Blackpool’s tram system looks set to be extended from the promenade to Blackpool North railway station following an announcement by Transport for Lancashire that £16.4 million has been awarded towards the total cost of £18.2 million for the scheme.
The money comes from a funding package of £90 million allocated to improving road and rail networks on the Fylde coast over the next decade. The new tram lines will run from the North Pier out along Talbot Road to the railway station. It is now up to Blackpool Council to find the remaining £1.8 million.
Says Stephen Brookes, chairman of Blackpool Transport user group, ‘The plans for the new tramway are incredibly important as they will enable Blackpool to have a joined up transport consortium. It will be absolutely brilliant for the town. We are expecting electric trains in the next 18 months and when this is completed the tram system will link in at Blackpool North station.’
The extension has been welcomed by local people and campaigners alike. Says Andrew Braddock, Chairman of the Light Rail Transit Association, ‘It is excellent news that the newly refurbished Blackpool tramway will now be able to link to the national rail system and provide better connections for local people and visitors. It is an early example that the delegation of funding powers to local transport bodies is working and one we hope to see repeated around the country.’