West Jesmond Metro refurb to begin in June

The refurbishment of West Jesmond Metro is set to start in June and be complete by the end of the year, Nexushas revealed.

In an interview with JesmondLocal, head of communications Huw Lewis confirmed there would be some small disruptions to services while works were taking place. Watch our video report:

On some evenings, only one platform will be open after 8 o’clock, meaning passengers will have to go on to the next stop, before doubling back on themselves to return to their intended destination.

“Passengers will have to accept there’s a little bit of inconvenience for the long-term benefits we’re bringing to the station,” Lewis said.

The main additions will be new ticket machines that accept note and card payments, and ticket barriers to help stop the estimated five per cent of passengers who do not pay for tickets.

The cost to Nexus of fare avoidance is around £1 million a year and, as one of the biggest cash-taking stations with 1.4 million passengers annually, the addition of barriers in West Jesmond is expected to save a considerable sum.

Asked why more barriers had not been introduced sooner, Lewis said, “For the conurbation of Tyne and Wear to have a transport system of this quality, we are dependent on government money…We needed to go to government to make the argument for the capital investment in gate lines.”

As well as accepting notes and cards, the new machines will include a ‘Pop’ smartcard facility, similar to the London Underground’s Oyster Card, whereby passengers can top up with credit or use the card as a season ticket.

The development will also include landscaping on the Lonsdale side, in order to compensate for trees and wildlife lost in the station’s extension.

This will result in the loss of parking bays, which are owned by Nexus and have no permits applied to them. The council has agreed this is acceptable.

The works are part of a £385 million scheme, Metro: all change, which is set to modernise and refurbish infrastructure and stations across the Tyne and Wear network.

The programme is funded by a grant from the Department for Transport. The last Labour government signed off the deal and the current administration continues to support it.