Date set for maiden voyage of Blackpool's new £23m tramway

Blackpool’s £23m new tramway extension will officially carry passengers for the first time on Wednesday, June 12.

It will be the first time since 1963 scheduled tram services will have travelled up Talbot Road, as the link connecting the existing track to Blackpool North train station is launched.

The opening of the tramway extension has been delayed for several years due to issues including complex land deals which saw the council redevelop the former Wilko site on Talbot Road into a Holiday Inn Hotel and tram terminal.

Testing of the trams on the new line has been carried out by Blackpool Transport during the spring.

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The first tram will include local residents who have won a competition to be the first riders, as well as officials. Blackpool’s tramway is almost 140 years old and the only original tramway in Britain to stay in continuous operation since 1885.

The £23m tramway extension was funded by Blackpool Council and received £16.4m from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal funding.

The extension and new tram stop form part of the £350m regeneration of Talbot Gateway area around Blackpool North train station and contribute to the wider £2bn investment in the town.