Tyne and Wear Metro to introduce new £362m fleet of accessible trains

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Tyne and Wear Metro is to introduce a new £362m fleet of accessible trains designed with the aim of providing optimal access for disabled passengers.

The Stadler fleet are touted to be in use from 2022, and will boast a number of features catering to elderly and disabled passengers.

On current trains an allocated wheelchair space is also open to bikes, pushchairs and bags.

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The new accessible trains will come with four dedicated spaces for wheelchairs, as well as an emergency intercom in the area and eight sets of three priority seats for the disabled and elderly.

Additionally, a retractable step will automatically deploy from ever door at each stop, meaning no dangerous gap between the carriage and the platform.

Customer service director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, commented to the Shields Gazette: “The new Metro trains are going to transform accessibility for people with disabilities.

“The trains will have an automatic step that will deploy at every door to close the gap with the platform, and four dedicated wheelchair spaces for the 50,000 people who make unsupported wheelchair journeys with us every year.

“These are the most significant features, but the trains have been designed throughout with the needs of disabled passengers, and through consultation with them. Features like special lighting at doors, audio-visual displays and the location of grab poles all help.”

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Sam Lewis

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