On the evening of 23rd March, it was announced that the annual Totally Transport event in Blackpool would not be taking place in 2015. The New South Promenade based transport event has been a popular part of the Fylde events calendar every year since 2005 and has usually featured a special vintage tram service through the heart of the site, but sadly this will not be the case this year.
A statement from the event organisers on their Facebook page explains that the steering group have been unable to raise sufficient funds to put on a show of the usual calibre, and rather than host a less impressive event, the sad decision has been made to cancel Totally Transport this year. This is particularly dissapointing as last year’s festival had been boosted by the rare operation of heritage trams to Starr Gate in normal passenger service, with the presence of visiting Blackpool ‘Pantograph’ car 167 from the National Tramway Museum being a particular highlight.
However, talks have already taken place regarding future plans and it is hoped that the event may return in 2016. These early discussions have involved the President of the Fleetwood Festival of Transport, alias Tram Sunday, who is keen for the organisers of the two Fylde events to work together more closely in the years ahead. Such proposals may well see Totally Transport return stronger than ever, but for now, this popular addition to the tramway events calendar has been lost.
This will no doubt be a blow to Blackpool Transport who had already promoted a six-car heritage service for this year’s event date, Sunday 21st June, which has appeared on various literature including leaflets which have been distributed extensively as part of the drive to increase custom on the historic trams this year. It has now been confirmed that the ‘gold’ heritage tram timetable will still operate as planned, and further details of what is planned will no doubt be revealed closer to the time. With a four car service scheduled to operate on the previous day, this still has the potential to be a great weekend and if BTS decide to put on any extra events then the loss of Totally Transport will no doubt have less impact. However, with considerable efforts already being made for this year’s expanded heritage operation it remains to be seen whether sufficient resources will be available to organise any additional attractions.