More passengers than at any time in the past 20 years are travelling on the Blackpool Tramway according to new figures released this week. 5 million passenger journeys have been recorded since April 2016 – the first time since 1994 that this many passengers have been carried on the tramway and once again showing the benefits of having an upgraded tramway.
Since the upgraded tramway opened to the public at Easter 2012 passenger numbers have been steadily increasing and with each tram capable of carrying up to 200 passengers at a time the capacity of a 10 minute frequency timetable has never been so great.
Cllr Christine Wright, Chair of Blackpool Transport, said: “It is fantastic news that more and more people are choosing to use the tramway network to get around the Fylde coast. Its success varies from daily commuters trying to beat the traffic, to holidaymakers enjoying the ease at which the trams get them between attractions. Using the tram is not only environmentally friendly, but it is also an enjoyable way to get around and good value for money. It is great news that more people are regularly using the trams, and hopefully that success can grow even further with the extension of the line.”
It has already been revealed that trams will again run every 10 minutes for much of the day from April as Blackpool Transport continue to build on the new success of the tramway. Two extra trams will be arriving from Bombardier later this year which will enable capacity to be further increased ahead of the eventual opening of the North Station extension.
Jane Cole, Managing Director of Blackpool Transport, said: “The team at BTS have worked very hard over the last two years to design the Tramway operation around the needs of the customers who use it. “We get very positive feedback about how our staff deliver a fantastic customer experience and the value for money of the 24 hour ticket. The Tramway has been the number one attraction in Blackpool on Trip Advisor for the last two years and it won ‘highly commended’ in the 2016 Global Light Rail Awards for ‘Vision of the Year’. We will have two new trams joining the fleet this year in preparation for the capacity needed to grow the tram patronage even further.”
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, added: “The reason we are confident in the success of the tramway extension is because we know just how popular the current service is. Blackpool tramway is one of the fastest growing light rail networks in the country and there are no signs of it slowing down. Our tramway is known throughout the world and it is fantastic to see more and more people using it.”
* It has been announced that all trams from Starr Gate will be terminating at Fisherman’s Walk between Monday 6th and Friday 10th March. This is because of maintenance work on the tracks on North Albert Street.