Huw Lewis, customer services director at Nexus, says his role is to "make sure all of our customers travel with confidence."

He's proud that they're the first travel operator in the North to be classed as autism-friendly. All their staff and managers have autism training, and they have an autism-friendly guide to the Metro on their website here.

But he is aware that the long-awaited new fleet of trains, to be introduced later this year at a cost of £362 million, has worried some autistic passengers with its London Tube-style layout of seats facing each other.

That's why he is working with the North East Autism Society to arrange visits before the trains go into service to explain the thinking behind the layout and allay any fears.

"It's absolutely crucial we get the design right. That means working with different customer groups, but making compromises and working out how we balance everybody's needs," Huw says.

We know the seating is of concern to some customers. But what I would say is that the overriding principle is that the train is open-plan and it's easy to find your safe space and your space of comfort. 

"Hopefully it's a train that everybody can be comfortable with and we want to work with the North East Autism Society so that our autistic customers can travel with confidence, now and long into the future."

Watch Huw explaining how Nexus works to make services accessible in our video.

Read 'I'm autistic - the Metro gave me my freedom back'