The recent statement that funding had been approved for reinstallation of the former tram stop at Norbreck North will be welcomed by the many residents living in proximity to the promenade at this point. Withdrawal of the stop, combined with the earlier closure of Norkeed Road tram stop, may have given a faster
journeytime between Little Bispham and Norbreck, but did little to facilitate nor
encourage ridership to and from this residential part of Blackpool.
Not being a part of visitor destinations, Norbreck North (and Norkeed Road) were
tram stops installed for the benefit of year round residents, voters and taxpayers. The extensive housing developments along and behind the promenade at this point merited better access to the tram service - for which these two stops were
added inbetween Little Bispham and Norbreck (Hydro). A public pathway was
instated between the frontage of houses to specifically allow people access from the many residential streets behind properties fronting onto promenade - to the Norbreck North stop. This can be clearly seen in the view below.
Since Government funding was authorised to upgrade the service expressly for year round use, as opposed to seasonal visitors and leisure riders, it is entirely justified that Councillors representing the interests of their Ward constituents put forward an entirely valid case for reinstatement of this particular tram stop. There are of course further points on the current line which deserve closer scrutiny after the arbitrary decisions on station positions in the light rail upgrade.
Twin-Car service stopping at Norbreck North - in both directions.
The costs of installing platforms and lighting need also to incorporate fitting of electronic sensors on the track bed and adjustment of IT equipment on the trams. Mr Lindop may well have already pre-recorded 'the next station stop is Norbreck North' in the audio announcements. It will certainly be interesting to see how this works if and when the North Station extension is opened - as not every tram is likely to run up Talbot Road from North Pier.
On the former tram service maps provided in shelters and on the twin sets - the
need for completely reprinting maps when a stop changed names, or was omitted, was dealt with by the simple expedient of printing the new name (or a blank) and
pasting it over the appropriate point. Hence 'Central Station' became 'Tower' and
'Derby Baths' became 'Warley Road'. The only audio involved was that from tram conductors who took it upon themselves to shout out the stops - and sometimes a long list of nearby hotels or establishments frequented by visitors.
Now then - anyone wanting Derby Baths and Warley Road ?
Images : John Woodman