‘See the light’ plea over tram link scheme ahead of key vote

A  Flexity 2 tram outside the North Euston Hotel, Fleetwood.
A Flexity 2 tram outside the North Euston Hotel, Fleetwood.
Have your say

A councillor has implored Town Hall bosses to vote in favour of extending the town’s tram route.

Blackpool Council’s executive is expected to make a decision on the proposed extension next month, and Coun Paul Galley has urged those charged with making it to “see the light”.

The proposed route would see tracks built between North Pier and Blackpool North railway station, via Talbot Road.

Coun Galley said: “I’m hoping they see the light of good transport connections and go with it.

“It’d be madness not do it.

“Holidaymakers and tourists have said it would be a great thing and it would create a good impression of the Talbot Gateway area when you jump off the train and straight on to a tram.”

The plans were announced by Transport for Lancashire, a body made up of representatives from Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the private sector led Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which was set up to develop major transport schemes.

Almost £106m is being allocated to six projects across the county as part of the proposals - with £90m earmarked for the Fylde coast and £16m for the new tram route.

Blackpool Transport needs to find another £1.8m and put forward a suitable business plan for the scheme.

The proposed route would run up Talbot Road from a set of points which have already been installed at North Pier.

A tram route ran up the road until 1936 - while another, which incorporated North station, was closed down in 1963.

Coun Galley, who represents Anchorsholme ward on the council, added: “From an Anchorsholme perspective it would be really popular because it would allow people to get into Blackpool North station really easily.”

Coun Galley’s calls have been backed up by Paul Nettleton, from the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users Association, who says the idea has been “favourable” among commuters. He said: “I don’t think anyone’s had a bad word against it.

“They’ve got the points working on the Promenade just waiting for the go ahead.”

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s portfolio holder for transport, said he did not want to pre-empt the executive’s decision by commenting.