By way of update on the saga of Wyre Borough residents being able to use their NoW cards on Blackpool Transport trams - the Lancashire County Council burning the midnight oil deal on a budget resolution last week approved (among many other matters) the funding of the contribution to Blackpool Council for tramway infrastructure maintenance and repair on the section traversing through Wyre Council's jurisdiction.
The deal was further leveraged on an agreement whereby Wyre Borough residents with NoW cards would be able to use them on the tramway (as well as buses). Left : Simpler days in Fleetwood Photo : John Woodman
Two open aspects of this decision are subject to further qualification.
Firstly whether the NoW card agreement for Wyre Residents extends to other areas
within Lancashire given that the cards come with the County endorsement. If so it
opens a potentially enormous catchment area (including Fylde Borough) whose NoW card holders would be similarly able to travel on the trams (for free). It is not clear how fare collection in busy periods would allow conductors to check validity or how Blackpool Council and BTS will interpret application of the NoW Card ruling from April 1st.
Secondly the approval of an annual contribution to Blackpool Council (responsible for the tramway infrastructure for the entire line including stations) towards the
section within the County limits (north from Orion Curve in Cleveleys) - is not subject to automatic renewal year on year.
Given the political makeup of the County Council, Wyre Council and Blackpool Council the formal voting on this particular aspect of the County Council 2016/17 FY Budget saw the Conservative led faction in the County Council voting against this (with other elements) of the budget proposal.