Passengers on the Tyne and Wear Metro are being warned to expect ongoing disruption to services.
Starting from Sunday 1 December, trains are likely to be busier and run less frequently. It's due to the start of a ban by train crew unions on working overtime.
Yesterday, the unions RMT and ASLEF, that represent Metro train crew, rejected a 15% pay rise. Nexus says this is in despite of improving rostering arrangements. The Unions say they will "press ahead" with the overtime ban.
Nexus will publish the predicted level of Metro service frequency in advance of each day. It will be graded as the following:
Green: Fair service. Some trains maybe cancelled.
Amber: Gaps in service. Trains will be busier. If possible travel outside peak periods.
Red: Poor. Trains will be very busy with gaps between services. Please use alternative transport or put off your journey.
Metro is aiming to protect peak ‘rush hour’ services as much as possible, though they say some disruption is inevitable. There are also warnings of train cancellations at short notice.
Where journeys take 15 minutes or longer than they should passengers will be entitled to a full refund.
What is an overtime ban?
An overtime ban will mean Metro train crew not working any additional paid voluntary shifts. Metro relies on a relatively small number of shifts to be filled through overtime to cover things like sickness and extra services for football matches.
The overtime ban will disrupt the daily lives of many people who rely on Metro to get to places of work and education each and every day, and we can only apologise to passengers for any difficulties they encounter as a result.