The Tyne and Wear Metro has made a faster recovery from the coronavirus pandemic than the London Underground.

At their lowest, passenger numbers on the network slumped to about five per cent of their pre-COVID levels at the height of the national lockdown.

By last month (September), commuters on the North East’s light rail network had recovered to about half of what they were before the outbreak.

But on the Tube, about a third of travellers have decided to return, up from a similarly low point in April, a position which has also been mirrored in National Rail services.

However, Metro operator Nexus also admitted the imposition of local restrictions late in September had seen passenger numbers fall again, this time to about 40 per cent.

Paul Darby, deputy chief finance officer at the North East Combined Authority (NECA), told yesterday’s (Monday, October 26) meeting of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee: “The return in patronage and overall performance of Metro is broadly similar, if not slightly ahead of similar services.”