New London Underground-style seating could be brought in for Metro trains

Linear seating which could soon be used on the Metro system.
Linear seating which could soon be used on the Metro system.
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New London Underground-style seating is set to be used on trains on the Tyne and Wear Metro Service, it has been announced.

The move follows more than 3,000 people taking part in a consultation on Metro trains of the future, organised by Nexus as it completes the business case to pay for new trains in a £540million investment.

Nexus managing director Tobyn Hughes

Nexus managing director Tobyn Hughes

The results from three different strands of research, by watchdog Transport Focus, academics from Newcastle University’s Open Lab and Nexus itself, will be reviewed by councillors on the North East Combined Authority on Thursday.

They show a preference for linear seating - running along the sides of the trains, similar to London Underground and many other major city underground and rail trains.

Passengers say the design allows more space when trains are busy and room for people using wheelchairs.

Coun Nick Forbes, lead member for Transport on the North East Combined Authority, said: “We agreed with Nexus that local people should be placed at the heart of our plans for new Metro trains.

“The strength of the response demonstrates how important Metro is to the people and the economy of North East England, and supports a powerful case for investment in a new fleet of trains.”

Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus, said: “Metro is the busiest local rail system outside London and our passengers have shown a clear preference for linear seating because of the space and flexibility it provides.

“There are many other important findings and suggestions from this research about what people want from the detail of train design.

“Because we have involved our passengers now we can challenge potential suppliers to study and respond directly to this research – and to meet and talk to passengers themselves as the design process moves forward.”