Being the largest city in the north-east of England, Newcastle is easy to travel to and from. Within Newcastle, there is a Metro railway service alongside the usual public bus services and road links.
Getting to and from Newcastle:
Newcastle airport, Newcastle is served by its own airport located about 7 miles north-east of the city centre - by road the airport is just off the A696 near Ponteland. The airport can also be travelled to and from using public service buses and the Metro rail service which also links it to the national rail network. Local taxi companies also offer services to and from the airport. Flights to and from major UK and Europe cities and holiday destinations are available. Inter-continental flights also connect with Toronto (Canada), Sanford (Florida, USA), Puerto Plata (Puerto Rica, USA), Sharm El Sheik (Egypt, Africa), Monastir (Tunisia, Africa) and Agadir (Morocco, Africa).
Major roads routes for Newcastle are maintained by the Highways Agency. The main road route into Newcastle from the south or north is the A1, a major trunk road that runs from London in the south to Edinburgh (Scotland) in the north. From the west, the A69 from Carlisle is the main road into Newcastle. As the conurbation of Newcastle reaches the east coast, there is no single major road route from the east.
With the city being on the direct railway route between London and Edinburgh Newcastle Central is the citys mainline railway station and is located in the heart of Newcastle. The main London to Newcastle train operator is GNER and has a minimum journey time between Newcastle and London (Kings Cross) of 2 hours and 50 minutes. Another major railway operator into and out of Newcastle is Virgin Trains, who operate services connecting North East and South West cities and towns.
Newcastle is famed for its port which rose to prominence during the industrial revolution. Today it is an important port for ferries operating to and from Scandinavia. DFDS Seaways operate ferries between Newcastle and; Stavangar, Kristiansand and Bergen (all in Norway) and Gothenberg in Sweden. There is also a ferry to Ijmuiden, near Amsterdam in Holland.
The citys main bus/coach depot, Gallowgate coach station, is located off St James Boulevard. It is convenient for the city centre and close to the St James Metro station. It also has a bus service linking it to other local buses at the Haymarket bus station. Gallowgate is the main stop for National Express coach services into and out of Newcastle.
Travel in and around Newcastle:
Newcastle has an excellent local railway network providing visitors, shoppers and commuters with efficient travel between 59 stations in and around the city. The Metro is also integrated into the other transport systems for Newcastle ie the airport, ferry port, main railway station, bus and coach stations. The Metro network extends as far as Whitely Bay, Tynemouth, Gateshead, South Shields, Jarrow and Sunderland. Telephone enquiries about the Metro should be made to 0191 203 3333.
Newcastle has an extensive local bus service network. Key features of this are the CityLink Busway (bus only routes) linking the city centre and Metro trains with the Metro shopping centre. Superoute is a rapid and high-quality service that operates along the main arterial routes in and out of the city. There is a special QuayLink bus service, which operates between the city centre and the expanding Quayside developments in Newcastle and Gateshead. It is especially useful for those wishing to visit the Baltic Centre, Millennium Bridge or the Sage in Gateshead. LinkUp is the citys demand/response service for those who have difficulty accessing normal public transport systems. Finally, Route19 links the Metro system, at Percy main station, with the ferry service between North and South Shields.
Being situated on a major river, the Tyne, Newcastle has always had a ferry service linking the North and South banks of the river. The Shields Ferry takes about 7 minutes to travel between North and South Shields. Two boats are used on the Shields Ferry, the Shieldsman and the Pride of the Tyne. In 2007, the Shieldsman is to be replaced with a new/modern ferry.
Like any major British city in the early twenty first century, Newcastles roads, with their network of bridges and one-way systems, can become congested. However, once in the city, there are plenty of car parks to use. Some roads have dedicated cycle lanes and there are cycle tracks separate to the road network. Bulletins regarding congestion etc on Newcastles roads are regularly broadcast by local radio stations.
There are many taxi ranks in the city centre for Hackney Carriage taxis. Numerous MiniCab/Private hire taxis are also available. Telephone enquiries regarding city centre taxi ranks can be made at 0191 277 8965
For general enquiries about Metro, Bus and Ferry services you can telephone 0191 203 3333.