All change for next Blackpool ‘Gold’ weekend

Significant changes are to be made to the August Bank Holiday ‘Gold’ timetable operated by Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours. This is due to a series of concerts taking place on the promenade over that same weekend, which will result in a split service operating on the tramway for parts of each day. This could so easily have resulted in the heritage service being cancelled altogether but happily a compromise is to be reached so that those who had planned to visit and enjoy a weekend of tram action should not be disappointed.

The Livewire festival is a ‘music’ event taking place on the Tower festival headland from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August. On these three days, the promenade tramway will be closed off adjacent to the Tower from approximately 1500hrs, forcing service trams to run a split service with some trams running from Starr Gate to Tower and others serving the line between North Pier and Fleetwood Ferry.

It is not yet confirmed exactly what sort of heritage service will operate on Friday 25th, but on Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th, the planned ‘Gold’ service will still run. This is expected to commence at the earlier than usual time of 0900, in order to offer plenty of longer runs including numerous journeys to Fleetwood. Then from 1500, a cut-down service will continue between Pleasure Beach and Tower – and it is hoped to offer some tours to Starr Gate too, to compensate for the shortage of track available to use! A more normal ‘Gold’ timetable should be provided on Bank Holiday Monday 28th.

Hopefully the efforts being taken to ensure that the show must go on will be appreciated, and despite the short notice given regarding the partial closure of the promenade it looks like this should be another good weekend for the heritage operation.

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11 Responses to All change for next Blackpool ‘Gold’ weekend

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    It seems to be an increasing problem now in many cities now with marathons, bike rides, fun runs, marches, rallies etc. causing the Police to close streets and disrupt public transport almost at a whim. Perhaps Blackpool should build a subway beneath the headland so the trams keep running when events like this happen, like they did in Berlin before World War I when the Kaiser’s repeated military parades along Unter den Linden disrupted tram operation so much that burrowing under it was the only way.

    • Kevin says:

      I hope that subway comment was tongue in cheek! If it ever happened it would end Heritage operation.

      • Nigel Pennick says:

        Yes – of course it was ironic. But the point about arbitrary closures of streets and public transport without compensation for those who suffer loss of earnings or time is a serious point, and should be tested in the courts.

  2. Kevin says:

    Well done to all for letting people know in plenty of time. And for providing a service if not quite as advertised.
    I would, however, like to level a very firm criticism at Blackpool council. Which seaside resort Council in its right mind shuts its promenade and Tramway on August Bank Holiday? I mean seriously? the busiest of the Bank Holidays and Granny has to walk with her frame through concert goers from Tower to North Pier UPHILL to get a Tram and with NO alternative as there are no buses. Someone seriously needs to go outside and have a word with themselves on this one. The potential damage to Blackpool’s reputation is catastrophic. My thoughts and sympathies for the poor transport crews who will get it in the neck. At least Monday is relatively safe.

    • KenW says:

      Even more so as this event and the consequent disruption is on for not one but 3 days over the weekend (although obviously there is no heritage service on the Friday but the Flexity service will be disrupted). This just shows again how ridiculous the siting of the new venue was, especially as the police order them to close events down if there is any windy weather approaching, as happened in the first season in which case everyone is a loser. At least the heritage service will start at 0900 instead of 1000 to compensate for the disruption later in the day. I just hope that revenue will not suffer.

      • Kevin says:

        I love how you are championing Blackpool yet don’t know Heritage runs daily in summer! So it does affect it for 3 days.
        I’m wondering if anyone will ride so early, if you are staying in Blackpool surely you will still be tucking into youe full English? Not to mention the poor Volunteers who have to sign on an hour earlier and work an hour longer.
        As you rightly point out Ken, the whole situation is ludicrous. Build a venue somewhere else or use the football ground like everyone else. The Prom headlands are the place for family events not concerts.

        • KenW says:

          Yes I am quite aware that there is a daily heritage service but it only operates between Pleasure Beach and Tower with the exception of 4 trips to Cabin so the effect will probably be negligible on the Friday.
          No I would not be still tucking into any full English breakfast, I will have made my 60 mile car journey in time for the first tram! From what I have seen of them I suspect volunteers will not be that bothered about starting an hour earlier – after all they can always choose not to volunteer for those days.

          • Kevin says:

            The Heritage services operates to NORTH PIER, this is the other side of Tower headland and therefore WILL be affected.
            You assume the Volunteers knew of the change of time when they put their name forward months ago. I suspect they didn’t as this seems a recent decision.
            I feel sorry for them as there will be many complaints I can see it.

  3. Chris Callan says:

    Cant help but feel sorry for the numerous businesses affected by the split service & road closures. These enclosed headland events by their very nature so insulated as well so once in folk spending money inside said ring of steel. The sooner Blackpool Council establish a large indoor arena (plenty of locations muted over years) the better. Clearly the resort needs to start getting better at catering for crowds and zoning areas effectively. You cant put what may as well be a CLOSED sign every time council tourist board under the banner of “ILoveBlackpool” want a large ticketed event. Since the Headlands inception had serious doubts about the locations ability to host such events. Its a great location for smaller all day open events and the comedy carpet itself has been a huge success.

  4. KenW says:

    The closure does not take place until 1500 which is only a couple of hours before the end of the heritage services and means that the vast majority of runs including 2 of the 4 Cabin services will be unaffected. The major loss on Sat/Sun will be the Fleetwood services which will not be able to run after about 1300/1315 as they will not be able to get back in time. Presumably they will run from Blackpool and turn back short. At least now they try to make the best of the situation when they could easily decide it is not worth running a heritage service. As for the early start, I would imagine that BHT has consulted with the volunteers before making the decision.
    It is the mobility impaired people having to make their own way between the two halves of the flexity service that I feel really sorry for, they are being very badly let down by Blackpool council.

  5. Kevin says:

    My gripe with Friday is that a lot of people do go up or down and come back on one of the last runs, so really its not practical to sell a return ticket after lunch as people will be unable to break their journey for any length of time. Presumably they will be permitted to unload at Tower at a temporary stop so that would negate this point. Likewise I wonder about the ability to sell day tickets or even returns when they have to turn short on saturday and Sunday afternoon.
    I couldn’t agree more about some being let down – its a long walk uphill from Towert o North Pier if you are less able bodies.

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