A road traffic collision involving a tram and a motor car at Cleveleys Square caused considerable disruption to tram services in Blackpool on Thursday 2nd July. Whilst the emergency services attended to the incident the tram service was terminated at Little Bispham whilst road traffic was also diverted for a time.
It is understood that a Vauxhall was crossing the tram lines when it was struck by a Flexity2 tram in the vicinity of Rossall Road just after 1000 in the morning. Early reports indicate that nobody was badly hurt, although paramedics were in attendance and the Police were also called out to investigate. In order to allow the relevant services plenty of space to assess the situation the nearby road was closed off with all traffic forced onto a different route, and pictures suggest that the tram involved may have remained blocking the road crossing for a while before it was driven back to the depot.
Eyewitness reports suggest that, despite the tram driver’s best attempts to avoid a collision – sounding the horn and braking sharply – it still struck the car which is believed to have been driven by an elderly lady. Although there is no indication that the tram was in any way at fault, a small number of critics on the Blackpool Gazette website have been quick to point the finger of blame squarely in the direction of the tramway. This coupled with a recent report on a fall in passenger numbers on the trams last year also published by the Gazette, has painted a very negative picture of the system when in fact its safety record remains excellent, whilst passenger numbers are showing a significant increase so far in 2015. Hopefully the majority of people will not believe any such claims that the tramway dangerous and unpopular, and accept that occasionally such incidents do occur regardless of how safe it is overall, particularly in places where trams and other road traffic come into direct contact.