Fylde Coastal Connectivity
Lytham St Annes car 49 (41 - 50) trundling sedately along Blackpool promenade en route from Lytham to the Gynn and junction with Blackpool trams from North Station to Fleetwood. Ah - those were the days when integrated services and connectivity actually worked. Photo : John Woodman Archive.
While interminable lobbying and discussions continue through the decades on the vital need to improve transport links serving communities along the Fylde coast, as well as the growing centres of housing development sprouting up on green and verdant pastures bereft of bus or other public transport services - one could travel from Lytham to Fleetwood by tram with just one change in the 1930s.
The joined up tramways of Lytham St Annes Corporation with those of Blackpool Corporation provided a continuous service that brought travellers from Lytham Square to Gynn Square where a connecting tram of Blackpool Corporation continued their journey all the way to Fleetwood Ferry (and railway station) via Bispham, Cleveleys, Norbreck and Rossall. Fast it may not have been, but regular and reliable it most certainly was.
Strenuous efforts by Blackpool to purchase the ailing Lytham St Annes municipal transport operation in 1936 held out promise of an upgraded tram service running as far as St Annes from Blackpool with the modern streamline cars introduced by Walter Luff. Alas parochial snobbishness (a still prevalent force in Fylde politics) meant ill concealed disdain for encouraging Blackpool visitors (and residents) to permeate the upper middle class residential avenues leading south.
It was not until the 1990s that Blackpool finally gained control of the privatised Blue Bus operation which emerged from the former municipal transport system of Lytham St Annes. It is now Blackpool Transport's buses (mostly of the yellow and black livery era) which run through those same tree lined residential districts in St Annes (Ansdell and Lytham). Such a shame it was not Blackpool's later generation of light rail cars making the journeys north to Fleetwood (and vice versa).