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Body blow for 'Oyster card for the North' as government axes £105m for contactless travel on all North East buses, trains, and Metro services

Chronicle Live website article from 15/01/21

EXTRACT

Body blow for 'Oyster card for the North' as government axes £105m for contactless travel

Hopes of passengers using contactless payment to touch in and out of different public transport systems across the North East have been rocked by a major funding cut

Dreams of an ‘Oyster card for the North’ that could be used on all North East buses, trains, and Metro services have been dealt a body blow.

The government has slashed funding for Transport for the North (TfN), the body which oversees transport planning across the North of England, most notably axeing £105 million promised to install smart ticketing infrastructure.


Full article on Government axes £105m for 'Oyster card for the North'

KEN
Another step back for this region! We really need to devolve from the rest of this countries decisions and make our own> We're not even that thought of as part of the Northern Powerhouse.
 

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Another step back for this region! We really need to devolve from the rest of this countries decisions and make our own> We're not even that thought of as part of the Northern Powerhouse.
Sadly what else do we expect from these Tory snakes in power.

It's probably because Grant Schapps hasn got a dogsitter's uncle's next door neighbour's housemaid who owns shares in making that plasticey ticket paper you get on trains or it would have been a done deal.

But what really enrages me is that Westminster has us and all the regions dangling on the end of a very tight purse string.

Any other region like ours in the world wouldn't be having to beg like a dog, but actually be able to organise our allocated finances to do with as please for things like this. And for the North East with the Metro and such a decentralised bus based public system, it's absolutely vital.

And who do we have as the face of the North East, to fight politically on our behalf? Jamie Driscoll. A man who looks like he'd lose a fight with his own mother over use of the bath pillow when it was his night for it anyway.
 

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I wouldn't know, but i really don't think it is viable for any metro route to go not go through the centre of Newcastle. But in going past Manors/Jesmond branch, we could extend the city centre out to the inner loop.
OK, well not sure if this should go in the main rail thread or here as the Metro maybe should include S-Bahn-like commuter rail, the current light rapid transit and street running trams all with the same ticketing and mapping. For the metro I guess maybe the yellow and green as now (maybe increased to 6tph) and the Silverlink as a revived red and blue line (but connected via the Silverlink route). Both the Blue and yellow reversing at St James could be an option but it would be nice if there was a west end metro connected to the east west tunnel at Monument.

For tram if you could have a number of lines with a common Stretch from Neville st to Swan house Roundabout and then branching out in each direction.
 

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Busiest Metro lines running through Newcastle and Gateshead to be closed for two weeks in February 2021

Chronicle Live website article from 18/01/21 about overhead line renewal mentioned in video in post above

EXTRACT

Busiest Metro lines running through Newcastle and Gateshead to be closed for two weeks

The closure will take place in February so that Nexus can replace essential overhead power lines between Heworth and Regent Centre / Four Lane Ends

There will be no Metro services between Heworth and Regent Centre / Four Lane Ends for 14 days - from February 15 to 28. Services will resume as normal on Monday, March 1.

Frequent replacement bus services will be provided during the closure, calling at or near stations on the affected routes. Customers are advised to plan their journeys in advance.


Full article on Busiest Metro lines to be closed for two weeks - here are details of closure

KEN
 

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Site of possible new Metro Station to serve Stephenson Quarter, Quayside and Forth Banks

Right where they are standing, new Metro Station to serve Stephenson Quarter, Quayside and Forth Banks please
Picture of mine showing "Site of possible new Metro Station to serve Stephenson Quarter, Quayside and Forth Banks" mentioned by No Opinion in his post above

04/05/15

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15/10/15

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22/12/18

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21/12/19

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KEN
 

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Is that by the Crowne Plaza...it's bad enough hearing the rumbling of the metro from the rooms let alone the beep beep for the doors opening and closing
 

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A station here would be nice, but perhaps even better would be to create a rear entrance to Central Station, such as by extending the Metro passageway. It's a bit odd that it doesn't have one.
 

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A station here would be nice, but perhaps even better would be to create a rear entrance to Central Station, such as by extending the Metro passageway. It's a bit odd that it doesn't have one.
This! The Forth Banks site is too close to Central Station to add a new station, but instead providing proper access to the station from the south would make the area very accessible.

Even in its current state, it's only a few minutes extra walk - certainly not enough to justify building an entirely new station and the adverse effect on journey times that would have.
 

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King of Bernicia
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Its a tricky one. The distance between Central and Gateshead is rather large and purely looking at distance a station in between would be nice... the honking geet big river in the middle kind of ruins the possible utility of that however. Especially considering there's no pedestrian element to the metro bridge.
I'd agree a south exit is more the way to go. Especially if we can get local train services properly integrated with the metro.

This done I can see a case for a station close to the river on the Gateshead side. Under the currently active proposals there are plans for a 'East Gateshead' station which I gather is to be somewhere around Hawks Road with the new arena development et al.
It'd be nice to see something further west too. The old Gateshead station probably wouldn't be ideal there.
The new development near the Redheugh bridge seems a good place to me, though it'll need a big change in outlook for managing the ECML to have passing loops and more slow trains.
Another possibility could be if we integrate services on the ECML/Tyne Valley line with the north/south metro line via some extensions to the tunnels just before Askew Road, though this one is going pretty complex and probably wouldn't be feasible in terms of capacity with a train every 5 minutes on the green/yellow segment.
 

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A station here would be nice, but perhaps even better would be to create a rear entrance to Central Station, such as by extending the Metro passageway. It's a bit odd that it doesn't have one.
Either way something should be done, one of them at least, ideally both.

Although it is only 400m from Central Station, the station forms a huge urban impenetrable wall that isolates Stephenson Quarter. What is 400m as the crow flies is actually a convoluted and unclear route via Centre for Life or Orchard Street underpass. Bear in mind Sunderland Central-Park Lane-University is around 350-450m apart.

The once proposed southern entrance to the Station would be ideal. The recent Central Gateway plan by Network Rail is an exercise in fleeting around the core issue, and still substandard in terms of a direct southern approach, but we are likely stuck with it- hence an idea for the Metro station, seen as the North East LEP is pressing (with presumable futility) for an expansion of the Metro.

Now, as well as providing an essential boost to a critical city centre development (looking substantially more appropriate and exciting with Igloo on board) a Forth Banks Metro Stop could serve as a public transport hub for the emerging 'Quayside West' developments along Pottery Lane all the way to Calder's Yard. Not to mention serving the far end of the Quayside. Could imagine some external escalators giving pedestrian access to the Quayside itself and help rejuvenate this dead part of town West of Copthorne.

Having a station platform as well on the end of the QE2 bridge would be suitably spectacular, and very Newcastle.
 

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It'll be about another 20-25 seconds until it stops at the 'Stephenson Quarter' station, which is a huge difference if you're walking to it.
 

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King of Bernicia
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Either way something should be done, one of them at least, ideally both.

Although it is only 400m from Central Station, the station forms a huge urban impenetrable wall that isolates Stephenson Quarter. What is 400m as the crow flies is actually a convoluted and unclear route via Centre for Life or Orchard Street underpass. Bear in mind Sunderland Central-Park Lane-University is around 350-450m apart.

The once proposed southern entrance to the Station would be ideal. The recent Central Gateway plan by Network Rail is an exercise in fleeting around the core issue, and still substandard in terms of a direct southern approach, but we are likely stuck with it- hence an idea for the Metro station, seen as the North East LEP is pressing (with presumable futility) for an expansion of the Metro.

Now, as well as providing an essential boost to a critical city centre development (looking substantially more appropriate and exciting with Igloo on board) a Forth Banks Metro Stop could serve as a public transport hub for the emerging 'Quayside West' developments along Pottery Lane all the way to Calder's Yard. Not to mention serving the far end of the Quayside. Could imagine some external escalators giving pedestrian access to the Quayside itself and help rejuvenate this dead part of town West of Copthorne.

Having a station platform as well on the end of the QE2 bridge would be suitably spectacular, and very Newcastle.
It does seem a public lift in that area could be useful. That side of the quayside is rather isolated.
 

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It's a shame they couldn't do something like Blackfriars Station in London with the platform in the middle of the bridge and you can exit/enter at either end
 

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Either way something should be done, one of them at least, ideally both.

Although it is only 400m from Central Station, the station forms a huge urban impenetrable wall that isolates Stephenson Quarter. What is 400m as the crow flies is actually a convoluted and unclear route via Centre for Life or Orchard Street underpass. Bear in mind Sunderland Central-Park Lane-University is around 350-450m apart.

The once proposed southern entrance to the Station would be ideal. The recent Central Gateway plan by Network Rail is an exercise in fleeting around the core issue, and still substandard in terms of a direct southern approach, but we are likely stuck with it- hence an idea for the Metro station, seen as the North East LEP is pressing (with presumable futility) for an expansion of the Metro.

Now, as well as providing an essential boost to a critical city centre development (looking substantially more appropriate and exciting with Igloo on board) a Forth Banks Metro Stop could serve as a public transport hub for the emerging 'Quayside West' developments along Pottery Lane all the way to Calder's Yard. Not to mention serving the far end of the Quayside. Could imagine some external escalators giving pedestrian access to the Quayside itself and help rejuvenate this dead part of town West of Copthorne.

Having a station platform as well on the end of the QE2 bridge would be suitably spectacular, and very Newcastle.
It'll be about another 20-25 seconds until it stops at the 'Stephenson Quarter' station, which is a huge difference if you're walking to it.
That said, the diversion around the Centre for Life isn't actually that much of an issue - I worked there for quite a number of years in West One, and it was a bit of a schlep, but that was mostly due to the steep gradient of Forth Banks. When I worked there people never complained about the distance to the station, but the subject of the steep incline did come up - mostly in winter when there was snow or ice. A south entrance that could also serve as a thoroughfare would be a far more effective use of any money, as it will also connect the area to the rest of the city centre far better than a station would.

The landlords of West One and the adjacent Forth Banks Tower have struggled to ever get the buildings anywhere near full occupancy for the commercial units, as companies don't want to be there - they prefer to be closer to the actual centre of the city. Being on the outskirts of the city centre is seen from a business perspective as a bit of a cheap cop-out. The rather crap quality of the buildings doesn't help with either of these things though.

For the west quayside area to get any substantial uptake in development will take quite a bit of effort, and I'd say you'd be better installing public escalators or lifts as others have mentioned than a station, as the issue for many is the steep climb up into the centre of the city rather than access to public transport.

In the case of Sunderland - Park Lane, there is a very big justification for this closeness between the stations, in that both serve the city centre, but one is the main railway station, and the other is a major bus interchange point. If the bus station wasn't at Park Lane, it's a safe bet that the station wouldn't have been constructed due to its' proximity to Sunderland. Even so these two stations are still about 100m more further apart following the route of the line than Central Station to Forth Banks would be! The distance between the platform ends would be somewhere in the region of only 300m! (For context, we have 60m long trains...)

With infill stations there has to be a very careful balance - it would be nice if everything that was beside the Metro route was within 2 minutes walking distance, but you also have to weigh this up against the effect on the end-to-end journey times and impact it has on the headway between services. If a train stops for 30 seconds at a station, you realistically lose 1-2 minutes due to braking and acceleration. If the stations are close enough that the new infill station stops the train being able to attain its' top speed that time now increases even more and on a busy section such as between South Gosforth and Pelaw you can start to affect the number of trains that you can run through the route.
 
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Local firm Thompsons of Prudhoe wins contract to demolish 100-year-old South Gosforth Metro depot

Chronicle Live website article from 20/01/21

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Goodbye to Gosforth Metro depot as local firm wins contract to demolish the 100-year-old site

The depot, which houses the Metro trains, will be replaced by a new £70m depot for the modern fleet

A North East firm, Thompsons of Prudhoe, has now landed the contract to demolish the depot, located between the South Gosforth and Regent Centre stations.

Once it is rubble, a new £70m depot will be erected on the same site, housing the modern £362m fleet due to be rolled out over the next few years.


Full article on Goodbye Gosforth Metro depot as firm wins contract to demolish 100-year-old site

KEN
 

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Some of us are old enough to remember when Soutb Gosforth was the depot for Tynerail DMUs in the seventies and probably a few will remember the green liveried Tyneside Electrics that were based there until 1967. However, it is old fashioned now and in need of replacement.
 

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That said, the diversion around the Centre for Life isn't actually that much of an issue - I worked there for quite a number of years in West One, and it was a bit of a schlep, but that was mostly due to the steep gradient of Forth Banks. When I worked there people never complained about the distance to the station, but the subject of the steep incline did come up - mostly in winter when there was snow or ice. A south entrance that could also serve as a thoroughfare would be a far more effective use of any money, as it will also connect the area to the rest of the city centre far better than a station would.

The landlords of West One and the adjacent Forth Banks Tower have struggled to ever get the buildings anywhere near full occupancy for the commercial units, as companies don't want to be there - they prefer to be closer to the actual centre of the city. Being on the outskirts of the city centre is seen from a business perspective as a bit of a cheap cop-out. The rather crap quality of the buildings doesn't help with either of these things though.

For the west quayside area to get any substantial uptake in development will take quite a bit of effort, and I'd say you'd be better installing public escalators or lifts as others have mentioned than a station, as the issue for many is the steep climb up into the centre of the city rather than access to public transport.

In the case of Sunderland - Park Lane, there is a very big justification for this closeness between the stations, in that both serve the city centre, but one is the main railway station, and the other is a major bus interchange point. If the bus station wasn't at Park Lane, it's a safe bet that the station wouldn't have been constructed due to its' proximity to Sunderland.

With infill stations there has to be a very careful balance - it would be nice if everything that was beside the Metro route was within 2 minutes walking distance, but you also have to weigh this up against the effect on the end-to-end journey times and impact it has on the headway between services. If a train stops for 30 seconds at a station, you realistically lose 1-2 minutes due to braking and acceleration. If the stations are close enough that the new infill station stops the train being able to attain its' top speed that time now increases even more and on a busy section such as between South Gosforth and Pelaw you can start to affect the number of trains that you can run through the route.
Stephenson Quarter has to be conceptualised as the high profile, centrally located development it is. Not some convoluted walk down secondary back streets to get there. It significantly devalues any property there and reduces the chance of having the best quality to respect such a historically significant site.

A southern entrance is the best (not some metal steps in the corner of the station) but a modern, albeit smaller version of our portico but on the South side. Look a the Southern entrance for Leeds station recently built. We aren't asking much here. A metro is a secondary option, because it enlivens a currently dull part of the Quayside as well.

I get your argument for Sunderland/Park Lane, however the University is wholly unnecessary, and just there as an excuse to give Sunderland x number of stops. But i'd also say Central is such an immoveable and permenent object, unless they can increase its permeability it is justified in order to activate this part of town.
 

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A big opportunity for Metro will come when the line to Ashington is reopened and Northumberland Park becomes an interchange. Passengers from SE Northumberland will now have the opportunity to catch a Metro ever ten minutes to the Coast or to South Shields, and people living in the Shiremoor area will also have the alternative of catching a non stop heavy rail service to Newcastle Central.
 
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