Prom works hit bus profits

The trams-back on Blackpool promenade for Easter.

The trams-back on Blackpool promenade for Easter.

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DISRUPTION from regeneration schemes has hit Blackpool Transport in the pocket.

The company has seen income drop by £2.2m with the closure of the Promenade and a truncated tram service being blamed.

Figures show turnover dropped from £23m to £20.8m between 2010 and 2011. But the company has turned around trading losses of £750,000 for the year ending March 2010, to a small profit of £4,000 this year.

Its total losses last year were £1.6m but that included a reassessment of pension commitments.

Managing director Trevor Roberts said he had hoped to have resumed tram services to Cleveleys and Fleetwood by now, but work on upgrading the track meant trams were still only running between the Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham.

There was no tram service at all last winter.

Mr Roberts said: “The tramway, the Promenade, road works and traffic diversions have been a real trial for us over the last couple of years.

“With the Promenade now open and the works nearing completion, we are hoping things start to pick up.

“It is frustrating but July’s figures since the Promenade re-opened are quite encouraging.

“The work that has been going on in Blackpool has needed to be done but we are looking forward to starting to recapture revenue and get back into a profitable situation.

“We have had a good year to be able to break even in the circumstances.

“Hopefully next April, when the track upgrade is complete and the new trams have arrived, we’ll be back to where we were before.”

In the past, Blackpool Transport, whose sole shareholder is Blackpool Transport, has made annual profits of around £1m, peaking at £1.9m. Last year it reviewed services and cuts job to become more efficient.