Disclaimer :   The opinions and commentary voiced on this page are those of the author and do not have automatic endorsement of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust (Registered Charity) unless otherwise stated.

Follow the regular updates on the Trust's projects, comments on Blackpool's bus and tram network and transport issues around the UK and further afield.

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Goodbye 2019

Few regrets will be shed at the passing of 2019 and turning the page to a new decade. Quite apart from the demoralising antics of the House of Commons and retreading the Tory Party tyres with new and more robust management, the country at large is glad to see the back of this year. Of course many of the same faces with predictable soundbites will appear to grace our television and tablet screens from tomorrow - but at least there is a new storyline providing badly needed headlines. The tug of war over the outcome of the EU referendum has at last been settled through a popular vote (otherwise known as a General Election) - and parliamentary time can become far more usefully employed on nat

Balloon Cars along Lytham Road

In this century the sight of Blackpool's 1930s double deck trams is confined to the handful of preserved examples able to operate on heritage and special tour service along the the Promenade. For those of us with long memories it was a far more engaging experience to traverse the almost dead straight tram journey along Lytham Road to its junction with Squires Gate Lane - on the upper deck of one of these cars in season. Whilst devoid of the sinuous curves along the Marton line, Squires Gate bound trams were noteworthy for traversing the three way junction and Royal Oak, and its turnout on to Station Road as well as the surge of power as drivers notched up to gain the crest of Skew Bridge

Rethinking Wyre Dock - 2020

The Trust has spent nearly eight years placing proposals for regeneration of Fleetwood's Wyre Dock to its current owners, Associated British Ports. Foremost in the proposals has been initiatives aimed at creating a rail connection into Fleetwood's former rail and port land with the moribund railway line leading to Poulton. An important element within several submissions has been establishment of a heritage transport visitor attraction using old trams acquired for this purpose through local business sponsors and private contributions. Whilst the Trust together with its purpose formed platform (Wyre Dock Development) was successful in attracting the attention and interest of an important C

All Change Up North

The headlines post December 12th show a change of emphasis towards the northern tier of England by the new Government. Given the importance of parliamentary seats formerly in the vicelike grip of the Labour Party and now freshly adorned with new faces of Conservative MPs there is now the issue of delivery of campaign commitments going forward. Already the days of business as usual by Whitehall mandarins and their lackeys is being consigned to the skips outside government departments - with an especially large one provided outside the Department for Transport. We are told that the days of Northern Rail's hegemony over train services in much of the north of England are foreshortened. A not

Blackpool Scenes Monday 16 December

The changing face of Abingdon Street - as new bus stances are positioned from Clifton Street junction (where the white van is on the corner) up to close to Talbot Road. The GPO imposing frontage continues to dominate this part of Blackpool (thankfully). New Traffic signs embedded on Talbot Road junction with Abingdon Street. Typical street corner high class outlet adding to the quality retail offer. A neat comparison of BTS styling with the horrendous Wilko store and rarely used multi storey car pak as backdrop. These two structures replaced the classic red brick Blackpool Talbot Road Railway Station when it was demolished in the 1970s. - the town's loss.

Our 2020 Calendar

The annual calendar has proved to be a sustained success so much so that we have run out of copies of the 2020 edition which became available in May this year. Regretfully we can accept no more orders through the Shop Page. We are planning for TWO calendars for 2021 in recognition of the Centenary of Blackpool's Bus Operations which began with a short shuttle service linking Thornton's Railway Station with the Tramroad Station on Victoria Road in Cleveleys centre. Using two diminutive buses this initial motor bus service grew into a network of routes complementing the extant town tram services in Blackpool - and an exponentially expanding mixed fleet of vehicles. The trams will receive t

Council Owned and Proud

Blackpool is unique in operating both a tram and bus network. It is one of the few remaining local authorities in Britain to retain ownership of its public transport system. This is thanks to the determination of successive Councils to hold on to this important community infrastructural asset - when most other authorities sold off their bus operations to a few private sector companies seeing sustained profits from control of local transport services. Long lived municipal liveries gave way to omnipresent acquisition strategies by a handful of sharp companies - with their bland corporate fleet colours dominating many towns and cities. Local identities and community value being trampled on

Connectivity Counts

As the country thankfully edges close to the national election this week when finally some sort of ending emerges from three years of thankless political and parliamentary mind-games over the 2016 EU referendum result - we are being treated to endless pledges from nearly all of the competing Parties. Of especial note, after the NHS, is recognition of the need for a change of tack on the way this country's railway system is owned, managed and operated. Labour has nailed its colours to the mast of de-privatisation and bringing the railway operators into public ownership. Allied to this are declarations of intent to revisit the consequences of the Beeching cull of branch lines (and others) w

One Small Step Over Wyre - Knott End

The Fylde is alive with rail expansion initiatives. In addition to the sustained efforts of Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust aiming at creating a permanent themed visitor attraction within the planned waterfront redevelopment of Associated British Ports - with added potential of a reopening of the railway line running as far as Poulton Junction - there is now yet a further initiative on the other side of the River Wyre. This time the purpose is to linkup Knott End with intervening rural communities along what was the Knott End and Garstang railway line. This shortlived private railway connected with the mainline at Garstang - and provided a community service in the north Fylde hinterlan

Your Vote Counts - Even More When You Vote Tactically

As we near the General Election on December 12, all of us intending to vote need to step back just a little from the incessant blitz of social media hustle now going on to tablets, phones and laptops - intending to influence our thinking in favour of X Y or Z Party. Perhaps more so in this election than ever before because of pervasive intrusiveness through information technology media. What confounds the professional pundits and 'experts' is the individual nature of local issues and personalities in every constituency complete with the overhanging dominance of Brexit ever present in voters minds. In turn this has fractured the traditional composition of British politics and dominance of

All Electric Blackpool

For a town which was a pioneer in the late 19th Century of utilising electric power both in street lighting and its new tramway - Blackpool has come the full circle in continuing with electric trams along its promenade (where they began in 1885) and planning introduction of electric buses in the next decade. As the increasing threats from global warming and climate change capture headlines and environmental policies around the world, Blackpool's exposed position as part of the Fylde's westward facing coastline has to be a matter of strategic concern to public authorities. One eminent policy now being pursued by Council owned Blackpool Transport Services is the changeover from diesel and hyb

Working to conserve for display, trams and artefacts of the longstanding coastal tramway serving Blackpool, Thornton Cleveleys and Fleetwood.


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