Metro Strike Hits Thousands Of Passengers

7 June 2012, 05:30 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Tens of thousands of commuters and music fans face travel chaos because of a pay strike by workers on the Tyne and Wear Metro service.

There will not be any services because of a 24-hour walkout by drivers, control room staff and other employees belonging to the Rail Maritime and Transport union, Unite and Aslef.
The system has around 130,000 passenger journeys on weekdays, with an extra 15,000-20,000 set to travel by Metro to a Coldplay concert in Sunderland.
Another strike is set for June 21st, the day of a concert by US music legend Bruce Springsteen.
A bus service will be laid on Thursday between the Stadium of Light concert venue in Sunderland and Newcastle city centre.

Planning Your Journey

Nexus who run the Metro trains has issued the following advice:

* There will be no Metro trains throughout today. It is unfortunately not possible to provide a bus service in place of the entire Metro system.

* You can find out information about bus and rail routes in your area providing an alternative to Metro by calling North East Traveline on 0871 200 22 33. We advise you plan your journey in advance and that lines will be very busy today. You can also use 'Journey Planner' and 'My Journey' apps on the Nexus home page, but choose travel options that do not include Metro to get correct advice.

* Passengers with Metro season tickets valid today will be offered an extra day's travel 

* Metro services are planned to restart as normal from first train on Friday 8 June.

Advice For People Travelling To The Coldplay Concert

* Travel as early as possible to Sunderland by alternative means than Metro. Roads and local rail services are likely to be very busy, but local bus companies will be providing some additional services on key routes.

* Doors at Stadium of Light open at 5pm and there are places to eat and drink within the venue, and at bars and restaurants in Sunderland City Centre a short walk away.

* A latecomer's bus service will operate from Barrack Road in Newcastle (near St James Metro and football ground) for people needing to travel at the last minute to Stadium of Light. Buses will leave when full between 4pm and 7.30pm and travel non-stop.

* After the concert ends there will be a special fleet of 55 buses leaving from Stadium of Light and calling at Heworth Interchange and Newcastle City Centre. Buses will depart from Kier Hardie Way, the main road north of Stadium of Light, beyond the Aquatic Centre.

* No other transport is being provided in place of Metro services for the above event.

* There will be 1,000 additional parking spaces made available at the Bridges in Sunderland city centre, which will be open until 1am.


For people travelling by bus, there is further information on Go North East's website HERE 

Pictured below: South Gosforth Metro station was empty of Thursday as passengers had to find other ways of travelling


The action is going ahead after talks with Metro contractors DB Regio failed to resolve the pay row.
The RMT said that despite lengthy negotiations, DB Regio's offer of a 2.1% wage rise, "far below'' the rise in the cost of living, was rejected.
General secretary Bob Crow said:
"It is outrageous that workers must be expected to accept pay cuts for an economic crisis they did not create.
Tyne and Wear Metro workers have delivered the strongest possible mandate for action in three separate ballots and all we are seeking is pay justice and an end to poverty pay.
The union has been forced to take this action and we regret any inconvenience to those attending the rock concert. I am sure Bruce Springsteen will understand that workers are defending themselves with the only weapon they have.''

Sharon Kelly, Customer Services Director at DBTW, said:
"We are incredibly disappointed that the unions rejected the significantly enhanced pay offer which we made to them on Monday. We made the increased offer specifically to avoid this industrial action and the inevitable disruption it is going to cause to passengers, and the effect it will have on the economy and image of the North East.

As well as disrupting passengers who use Metro to get to work or out and about during the half term holiday, it will also impact on people attending the Coldplay concert at Sunderland's Stadium of Light tomorrow night, who were planning to get there and home again by Metro.

We want to advise people about the strike and its effect on services so they are prepared. We are urging everyone to plan ahead and start thinking now about their travel arrangements for tomorrow.

In the case of concert-goers, we urge them to start their journeys as early as possible and spend a bit of time in Sunderland before the concert to ensure they are there in good time and enjoy the evening. We will do everything we can to minimise the effect the strike has and make sure people are as prepared as possible. We?re very sorry that this strike action will inevitably impact on the region and inconvenience people."