North East travel bosses approve ticket price hike on Tyne and Wear Metro as inflation and energy bills send running costs soaring

A raft of price increases for single journeys, day tickets, and Metro season passes are set to come into force on April

The cost of Tyne and Wear Metro tickets will rise by up to 13.9% after a major fare hike was signed off by travel chiefs as part of a package of measures aimed at combating spiralling running costs on the ailing rail system.

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Transport chiefs have approved a fresh hike in ticket prices on the Tyne and Wear Metro
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For the second year running, the smartcard will have its fare rates frozen – meaning it will be around £1 cheaper to make a single journey with a Pop card and £1.35 less for a daysaver pass.

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But for those buying equivalent paper tickets at stations, prices will jump by between 8.8% and 13.9% depending on which zones they cover.

About four in every five Metro passengers still use paper tickets rather than a Pop card, with bosses at operator Nexus still in talks over extending the payment service to iPhones – although it is available for users of Android devices.

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Despite the discounted travel available with a Pop Card, uptake has remained relatively low.

The price of monthly and yearly passes will also rise by more than a tenth, although the price of a week-long Metro ticket is being kept lower and will jump only by a maximum 3.4%.

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The maximum cost of a single journey will rise from £3.90 to £4.30, a day ticket from a £5.70 to £6.20, a weekly pass from £24 to £24.40, and a four-week ticket from £81.30 to £90.20.

The plans were approved at a North East Joint Transport Committee meeting on Thursday (January 12), where Nexus’s customer services director Huw Lewis said bosses had found it “harder than ever” to balance attempts to make the Metro affordable for customers with the need to pay the bills.

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Urging more people to make use of Pop cards, Mr Lewis added that there was “no reason why many, if not most, passengers should pay a single penny more next year”.

Gateshead councillor John McElroy said leaders did not want to put fares up while residents are struggling with the cost of living crisis, but added “we have to balance the books”.

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Carl Johnson, the deputy mayor of North Tyneside, added that “astonishing” inflation levels, particularly for the high voltage electricity which powers the Metro system, meant there was no choice but to reluctantly increase ticket prices.

Cllr Johnson praised the Pop price freezes and expressed hopes that fares could be reduced over the coming years by a future North East mayor, who will hold powers over the region’s public transport under a proposed £4.2 billion devolution deal.

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Metro prices for young people using Pop Blue or Pop 19-21 smartcards will also be frozen, as will the price of Gold Cards for older and disabled passengers.

But the cost of travelling on the Shields Ferry is rising by up to 30p, though this would again be frozen for Pop card users.

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Full summary of Metro and Shields Ferry fare changes from April 1:

*The cost of a single journey paper Metro ticket will go up from £2.30 to £2.60 for one zone, from £3.20 to £3.60 for two zones, and from £3.90 to £4.30 for three zones

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*The cost of a one zone adult day ticket will go up from £3.60 to £4.10, a two zone Day Ticket is up from £4.70 to £5.20, an all-zone Day Ticket is up from £5.70 to £6.20

*Equivalent tickets purchased using a Pop Pay As You Go smartcard will stay frozen at 2021 levels, as will fares on the 19-21 Pop card and Pop Blue

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*The one zone weekly Metro Season Ticket is up from £11.80 to £12.20; a two zone weekly is up from £17.60 to £18; an all zone weekly is up from £24 to £24.40

*The one zone four-week Metro Season Ticket is up from £41.90 to £46.50; the two zone from £61.50 to £68.20; an all zone four weekly is up from £81.30 to £90.20

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*The price of the one zone annual Metro Season Ticket is up from £462.50 to £513.30; the two-zone annual is up from £646 to £717; the all zone annual is up from £715 to £793.60

*The Metro Gold Card, which gives pensioners and people with disabilities unlimited off-peak Metro travel, will remain frozen in price at £12 – or £24 for those not resident in Tyne and Wear

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*A single ticket on the Shields Ferry is going up from £2.10 to £2.30; a Ferry day ticket is going up from £3.40 to £3.70; a child ferry single is up from 80p to 90p

*Pop Pay As You Go fares for the ferry will be frozen at current prices

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*A one-week ticket for the Shields Ferry will go up from £11 to £11.30; a four-week ferry ticket is up from £38.20 to £42.40