The Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramway is to temporarily close from Sunday 29th March as further service restrictions are introduced in the UK as a result of the continuing Coronavirus pandemic. It has also been confirmed that the West Midlands Metro will become the last of the UK’s tram systems to operate a reduced service with a temporary timetable now due to run from Monday 30th March.
Blackpool Transport have been continuing to review their service across both tram and bus and after reducing the tram service last week they have now made the decision to completely suspend all operations on the tramway until further notice. With the no. 1 Promenade bus set to operate to a revised timetable during the same timeframe each day, Blackpool Transport can still provide a service for those still making essential journeys whilst maintaining social distancing. With each bus only requiring one member of staff and trams still operating with conductors this will hopefully allow the spread of the virus to be slowed.
These service changes in Blackpool will remain in place until further notice.
Also, in the northwest and it was announced on 24th March that this year’s Fleetwood Tram Sunday – due to take place on Sunday 19th July – will not be taking place because of the uncertainty surrounding whether restrictions may have be lifted by that time. Whilst this event has changed over the years, it will still be missed and has proven to be a popular community event in recent years as well as including enhanced heritage services to the northern outpost of the tramway along with trams on display. This is just the second time since it started in 1985 that it has been cancelled with the event also not taking place in 2011.
A temporary timetable will start to operate on the West Midlands Metro from Monday 30th March – the last UK tram system to reduce their usual timetable. Whilst Sundays will see a normal timetable running the rest of the week will see a reduced frequency. From the start of service until 0630 and from 2000 until the end of service trams will run every 15 minutes whilst the remainder of the day will see a tram every 12 minutes.
With these changes the advice also remains that you should only attempt to travel on any public transport if your journey is absolutely essential.