Tyne and Wear Metro operator planning for local lockdowns

Plans for the Tyne and Wear Metro have been released. Credit: PA Images

Tyne and Wear Metro trains would keep running if parts of the North East were put back into lockdown - but passengers from different areas might have to obey different rules.

Spikes in COVID-19 cases across the region have sparked warnings that tougher restrictions may be put in place, including local lockdowns.

This could mean new rules on who can use public transport.

At the height of the national lockdown only essential journeys were allowed and operator Nexus said that if an area were put back into this status then it would expect similar restrictions.

The layout of the Metro system though could lead to a situation where passengers are allowed to travel through lockdown areas so long as they don't leave the train.

For example, if Gateshead was the only borough to have new restrictions imposed then someone could still potentially get the Metro from Sunderland to Newcastle for a non-essential trip.


Metro proved essential during lockdown in the spring taking key workers to their jobs. We expect Metro would continue to operate through areas where new local lockdown restrictions were put in place, providing this reflected public health advice. We would play our part advising who should or should not travel.

Nexus

The spokesperson also said that the Tyne and Wear Metro was a "COVID-secure" environment with extra cleaning of trains, hand sanitiser at stations, staff in face masks and guidance on social distancing meaning "people can use Metro with confidence".

The recent local lockdowns seen in other parts of the country have been about advising people to avoid certain activities - such as meeting other families in their homes - which don't affect public transport directly, but we would respond immediately were there any instructions specific to Metro.

Nexus

The town of Bolton in Greater Manchester has had some lockdown restrictions reintroduced.

Advice from Transport for Greater Manchester states that people living in Bolton must not use public transport except for essential travel such as going to school, work or medical appointments..