Category Archives: Trams

Blackpool bus service cuts due to driver shortages – full list

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Blackpool Transport states that these changes are ‘a better alternative than the current situation that is resulting in a number of cancelled journeys’

 

Buses on Blackpool Promenade
Buses on Blackpool Promenade (Image: Google Street View)

Changes are being made to a number of Blackpool bus services indefinitely due a shortage of bus drivers.

Yesterday (September 16), Blackpool Transport announced it has had to make the adjustments as a result of the county experiencing a shortage of drivers with vacancy rates of up to 20%.

The changes will go live on Blackpool’s bus timetable commencing from Sunday, September 19.

 

A Blackpool Transport spokesperson said: At the moment we have a shortage of bus drivers, which means we are unable to provide the frequency of services we would like to. This is because the logistics and transport industry across the UK is experiencing a shortage of drivers and has driver vacancy rates of up to 20%.

“From Sunday 19 September, there will be some changes to our bus timetables. Many of our services will not change but we need to make some adjustments due to the challenges we are facing.

“These changes mean that we should be able to run a reliable transport network for you, which is a better alternative than the current situation that is resulting in a number of cancelled journeys.

“We have summarised the bus services which will run differently below. Any bus services not listed will not change and our trams will continue to run to their current timetable.”

Please see below bus services with changes below.

Any route not listed is unaffected for now.

Timetable changes from Sunday, September 19:

Service 1

Service number 1 will see a slight tweak to its timetable but will run to the same frequency as now.

Service 5

Service number 5 will see a change in frequency and run up to every 20 minutes Monday to Friday and every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday.

Service 6

Service number 6 will continue to run up to every 20 minutes Monday to Friday and from 19 September, up to 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday.

Service 7

Service number 7 will see a timetable change meaning it will run up to every 30 minutes Monday to Sunday.

Service 9

Service number 9 will change, running up to every 20 minutes Monday to Friday and every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday.

Service 11

Service number 11 will continue to run up to every 20 minutes Monday to Friday and will begin running every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday.

Service 14

Service number 14 will begin to run every 15 minutes Monday to Friday and has a slight change to its Saturday timetable. Service 14 will run every 20 minutes on Sundays.

To find out more information, please visit Blackpool Transport Website here.

 

 

Blackpool Transport’s Western Train tram back on track after fundraising efforts

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s much-loved illuminated tram, the Western Train, is finally back on track thanks to generous donations from the public.

 

The Western Train tram was in the process of a full external rewire, body overhaul and repaint in 2019, before the pandemic began.

But as lockdowns came, the vehicle was left to gather dust in the tram workshop in Rigby Road, waiting for its rewiring to be completed.

Blackpool Transport launched a campaign in February to raise the £2,500 needed to buy wires and electrical fittings for the refurb, to enable the beloved tram to take its place back on the tracks under the dazzling lights of the Illuminations.

The Western Train tram is back on track after a campaign to raise £2,500 for its refurb was a success.

The Western Train tram is back on track after a campaign to raise £2,500 for its refurb was a success.

During the launch of the campaign, head of heritage Brian Lyndop said he was concerned the tram would miss yet another season if the money could not be raised in time.

“Ordinarily, we would have the money coming in to do the work on our beautiful, iconic vehicles,” he said.

“Without the help and generous donations from the public, the Western Train is at risk of missing yet another season.”

Fortunately, the campaign was a success – and on Friday September 10 the Western Train made its welcome return to the tracks after almost two years out of action.

A spokesman for Blackpool Transport said: “Earlier this year, Blackpool Transport raised £2,500 to allow for vital rewiring and maintenance works to take place on the famous Western Train Tram.

“Following the successful completion of works the Western Train returned to the rails on Friday September 10, for the first time since 2019.”

The Western Train tram was introduced in 1962, and was modelled on a locomotive from 1960s children’s show Casey Jones, which took the then-popular Western genre and built a series of weekly railway-based dramas.

By 1999, however, it was withdrawn from service due to old age and for some time was under threat of being broken up for scrap.

But thanks to the Lottery Heritage Fund, between 2007 and 2009, the tram was completely rebuilt and fully restored to its authentic 1962 condition externally, while internally, the carriage was returned to its 1928 appearance.

 

 

Blackpool’s ‘rocket tram’ revisited as pressure mounts for it to return

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The tram is still in storage awaiting restoration, with many calling for it to return to return to Blackpool’s seafront

 

People are calling for the return of The Burnley Building Society "rocket tram" from the '80s and '90s
People are calling for the return of The Burnley Building Society “rocket tram” from the ’80s and ’90s (Image: Blackpool Heritage Trams)

A recent reminder of a once popular illuminated Blackpool tram has prompted hundreds of responses on social media with people sharing their memories and asking for its return.

A picture of the ‘rocket tram’, sponsored by Burnley Building Society, was post on the Facebook of tourism page ‘I Love Blackpool’ prompting hundreds to react to the nostalgic gem.

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The tram provided a unique experience for thousands of passengers from the 1980s to 1999 who travelled at an elevation of almost 30 degrees.

Two redundant waxworks from the old Louis Tussauds museum – King Peter of Yugoslavia and General Neguib of Egypt – were dressed as astronauts to ‘pilot’ the cockpit.

The sloping floor combined with a high passenger load meant that there were concerns raised of running it safely. However despite these challenges, it seems that the public want the vintage vehicle to return.

Kayleigh Bainton commented to say: “Bring it back but don’t have passengers on it just have it go up and down a few times a night for nostalgia.”

Paul Routley said: “Bring back the ROCKET, I remember the rocket as the most anticipated tram on the tracks, always the one to look out for.

“So glad it was not sold off, or dismantled, even the sight of it parked on the Island always gave you hope it would be restored one day, can we not get lottery funding for this restoration?”

Christopher Bright said: “This one really needs to return, seriously all illumination trams need to return. The elevated height won’t be a issue if everyone is seated until the end of the ride. If the rocket returns in my life time then I’m complete.”

Others shared their memories of riding the quirky tram.

Phill Davidson reminisced: “I always remember some words of wisdom from a tram conductor in the 1970s. These illuminated trams might look nice, but if you want to look at the lights, catch a normal tram because you get a better view. These are lit up too much and it’s harder to see out of the windows.”

David Rankin added: “I worked for the Burnley Building Society from 1979 and it merged with the Provincial Building Society to become National & Provincial Building Society in 1982 or 83 I think.

“I remember that, because we had sponsored the tram, we were allowed to have a ‘works do’ on it one night so off we set and there were a couple of crates of beer on board and soft drinks too. I ended up walking up and down that incline many times that night, serving everybody!

“Funny, the things that stick in your mind, isn’t it??”

Blackpool Heritage Trams works to preserve those trams which were in day-to-day use over the past 100-plus years.

The Heritage Tram Depot is the last working first-generation tram depot in the UK and one of only three working historic tram depots in the world built for double-deck trams.

The organisation is always need of vital funds so it can continue to run, maintain and restore the historic trams of Blackpool.

 

 

Blackpool Transport investigating wiring damage after temporary tram service suspension

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Transport is investigating how a tram’s pantograph became tangled in wire near Festival House yesterday (August 23), causing a two-hour suspension of tram services across the coast.

 

All tram services between Fleetwood and Starr Gate were stopped at around 3pm yesterday while engineers isolated cable lines between Gynn Square and Manchester Square.

As one of the most popular modes of transport in Blackpool, stranded tourists were forced to find alternative ways to commute between their hotels and resort attractions.

It was caused by a tram’s pantograph – the apparatus mounted on the roof of electric trams to collect power through contact with an overhead line – becoming entangled in cables near Festival House.

Blackpool Transport is investigating how a tram’s pantograph became tangled in wire near Festival House yesterday (August 23), causing a two-hour suspension of tram services across the coast.

Blackpool Transport said around 15 journeys had been affected while trams were out of action, but the issue was resolved within around two hours.

All services resumed as usual this morning, and the transport firm said its engineering team secured the damaged pantograph and towed the tram back to the depot.

An investigation will now take place to see if anything needs to be done to prevent a recurrence – and any potential for further disruption to commuters.

A spokesman for Blackpool Transport said: “There were no known issues or damage with either the tram or wiring before this happened, but both of those aspects are being investigated to see if there’s anything that needs to be put in place in terms of mitigation.

“At the minute there is a speed restriction in place around the area it happened, trams are travelling slightly slower than they usually would as a precaution. But this won’t affect anyone’s travel or cause any delays.

“Whether anything will be put in place depends on the outcome of an internal investigation.”

 

All Blackpool Transport tram services temporarily stopped due to wiring issues near Festival House

Home | Blackpool Gazette

All tram services have been suspended due to a problem with wiring near Festival House.

 

Blackpool Transport confirmed this afternoon (Monday, August 23) that all tram services between Fleetwood and Starr Gate will temporarily stop until the issue is resolved.

Overhead cables have been isolated between Gynn Square and Manchester Square tram stops, after issues were found with wiring near Festival House, by North Pier.

It was unknown how long it would take for trams to be back up and running, but the company said it was “likely to take a while.”

A spokesman for Blackpool Transport said: “The overhead wires are isolated between Manchester Square and Gynn Square because of an issue with the wiring near Festival House. It’s likely to take some time to fix, and trams are currently still stationary.”

New Blackpool tram stop outside Trilogy nightclub described as a ‘accident waiting to happen’

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A new tram stop built as part of the resort’s £23.4m tram link to Blackpool North train station has been described as a ‘accident waiting to happen’ due to a huge kerb right outside a popular nightclub.

 

The stop is part of the Talbot Gateway redevelopment in the town centre and the 11 inch kerb is directly in front of the Trilogy nightclub in Talbot Square and is situated in one of the busiest nightlife hotspots in the resort.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the opposition on the council, has described the kerb as “ridiculous” and said it needs a total rethink.

He said: “I think it is very dangerous and I have heard of people having slight mishaps on it already. It is only going to be worse when people start coming out of the clubs nearby.

The tram stop 'platform' outside Trilogy nightclub on Talbot RoadThe tram stop ‘platform’ outside Trilogy nightclub on Talbot Road

“They will have had a few drinks and visibility won’t be as good at night either and I think there is going to be some accidents, which means the council are going to get some hefty claims coming their way.”

Coun Williams also had reservations about the layout and design of the kerb.

He said: “This design doesn’t look user friendly to me at all and, in fact, as well as looking like an accident waiting to happen, it’s also ugly.

“For me, I would have said this was a platform rather than a tram stop and looking at the kerb it’s also difficult to see how this is disabled friendly.

The kerb is 11 inches high and it's feared the resort's partygoers will fall off itThe kerb is 11 inches high and it’s feared the resort’s partygoers will fall off it

“I also think the overhanging front edge which provides a handy covering for weeds and a place to sweep litter into has not been considered by the council or the contractors either. It will be an eyesore.

“Ultimately it is the council’s decision and the council’s to sort out. They should have an immediate rethink and look at it again.

“It certainly isn’t safe the way it is at the moment and it either needs bollards but then I don’t think that will prevent falls. Get it sorted, Blackpool Council. ”

Paul Rawson from Blackpool and the Fylde Street Angels, whose volunteers provide help and assistance to those who are vulnerable in the resort, branded the kerb “dangerous”.

Coun Tony Williams said 'it's an accident waiting to happen"Coun Tony Williams said ‘it’s an accident waiting to happen”

He said: “I noticed it and I couldn’t believe it to be honest. Of all the places for that raised part to be is directly outside what potentially could be Blackpool’s biggest nightclub and gathering of people.

“I’m quite shocked it was approved and I don’t think it’s been well planned and thought out at all.

“If there is a need for a raised platform for the trams for whatever reason, I’m sure it should have been somewhere else. Why wasn’t the outside the Catholic church, for instance, a few yards further up? Certainly it shouldn’t be directly outside a nightclub.”.

Paul said he can see people having accidents and hurting themselves.

The council said it has had no reports of anyone falling off the kerbThe council said it has had no reports of anyone falling off the kerb

He said: “It has always been a busy point there, and while a lot of work was going on over the last couple of years for the tram extension, there has been a lot of roadworks around there, which was okay when it was full of barricades and so on but now it’s an open space.

“You’ve got the opening of the new hotel directly opposite as well – so there’s going to be accidents without a doubt

“If they don’t move it, they are going to have to put a railing there and just have a small area on the platform where the tram doors will open but they need to do something.

“For every single person that potentially breaks their leg or twists their ankle, how many hundreds of pounds will it be for each ambulance call out?”

When The Gazette contacted the council about the kerb, a spokesman said: “Discussions have taken place with the owner of the nightclub about the construction of the tram stop and the possible installation of a handrail at the back of the tram stop for added safety.

“However the owner preferred to maintain the open aspect to the front of the club.”

It is part of the multi-million pound tram link project linking the Promenade to a new tram station by Blackpool North railway stationIt is part of the multi-million pound tram link project linking the Promenade to a new tram station by Blackpool North railway station

However, the club, which was formerly called Home & HQ and owned by the Nordwind family, was bought by Matt Taylor last year and he told The Gazette the tram stop was already in place when he took over and not heard from the council in regards to it.

Blackpool Council responded and a spokesman said: “I can confirm that the council have not been made aware of any change of ownership and there have been no complaints or issues raised by the new owner relating to the layout and tram stop in front of the club, and no incidents recorded in relation to the tram stop.”

The spokesman also added: “The pavement is very wide outside the nightclub and tactile paving has been installed along the edge of the platform so there is no large drop from the kerb, the difference in level being just 280mm.

“The tram stop has been in place for a while now and the council has received no reports of any incidents in the area.”

 

Reginald Dixon Blackpool tram unveiled: Pictures of the historic tram being shown on for the first time

Home | Blackpool Gazette

An historic Blackpool tram has been named after Reginald Dixon MBE, best known for his time spent as organist at the Blackpool Tower.

 

A classic Blackpool image - Tower, tram and Promenade

A classic Blackpool image – Tower, tram and Promenade

Reg, as he was commonly known, he held the position in the famous Tower Ballroom for 40 years and he was a household name during his years at the Blackpool Tower from 1930 to 1970, with live broadcasts of his performances being aired each week during the summer season on the BBC Light Programme, now Radio 2.

The Blackpool Tram was officially renamed today on Friday by Reg’s daughter, Jill Steel, along with other members of the family.

With the resort set to welcome a record number of visitors over the summer, the Blackpool Heritage Tram team are acknowledging Reg for his contribution to the promotion of the town in times gone by.With the resort set to welcome a record number of visitors over the summer, the Blackpool Heritage Tram team are acknowledging Reg for his contribution to the promotion of the town in times gone by.

The tram was unveiled by Reg's daughter Jill Steel

The tram was unveiled by Reg’s daughter Jill Steel
The tram is now back in service on the heritage line
The tram is now back in service on the heritage line
His signature tune ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ has become synonymous with the resort and its rich entertainment history.
His signature tune ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ has become synonymous with the resort and its rich entertainment history.
Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport said “It is a very special, and fitting occasion, to rename a historic tram after somebody who has contributed so much to Blackpool’s successful history."
Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport said “It is a very special, and fitting occasion, to rename a historic tram after somebody who has contributed so much to Blackpool’s successful history.”
Reginald played the mighty Wurlitzer - which was built to his specification - for 40-years and he remains an icon of the famous ballroom to this day
Reginald played the mighty Wurlitzer – which was built to his specification – for 40-years and he remains an icon of the famous ballroom to this day
An image of Reg at the ballroom is displayed at the top of the tram
An image of Reg at the ballroom is displayed at the top of the tram
The tram had the number 631 before its renaming
The tram had the number 631 before its renaming

Tram services disrupted after tree blocks overhead line in Fleetwood

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Tram services were forced to miss several stops due to a tree blocking an overhead line in Fleetwood.

 

Commuters were warned there may be delays to the service at around 6.20am today (July 29).

Tram services will turn at Fishermans Walk due to the tree, causing them to miss London Street, Victoria Street and Fleetwood Ferry.

Blackpool Transport said they hoped normal service would resume soon.

Tram services were forced to miss several stops in Fleetwood due to a tree blocking an overhead line.

Tram services were forced to miss several stops in Fleetwood due to a tree blocking an overhead line.

Blackpool’s famous heritage trams get top honour from the Queen

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The volunteers in Blackpool who look after the resort’s world famous heritage trams has received the highest honour voluntary organisations can get.

 

Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours, part of Blackpool Transport Services, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The presentation of the award was delayed this year due to coronavirus restriction, but former Blackpool MP Joan Humble, who is chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, presented the award on behalf of the Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire

The volunteers who operate Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours protect, conserve and operate the fleet of vintage tramcars on the tramway for which they were built.

Two of Blackpool's fine heritage tramsTwo of Blackpool’s fine heritage trams

It is one of only two tramways in the world to operate double deck trams.

The award team said the volunteers help widen public access to a rich part of the nation’s heritage and in doing so they are developing a wide variety of skills, creating a major contribution to the welfare of their local community and fulfilling the purposes of wellbeing, learning and education.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Blackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers with the awardBlackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers with the award

Head of Heritage, Bryan Lindop said: “Having worked with this remarkable and talented group of volunteers now for over five years, it fills me with great pride to see

them achieve this pinnacle of national recognition.

“It takes a lot of dedication, commitment, sheer grit and determination to maintain the high standard of excellence that they have become renowned for.

“The volunteers, the community that they serve and indeed the nations heritage adoring public who come to Blackpool to benefit from the sheer feel good factor that the heritage tram tours create are inspiring new generations to cherish and appreciate their heritage; to participate in something culturally unique and life affirming, and by doing so, ensuring that future generations will be able to continue to enjoy this inspiring public amenity.

Former Blackpool MP Joan Humble present the Queen's Award  for Voluntary Service citation to Bryan Lindop from the volunteersFormer Blackpool MP Joan Humble present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service citation to Bryan Lindop from the volunteers

“The unexpected delay created by the Covid Pandemic in enabling us to receive the actual trophy and certificate did nothing to dampen our spirits when the day finally dawned for Joan Humble on behalf of The Lord-Lieutenant to present them to us.

“There was complete silence in the room as the certificate envelope was opened to reveal the handwritten signature of Her Majesty The Queen.

“This incredible achievement attained by our hardworking volunteers is one of life’s unforgettable magic moments and it has been a great honour and privilege to work with them over the years.

“Their brilliant efforts to enable Blackpool’s heritage tram fleet to continue to grace the promenade, raising smile after smile has now been justifiably recognised by the highest accolade in the land. I applaud each and every one of them for so selflessly giving their time and their talents for the enjoyment and wellbeing of all those who can continue to enjoy a tram trip down memory lane.

Bryan Lindop with the award letterBryan Lindop with the award letter

A close-up of the Queen's Award presented to the Blackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers
A close-up of the Queen’s Award presented to the Blackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers

Blackpool Transport bosses ‘recommend’ passengers still wear facemasks on buses and trams after social distancing rules are eased

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Transport bosses are still advising passengers to wear facemasks on buses and trams in the resort after the easing of Government coronavirus restrictions comes into force on Monday (July 19).

 

As rules on social distancing are eased, more seats will be available on Blackpool Transport buses and trams, but face coverings remain as a recommendation for customers.

Changes to government restrictions mean that social distancing rules no longer apply on public transport, although travellers are urged to still consider the risks of close contact with others.

The relaxation of social distancing means that capacity on buses will double in some cases, making it easier for customers to travel and use the bus in Blackpool.

Blackpool Transport bosses are still recommending passengers wear facemasks on buses and trams after Government social distancing rules are eased on Monday, July 19, 2021Blackpool Transport bosses are still recommending passengers wear facemasks on buses and trams after Government social distancing rules are eased on Monday, July 19, 2021

Trams will also see a similar change with all seats being made available for use, in addition to the recent increase in frequency which sees trams running up to every seven minutes in peak times. Staff will remain in place at the busiest tram platforms to help to manage the number of customers allowed on each tram.

Blackpool cycle lane planned for St Walburgas Road would cost taxpayer over £310…

James Carney, finance and commercial director at Blackpool Transport said: “The automatic and regular ventilation of buses and trams that happens when the vehicles open their doors, plus our continued enhanced cleaning regime will minimize risks when travelling on public transport. We are recommending that customers continue to wear a face covering because it adds another protective layer for themselves and others.

“Our team members will also continue to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where they are not behind a protective screen to continue to do their bit to keep everyone as safe as possible. We urge everyone travelling by bus or tram in Blackpool to do the same unless they are exempt.”

You can find the latest changes and guidance at www.blackpooltransport.com