Tram testing signals progress on delivery of £220m Blackpool regeneration plans

Tram testing under way

Tram testing is taking place in Blackpool this week, linked to the delivery of the Talbot Gateway Phase 2 project for the town.

Tests will take place on track along Talbot Road, between North Pier and Blackpool North Tram Hub during the week-long exercice to test the track and signaling equipment.

The Talbot Gateway Phase 2 project will house an integrated tram and train transport hub, a four star Holiday Inn hotel, Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian diner and new retail units in a bright, modern new underpass linking to Blackpool North train station.

Talbot Gateway is a £220m investment which will improve transport links for residents and visitors to the resort. Residents will enjoy a direct link to shops and leisure activities and commuters will benefit from quicker journeys to and from Blackpool North train station.

The general public are being asked to remain vigilant in the Talbot Road area as trams will run in both directions using both sides of the highway.

Trams will run up to every 10 minutes between 10am-3pm each day until July 3.

Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport, said: “We’re really excited to see the first of our trams travelling all the way up to the new transport hub as part of the testing works. This is an important step for us as we check that all of the signals and crossings are operating as expected, whilst making sure that our operating procedure for this section of track is well tested, too.”

Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It is exciting to be at the tramway testing stage. This significant step in the Talbot Gateway development will enable the rest of the works to the underpass and the hotel to be finalised. For now, though, residents will have to wait a little while longer to ride the new tram track themselves, as we need to ensure passenger safety with the hotel and underpass fully complete before going live with the new services.

“When open, the new transport connections at the new North Station terminus will completely transform the way we travel around the town.”

The Talbot Gateway Phase 2 development, delivered via a 15-year partnership by Blackpool Council and Muse Developments, is expected to be complete in spring 2023, enhancing Blackpool’s vibrant central business district.

An £80m investment in Phase 1 includes grade A offices, a flagship Sainsbury’s superstore, a gym, retail units, new public realm and an award winning multi-storey car park. A new road layout and modern pavements have helped to transform the once run-down area in the north of the town centre, creating a new vibrant place to work and do business.

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