Metro passengers are facing travel chaos due to Storm Babet with trains suspended between St James and North Shields by a fallen tree.
Nexus, the operator of the Tyne and Wear Metro, has confirmed that the storm’s strong winds caused a tree to fall onto the tracks at Chillingham Road, damaging the network’s overhead wires, at around 11.30am on Friday (October 20). The service is currently suspended between North Shields and St James and trains are likely to be off for several hours while teams work to remove the tree and repair the damage.
A Nexus spokesman said: “There is currently a service suspension in place between St James and North Shields due to a fallen tree at Chillingham Road. The service between North Shields and St James is likely to be oft for several hours. Teams are getting ready to move the tree.”
The Metro service has also been suspended between Pelaw and South Hylton since around 12.20pm due to overhead line issues on Network Rail. Passengers affected by both incidents are advised to use their tickets on Stagecoach bus services.
A Nexus spokesman said: “We currently have a service suspension between Pelaw and South Hylton, due to an overhead line issue on the Network Rail line. We are waiting for confirmation from Network Rail what the issue has been caused and whether or not it is storm-related.
“Customers can use their tickets and passes on local Stagecoach buses in the affected area. Please check for info before travelling and allow extra time for your journey.”
At around 2.20pm the Metro service announced that Whitley Bay Metro station has closed due to wind damage to the roof structure.
The Met Office has issued two yellow weather warnings for severe wind and rain for the North East on Friday as the storm continues to batter the UK. The warning for rain remains in place until 6am tomorrow and the warning for wind remains in place until 12pm tomorrow, with gusts of more than 50mph in Newcastle and surrounding areas.