Bikes, homelessness and the Sunderland line: Seven questions passengers had for Metro bosses

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Metro bosses have been out and about meeting passengers at Q&A sessions.

Here are seven questions they were asked, and what the answers were:

Why aren’t bikes allowed on the Metro?

There will be a trial from Callerton – Jesmond from April 4th for 6 months. Bikes will be allowed under certain conditions between the hours of 10am and 3pm.

Will all stations around the network be refurbished?

All the stations have undergone refurbishment in the last few years which has included painting, cleaning up and improving security. There is work at the moment to refurbish Central which is currently ongoing. Improvements are continuously being carried out around the system.

Why are the homeless people allowed to sit out side the station and beg?

As it is Metro property they aren’t allowed to do this. A passenger can contact the control room via the help point to report it to staff or police if they are about. The Police & staff will move them on if they come across them. There was a male begging who I asked to move on which he did whilst the passenger was present.

Could the former line be used on the Sunderland extension to ease congestion?

The former line couldn’t be used as this would require significant investment.

Is an escalator being put in from Central Station down to Metro concourse during the refurbishment?

There are currently no plans to put a down escalator at Central Station as there are stairs as well as a lift.

Why are people allowed to climb over the fence to avoid buying a ticket at North Shields?

We are aware of this and work with the police and Nexus to try and combat this problem. We are also looking at taking the seat away to discourage people climbing the fence and the possibility of putting anti climb paint on the fencing.

What is being done about the cleanliness of the carriages and the volume and frequency of announcements in trains and on stations?

The trains go in to the depot every night and are cleaned throughout. There is a deep clean performed on each carriage on a rolling programme.

Announcements are made periodically through out the day and night and if it is noted that the volume of an announcement is low then this is looked at and rectified.

During disruptions the staff in the control room will make PA announcements at regular intervals to give customers as much information as possible.

Notices and ‘A’ boards are placed on stations as additional information as well as Twitter, Facebook and the Metro paper.

Drivers will also make announcements on the train when they have the information to pass to the passengers.