Ambitious Fylde Coast Tram Loop plans are on the table, and the three authorities on the Fylde are being urged to support it.
A report went to the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Prosperity Board on 7 January, recommending that “a more cohesive Fylde Coast public transport system” could be created.
The report adds “a more efficient and effective, modern and reliable, public transport system… with continuous tram lines between Kirkham and Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde via Lytham, St Annes, Blackpool, Cleveleys, Fleetwood and Thornton.
“A tramway loop would also serve Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Hillhouse International Enterprise Zone.”
The proposal is that Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Councils each submit a bid to central government as part of their submissions for a share of the Future High Street Fund. It’s estimated that approx £2m would be needed to complete a business case, to recommend how the scheme could be delivered if full funding were to become available.
Blackpool Council would undertake the feasibility study, in conjunction with Lancashire County Council which is transport authority for Fylde and Wyre.
Backing for the Fylde Coast Tram Loop Plan
The scheme already has the approval of Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard. He called for expansion of the Blackpool tramway to be considered as part of a wider Government review of light rail in the UK.
Earlier in 2019 Mr Maynard wrote to Trams Minister Jesse Norman, asking him to consider restoring the link between Fleetwood and Poulton as part of a wider scheme to improve transport links and reduce congestion. Mr Maynard also launched these bold proposals for the light rail expansion plan at the beginning of 2019.
Mr Maynard also met with representatives of the Fylde Coast Rail Users Association and with the Poulton and Wyre Railway Society to discuss his plans. He believes organisations can work together to deliver a sustainable transport future.
He said: “I see no reason why light rail and heritage rail cannot be developed together, serving different aims and very different markets. My aim is to provide a reliable, affordable and efficient day to day service but the hard work which has gone into the line already cannot be ignored.
“I will do all I can to support the aims of PWRS and to ensure the two plans can work side by side.”
Current Tramway Extension Works
Works have already taken place to extend the tramway to the top of Talbot Road, in preparation for the construction of a new transport interchange.
Clearing the site of the Wilkinson’s building is due to get underway in 2020, after delays in the relocation of the store.
While you’re here…
Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Fylde Coast website for more of the latest updates.
Love the Fylde Coast? Sign up for your weekly email newsletter. Packed full of interesting things it arrives in your inbox all 52 weeks of the year.
Join us on Facebook at our Visit Fylde Coast Facebook Group
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @visitFyldeCoast