England

Tyne and Wear Metro celebrates 30th birthday

The Tyne and Wear Metro is celebrating its 30th birthday.

The UK's first urban light rail network began operating on 11 August 1980, initially only between Haymarket and Tynemouth stations.

It was extended to Newcastle Airport in 1991 and into the Sunderland area in 2002. There are now 60 stations on its 46 miles (74.5km) of track.

Since it opened, the Metro has been used by more than 1.2 billion passengers.

It has also played host to royalty, with the Queen officially opening the network in November 1981.

She returned in 2002 and became one of the first passengers on the Wearside extension.

In March, the Princess Royal opened the refurbished Haymarket Station.

Nexus, which owns and manages the Metro, has said it plans to spend almost £400m on modernisation projects over the next 11 years.

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