Metro: Classical music plan at some stations for 'more soothing journeys'

A metro train
Trials are taking place at some stations before a final decision is made

Classical music is set to be played at some Tyne and Wear Metro stations to create a more "soothing" environment.

The sounds of Mozart and Bach were heard about 20 years ago along parts of the system in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Operator Nexus said the plan was not directly linked to trouble but anything that made passengers "feel more comfortable" could only help.

Technical trials are taking place before a decision on locations is made.

Nexus said it would be unsuitable for certain stops that are very close to people's homes.

In 1997 classical music was played at Shiremoor station in North Tyneside to try to stop gangs of youths from congregating and causing trouble.

The push to drive out anti-social behaviour was deemed a success and was repeated at 12 different stops.

However, it stopped in the early 2000s when the network's public address system was updated and the music clashed with travel announcements, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

Train security teams and a new text message reporting system have recently been brought in by Nexus to combat disorder.

It comes as the first of 46 new Metros is to be launched across the system later in the year.

"A few people have been in touch asking if we could play music on Metro to help create a soothing and warmer environment when they are waiting for trains," said customer services director Huw Lewis.

"I often think it makes you feel like you are waiting a bit less time, as well.

"It's a good idea but there's a few things we need to think through first; the PA systems are primarily there for announcements and we can't interfere with that, we don't want to introduce anything which disturbs our neighbours in suburban areas, and there are quite rightly licence costs for playing music."

Nexus said it was open to feedback from passengers, especially those who have heard the music in terms of any difference it has made.

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