Passenger numbers on Blackpool’s trams have broken through the five million mark for the last 12 months – and now two new trams are to be added to the fleet.
It will bring the total number of Flexity trams to 18.
Ticket sales show five million journeys have been taken since last April, the highest 12 month total since 1994.
Meanwhile 96 per cent of people surveyed said they enjoyed the tram experience in the latest Department for Transport figures.
Jane Cole, managing director of Blackpool Transport, said: “The team at BTS have worked very hard over the last two years to design the tramway operation around the needs of the customers .
“We get very positive feedback about how our staff deliver a fantastic customer experience and the value for money of the 24 hour ticket.
“The tramway has been the number one attraction in Blackpool on Trip Advisor for the last two years and it won ‘highly commended’ in the 2016 Global Light Rail Awards for ‘Vision of the Year’.
“We will have two new trams joining the fleet this year in preparation for the capacity needed to grow the tram patronage even further.”
Coun Christine Wright, chairman of Blackpool Transport, added: “It is fantastic news that more and more people are choosing to use the tramway network to get around the Fylde coast.
“Its success varies from daily commuters trying to beat the traffic, to holidaymakers enjoying the ease at which the trams get them between attractions.”
Plans are in place to link the tramway up Talbot Road with Blackpool North station.
Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The reason we are confident in the success of the tramway extension is because we know just how popular the current service is.”
The tramway re-opened in 2012 following a £100m investment including replacement of the track, construction of a new tram depot at Squires Gate and the delivery of 16 Flexity2 trams.
A fleet of heritage trams has also been retained to operate as a tourist attraction.
The 11 mile tramway runs from Starr Gate in South Shore to Fleetwood Ferry, operating a service every 10 minutes during the summer.
The Talbot Road extension is set to include a new tram terminal on the site of the current Wilkinson’s store which is relocating.