After being suspended at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, it has now been announced that works on the Douglas Promenade reconstruction – including the relaying of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway – will resume from Monday 4th May with the aim now to complete them by Easter 2021 – some four months earlier than the last plan.
In a statement, Ray Harmer, Minister for Infrastructure, said: “Work will begin again in earnest on 4th May. The site and its equipment are being checked and made safe this week. Work on the tramway has started. We have used the time when we were not able to work to think about how best we support the challenges to our economy and particularly how we can help next year’s visitor economy take off. We will take the opportunity to revise the Prom programme and the scheme. Times are different now, we must accept that the economy and the Island will take time to recover. We now intend to change the way we work and to slightly change what we plan to do so that we can be finished before Easter next year. This will be a challenge but we are working closely with our contractor and are confident that between us we can do it.”
Originally the revised plan (published in December after delays in the project, not least as a result of problems with the concrete surrounding the tram lines) would have seen a finish in August 2021 but this was expecting there to be a suspension of works on the landward side of Loch Promenade where there are a large number of hotels and other businesses. But with the tourist trade non-existent now this suspension will not be required and it is expected complete closures will be able to be put in place allowing a quicker completion of work.
If this revised schedule is successfully completed it could be Easter 2021 and a full service in operation on the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway. But as has been seen throughout this project there are likely to be many unknowns still to come which will cause more project changes so don’t ink that date in your diary just yet!