Its been another day of announcements of service reductions on the UK’s tram systems with the Blackpool Tramway now confirming trams will run to a reduced frequency as a result of reduced demand and to ensure a reliable service can be maintained.
From Sunday 22nd March, the Blackpool Tramway will operate every 30 minutes throughout the day, seven days a week. On weekdays the first tram will depart Starr Gate at 0515 with the first return trip from Fleetwood Ferry at 0615. Saturdays start an hour later at 0615/0715 and Sundays is an hour further behind at 0715/0815. Services will also end earlier with the final departure from Starr Gate to Fleetwood Ferry at 2115 with the return leaving the northern outpost at 2215. This revised timetable will continue to run until further notice.
Blackpool has also become the latest local authority to lift time restrictions on concessionary passes. As from Monday 23rd March they can be used at any time but there is no change to which concessionary pass can be used on the trams which these restrictions remaining in place.
Over in Manchester and details have now been confirmed of a revised service which will be in operation from Monday 23rd March. Services will continue to run on all lines with a 12 minute frequency running at all times – double units will be used as far as possible to try and aid social distancing. Operating times will be 0600 to 2300 Monday to Saturday and from 0700 to 2300 on Sundays. This means the early morning Airport service will no longer run. It has also been confirmed that the Trafford Park line will launch as planned on Sunday 22nd March to “help support connectivity across Greater Manchester at a time when other modes will also be reducing their provision”.
As things stand no other service reductions have been announced but it is expected they will follow as restrictions continue to be introduced in trying to slow down the spread of Coronavirus.