Further improvements will be made to the Tyne and Wear Metro system after a second partnership was agreed with G&B Civil Engineering. The Camperdown Industrial Estate-based company has recently finished work at North Tyneside's Percy Main station and will now be challenged with modernising facilities at Ilford Road Metro station. Platforms will be resurfaced alongside the installation of new access ramps and tactile paving. Dual hand rails, seating and litter bins will be added, with vitreous enamel panels, a fresh colour scheme and way-finding signs also being part of the work. Speaking to the Journal, contracts director at G&B Jason Hind said: "The last few years have been challenging as the economy has contracted, so projects like Metro modernisation are vital for us and I'm delighted we have been able to secure this work. "We have been able to diversify what we do over the last few years to keep us going and being able to tender for public infrastructure projects is crucial for us." He went on to say that working on Metro stations in the north-east was "a nice project" as the public will be able to see and benefit from the improvements which are being made. Further civil engineering deals are likely to be announced in the future for the Nexus-owned and managed Metro, as it undergoes a £385 million modernisation programme. The government approved funding in 2010 and work is expected to be carried out over an 11-year period. Construction on the Metro system originally began in 1974, helping it to become the largest urban transport project in the 20th century in Britain. It was opened by the Queen in 1980 and has grown over the years to include two lines. One of those runs from Newcastle Airport, past the River Tyne and ending in South Hylton. This also takes in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland. A second line runs between South Shields and St James and passes through destinations like Tynemouth, Jesmond, Newcastle and Jarrow.
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