TRANSPORT chiefs have apologised and offered refunds to passengers after a day of delays and disruption on the Metro.
Tyne and Wear rail bosses said a track defect in a tunnel between Haymarket and Jesmond stations in Newcastle, had forced them to halt rush-hour services.
While engineers carried out a temporary fix, thousands of commuters were left with a frustrating journey to work – some seeing journeys taking eight times as long as normal.
Many took to social networking websites to criticise the latest in a series of recent outages.
Problems persisted throughout the day as attempts were made to clear a backlog of trains – with some rush-hour services between Pelaw and Regent Centre cancelled and a temporary speed restriction around the broken track. Though last night engineers re-entered the tunnel in an attempt to install a more permanent solution to the track defect.
A Metro spokesman apologised to passengers and said that anyone delayed by more than 15 minutes could have a refund for their journey.
“We are extremely sorry for the disruption to Metro services on Friday morning,” he said.
“It was vital that the rails were inspected to assess the defect and this meant stopping Metro trains so that the workers could get access to the tunnel.
“The knock-on effect was delays right across the system.
“Trains were running but not to timetable and passengers will have experienced a much longer wait than usual.
“When incidents like this arise it is vital that the rails are checked thoroughly before trains can be allowed to run.”
To claim a refund email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with a season ticket can claim a refund to the value of a single ticket for the journey made.
Vouchers will be issued and exchanged for Metro tickets or a cash refund will be offered if preferred.