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6 February 2017, 05:00
The Tyne and Wear Metro timetable is changing to provide more early morning trains and a better service at peak times.
There will be new early morning weekday services from Sunderland, South Shields and North Tyneside stations, reflecting changing demand from Metro passengers.
And changes at peak times will provide a better evening peak service on one of Metro's busiest corridors, between Pelaw and Monkseaton.
The new timetable will mean:
· An earlier first train from Park Lane in Sunderland, departing for the Airport at 5:48am and five trains an hour from 6.09am onwards. Plus an extra train from South Hylton at 6:13am
· Two new early morning trains from South Shields, with a first departure at 5:42am and a train every 12 minutes from 6:06am onwards.
· First trains from Benton and Four Lane Ends towards Newcastle 30 minutes earlier than now, with a train every 12 minutes from 5:19am.
· A new early trains from Tynemouth at 5:50am via Whitley Bay to Newcastle filling a gap in the morning timetable.
· Evening peak trains from Pelaw to Monkseaton re-timed to run ahead of standard services, giving commuters more room by spreading passengers more evenly.
· A new early Saturday morning services from South Shields, plus a new Sunday morning train through Wallsend to improve mid-morning frequency.
The changes are based on feedback from Metro customers as well as market research and passenger counts.
Passengers can view train times for journeys after 5th February on the North East Journey Planner at www.nexus.org.uk
Raymond Johnstone, Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, which owns and manages Metro and sets the timetable, said:
"Nexus is responding to passenger demand for more trains when people need them - in the early morning before the traditional 'rush hour' begins.
"We now see more people wanting to travel earlier so that is where we are providing new train services. We are also making changes at peak times to better reflect how commuters use Metro so passengers are more evenly spread during the busiest times."
The improvements are being made possible by withdrawing the least-used peak trains between Monkseaton, Regent Centre and Pelaw, in particular those running between 9am and 9:30am in the morning and after 6pm in the evening.
But there will still be a train every six to 12 minutes at these times, throughout the Metro system. Most passengers will see no change in their regular train times or changes of one or two minutes only.
The changes are to be implemented by DB Regio, the company which operates stations and trains on behalf of Nexus.