Heaton Park Tramway disrupted by events

In scenes co-incidentally reminiscent of those recently witnessed in Blackpool, the Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester is currently enduring a period of disruption thanks to two unrelated events being held in the park’s grounds. A concert by reformed rock band The Stone Roses has seen the tramway closed for two successive weekends, whilst a charity event is set to impact on the weekend of 21st/22nd July.

The Stone Roses, often hailed as one of the most influencial British bands of the nineties, recently announced their reunion tour and as well as a string of festival appearances, this included two shows in Heaton Park, as Manchester is their home city. Demand for tickets was so high that a third date was soon added, meaning that the tramway would not be able to operate at all on Saturday 30th June or Sunday 1st July. Unfortunately, due to the large amount of prepartion needed for such a major event, closure of the tramway was also required the previous weekend, meaning that two weekends of revenue have been lost. Although obviously such a huge event is great news for the local economy, it seems a shame that the tramway has been so greatly affected. Barriers have been put in place around parts of the tram track which will hopefully ensure that the infrastructure is not damaged by the lorries needed for the show, which has sometimes been an issue at past events of this nature. The odd sight of portaloos along the lower section of tramway near to the depot/museum is certainly a bit of a strange one for regular visitors!

The next two weekends should see a normal tram service in operation, but there will be more disruption on Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July due to the annual ‘Race for Life’ in the park. Regrettably this co-incides with the Festival of Model Tramways at the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport which normally provides a welcome boost in visitors to the heritage line. A tram service will be run on both days, but for most of the day this will be restricted in nature. A vintage bus service will operate connecting the two attractions and offering visitors to the park a good excuse to visit Manchester 173 which of course resides at the Boyle Street Museum.

Hopefully future events at Heaton Park, such as the annual Trans Lanc Rally on September 2nd and a planned ‘Best of British Trams’ event being held on 17th & 18th November will help to compensate for any lost income and ensure that the tramway remains one of the park’s most popular attractions.

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12 Responses to Heaton Park Tramway disrupted by events

  1. Ken Walker says:

    Perhaps the organisers of the concerts should be invited to make a financial contribution to the Museum out of their vast profits to compensate for the unwelcome loss of revenue at a time when the museum badly needs income to finance the new depot and the restoation of its growing fleet of trams

  2. I am hugely disappointed to read this news. I have booked to visit the Festival of Model Tramways (flying from the Isle of Man) and was looking forward to riding the Heaton Park line, especially the new extension. I presume that it’s the latter that will not operate; does anyone know? I suppose that the “Race for Life” is a good, charitable cause, but I wonder whether they could not have used some other area of the Park and avoided disrupting the tramway.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Geoff – the tramway will be operating from 11am to 5pm and according to their official website, the disruption will be from 12pm. So if you are able to get there for 11am, you should be able to manage at least one trip along the full length of the tramway before the charity event starts. I appreciate this is far from perfect but I hope you might be able to do this – and sorry to hear about your disapointment.

  3. Frank Gradwell says:

    Why on earth should the tramway be closed down at such times?

    Surely with a little intelligence it could be a reckonable part of transport planning linking the Middleton Road Gates with the venue at least for incoming fans.

    I can appreciate that with the instant congestion at the end and the late hour, operation of the tramway may be a different matter.

  4. Martin Bryan says:

    Hello All

    We will be trying to do all we can to run a normal service for this event, unfortunately the race for life crosses the tram tracks at the new road crossing put in for the extension. The original request was that we close down completely as we have in previous years. However once it was explained to the park management and the organisers of the race for life that it was the Festival of Model Trams weekend then they were very supportive and willing to compromise.

    • Isabel says:

      I am incredibly dpieaiosntsd to see so many negative comments about the Crich tramway museum. Where are those who are willing to volunteer to be drivers or to volunteer in another capacity??As a former Tram driver on the Croydon Tram system,London Tramlink, (Croydon Tramlink when I was there) I would love to volunteer driving trams at Crich. It is a dream I have had since I was a child to drive traditional trams. However what stops me is the distance and costs involved of volunteering, as I live in South East London and certainly could not afford to travel to Crich a couple of times a month along with the hotel bills, though I have been known to sleep in the car or a tent when travelling on holiday.I am tempted to contact the museum and say I am a former tram driver and am willing to do a couple of days a year to help. If everyone took a similar attitude then surely there would not be this shortage of drivers or other volunteers. With regard to the production of a valid driving licence every year the trams at Crich and tram drivers fall under the same regulations as any other tram system. When I worked in Croydon, we had to keep a clean driving licence, and if you got points on it then you faced a disciplinary hearing and possible dismissal. However, in the mean time I must restrict myself to volunteering closer to home and I am off to the Epping and Ongar Railway. Admittedly not trams but they do run on rails.

  5. G Pycroft says:

    Good Lord!!
    What a bunch of miserable sods you are!! It’s a couple of days out of 345 in the year and the Concert and other events will bring valuable income to the City Council. Th events will bring people into the Park in their thousands…….you should be making it a publicity bonanza instead of bleedin’ whinging……… how to make friends and influence people eh? Total lack of imagination!!!

  6. Ken Walker says:

    There may be 365 days in a year but that’s irrelevant as the tramway only operates on about 70, so it’s (up to now) 4 days revenue out of 70 this year, not a couple out of 365 that the tramway has lost considering that it was unable to operate on the weekend prior to the concert, as stated in the article if you could be bothered to read it properly. You expect the museum to be happy to lose 4 days much-needed revenue so that the concert organisers and the council can between them make the quoted £23 million profit: clearly you are not a transport enthusiast. And just what “publicity bonanza” has the museum gained from the event when they were forced to keep their exhibits locked up in the depot out of sight? A £500 donation from the concert organisers to cover the 4 days loss of revenue wouldn’t even be missed by the group: that sort of money will be very much missed by the museum, whose vehicles provide entertainment for the visiting public every weekend of the year, not just once in a blue moon.

    • G Pycroft says:

      My Dear Ken,
      I am more than capable of reading and digesting the contents of the post(s). Your inference is that I cannot. Sadly your post only goes to reflect the fact that you are rattled by my comments and I have perhaps hit a nerve? You arrogantly state without any evidence whatsoever ” clearly you are not a transport enthusiast.” How opinionated and ill informed you are!! As I said……..” how to make friends and influence people eh? Once again your post confirms the total lack of imagination and inability to think outside the box by those involved!!! ” Replying will be pointless…..I have no intention of looking in again.
      GP

  7. nigel says:

    Ken,

    As GP IS NOt going to look in again I would not worry. If he is a transport enthusiast he would agree with your comments. He suggests thinking outside the box. Regrettably in what way we will never know. The park management, ie local council said they were not allowed to run, end of.

    Ken, I totally agree with you. Perhaps if GP looked at the bigger picture he would know that the mtms have already looked at that and when they get the shed built the balloons will come back and be commisioned.

    There are clear plans at the present depot which shows their ambitions to run across the park nearer to the metrolink gates with these kind of concerts in mind.

    Finally does he think that giving out leaflets for the tram attraction at the park would be justified in extra revenue from the outlay of paying out material, printing etc, no way would it.

    But hey we have no worry gp will obviously not be replying

    • Ken Walker says:

      Nigel, I won’t be worrying about anything GP has said. These people at Heaton Park are working their guts out to deal with their additional responsibilities and raising the money to do so (as most contributors to this site are aware) I just think as I said that those for whose benefit the MTMS have been ordered not to run could make some contribution, perhaps the council could make compensation for loss of revenue a condition for allowing these concerts, or make the council’s charges include a payment to support the MTMS. Even to give the full amount that the MTMS lost in the 2 weekends wouldn’t be missed out of the £23 million that was quoted as the revenue from the event.
      I was the only one to respond to GP’s outrageous comments and manner: perhaps everyone else decided to ignore his comments with the contempt they deserve; they certainly were not up to the standard of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism which I associate with this particular website. As I said, comments like GP’s won’t cause me to lose any sleep – but thank you for voicing your support anyway!