The Douglas Horse Tramway is to be moved onto the Promenade walkway as part of plans for the redevelopment of the area it has been confirmed. The latest – and presumably hoped for final – plans show that the twin track tramway in the centre of the road will be moved as had been expected and it is now seems this will not be on the road although at some stage it will have to cross the road to reach the Strathallan terminus.
The redevelopment of Douglas Promenade has been much delayed as work was expected to commence during 2015 with the Horse Tramway not expected to run this year. However there have been delays – caused by the decision to change the plans at the eleventh hour – but, subject to funding these are now expected to be final plans.
Obviously this website is most interested in the plans for the trams but the general plans will also see the connection between the Promenade and the town centre strengthened to “create a sense of place that attracts people, investment and spending.” It also aims to “act as a catalyst for the future regeneration of Douglas and to reflect the Isle of Man’s status as a leading international business centre, a tourist destination and a desirable place to live.” The overall scheme is focused on “improving traffic flow and enhancing public safety by making motorists more responsive to their surroundings. The use of different road materials, paving and coloured surfaces is intended to create an environment that can be better shared by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.” There will also be a cultural quarter around the Sefton Hotel and Gaiety Theatre with provision of space for public art and street performances.
Back to the Horse Tramway and the new look layout will run on the Promenade walkway from the Sea Terminal and will eventually cross over to the other side of the road to run alongside the footpath on the northern part of the Promenade. It will continue to terminate at Strathallan outside the depot. There are also plans in the offing to combine the stables and depot at this location.
The scheme still requires Tynwald and planning approval and would cost £21 million to complete. It is hoped work will start in November.