Blackpool’s newest tram stop opened to passengers on Tuesday 22nd March – Norbreck North. This was one of the many stops from the old system which were not retained when the tramway was upgraded to light rail standards, however a succesful campaign by local residents who felt that the distance between stops at Little Bispham and Norbreck was unreasonably large led to the stop being reinstated.
This is quite historic as it is the first time that a ‘new’ tram stop has been added to the Blackpool system since the upgrade was largely completed four years ago. Blackpool’s Mayor and Mayoress were on hand to officially open the new stop, which of course boasts platforms on both sides – although no shelters yet! These are expected to be added later, as part of a programme of improvements which will see the waiting shelters replaced at existing stops as well, to replace the originals which have not stood up well to the unforgiving coastal climate.
The new stops have been built by Council staff in contrast to the other light rail platforms which appeared en mass as part of the upgrade work undertaken largely by contractors, but the cost has been considerable nonetheless, making the addition of more long-lost stops rather unlikely. It is hoped that the new Norbreck North stop will be used more than its predecessor which was removed partly because hardly anyone ever got on or off the trams there! Presumably the on-board information on the Flexity2 trams has been updated accordingly to inform passengers when they are approaching the new stop although whether the system maps are updated as well remains to be seen.