The South Shields Metro line will be closed in both directions from September 12 until December 4 – the biggest closure in the 42 year history of the Metro – to allow for a £103 million upgrade project to take place.
The major shutdown means that the line between Pelaw and South Shields will be completely closed for 12 weeks, for the ‘Metro Flow’ upgrade works which is hoped will deliver a long-term boost to the region by delivering services to new areas.
Engineers will be dualling three single-track sections of the Metro line between Pelaw and Bede stations, in order to allow more trains to run, improve reliability, and boost the system’s capacity by up to 24,000 extra journeys every day. The sections of line that will be dualled are found between Pelaw and Hebburn (800 metres), Hebburn and Jarrow (1.4km) and Jarrow and Bede (600 metres).
Severe disruption means that passengers and commuters are urged to make plans to get to school and work while the closures take place. There will be two frequent replacement bus services in operation throughout the closure. The 900 service will call at or close to all stations between Heworth and South Shields, while the X900 will be a faster bus stopping only at Heworth, Jarrow, and South Shields.
Major projects director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “The £100m Metro Flow project involves a massive programme of track dualling, which can only be carried out during a three-month major line closure – which is the longest and biggest that we’ve ever undertaken. It is never an easy decision to close such a large section of the network for such a long period of time, but this is the only way that we can effectively deliver the track dualling works.
“Customers will need to plan ahead when the line closure is in place. Allow plenty of extra time for your journeys and there will be frequent replacement buses running, which includes an express service between Heworth and South Shields. The work, which has been ramping up on site for months as we countdown to the September start date, will see three pinch points on the Metro network eliminated by the dualling of an existing freight line, which will become part of the Metro’s own infrastructure.”
“This also gives us the scope to examine future opportunities to expand the network to other areas that are currently not served by Metro.”
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North East foodbanks to close on Monday as the Queen’s funeral is held
Several foodbanks across the North East will close their warehouses and distribution centres this Bank Holiday Monday, the day the Queen’s funeral is being held.
In the North East, Gateshead Foodbank has announced that it will be closed on Monday to reopen the following day. Sunderland and County Durham Foodbank will also be closed, as well as their foodbank warehouse.
It was announced that the day of the Queen’s funeral would be a bank holiday by King Charles III this weekend, as a national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey. The public will be able to pay their respects 24 hours a day for four days until 6.30am on Monday, while the Queen lies in state in the Palace of Westminster.
The Trussell Trust work to stop UK hunger and poverty, and their network of foodbanks provides emergency food and support to people in crisis. A spokesperson told the Mirror that food banks across the country were given the option to close or stay open depending on the needs of their community.
They clarified that “foodbanks are all independent, but we have emailed saying it is a bank holiday and they can decide what to do. It really depends on the local need on the ground, the volunteers will know if they are particularly quiet on a Monday, or if it is a busier day.”
The decision to close a number of foodbanks has proved to be controversial, with some slamming the move as classist. What are your thoughts?
Queen’s Funeral Date Announced
Details of the service and events in the coming days have been released by Buckingham Palace and the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, who is responsible for the arrangements.
It was announced earlier that the day of the funeral will be a bank holiday.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at 11am on Monday 19 September at Westminster Abbey.
The Queen’s coffin – which is currently in the ballroom at Balmoral – will be carried by six gamekeepers from the Balmoral Estate tomorrow, Sunday 11 September, at 10am.
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Ticket touts selling Sam Fender tickets for substantial prices
Ticket touts are exploiting Sam Fender fans, with some charging over 10x the standard face value fee, despite efforts to avoid this.
On Friday, Fender announced that he will be living out a childhood dream of his and playing St James’ Park in Newcastle on June 9, 2023. The stadium is the largest in the North East with the capacity for over 52,000 fans.
Due to an extremely high demand and pre-sale tickets selling out in minutes on Wednesday, an extra date was added for 10 June. General sale went live at 10am this morning (9 September) and, once again, sold out in minutes, with over 100,000 people joining the queue at one point hoping for tickets.
Ticket touts have already begun using this situation to their advantage, with tickets worth £63 at face value being sold for prices as high as £720 on sites such as Viagogo. Such profiteering retail sites encourage ticket touting, which is a strictly illegal practice.
The 28-year-old musician has issued a statement on his Instagram story, alerting his fans to be careful. He stated:
“Please only buy tickets from the official vendors which are all listed on my website.
“Twickets or your ticket agent’s face value resale platform are the only safe places to buy tickets that people don’t need.
“Tickets bought and sold on other sites (such as Viagogo) are not valid and will not be accepted.”
Fender has partnered with Twickets, an official and ethical resale platform, to ensure that fans buy/sell tickets only at face value and that those being sold are not fake.
Did you manage to get your hands on yours – let us know our Facebook page – here
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