Trevor Roberts leaves Blackpool Transport

It has been announced that Blackpool Transport’s Managing Director Trevor Roberts has stepped down from his position with the company. Mr Roberts had been in charge of the firm since 2009 when he replaced Steve Burd, and although he has served in the post for a relatively short period of time compared with his predecessors, he has overseen one of the most exciting periods in the tramway’s history.

Trevor has of course been in charge of Blackpool Transport as the town’s tram system was gradually transformed from a rather sad shadow of its former self, into a modern and reliable light rail system. When he first took over as Managing Director, Trevor Roberts attracted some criticism from fans of the system’s traditional trams, but he has in fact seen the importance of the tramway’s historic value and has given Bryan Lindop almost total control of the retained heritage tram fleet. The two men have ensured that, not only have a token sample of vintage trams remained in service, but that these have been well looked after and given a meaningful role to play alongside the new trams.

One of the most controversial factors of Trevor’s reign was his increasingly strained relationship with the Lancastrian Transport Trust, which ultimately led to several of their trams being evicted from Rigby Road and deposited in outside storage. However, BTS eventually managed to negotiate with the LTT, allowing most of these trams to return home for future restoration to running order. Anyone who ever doubted Trevor Roberts’ commitment to the tramway and its heritage has been well and truly silenced by this remarkable turn of events.

Presumably someone else from BTS will have to take charge whilst the Council seek to recruit a replacement M.D. We would like to wish Trevor Roberts all the best for the future, and offer our sincere thanks for all that he has done to benefit the trams over the last five years. Hopefully his replacement will be equally mindful of the true value of what he or she is taking responsibility for, as Blackpool is on the verge of establishing something really special with its mixed modern and historic trams.

The wording of this article has been amended at the request of Trevor Roberts, to ensure that our report accurately portrays the true situation.


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13 Responses to Trevor Roberts leaves Blackpool Transport

  1. Mick Cahill says:

    Off topic but I have a database of Blackpool trams. The only trams/numbers I am missing information on are the Toastracks (from 1911 nos 76 onwards) and the Standards (1923-28). Can anyone help or point me in the right direction please?

  2. Paul says:

    Similar to his predecessor Steve Burd, many had doubts about Mr Roberts when he was first appointed, but in both cases they seemed to develop into the role and adapt to the unique operation that is Blackpool Transport.

    I’m sure his main priority on appointment was to knock the bus operation into shape which he seems to have achieved. With regard to the tramway, the upgrade was already in motion so he can’t really be credited with more than successful implementation of the existing plans, but his backing of Bryans plans for the heritage service was critical in achieving what we have today. There have been at least three points where the easy, money driven option would have been to abandon the whole lot apart from the illumination tours…

  3. roger woodhead says:

    Is it possible that Blackpool Unitary Authority is about to try and dispose of some or all of its public transport operations?

  4. roger woodhead says:

    Forgot to say above that Stagecoach ‘offered’ to buy out Blackpool in the early post DeReg days, but there was a problem as to whether the trams would be included or not in the sale, so the ‘offer’ died a death.

  5. john sullivan says:

    Re: change of manager: Knock the bus operation into place? I find that the bus network has become “untidy” with some routes on full 10 minute service by 6am whilst others have nothing till after 8. woth excess stack or running time early morning and late evening, buses scheduled to run cat and mouse on some routes such as the 3 and 4, and the 7 and 11, whilst areas such as South Park have no service in the evenings, BTS buses actually race each other, not to mention the wasteful ECS jourmeys to Lytham etc in the morning from the depot whilst some people cant get to work early

  6. moz says:

    I wish Blackpool tramway could send a coronation tram on a visit to 2nd generation tramways around the uk over bank holiday weekends. the publicity for Blackpool would be great and cities like Sheffield, Birmingham would see classic trams running on the streets once a again.

    • Trambola says:

      They operate on a different voltage for starters.

      • David Taylor says:

        Does the voltage really matter? I am sure it could be transformed. B.R.’s units are running on third rail D.C. but the motors are A.C.

        If there is enough interest I am sure a few single deck trams could be used which would eliminate the height problem as well. The Blackpool trams have pantographs as well so the overhead system would not be a problem.

  7. Paul says:

    Actually they don’t… The voltage at Blackpool was upped to 750v as part of the upgrade. The bigger issue for power supply is whether the overhead is compatible with trolley poles.

    Far greater issues are the safety approval for a non standard type of car with no history of operation on those lines (particularly driver training, collision resistance, compatibility with signaling systems) and capability to run at the higher speeds permitted on parts of those systems than in Blackpool. – Sheffield have sections of 90kph and Nottingham 80kph vs Blackpools current 50kph maximum.

  8. James Palma says:

    Moz, all technicalities aside, I think that is a great idea!

    Even if the new systems had a dpeot open day r something, there could be a tram or collection of trams from that area lined up alongside the new stuff.

    Obviously the pedants will have something to say about traffic numbers and trams out in service etc.

  9. Tom Jones says:

    Trevor, good luck for the future.


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