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Friday, September 22, 2023

Tyne and Wear Metro carries record number of customers at Great North Run

A record number of people travelled on the Tyne and Wear Metro at this year’s Great North Run, with over 100,000 customers using the network to get to and from the word famous half marathon.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said it had seen its highest ever footfall in the 39 years the transport system had supported the event.

And it was a record-breaking day for the Shields Ferry, which carried 11,200 passengers across the Tyne, while the local bus network saw 17,000 journeys.

The figures underlined the importance of the public transport network to the success of the Great North Run, said Nexus.

The record-breaking footfall came despite the run being hit by severe downpours which disrupted roads and transport as people were making their way home from South Shields.

Interim Managing Director, Cathy Massarella, said: “We’ve seen a record number of customers using Metro at this year’s Great North Run, with over 100,000 journeys the most that we have ever seen.

“The high footfall shows how public transport networks have such a vital role to play in serving this world famous event, which has a truly global appeal. We’re already looking forward to next year and the planning is well and truly underway.

“Getting everyone home from South Shields is a big logistical challenge for us, but we meet that challenge head on every year, and in future events we’ll be able to have our first new Metro trains serving the runners.

“This year was extra challenging due to the flash flooding which occurred on the Sunday afternoon. It was only because we had so many customer service and engineering teams ready in the area that we were able to look after customers as best we could and get the last of the queues away only an hour later than in 2022.”

A month’s worth of rain fell in the space of an hour on the afternoon the run, causing flooding and South Shields Interchange and on the Metro line itself at Tyne Dock tunnel.

Nexus pulled out all the stops to resolve the flooding, with its frontline teams getting key support from the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

The Metro line was re-opened just over an hour after the flash floods and services were able to resume and get everyone home safety from South Shields.

Image credit: Metro

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