Tyne and Wear Metro biggest ever line closure for £104m track upgrade

The Metro between Pelaw and South Shields will be closed for 12 weeks to allow for the £100m "Metro Flow" project. Credit: PA

Part of the Tyne and Wear Metro will be closed for 12 weeks to allow single track to be dualled.

It is the biggest major closure ever seen on the public transport service.

The vital work is part of £104m worth of major track upgrades to allow for two-way traffic.

The operator Nexus says the work will improve reliability and frequency of trains on the network's 'pinch points'.

The line between Pelaw and South Shields will be closed from Monday 12 September with an aim to reopen on Saturday 3 December.

Bus replacement services will be in operation.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis said: “We are making sure that during the major line closure our customers are provided with a really good replacement bus service.

“The buses can’t exactly replicate the frequency of Metro services, but the number of buses will provide a service every ten minutes, and this will be even more frequent at the busiest times when demand is at its highest.

“There will also be an express service to help people get between South Shields and Heworth more quickly to connect into the Metro line at Heworth.

“Customers need to plan ahead and allow some extra time when they are travelling in the affected area.”

The £100 million "Metro Flow" will see three sections of single track on the Metro network, totalling three kilometres, to be dualled between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations.

There are three single-track sections on the Metro network, where trains must use the same line in both directions, leading to hold-ups if there are even minor delays and making it harder to recover when incidents occur.

Nexus said it has a fleet of 23 buses ready for use when the closure starts so that customers can still travel the Metro route through South Tyneside.

When the line is closed there will be a bus service every ten minutes, with additional services at peak times.

There will be an express bus (X900) from South Shields Interchange direct to Heworth calling only at Jarrow along the way for customers who need to get into Newcastle.

The 900 replacement buses will operate from Heworth to South Shields and back, calling at all of the Metro stations on the route.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...