Keep our heritage trams

One of Blackpool's heritage trams.
One of Blackpool's heritage trams.
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TRAM enthusiasts and political figures are appealing to Blackpool Transport to retain a more regular heritage service this summer.

The company announced last week it would be restricting its heritage tram timetable this coming season because of poor uptake during school holidays in 2012.

But Coun Tony Williams, leader of the opposition on Blackpool Council, says he hopes the company will review its decision.

He said: “I was disappointed to hear the heritage trams would only be brought out on Bank Holidays.

“I understand Blackpool Transport has had some concerns in regard to disruption of the regular service due to old vehicles and also as to how popular they really are.

“While the heritage fleet is most certainly a valuable tourist attraction, there has to be a balance between old and new.

“I do hope Blackpool Transport might be able to review this decision and find a way to make these important heritage trams a regular feature along the Prom.”

The heritage fleet 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.

Almost four million passengers used the new trams in the past 12 months.

John Garnham, of Cherry Tree Road, Marton, has previously expressed concerns the heritage trams would be sidelined once the new Supertram fleet was introduced in April last year.

He said: “They are important in keeping things visitor friendly and have been one of the key icons of Blackpool.

“Visitors in the main are going to arrive in the summer and just aren’t going to see the old trams at all, and they’ve had no say in it.

“We seem to have lost sight of the fact we are a tourist destination.”

But Bob Mason, Blackpool Transport’s director of 
delivery, said: “What’s important is when we operated last year we were operating at weekends and through the summer holidays.

“We only had two trams out each day, so this year what we’ve taken the decision to do is on bank holidays we’re putting four out each day and we’re also going to do that for a late August week.

“So I personally don’t 
believe the level of service with the heritage trams is worse than last year.”

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