Heritage trams service cut back

Bob Mason, director of delivery at Blackpool Transport
Bob Mason, director of delivery at Blackpool Transport

BLACKPOOL’S heritage tram service is to be scaled back over the summer season because of poor passenger numbers.

But Blackpool Transport today announced it hopes to deliver improved service levels and increased reliability on the new tramway, 12 months after it was introduced.

A total of 3.7m passengers have set foot on the new trams since April last year – but the heritage service is being scaled back due to relatively low uptake during last summer’s school holidays.

It will now run over bank holiday weekends and during a special heritage tram week set to be announced later this summer, although service levels during the Illuminations period will remain unchanged.

Blackpool Transport’s director of delivery, Bob Mason, said: “We’re trying to run it more as an attraction.

“It’s about trying to make it special rather than the norm.

“We ran it in the school holidays last year and the patronage was very low, so we’ve taken the decision this year to up our operation over bank holidays but to run it on fewer days.”

However, Mr Mason has described the number of passengers using the new trams as “outstanding”.

He said: “It’s been a very big learning curve for us and as a result of that we’ve made changes to the timetable and service levels as we’ve gone along.

“We operated a much improved service over Easter this year compared to what we did last year.

“We must not underplay the role that the drivers, conductors and engineering staff have had in making it such a success.”