Sunderland MPs have welcomed announcement that new Metro services will be introduced to cater for the city’s early morning commuters.
Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, and Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson both welcomed the news, saying it is a ‘positive step forward’ and something they have both campaigned for.
Nexus say the changes - which will be implemented on February 5 - will see more early morning trains and a better service at peak times following feedback and passenger counts.
As part of the new time table, there will be an earlier first train from Park Lane in Sunderland, departing for the Airport at 5.48am, and five trains an hour from 6.09am onwards.
In addition, there will be an extra train from South Hylton at 6.13am
Mrs Elliott said: “I’m delighted that Metro passengers in my city of Sunderland will be able to access early morning services in a few weeks’ time.
This is a really positive step forwardJulie Elliott MP
“I’ve been saying for a long time that people in Sunderland deserve a more efficient public transport system that better meets their needs, so this is a really positive step forward.
“In recent years there has been increased demand for early morning services before rush hour, so I’m pleased that Nexus has altered timetables to better reflect the needs of local people.”
Ms Phillipson said: “This is great news for commuters who use early morning Metro services.
“It will help alleviate the high demand on the Metro system during the morning rush hour and make it more convenient for people to plan their journey.
“I know many of my constituents depend on public transport to get around, which is why I have long campaigned for a better system in Tyne and Wear.
“During my recent debate in Parliament, I urged the government to give Nexus the funding necessary to upgrade the ageing Metro fleet and extend Metro style services across Wearside, including to Doxford International Business Park and other parts of the region.”
Passengers can view train times for journeys after Sunday, February 5, on the North East Journey Planner at www.nexus.org.uk while PDF copies of individual station timetables will be uploaded to the website from January 30.
Raymond Johnstone, director of rail and infrastructure at Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, said: “Nexus is responding to passenger demand for more trains when people need them - in the early morning before the traditional ‘rush hour’ begins.
“We now see more people wanting to travel earlier so that is where we are providing new train services.
“We are also making changes at peak times to better reflect how commuters use Metro so passengers are more evenly spread during the busiest times.”