Tyne and Wear Metro fare hike approved – with some prices rising by almost 10% from April

By Daniel Holland

A Metro ticket price increase of up to 9.5% has been signed off by councillors.

Passengers will be hit with the fare hike from April, as Tyne and Wear Metro owner Nexus tries to stave off cuts to services amid a major cash crisis.

The cost of single and day paper tickets bought at stations will go up by as much as 9.5% and the price of weekly, monthly, and annual season tickets will rise by around 3%.

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Single and day ticket prices are also set to increase on the Shields Ferry by 10%.

The uplifts were approved by Tyne and Wear councillors on Thursday afternoon, while the Government has been urged again to provide new funding beyond the end of March to save Nexus from a £21m budget shortfall that is expected to mean cutbacks to bus services in particular.

It was also announced at a meeting of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear sub-committee that a rare Metro zone boundary change is to be put on hold.

The switch would have seen the zone B/C boundary move from Seaburn to Sunderland – meaning higher costs for people going from Seaburn towards Newcastle, but cheaper fares for those going from East Boldon into Sunderland.

While the cost of paper tickets is going up, there is a way for Metro passengers to dodge the increase.

Prices of single and daysaver tickets are being frozen for people who use a Pop Pay As You Go (PAYG) rather than buying paper tickets.

The cost of corporate season tickets is also being kept at its current level, as are prices on the 19-21 Pop card for young people.

Committee chair and North Tyneside deputy mayor Carl Johnson said that “nobody likes a fare rise” but urged people to sign up for the PAYG option to protect themselves from the pay rise.

On the decision to withdraw plans to move the boundary line, Nexus customer services director Huw Lewis told the committee that there was a need to consult further with passengers and affected communities about the change’s impact.

Liberal Democrats in Sunderland had urged Nexus to rethink the change, claiming that Seaburn passengers were being treated as a “cash cow”.

Seaburn Metro Station in Sunderland (Newcastle Chronicle)

The changes to Metro fares from April will mean:

  • Single paper ticket prices will rise by 20p – making a one-zone ticket £2.30, a two-zone single £3.20, and an all-zone single £3.90.
  • Paper daysaver tickets will increase by 30p – making the new prices £3.60 for one zone, £4.70 for two zones, and £5.70 for three zones.
  • Equivalent tickets purchased using a Pop Pay As You Go smartcard will be frozen at 2021 levels, as will the 19-21 Pop card, and corporate season tickets bought through a scheme run with employers.
  • The one-zone weekly Metro Season Ticket is up from £11.50 to £11.80; a two-zone weekly is up from £17.20 to £17.60; an all-zone weekly is up from £23.30 to £24.
  • The one-zone four-week Metro Season Ticket is up from £40.70 to £41.90; the two-zone from to £59.80 to £61.50; an all zone from £79.10 to £81.30
  • The price of the one-zone annual Metro Season Ticket is up from £450 to £462.50; the two-zone annual is up from £628.50 to £646; the all-zone is up from £695 to £715.
  • The Metro Gold Card, which gives pensioners and people with disabilities unlimited off-peak Metro travel, will remain frozen in price at £12 – or £24 for those not resident in Tyne and Wear. A single ticket on the Shields Ferry is going up from £1.90 to £2.10 and a Ferry day ticket is going up from £3.10 to £3.40, though prices are again frozen for people with a PAYG card.
  • A one-week ticket for the Shields Ferry will go up from £10.70 to £11; a four-week ferry ticket is up from £37.60 to £38.20.

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