Whitley Bay Metro station to remain shut for weeks after Storm Otto damage

Whitley Bay Metro Station is closed after glass in its canopy was smashed during Storm Otto. Credit: Nexus

Whitley Bay Metro station is expected to stay shut until the end of March after its roof suffered serious storm damage.

The Grade II listed station has been closed since last month, when a glass panel was smashed during high winds in Storm Otto on 17 February.

Trains were suspended through the area but are now running again.

Rail operator Nexus said that it was “in the interests of customer safety” to keep Whitley Bay closed until late March, while engineers fit new netting beneath the canopy that is designed to catch any falling glass if there is a repeat incident in the future.

Customers will have to keep using either Monkseaton or Cullercoats stations while the repairs take place.

Nexus is providing a taxi shuttle from Whitley Bay station to the nearest alternative for people who may find walking difficult.

The works will also require a line closure between North Shields and Monkseaton on the weekend of March 25-26, when there will be a rail replacement bus.

Huw Lewis, Nexus’ customer services director, said: “We understand the significant disruption the station closure is causing to local people and businesses in Whitley Bay. We don’t want to keep a major gateway into Whitley Bay closed for any longer than it needs to be and our team are working as quickly as possible to make the station completely safe and ready to re-open.

“Since the storm we have already installed special safety tension netting beneath much of the glass canopy, before it is replaced with a whole new roof in the summer. Our contractor cannot complete this work in areas closest to the railway line without stopping trains and turning the power off. 

"This will require a line closure in the area on Saturday and Sunday, 25-26 March, after which we aim to re-open the whole station."

The station, which is more than 100 years old, was due for a major renovation of its canopy in any case – a project expected to cost around £5m.

A contract for that refurbishment scheme was close to being awarded before the storm damage last month.

Mr Lewis added: “Whitley Bay Metro Station is a high priority for us and we have worked hard to maintain and develop the station since the previous £7m renovation project completed in 2008. When this upcoming full renovation is complete, we aim for the station to once again be a major asset for the town, in which we continue to grow amenities for local people. 

“We will continue to keep the local community updated on the full restoration plans as they are finalised.”

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