Extra Metro services will be in operation for this year’s Great North Run on Sunday 10 September – and runners and spectators are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys and to buy tickets in advance.
The additional Metro services will be running until early evening, when the timetable returns to normal, with trains running every seven and a half minutes between Newcastle city centre and South Shields, to help people to the start of the run, and home afterwards.
There will be around eight trains an hour from South Shields.
Metro services are expected to be very busy from early morning and throughout the day on Sunday 10 September as the network supports around 85,000 people on the day of the Great North Run each year.
Metro Services Director, Chris Carson, said: “A significant amount of planning has gone into this year’s Great North Run and extra resources are in place to manage the huge level of demand and to allow us to provide a good service to our customers on what is one of Metro’s busiest days of the year.
“However, I would advise customers to expect long queues and trains to be extremely busy. Runners and spectators should allow extra time for their journeys and purchase tickets in advance to avoid further queues at ticket machines on the day.
“We will have lots of staff on the ground at key locations across the network who will be able to provide advice and assistance to customers. We will clear queues as quickly as possible but it will take time so I would ask customers to remain patient.”
“We also want to make sure passengers are safe and as comfortable as possible when travelling throughout the day. Remember to stay hydrated before, during and after the run. Trains will be busy – if train windows are closed open them to help keep cool. And if you feel unwell leave the train and speak to staff at the station, or use the station Help Point to speak to staff.”
Metro is encouraging customers to avoid queuing at the ticket machines on the day by buying a Metro ticket in advance.
Special Great North Run tickets will be available from any Metro ticket machine by selecting GN Run 10/9 Adult or GN Run 10/9 Child. Alternatively, Great North Run Metro wristbands are available to buy from Nexus TravelShops at the pop-up ticket shop at Great North Run Pasta Party on Saturday 9 September, and online at http://onlinestore.nexus.org.
The Great North Run is the busiest Sunday of the year for Metro and a range of measures have been put in place this year to ensure a good service is provided to customers on the day. Metro staff will keep people informed with approximate waiting times and will be available to sell Metro tickets to people in the queue at South Shields Metro station following the race. The queues will be long, and in previous years average waiting times have been about 90 minutes, however there will be entertainment at the station to help pass the time.
Some stations will be temporarily closed before and after the run to help with the movement of passengers, improve crowd control and manage the queues. These include; Haymarket station – which will be exit only (no entry into the station) between 8.00am and 10.40am; Jesmond station – which will be closed from 10.40am until early afternoon; and Chichester station – which will be closed from 3.00pm until later in the evening.
Staff will be available at all key stations on the day to provide help and support.
For spectators planning to see friends or relatives take part in the Great North Run, Metro also advise customers to select one location to see them – either setting off at the start, at a midway point or near the finishing line.
For safety, anyone intending to travel on Metro with a charity balloon, is also advised to ensure the string is secure, kept short and you have tight hold of it at all times.
Runners and spectators can get all the latest live travel updates from the @My_Metro Twitter page and atwww.nexus.org.uk/metro