Metro 'no longer just for essential trips,' say transport bosses - but passengers urged to follow guidelines

Metro trains are no longer for essential journeys only, North East transport bosses have said.

Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 12:59 pm

The rail network is changing its travel advice to say that passengers can now use the Metro “when they need to” for commuting, shopping, and visiting family – though they are urged to strictly follow social distancing rules, wear face coverings, and use other forms of transport if possible.

Passengers were previously told only to use the Metro for essential trips, such as if they could not work from home and could not walk, cycle, or drive instead.

That stance has been relaxed as lockdown restrictions ease with some schools reopening and up to six people allowed to meet outdoors.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Metro trains

Customer services director for Metro operator Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “People can have confidence in using Metro when they need to – for work, for shopping or to visit family members. Safety is our top priority.

“We have measures in place which ensure that we are a Covid-secure network for people to travel on, should they need to make a journey.

“We anticipate that more passengers will start using Metro services over the coming weeks, as the Government starts to ease the lockdown and shops reopen from June 15, and we are ready for that.

“Passengers need to make sure that they follow the guidelines that will help to keep them and other travellers safe.

“This includes following floor and wall markings to maintain social distancing, travelling outside peak periods where possible, wearing a face covering, and considering cycling, walking, or the car as alternative modes of travel.”

Nexus urged people last week to stay two metres away from other Metro passengers to stop coronavirus spreading through carriages, amid reports of some large groups being spotted on trains.

A full train timetable is expected to be gradually reintroduced over the coming weeks to help avoid large queues at stations or overcrowding.

Passenger numbers are increasing slightly but are still around 90% short of normal levels, Nexus confirmed.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.