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Public asked to help design next generation of Metro trains

Tyne and Wear Metro Photo: PA

The Tyne and Wear Metro is getting a new fleet of Metrocars and wants people from the North East to be involved in shaping the new design.

Nexus, who runs the metro, are working with Newcastle University to host a series of pop-up labs across Tyne and Wear, where people can share their experiences of using the Metro and ideas for the next generation of trains.

The current Metrocars have been in use since Metro opened in 1980, and everything from seating layouts to wifi availability will come under scrutiny through the consultation.

Simon Bowen, who is leading the project for Newcastle University, said:

In Metro Futures we want to have a conversation about how future Metrocars can fit the needs of people for decades to come.

We're taking this conversation across the region with a series of pop-up labs where we're asking people to share what is important about Metro today and explore the Metro of tomorrow.

– Simon Bowen
Queen Elizabeth II takes a ride on the Tyne and Wear Metro after opening the £280m project at Newcastle. With her is Councillor Richard Fenwick. Credit: PA

Pop-up labs:

  • Customs House, South Shields - Wednesday 9 November, 12:00-17:00
  • Gateshead Interchange - Friday 11 November, 14:30-18:30
  • The Bridges Shopping Centre, Sunderland - Friday 18 November, 11:00-15:00
  • Tynemouth Market - Sunday 20 November, 9:00-16:00
  • Newcastle Airport - Thursday 24 November (on trains during the day)
  • intu Eldon Square - Saturday 26 November, 11:00-15:00

Anybody is welcome to share their ideas and experiences at the pop-up labs, whether they are current Metro users or not.

The Metro Futures project aims to include the views of as wide a range of users as possible, from all locations served by Metro and including, for example, wheelchair users, commuters and cyclists.

Huw Lewis, Head of Customer Services at Nexus, said:

We want local people to tell us much as possible about what they want to see from new trains. The pop-up labs are a fun and informative way for people right across the communities Metro serves to get involved.

The business case we are submitting to Government for new trains at the end of this year is vital for Metro's future, and we want local people to be at the heart of our plans.

– Huw Lewis