Unfortunately it remains the story which keeps giving more news – the saga of the redevelopment of Douglas Promenade and the relaying of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway tracks. The latest person to give their opinion is the current leader of Douglas Council, David Christian, who has called on the line to stop outside the Sefton Hotel on Harris Promenade and that the tracks along Loch Promenade to the Sea Terminal should not be laid at a later date.
Speaking in a personal capacity and not in his council role, Mr Christian has said: “If I was in Tynwald I would be voting for to stop at the cultural zone opposite the Sefton. I wouldn’t be looking for them to continue down Loch Promenade. The horse tram tracks should be from Strathallan to the Sefton, stop, and then let’s get the rest of the promenade finished – not coming back next winter to dig it up and put more tracks in, or dig up the roundabouts again and re-block them. They should take that bit of extra time now, block them now, do it in one go and let’s get the hell off the promenade and let those businesses start to fight back again.”
While his comments are bound to cause further debate both on the Isle of Man and further afield about just what Horse Tramway we may be left with, there is actually a valid point in what he has had to say. In an ideal world all the works on the Prom would be finished in one go and it wouldn’t be necessary for a temporary surface to be put down on the tramway corridor along Loch Promenade before having to ask Tynwald again for the funding to put the tram tracks down at a later date.
As things stand, though, that is the situation we are in and with the Prom works have slipped in schedule again (thanks to further lockdowns) its not clear when the works for 2021 may be completed. On top of that it still looks as if funding will have to be approved again at Tynwald later in the year but only after the planned elections this year. All we know is that tracks will run from at least Derby Castle to Broadway and that this should be completed this year.
There is also still no sign of a date for horse tram services to resume. As soon as we hear more we’ll give updates.