Trams travelling down Talbot Road throughout the week as part of tests for Blackpool's £220m Talbot Gateway project

Trams will be running down Talbot Road today and until the weekend as part of a test for the £220m Talbot Gateway development – with motorists and pedestrians asked to be extra vigilant.

By Richard Hunt
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 12:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 12:27 pm

The trams will run along the extended section of track along Talbot Road between North Pier and Blackpool North Tram Hub, as part of the week-long exercise to operationally test the track and signaling equipment.

It is not the first time the new tramline has been tested – the extension reached a new milestone back on March 16 when trams rode the rails along Talbot Road for the first time as part of initial tests, although historically there had once been a track there decades earlier.

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Trams will be travelling down Talbot Road this week as part of tests

This latest milestone is still a progressive step in the delivery of the Talbot Gateway Phase 2 project which will house an integrated tram and train transport hub, a four star Holiday Inn hotel, Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian diner and new retail units in a bright, modern new underpass linking to Blackpool North train station.

The Talbot Gateway project is aimed at improving transport links for residents and visitors to the resort.

Residents will enjoy a direct link to shops and leisure activities and commuters will benefit from quicker journeys to and from Blackpool North Train Station.

The general public are being asked to remain vigilant in the Talbot Road area as trams will run in both directions using both sides of the highway.

Tests will be carried out on the new tram tracks on Talbot Road throughout this week. LB Photography

After an initial start yesterday, trams will run up to every 10 minutes between 10am and 3pm each day until this Sunday (July 3).

Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport, said “We’re really excited to see the first of our trams travelling all the way up to the new Transport Hub as part of the testing works.

"This is an important step for us as we check that all of the signals and crossings are operating as expected, whilst making sure that our operating procedure for this section of track is well tested too.”

Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council said: “It is exciting to be at the tramway testing stage.

"This significant step in the Talbot Gateway development will enable the rest of the works to the underpass and the hotel to be finalised.

"For now though, residents will have to wait a little while longer to ride the new tram track themselves, as we need to ensure passenger safety with the hotel and underpass fully complete before going live with the new services.

"When open, the new transport connections at the new North Station terminus will completely transform the way we travel around the town.”

The Talbot Gateway Phase 2 development, delivered via a 15 year partnership by Blackpool Council and Muse Developments, is expected to be complete in spring 2023, enhancing Blackpool’s vibrant central business district.

The £80m investment in Phase 1 included grade A offices, a flagship Sainsbury’s superstore, a gym, retail units, new public realm and an award winning multi-storey car park.

A new road layout and modern pavements have helped to transform the once run-down area in the north of the town centre, creating a new vibrant place to work and do business.