2021 for trams to Blackpool North?

More progress on the project to extend the Blackpool Tramway up Talbot Road to a site just adjacent to Blackpool North Railway Station appears to be on the horizon with news that it could be 2021 for service to start, according to latest documents from Blackpool Council.

In this information it is confirmed that regardless of whether Wilkinson’s new building is built at the Houndshill Shopping Centre their lease at the current location ends in April 2020. It is anticipated this will not be renewed allowing contractors to move onto the site and start to demolish the building. Not only will the site be used to house the tramway terminus but it is also planned to construct a Holiday Inn and an underpass to the railway station.

Now the hotel is where the complication comes in as the final tramway terminus is due to be in the middle of the Wilkinson’s site by the new underpass but construction works on the hotel will mean it isn’t possible for this to be built until the very end of the project, in 2022. So, it is instead proposed to build a temporary tramway terminus in the location of the current entrance to Wilkinson’s with this expected to be ready by March 2021.

Of course, on top of the work to build the two tram termini (one for 2021 which will then close and be replaced by the permanent stop in 2022) there also remains a considerable amount of work along Talbot Road including the erection of overhead wire and the fitting out of the one platform stop at Talbot Square.

The Blackpool North extension had originally been due to open at Easter 2019 but if the above timeline is kept to (and a big if will probably remain over it as we are still awaiting with baited breath whether Wilkinson’s do actually move out!) it will now be 2021 for the start of services and 2022 for the final completion of the extension – just the three years late.

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6 Responses to 2021 for trams to Blackpool North?

  1. Pablo76 says:

    As with projects compo has to be paid out so to get the Wilkinson site you to but Wilkos contract and finally the land it self.

    It is easier to delay the project with out the need to pay compo.

  2. Nigel Pennick says:

    It seems so many projects are subject to progress at a snail’s pace. When the line finally opens in 2022 or so It will be 10 years (or more) since the new junction was installed for the Talbot Road line. Blackpool’s motto is ‘Progress’, perhaps it should be changed to ‘Procrastinor’.

  3. Flappy1 says:

    They now have a prime position store For Wilko now Top Shop are Moving out

  4. nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    However, this will depend on several factors, not least of which will be whether the overall cost of occupying such a prime location (business rates, etc.) is in line with what Wilko’s budget is. Of course, there have been reports that the platforms in Talbot Square are not at the correct level for seamless access to the Flexity fleet and it has been said by some that with the overhead wiring not yet in place, there is always the risk of abandonment, even at this stage and the possibility of more major disruption if it becomes necessary to lift the track again. It is to be hoped that the doom-mongers are wrong, but things have a habit of taking unexpected turns as we have often already seen.

    • steve hyde says:

      If Wilko’s lease on the Talbot Road site is due to expire and the lessor is not willing to enter a new agreement Wilko will have no choice but to either move to a new site or leave Blackpool entirely. As for other rumours, I very much doubt that abandonment would be entertained just because a platform is the wrong height. That sort of defect is easily remedied.

  5. Flappy1 says:

    Sure the council will make them a sweet deal to move.