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Nexus welcomes classical music at Stanley Bus Station

Story added: Friday 23 December 2005

Nexus has welcomed an initiative by Derwentside District Council and Durham Constabulary to play classical music at Stanley Bus Station to reduce potential disorder.

Nexus was the first transport authority in the country to play classical music at stations to deter teenagers from using them as meeting places, often behaving in an anti-social way, drinking, smoking, causing petty vandalism and making travel uncomfortable for other passengers.

The Nexus scheme, begun in 1997, was so successful it has since been imitated across the country. London Underground announced last week that they were to trial the use of classical music, now Stanley bus station is following suit.

Nexus is determined to cut down on anti-social behaviour at its own Metro stations and bus interchanges. It has seen a 25 percent fall in violent incidents and a 20 percent fall in criminal damage on Metro this year, thanks to the introduction of an Alcohol Exclusion Zone, new day and night patrols by Travel Support Officers and a network of 550 digital CCTV cameras at stations.

Mike Parker, Director General of Nexus, said: "A good idea that improves the comfort of public transport users is good news for everyone. Stanley bus station is an excellent new facility and an important link to Gateshead and Newcastle.

"Playing classical music has proved very useful in reducing anti-social behaviour and making passengers feel more comfortable. They are always telling us how much they enjoy it. We have just invested in MP3 players to increase the variety of soothing, calming music we can offer, so passengers don't get bored of the same tracks!"

Nexus began its experiment with classical music at Shiremoor station, North Tyneside, in 1997, after being advised of the success of a similar scheme in Montreal, Canada. In order to prevent youths merely moving on to another location work was done with youth workers to build a relationship and arrange sample trips out.

A study after six months showed youths had stopped hanging around the station and use of youth leisure provision in the area had gone up.

Classical music is now played at seven Metro stations: Shiremoor; Regent Centre; Percy Main; Cullercoats; Tyne Dock; Gateshead, and South Shields. It is also played at three bus interchanges: Haymarket; Eldon Square, and Park Lane.

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