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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Back to the Future

Having rattled on about changes to Blackpool's bus colours only Wednesday it was quite startling to drive past Starr Gate in the afternoon to catch the heritage colours of the former municipal system on one of the current fleet. Parked at the southern most stop of the Number 1 Service which ends up at Fleetwood it provided chance to contrast Blackpool's former green and cream livery alongside Blackpool Council's now dispiriting corporate 'brand' as applied to the light rail fleet of trams which also end their journey from Fleetwood at the same point. On a miserable week weather wise contrasting fleet colours of Blackpool Council on display in service. I know which one I would opt for given the chance.

Some time in the future the tram service (sorry light rail system) will logically extend itself further south to connect with Blackpool's neighbouring communities of St Annes and potentially Lytham (not forgetting Ansdell of course). Once upon a time you could have caught a tram in either of those locations and ridden into Blackpool's town centre and as far north as the Gynn. That all ended in 1936 putting a stop to logical transport planning and cooperation on the Fylde coast. Not the fault of Blackpool's transport or civic leaders at the time it must be said. A consequence of this blinkered decision on the part of the Lytham St Annes Council of the day is the involved transfer of travellers in both directions (southward and northbound) from bus to tram having negotiated busy road crossings at Starr Gate. Below : Heading into Blackpool in the days when the Fylde coast really did have coordinated tram services. This is Clifton Drive South in St Annes and one of the 'Blue Trams' is en route to its northern terminus at 'Gynn'. There passengers could change more or less at the same stop for trams to Fleetwood. Image Courtesy of the Lytham Heritage Group who maintain a marvellous collection of photos, drawings, maps and archival material. They are presently open to the Public every Wednesday from 11 to 1600 at their current base in Lytham Library - side entrance and upper floor.

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