A DRIVER on the Tyne and Wear Metro has spoken of his pride at transporting key workers, including scores of NHS staff who are on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus.

Craig Pearson, 37, who has been driving Metro trains for seven years, paid his own tribute to those who can’t work from home and have to rely on public transport during the national crisis.

Mr Pearson, who now acts as mentor for trainee Metro drivers on top of his regular duties, is a former Northern Rock worker, so is only too familiar with the impacts of a major economic contraction.

He lifted the lid on what it is really like to be a Metro driver during the biggest public health emergency Britain has faced for generations.

Mr Pearson said:“There are many NHS staff and other essential workers relying on the Metro. We get a lot of supermarket workers still travelling too, and they have found themselves thrust on to the frontline of all this.

“New working systems have been put in place for the drivers and more protective equipment is needed than ever before. It’s been challenging but also rewarding because I feel like I am playing my part in helping the country at a time of crisis.

“What strikes me when I am on duty is how eerily quiet it is. It’s a strange thing for us to see.”