Weighty matters of public transport

A tram approaches' Lytham Road railway bridge, South Shore sometime between 1908 and 1912,  heading towards Blackpool. Below is the same scene today - devoid of any form of public transport due to bridge safety

A tram approaches' Lytham Road railway bridge, South Shore sometime between 1908 and 1912, heading towards Blackpool. Below is the same scene today - devoid of any form of public transport due to bridge safety

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Now here’s a rare sight. A tram trundles up the incline on Lytham Road Bridge, South Shore, heading towards Blackpool.

It is a rare sight obviously because you would fail to see a tram there today, but also because you would actually be hard pressed to spot any modern form of public transport on that particular bridge.

Lytham Road Bridge devoid of any public transport due to safety restrictions

Lytham Road Bridge devoid of any public transport due to safety restrictions

For safety reasons it has a weight restriction and has been closed to buses and all other heavy vehicles for almost two years.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for streets and transport, says: “A feasibility study, which is being carried out jointly with Network Rail who share responsibility for the bridge, is underway to assess the works needed.

“Initial reports suggest a significant amount of work will need to be done and, as a result, we have applied to the Department of Transport for funding. We will continue to update local residents.”

One of those residents is retired cinema manager John Scott, who lives on Lytham Road within sight of the defective bridge.

He says: “The ban on buses affects services 10, 11, 168 and 5. I have used the tram and bus stops at the junction with Thames Road since 1963 so I have a vested interest in an early solution, although it has taken the politicians two years so far and they still haven’t sorted out the financial details!”

The picture postcard of the tram belongs to Mr Scott, who admits: “I am not exactly sure when the photograph was taken.”

He adds: “There’s a clue in the advertisement on the front of tram for The Merry Widow at the Grand Theatre.”

A check with local entertainment historian Barry Band has revealed that The Merry Widow made no less than five visits to the Grand between 1908 and 1912, so it is going to be difficult to date it any more accurately than that.

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