A station on the Tyne and Wear Metro is to be permanently closed for the first time in the network’s 39 year history.
South Shields Metro station, opened in 1984, closes on Monday, 8 July, to make way for the town’s new £21m bus and Metro interchange.
The station on King Street, featured in a song by pop group Franz Ferdinand, has been used by more than 50 million passengers over the last 35 years including tens of thousands or Great North Run athletes and spectators every autumn.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said it is the first permanent station closure since the network was opened in 1980.
South Shields town centre will have an entirely new Metro terminus, less than 100 metres away, as the interchange opens its doors on Sunday, 4 August.
Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing Metro move into South Shields Interchange, which gives the town the best new railway and bus station in Britain.
“We’ve never closed a station before, and I am sure many people have memories of the old South Shields – it’s been part of everyday life for so long for the daily commute, trips to the seaside or during the Great North Run.
“I used to go through it almost every day myself so in some ways it is sad to say goodbye, but the difference in quality will be obvious as Metro moves across the road. We’re really looking forward to welcoming our first passengers there next month.”
The new £21m South Shields Interchange brings the town’s bus and Metro services under one roof in a landmark airy modern building that includes escalators and lifts to platform level as well as a café, bike storage, seated waiting areas and much better information.
South Tyneside Council is working with partners Muse Developments and Nexus, and construction contractor Bowmer and Kirkland, to deliver the new South Shields Interchange on Keppel Street.
Construction of the interchange, which forms Phase Two of the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan, began in April 2018.
Metro services will terminate at Chichester station for four weeks from 8 July to allow completion of the Interchange, with frequent buses linking to the town centre until it opens on Sunday, 4 August.
The old station featured in the 2014 Franz Ferdinand song Stand on the Horizon, inspired by singer Alex Kapranos’ childhood in North East England. It will be demolished this autumn to create a new walkway into King Street.