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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

And Now For Somewhere Completely Different

Istanbul - Taksim Square - terminus of Nostalgic Tram Line from Tunel. Genuine old Istanbul trams in a busy service through crowded commercial streets (passing incidentally the British Consulate). Note trailer operation and bow collectors.

There will be a pause in our blogging from Thursday.

Istanbul beckons - a city I have not previously visited and one which offers the chance to witness not one but two thriving heritage tramlines in the central area. Plus a rapidly expanding metro network, brand new airport (without metro links for the moment) and modern tram services (also expanding).

All of this exemplary urban transport showcase offers lessons for the Fylde coast and in particular the role of tourist tram operation not just in Blackpool but also as an integral element in regeneration proposals for Fleetwood and its waterfront dockside district.

As we have pointed out in our current commentary on Wyre Dock Development's originating proposals the importance of reusing the railway line running from Wyre Dock to Poulton - and at the same time revitalising the large swathes of riverside land in ownership of ABP has potent regeneration possibilities in which electric powered tram train (without wires) and a tourist tram link on Dock Street from the Ferry - is staring wannabe planners in the face.

Istanbul straddling Asia and Europe (with trams both modern and tourist on both sides) offers working examples for Fleetwood - even if the scale is just slightly different.

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