Nexus announces £20m Metro modernisation scheme for Summer 2017

Image showing Killignworth Road
Killingworth Road will be closed for several months from 20 July 2017

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, is to embark on a £20m pound programme of modernisation work on its lines through Newcastle and North Tyneside this summer.

The work, which forms part of the £350m Metro all change modernisation programme, will involve the replacement of ageing tracks, the strengthening of embankments, and the replacement of the Killingworth Road Metro bridge in South Gosforth.

A major line closure, 34 days in total, will be required so that the work can be carried out as quickly possible with the minimum amount of disruption. The works have been arranged to minimise the level of inconvenience to Metro customers.

This latest scheme will mark the completion of track renewal work on Metro’s North Tyne coastal loop.

The Metro line will be closed between South Gosforth and Four Lane Ends from Monday July 31 until Friday August11. A frequent replacement bus service will be running.

The closure area will then be widened - South Gosforth to Shiremoor - from Saturday 12 August until Saturday 2 September. A frequent replacement bus service will be running.

The Summer 2017 modernisation works include:

  • A £14m scheme to replace the Metro tracks and strengthen embankments between South Gosforth and Northumberland Park
  • The bridge over Killingworth Road in Gosforth, which dates to the Victorian era, will be removed and a new steel bridge will be installed as part of a £5.5m scheme
  • Essential maintenance of steel work at Northumberland Park Metro station

A road improvement scheme by Newcastle City Council, which will see Killingworth Road widened towards the Haddricks Mill roundabouts has been arranged to dovetail with the Metro modernisation schemes. The local road improvements and the replacement of Killingworth Road bridge are being funded by the Government’s Highways Challenge Fund, which the City Council and Nexus jointly bid for.

Cabinet member for transport and air quality at Newcastle City Council , Cllr Arlene Ainsley said: “The bridge over Killingworth Road is a well-known pinch point in the city, which snarls traffic heading in and out of Newcastle. As this route is used by tens of thousands of people a day, as well as a major route for public transport, we applied for and won £13.5m from the government’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund to relieve congestion, improve journey times, make it safer for everyone and tackle poor air quality.

“We worked in partnership with Nexus to develop plans that would improve the network for Metro passengers, as well as all road-users and people who live in the local area.

“With the bridge’s lifespan coming to an end, this presented us with a once in a hundred years opportunity to make huge improvements to our city’s network, making Newcastle one of the easiest cities to get around.”

Managing Director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “We have packed in a huge amount of modernisation work this summer which is vital for securing the long term future of Metro for many years to come.

“Renewal projects on this scale can only be done by closing Metro lines, and we will need a 34 day closure on part of the system so that workers can get access and get the job done as fast as possible.

“I apologise in advance of anyone will be disrupted by the work. When lines are closed we will ensure that frequent replacement bus services are provided.

“The track replacement works will complete the renewal of our lines around the north Tyne loop in what is our final large scale line closure of the £350 Metro modernisation programme.

“We have worked closely with our local authority partners to dovetail the replacement of the Killingworth Road Metro bridge with the start of a major road improvement scheme in that area. The complete replacement of a Metro bridge is a significant engineering challenge but we have a detailed plan in place to ensure this goes without a hitch.”

The temporary closure of Salters Lane in Gosforth will begin from Thursday July 20 to allow for the Metro bridge replacement work. Killingworth Road will be closed to traffic from July 20 until Spring 2018. A comprehensive traffic management plan has been arranged by Newcastle City Council to help motorists during this road disruption.

Modernisation works on the Metro line will also take place during weekends and also at night, during Metro’s track access hours.

Nexus has already sent letters to over 3,000 households between South Gosforth and Shiremoor to make residents aware of the forthcoming works. It will also carry out public drop in sessions for people to find out more about the project.

For further information about the major line closures in North Tyneside passengers can find out more on the Nexus website, or by calling the Nexus Customer Service Centre 0191 20 20 747.