Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Travellers Find a Sunny Morning Can Be Ruined by a Single Angry Glare

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Travellers Find a Sunny Morning Can Be Ruined by a Single Angry Glare

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor Reporter

RAIN, snow, leaves on the line... there are a host of weather related excuses for for delayed trains.

Yet the Metro system came unstuck yesterday not for a deluge of torrential rain, but glorious sunshine.

Drivers affected by the glare of light reflected in mirrors at Pelaw station in Gateshead had to wait with their trains in the station while extra checks were carried out.

A spokesperson for Nexus, the Metro operator, said that at certain times of year the angle of morning sunshine hits the station's platform mirrors, rendering them useless.

This only happens at Pelaw station and they said manual safety checks were in place instead.

However this did little to placate frustrated Metro passengers, who have already had to cope with month-long line closures.

They took to Twitter yesterday morning to vent their frustration at the company's first explanation for the delays.

In a Tweet to the service's 18,000 followers Metro apologised for slow journeys and said it was "due to drivers having to operate to a safe system of work at Pelaw."

Within minutes users rounded on the message, with Bethan Harvey Tweeting 'what does that even mean?' Adrian Hedley wrote: "That makes no sense whatsoever while user Nancy K wrote the message: "Guys, you'd probably get better engagement if you used more accessible language. "Safe system of work" is meaningless jargon."

A later message issued by Metro explained it was sunlight that had caused the early morning delays.

A Metro spokesman said: "Trains were taking a longer at Pelaw station for safety reasons, between 7.10am and 7.40am.

"This caused some knock-on delays particularly to trains round the North Tyneside coast and into St James, and we're sorry for any inconvenience caused.

"On rare occasions the glare from a low early morning sun at Pelaw can make it hard for drivers to get a clear view of the platform mirror used to check passengers have finished boarding "Unlike most other stations the mirrors at Pelaw are on the far side of the train, and this means each train takes longer in the station, if the view is unclear, while the driver checks it is safe to close the doors. …

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