Metro services are set to be badly disrupted a week on Sunday.
Fans travelling to the Newcastle v Arsenal match (15 April 1.30pm kick-off) should allow for this when gauging what time to star their journey to St James Park.
The disruption to Metro services is due to vital work that can’t be postponed any longer and which was planned before the match was moved for TV.
Nexus have released the following information.
What are the Metro works on Sunday April 15?
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has to carry out vital modernisation work on signalling cables to ensure the continued smooth running of the Metro. The work can only be carried out safely by closing the line between South Gosforth and Heworth all day on Sunday April 15.
Why can’t the work be postponed or moved to a different weekend?
Nexus is unable to move these works again. This is because we have to carry out vital repairs to signalling cables and our engineers do not want to postpone this again. This work was planned for last October but we opted to cancel it as Sky moved the Newcastle game against Liverpool for TV. Unfortunately the same issue has arisen and this time the advice from our technical experts is that we have to go ahead and carry out the planned work.
We cannot just move the work to another weekend at short notice as we have a carefully mapped programme which sees most weekends booked out for a whole range of differing engineering schemes. The scale of the works means that we are unable to do them overnight.
How has this situation come about?
Sky Television have the rights to broadcast live Premier League games. On February 27 they informed Newcastle United that they were going to screen the club’s home game against Arsenal. This meant moving the game from a 3pm kick off on Saturday 14 April to a 1.30pm kick off on Sunday 15 April. This change occurred well after Nexus had allocated Sunday 15 April as the date to carry out the signalling works which require a one day line closure between South Gosforth and Heworth.
What services are being provided in place of the Metro between South Gosforth and Heworth?
We will be providing an enhanced re placement bus service which will be operating between Heworth and Regent Centre. From 11am and 6pm buses will depart every five minutes. Buses will be busy so passengers are advised to allow plenty of time to get into the city centre and plan their journey in advance.
What if I am travelling in from the coast?
Extra Metros will be provided on the coastal loop via Wallsend, so one option is to travel that way into town and alight at St James or Monument.
How can I get further information?
Customers can get information about the bus replacement service on our website: https://www.nexus.org.uk/metro/modernisation use the Live Travel Map https://livemap.nexus.org.uk/ or by calling Nexus on 0191 20 20 747. Info will also be provided on our Twitter page: @My_Metro.
A Nexus spokesman said: “Anyone heading to the Newcastle United game on the Metro on Sunday April 15 should allow extra time for their journey to St James’ Park for the 1.30pm kick off. This is due to the Metro line being closed between South Gosforth and Heworth to allow for essential modernisation work.
“We’re sorry for the inconvenience this may cause and urge fans to plan their journeys in advance and to allow enough time to get into Newcastle for the start of the game.
“An enhanced replacement bus service, number 900, will be in operation. These buses will depart from Regent Centre and from Heworth every five minutes. Extra buses are being provided in this area from 11am until 6pm.
“Additional Metro services will also be provided into Newcastle city centre via Wallsend for passengers heading in from the North Tyneside coastal areas.
“Newcastle United’s match against Arsenal was selected by Sky Sports for live TV in an announcement that was made on February 27. The game was moved from its original 3pm slot on Saturday 14 April to 1.30pm the following day, Sunday 15 April, so it now coincides with the planned Metro modernisation work which requires a line closure.
“Those works had already previously been moved from a scheduled date last October due to a clash with the Newcastle United game against Liverpool, which was also switched for television coverage.
“We are unable to postpone this work again. We have to carry out important work on signalling cables that are vital for the smooth running of Tyne and Wear Metro services.”