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Blackpool Trams

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by EbbwJunction1, 21 Sep 2015.

  1. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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  2. bluegoblin7

    bluegoblin7 Member

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    Apologies; my initial post should have it course have referred to RVAR; DDA was the terminology in use when the modifications first started to happen. But the thing is: they're not RVAR compliant either; a number of derogations had to be issued and many of these are for the most important parts of the regulations. As your linked picture shows, there is a step up from the centre platform into both saloons, meaning they're not wheelchair accessible (and as a result have no wheelchair spaces). These steps are themselves also non-compliant. The majority of the other derogations relate to internal handrails.

    That said: the latest & final version of the exemption order for the tramway appears to have dropped the limit on the number of days non-compliant tramcars can be used for. However, none of this negates the other issues, of which the slow running of the cars continues to negate their use.

    Exemption Order: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/2660/introduction/made
     
  3. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    Wouldn't it be cheaper to convert all 4 Millennium's and 1 Balloon to be RVAR compliant? All it should require is adding a slope and removing 2 seats for a wheelchair bay.
     
  4. bluegoblin7

    bluegoblin7 Member

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    It's not possible to fit a slope suitably serene in the available space; it also would impede either access through the centre doors or to the top deck.

    A lot of very clever people worked on the Balloon cars to modify them as best as possible with the funding available at the time. The goalposts for heritage operation and tramway success have moved immeasurably since that time, and it means that a use for the B fleet is becoming increasingly hard to come by.

    Until someone solves the (unsolvable) dwell issues everything else is a non-starter.
     
  5. seasidersfan

    seasidersfan Member

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    Given that the heritage operation is starting to use the B fleet cars on leisure tours (much to the confusion of the travelling public), I tend to agree.
     
  6. Goldie

    Goldie Member

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    Has work on the extension reached the stage where the layout of the terminus at Blackpool North has been finalised yet? I'd be interested in seeing some plans showing how it is all going to work, but I haven't been able to find any so far.
     
  7. AngelicUpstart

    AngelicUpstart Member

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    You're answer for plans is here:

    https://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Reside...rt/Transport/Blackpool-tramway-extension.aspx

    As to how it's going, there is no "above ground" work yet ongoing and won't be this winter, just utility diversions.
     
  8. davehsug

    davehsug Member

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    Recently returned from a stay in Blackpool, and nice to see the work on the North Station link progressing.
    It did get me thinking what kind of timetable was envisaged and how this would fit in with the promenade service. Presumably, there will have to be some reduction in promenade frequencies to accommodate the new services? There won't be enough vehicles to have a 10/15 minute sevice on each route and it would lead to too many trams outside peak season anyway. At the same time, a reduction in the promenade frequencey, would create problems for through travellers from Fleetwood/ Cleveleys/North promenade through to Tower & Pleasure Beach, especially in season.
    Has there been any hint of what might be the proposed timetables?
     
  9. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    Was wondering if the heritage trams will be able to use the section to North station ?
     
  10. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    I can't think why they would need to use it?

    The heritage vehicles are presumably there to provide a tourist service to see the front and the Lights etc, rather than a more workaday service to the station.
     
  11. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    The two new trams 017 and 018 were ordered to allow the fleet to expand to cover the services on the new link weren't they?

    If they can squeeze one extra daily off peak runner from the fleet then that would be three more in service daily, which would be the number required to run a simple 15 minute interval Blackpool North - Bispham shuttle over the existing service, although I suspect that what actually happens may be more complicated than that.
     
  12. davehsug

    davehsug Member

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    Surely they'd want a Pleasure Beach/Starr Gate service? Especially as that's where the majority of day-trippers are headed first?
     
  13. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    Or just utilise the current Fleetwood Ferry - Starr Gate service.
     
  14. Cliveblackpool

    Cliveblackpool Member

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    Pleasure Beach regular rail customers tend to use Pleasure Beach Station, exit / enter East entrance (Arena)
     
  15. seasidersfan

    seasidersfan Member

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    The proposed timetable (in peak season) is:
    Starr Gate to Fleetwood Ferry- every 10 mins (same as before).
    North Station to Pleasure Beach- every 20 mins.
    North Station to Bispham- every 20 minutes.

    Personally I think this is a mistake as they should run direct from North Station to Cleveleys and Fleetwood which don't have a railway station, but the number of vehicles is very tight so I can see why they wouldn't. This timetable will probably end up using 16 or 17 of the fleet of 18 so not much wiggle room.

    They may also not want to reduce frequency on the successful existing route as it might cause disruption to patronage growth here. Ideal solution is to buy two more Flexity 2 trams and max out the current depot capacity at 20 vehicles, which would give a lot more options.
     
  16. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    You mean they'd hang around for an hour or so if they miss a Blackpool South train and let 4 or 5 North trains go ?
    Most visitors are occasional anyhow and would just catch the first train to Blackpool.
    Although the proposed 20 minute frequency isn't exactly that enticing. Surely a good excuse to throw a few heritage vehicles on the North Station - Starr Gate section?
     
  17. davehsug

    davehsug Member

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    Thank you. That gives me a sense of what the timetable may look like. I would hope through tickets would be available, with a change & short wait at Bispham.
     
  18. seasidersfan

    seasidersfan Member

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    Agreed. Blackpool South, Pleasure Beach and Squires Gate are quite poorly placed with regards to attractions and connecting to the town centre. And the hourly service doesn't exactly help. There will probably be a drop off in usage once the tram extension opens as more/closer stops and connection to north will its more diverse and frequent services will be very enticing.

    All this could leave the South Fylde Line as only really effective in delivering passengers to/from Lytham St Anne's as well as the small commuter base that uses it. At that point surely a tramway extension to Lytham would be the way to go if the line was fully converted between Blackpool-St Anne's and parallel to rail between St Anne's-Lytham. Anyway getting ahead of myself now...
     
  19. seasidersfan

    seasidersfan Member

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  20. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Unusual to be laying the rails before they pour the concrete beneath them?
     
  21. AngelicUpstart

    AngelicUpstart Member

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    In further good news for the trams, talking to a mate who works for them, loadings on the trams are up well over 10% on last years figures month for month so far this season despite the issues with a lack of trains to bring tourists in.
     
  22. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    Personally I would have done it the opposite way

    Fleetwood to Starr Gate - every 20 mins
    Fleetwood to North Station - every 20 mins
    North Station to Starr Gate - every 20 mins
    Bispham to Pleasure Beach - peak season extras every 20 mins, using some ‘B Fleet’ trams on occasions when there aren’t enough Flexity trams available.
     
  23. seasidersfan

    seasidersfan Member

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    Think that's a bit low considering the number of trams available, can be a bit more adventurous than that. I would go for the following which would use 16 or 17 of the Flexity trams:

    North Station to Pleasure Beach: 20 min
    North Station to Fleetwood: 20 min
    Starr Gate to Fleetwood: 12 min
     
  24. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    Or since peak season has 6tph (every 10 minutes) along the full route, have 3tph (every 20 minutes) go via North Station. So;
    Peak season:
    3tph Fleetwood Ferry - Starr Gate direct
    3tph Fleetwood Ferry - Starr Gate via North Station
    1tph Bispham - Pleasure Beach direct
    Low season:
    2tph Fleetwood Ferry - Starr Gate direct
    1tph Fleetwood Ferry - Starr Gate via North Station
    1tph Bispham - Pleasure Beach via North Station
     
  25. seasidersfan

    seasidersfan Member

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    I can see the benefits of that but can also see disadvantages. There has been consistent growth of the current system each year since reopening and they won't want to disrupt the tried and tested route too much by diverting lots of trams to the station. The other extreme (the one they are planning) is to keep existing route as-is but therefore not have enough trams to run from the station to Cleveleys and Fleetwood. Personally I think there needs to be a compromise by only slightly reducing the existing service.

    The fact that this is even a discussion point proves that there simply aren't enough trams. It was a very bizarre decision to only purchase two extra trams (017 & 018) rather than four to fill the current depot to capacity of 20 LRTs.
     
  26. davehsug

    davehsug Member

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    Yes, I couldn't see that working, there is already a shortage of capacity at busy times. I know if I was at Pleasure Beach wanting to go to Bispham or Cleveleys, I'd let the "via North Station" pass, to get a direct tram. In my experience, the 10 minute promenade headway is about right (outside illumination weekends), and the additional 20 minute Pleasure Beach North Station would provide exra capacity for short riders to/from Tower & Talbot Square.
     
  27. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    I would guess that most travellers go to Blackpool, so diverting every other tram to North Station shouldn’t have much effect, as customers can still get off around the Tower/Town Centre both on the promenade service and the station service.

    I wouldn’t run through services via the station, it’ll just lead to confusion, and you’d end up arriving at your destination later than the tram behind.

    Ideally you’d run an every 7/8 mins headway, so overall there is either an improvement from every 10, or only a small drop down to every 15 mins running the through service, but they’d need 19 trams for that.
     
  28. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    Well Blackpool Council have enough money to rip up Talbot Road every 5 minutes so they should have enough money to order another 2 trams.
     
  29. superkev

    superkev Established Member

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    The original plan was for the new north station tramway to terminate where Wilko still remains at the moment.
    Blackpool-North-Extension-ImageNEW-1440x424.jpg
    Anyone know the current plan?
    K
     
  30. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    Last I heard from family who live there, that's still the plan.
     

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