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Railhub Archive
2008-02-01 DfT-002
Department for Transport


Blackpool's iconic tram set for £85million upgrade

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Department for Transport

Blackpool's iconic tram set for £85million upgrade

1 Feb 2008 09:55
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (018) issued by The Government News Network on 1 February 2008

Plans to move forward with a £85.3 million refurbishment of the historic Blackpool and Fleetwood tram system were announced by Transport Minister Tom Harris today, with the Government contributing £60.3million to the scheme.

The upgrade will bring the network up to 21st century standards and boost regeneration of the area. This investment is the centrepiece of the Government's forthcoming response to the Blackpool Task Force report which recommended ways to regenerate the area.

Improvements will include refurbishment of the track and tram stops out to Fleetwood, as well as 16 new fully accessible trams. The historic trams will continue to serve Blackpool's famous seafront promenade.

Today's decision means that Blackpool Council can now start detailed planning for the work. Subject to successful procurement of the materials required, the full refurbishment could start in late 2009.

Rail Minister Tom Harris said:

"At over 120 years old, the Blackpool and Fleetwood tramway is part of the local heritage as well as an important part of the local transport system.

"I want to make sure that tourists and local people alike can continue to enjoy the tram in years to come and make sure it lies at the heart of the town's current regeneration plans.

"We will continue to work with the Blackpool Council, Lancashire County Council and local MPs so they can deliver a modern tramway that is attractive to passengers and value for money for the taxpayer. I am glad that we are working towards safeguarding the future of this iconic system for future generations."

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears added:

"This tram investment is a huge boost for Blackpool and an important part of our package of measures in response to the Blackpool Task Force report. I am determined to ensure that we do everything possible to boost jobs, skills, transport and regeneration in Blackpool."

The Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramway carries nearly 4 million passenger trips a year, around 75% of which are visitors to Blackpool.

Blackpool's good news comes on the same day that Tom Harris also announced the final go-ahead for a £102million package of improvements to Manchester Metrolink.

Notes to Editors

1. The Government has already contributed £11.8 million for emergency works to the tram.

2. Blackpool's tram system consists of a single route from Starr Gate near the South Pier, along the promenade and then to Fleetwood.

3. Government's contribution to the scheme is capped at £60.3 million with Blackpool and Lancashire Councils contributing £25 million between them.

4. The Blackpool Task Force was established to review "the totality of economic, social and environmental development plans in the Blackpool area." (Statement by Tessa Jowell MP, 28 March 2007)

5. The Blackpool Task Force members are the Northwest Development Agency, Blackpool Council, ReBlackpool, English Partnerships and the Government Office for the North West.

6. The report was published in July 2007 and is available here: k-force-report-proposes-a-n.aspx

7. The Government has been working with Blackpool and regional agencies to develop responses to its recommendations. An overall response will be published in the coming weeks.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website:

Railhub Archive ::: 2008-02-01 DfT-002


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