Fully accessible, full marks
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Wheelchair
All trains and stations on the Metro system are step-free, there are audio announcements for every stop, and there is a visual display showing the next stop. Impressive, and almost always easy to use. There are several spacious wheelchair spaces on each train. Mobility scooters are, however, NOT allowed on Metro trains.
Transport & Parking
The Metro is fully accessible, though not fully convenient. All stations are step-free, some having lifts, others ramps. At some stations the ramp gradient is too steep to be practical, and many manual wheelchair users will need someone to push them on the upward incline. There is quite a step up onto the trains, and it took me a long while to learn the exact and brutal manoeuvre needed to 'jump' up this step in my wheelchair. Signage is very clear. Helpful floor stickers direct you to lifts. Audio announcements tell you the destination of the train and the next station. A dot-matrix indicator gives the same information in visual form. Each train has several spacious wheelchair spaces, with wheelchair-symbol stickers by the appropriate doors. There is an alarm button by the wheelchair space, low enough to reach if you were to fall over on the floor. The division of the Metro system into zones is very poorly documented, the only place you'll find a zonal map is on the ticket machines, and the Zones are sometimes referred to as A/B/C, sometimes as !/2/3 - thoroughly confusing.
Some, but not all, stations have wheelchair-accessible toilets.
Staff are extremely helpful and friendly, they are a joy to interact with. They will often go above and beyond the call of duty. Example: a ticket barrier member of staff accompanied us to the lift just to push the button for us and see us safely into the lift. Definitely five stars!
Anything else you wish to tell us?
The Metro is a joy to use, and it makes it very easy indeed for disabled people to explore the entire Tyne & Wear area. Day ranger tickets, which cover bus services too, are very reasonably priced. One place you must visit if you're in the area is the picturesque coastal town of Tynemouth, and the cakes in the M&S in Sunderland are staggeringly delicious.