Transport in Tyne and Wear
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Tyne and Wear is the metropolitan area which includes all of Newcastle, and the city of Sunderland. However, Tyne and Wear is not an urban area as there are large green spaces between Newcastle and Sunderland. There is currently a large transportation system in Tyne and Wear, which includes a metro system, an exstensive bus network and an international airport. Nexus are the passenger transport executive responsible for transport in Tyne and Wear with its headquarters in Newcastle, the primary transport hub of North East England.
Newcastle arguably had the world's first local railway, the Newcastle & North Shields Railway (N&NSR), which opened in June 1839. The N&NSR opened between North Shields and Carliol Square in Newcastle. It was later extended to Tynemouth, which allowed through trains from the Blyth & Tyne Railway to run. The railway was also extended to Newcastle railway station, which opened in 1845. Most of the railway was closed in 1973.
The Tyne & Wear Metro - also known simply as the Metro - is a metro system which connects Newcastle to Sunderland as well as the other boroughs. It is one of only two cities in the UK outside London to have an urban rail metro system. The network opened in 1980, and in 2005-2006 provided 36.6 million public journeys on its route of nearly 78 kilometres (48 mi). A large part of the network uses the old main line on the Newcastle & North Shields Railway. The Metro system currently consists of two lines:
- Green line - Newcastle Airport to South Hylton via Newcastle upon Tyne city centre, Gateshead, Sunderland city centre and continuing on to South Hylton.
- Yellow line - St James to South Shields via North Shields, Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, then looping back on itself and going south via the city centre again to Gateshead, then Jarrow and South Shields.
- London North Eastern Railway trains run south to London King's Cross via York, Doncaster and Peterborough; and north to Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Aberdeen and Inverness.
- CrossCountry services run south to their Birmingham New Street hub via York, Leeds/Doncaster and Derby and onwards to Bournemouth via Oxford and Reading; Plymouth, Penzance or Cardiff Central via Cheltenham Spa and Bristol Temple Meads; and north to Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central and Aberdeen.
- TransPennine Express trains run to Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street via York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester Piccadilly.
- Abellio ScotRail operates daily services to Glasgow Central and Stranraer along the Tyne Valley line and Glasgow South Western Lines via Carlisle and Dumfries.
- Northern operates local and regional services; north along the East Coast Main Line to Morpeth and Chathill; south along the Durham Coast Line to Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Nunthorpe (plus a limited service via the East Coast Main Line to Darlington and onwards along the Tees Valley line to Middlesbrough and Saltburn); and west along the Tyne Valley line to MetroCentre, Hexham, Carlisle and Whitehaven.
Sunderland station which opened in 1879. The current regional operator Northern provides an off-peak service of one train per hour between Sunderland and Newcastle in both directions, with many trains also running to the MetroCentre shopping centre, Hexham, Carlisle and Middlesbrough.
The service to Newcastle railway station is now considered an express service, calling only at Heworth, which is also served by the Metro, but the lines are segregated at this point. The former stopping service (which called at Seaburn, East Boldon and Brockley Whins) is now provided only by the Metro.
In January 2006 new operator Grand Central was granted permission to run four trains per day from Sunderland to London Kings Cross. Grand Central began running services on 18 December 2007.
The airport is connected to Newcastle by a half-hourly bus service and by metro.
Tyne and Wear has an extensive bus network that is coordinated by Nexus. Bus services are operated by 3 main companies: Arriva North East, which serves to the north and east of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Go North East serves mainly Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham. Stagecoach North East provides most services within Newcastle, Sunderland and South Shields. QuayLink is a bus service operated between Newcastle Quayside and Gateshead Quays. It used to be operated with hybrid electric buses and subsidized by local government. Today it is run privately by Go North East with low-emission diesel buses.
Long distance National Express services operate from Newcastle coach station and Sunderland's Park Lane Interchange to destinations such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Harrogate, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Wrexham and Bangor.
The low-fare Megabus services run daily from Newcastle and Sunderland to Birmingham, Cardiff, Coventry, Cwmbran, Leeds, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Wakefield. Additionally, coaches run from Newcastle to Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Inverness and Perth. The coaches stop outside Newcastle City Library, rather than the coach station.
Major roads in the area include the A1 (Gateshead Newcastle Western Bypass), stretching north to Edinburgh and south to London; the A19 heading south past Sunderland and Middlesbrough to York and Doncaster; the A69 heading west to Carlisle; the A167, the old Great North Road, heading south to Gateshead, Chester-le-Street, Durham and Darlington; and the A1058 Coast Road, which runs from Jesmond to the east coast between Tynemouth and Cullercoats. Many of these designations are recent—upon completion of the Western Bypass, and its designation as the new line of the A1, the roads between this and the former line through the Tyne Tunnel were renumbered, with many city centre roads changing from a 6-prefix to their present 1-prefix numbers.
Newcastle has access to an international Ferry Terminal, at North Shields, which offers a ferry service to Amsterdam. Previous routes included Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen. The Shields Ferry also operates between North Shields and South Shields, in North and South Tyneside respectively. A bus service operated by Go North East connects with the ferry from Newcastle and runs to the terminal before the ferry departs and to Newcastle when a ferry arrives