Blackpool heritage trams call

Trustee of Lancashire Transport Trust Philip Higgs with Suggs

Trustee of Lancashire Transport Trust Philip Higgs with Suggs

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CALLS have been made for Blackpool Council to step in and save under-threat heritage trams.

Coun Tony Williams, deputy leader of the Conservatives on the council, fears some of the resort’s history could be lost forever.

He warned if the vehicles were lost “we might as well pull The Tower down”.

It comes after Blackpool Transport told the Lancastrian Transport Trust it has until the end of this month to move 13 of its trams out of the Rigby Road depot.

Managing director Trevor Roberts has said if they remain, they will be either sold or disposed of, which could mean scrapping some.

At Wednesday’s meeting of Blackpool Council, which is the sole shareholder of Blackpool Transport, Coun Williams will call on town hall chiefs to step in. He said: “These under-threat trams include famous vehicles like the Rocket which are a valuable part of Blackpool’s history.

“If we are going to get rid of these trams, we might as well pull the Tower down.

“The trust has done a wonderful job restoring them and since Blackpool Transport is wholly owned by the council, I am asking for consideration to be given to an extra 12 months to give the transport trust more time.

“They have identified a piece of land at Thornton Gate and are working towards getting the site ready. It is feasible but they just need more time.”

Coun Williams has lodged a notice of motion calling on the council to ask the chief executive to write to Mr Roberts “to request that Lancashire Transport Trust continue to enjoy a grace and favour rent period of a further 12 months up to December 1 2012”.

Blackpool Transport says it needs the trams moving because the space they are taking up is required for work to be carried out to upgrade the 26 heritage trams being retained for a tourist service.

The company is gearing up for the launch of the new tram service next Easter with the 16 Flexity2 trams.