The ongoing saga of the future of the Douglas Horse Tramway has taken another turn with the news breaking that the Promenade works are to be delayed until the Autumn allowing another “final” season of operation. It had been expected that no horse trams would run in 2015 because these works would have prevented operating but with them not now likely to be taking place it is business as usual.
The Douglas Promenade works are due to be undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure but they recently announced that there would be a pause in the project to “explore alternative options”. When the tramway closed at the end of the 2014 season it was widely thought that the track would be singled and moved to the side of the Promenade road but then in October the DoI announced a public consultation as to whether the new track could actually be placed on the walkway. The results of this consultation have not yet been announced but they are being taken into consideration when the final designs for the Prom are made.
It is understood that the process of finalising designs, presenting the proposals to Tynwald and then submitting the formal application for planning approval will take several months and it will not be Autumn 2015 until they are ready to resume works.
As a result of this delay it is now expected that 2015 will be another final season for the double-tracked horse tramway in the centre of the Prom road although no official word has yet been made by Douglas Borough Council as to whether this will be the case. The weekend of 13th and 14th September, when behind the scenes open days and parallel runs were enjoyed, may prove not to have been the end after all.