in places such as Corbridge, you realise people are suffering much worse than us.

Ken Dunbar

The Bid has laid on its biggest range of activities and attractions for the run-up to Christmas, but the bad weather of the last few weeks has taken its toll.

Metro and Northern Rail trains between Sunderland and Pelaw were suspended for the first three days of this week, after high winds brought down power cables near Brockley Whins.

Network Rail, which owns and manages the section of line, drafted in extra resources and brought the reopening forward by 24 hours, but even so, trains did not start running again until yesterday morning.

“It is always a great shame when any bit of transport infrastructure is out of action, but is particularly so when the Metro and the trains are both down,” said Ken.

Storms Abigail and Desmond have taken their toll on the Christmas countdown, especially the Frost Village, with the Keel Square festive market and ice rink in Keel Square and Vaux site funfair forced to close at various times.

However, Ken is confident of a busy run-in, now the worst of the weather is – hopefully – out of the way.

“I am confident we will have big numbers of people coming into the city centre,” he said.

“We have had to put the safety of the public first.

“It has been unfortunate, but when you put it in the context of what has happened in places such as Corbridge, you realise people are suffering much worse than us.”