The Tyne and Wear Metro has announced it will operate a reduced winter timetable whilst it catches up with driver training that was stopped due to the lockdown.
Nexus, operators of the Metro, has said it will introduce the new timetable from Sunday 29th November and will be in place until March 2021.
Passengers will still have access to a “good” level of service across the network, according to Nexus, with trains every seven minutes on weekdays between 7 am and 6 pm through Newcastle and Gateshead.
Metro Operations Director, Chris Carson, said: “Reducing services is the last thing that we want to do, and it’s not a decision that we take lightly, but training has been so severely impacted by lockdown that we need to implement a winter timetable.
“I apologise in advance for the inconvenience this is going to cause to our customers.
“The reality is that train crew availability is lower than what we need it to be. The extra staff that we were due to bring in were unable to go through the required aptitude tests when national assessment centres were closed in March.
“Since the testing centres re-opened in August we do now have a record number of new drivers in training. These training schools got underway in September, and they will take six months to complete.
“Customers will still have access to a good level of frequency across the network. On busier weekdays between 7 am and 6 pm the timetable will not differ that much from what we currently have in place, and in our busy central corridor through Newcastle and Gateshead, there will be trains every seven minutes.
“Once we complete the current driver training schools, we aim to revert back to a full timetable in the Spring.”
Here is the Metro Winter Timetable:
- Monday – Friday: A 30-minute service 5 am-7 am; A 15-minute service 7 am-6 pm (a train every 7 minutes between South Gosforth and Pelaw); A 20-minute service 6 pm until the end of the day.
- Saturdays: A 30-minute service 5 am-9 am; A 24-minute service 9 am-6 pm; A 30-minute service from 6 pm until the end of the day.
- Sundays: A 30-minute service all day.
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