A TRAIN beat its car counterpart in a Top Gear-inspired morning commute challenge into Sunderland city centre.
The Tyne and Wear Metro raced against a car, from South Tyneside during rush hour, to see which could someone get to the finish line at The Bridges quickest.
The challenge used Fellgate Metro station as the start line, while 24-year-old driver Phil Watson set off on four wheels from the same location.
Sharon Kelly, customer services director of Metro, was one of those on board the train as it completed the journey in just 16 minutes, compared to the car’s 31 minutes.
Sharon said: “The journey into Sunderland was stress free, passengers have no control over how fast you travel and the journey is slightly slowed down while passengers board and disembark the train, but there is also no congestion to think about.
“Metro does get busy during rush hour but there were no problems this morning, I managed to get a seat and enjoyed reading the paper on my way in.”
The trip cost Sharon a £2.30 ticket, which crosses two zones.
Phil’s total journey distance was recorded at 9.4miles and accrued a petrol cost of about £4.20.
Adding on his daily parking charge of £8.80, the total cost of his trip into work by road cost more than £13.
Graduate Phil said: “I was beaten fair and square
“It was so frustrating being stuck in traffic when I knew I was against the clock.
“I can only imagine how annoyed drivers must get doing the same route if they are in a rush to get to work. Before the challenge I would have always opted to drive into the city centre.
“Now I would definitely consider using Metro for my journey.
“There are no traffic lights and it’s a lot cheaper considering the cost of petrol and parking.”
A poll carried out on Metro’s Facebook page before the race showed that the most people expected rail to be the winner, with 91 per cent of voters saying that the train would arrive before Phil’s car.
Sharon added: “The whole point of My Metro Challenge was to have some fun, and show people who use Metro that they are making a logical decision as well as to show drivers that Metro is a fast and convenient option for their journey to work.”