Tramway upgrade

The government has approved a £100m upgrade to the Blackpool-to-Fleetwood tramway as part of efforts to improve access to the Fylde Coast.

The investment, which includes £68.3m from the Department for Transport and £33.4m from Blackpool council and Lancashire county council, will allow replacement of 8km of track, the installation of 14 priority signals and the purchase of 16 Bombardier trams.

Transport minister Sadiq Khan, said: ‘This scheme will deliver significant benefits for the local community, and I am delighted that one of my first tasks as transport minister is to give it the go- ahead.

‘Trams have been running in Blackpool for more than 100 years I hope this funding will mean the historic, world-famous tramway can continue to run well into the future.’

The tramway is owned by Blackpool council and has been operating since 1885. The route runs from the town along the Fylde Coast into Lancashire, serving Cleveleys and Fleetwood.

Leader of Blackpool council, Peter Callow, said: ‘This is a great day for Blackpool and we are very grateful to the government for supporting our ambitions. Blackpool has a fantastic tram heritage and this funding will ensure that our tram network has a great future too.

‘By Easter 2012 we will have ultra-modern trams providing an efficient public transport network for both residents and visitors without sacrificing our wonderful heritage trams.’