The first ever concert at the new Tower Festival Headland on Blackpool promenade is being held on Saturday 16th June, and will see Sir Elton John performing many of his classic songs at the outdoor venue. Unfortauntely, although future events are not expected to cause much disruption to the tramway, this concert will feature a different stage layout meaning that a revised timetable will operate this weekend.
Some seating for concert-goers will be placed over the tram lines and even the promenade road, forcing a partial closure of both. This will mean that, on Saturday, a split service will operate. Some trams will be in service between Starr Gate and Manchester Square, where passengers will have to alight. Further trams will maintain a service between North Pier and Fleetwood, with the busy section from Manchester Square to North Pier closed completely. Several Flexity2 trams will be stabled on North Promenade near Gynn Square for the duration, whilst the heritage tram tours on Saturday 16th June have been cancelled.
To add further misery for would-be tram passengers, the Fleetwood Carnival is taking place on the same day and this will result in a closure of the line through Fleetwood for a while during the afternoon. The last through tram is due to leave the Ferry at 12:43, after which time all services will terminate at Fisherman’s Walk until shortly after 2:00pm.
Due to the need to erect and then remove the temporary seating for the concert, the tram service will also be affected on the evening of Friday 15th June with the last tram to Starr Gate leaving Fleetwood at 10:25pm. Afterwards, southbound trams will only run as far as North Pier, and latterly Gynn Square. Likewise, on Sunday 17th June the ‘split’ service is expected to operate during the early part of the day with a normal through service resuming as early as is practicably possible.
Although these disruptions are likely to result in some grumbles, at least Blackpool Transport are trying to maintain a tram service over the course of the weekend. Hopefully future events at the Tower Festival Headland, such as the illuminations switch-on event, will be a lot less disruptive and allow the trams to go about their business as normal.
Full details of the weekend service changes can be viewed at www.blackpooltransport.com