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Take a trip on a tram
Member Name: SusanLesley
Date: 30/06/01, updated on 30/06/01 (3314 review reads)
Advantages: Convenient, Cheap, Fun
Did you know that Blackpool had Britain’s first electric street tramway? No? Well read on for more fascinating facts!
Seriously though the trams in Blackpool started running in 1885 and the route was extended to Fleetwood in 1898. The tram tracks run along the seafront, except for a very short distance where the track passes on the landward side of The Metropole Hotel near to the North Pier.
The route now stretches from Starr Gate in the south, a few hundred yards past the Pleasure Beach, to Fleetwood in the north and is a total of eleven and a half miles long. That’s eighteen kilometres if you’re interested.
The trams are one of Blackpool’s favourite tourist attractions, carrying seven million passengers every year.
They run every few minutes during the summer, but only every twenty minutes during the winter, and the only days they don’t run are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. I suppose a skeleton service on Sundays and Bank Holidays would be rather self-defeating if you think about it!
There are plenty of different trams and a maximum of 65 can run on the tracks at any one time.
There a double decker and single decker trams, both of which have open top versions, or toast racks as we always called them, to run in the summer. I remember being at Blackpool as a little girl and always wanting to go on the toast rack whatever the weather! Dad would always come upstairs with me and let mom sit downstairs where it was warmer!
Some of the trams bear the old fashioned cream and green livery of The Blackpool Transport Department, but many of them are painted with the most amazing adverts. Look out for the ones advertising the Pascalle de Terror (a fear experience just outside the Pleasure Beach), Valhalla, Blackpool Zoo and many more.
The trams are a main feature during the Blackpool Illuminations too. There are about four specially built trams which ar
e made in various shapes, a spaceship, a steam train, a paddle steamer and I’m sure there’s at least one other but I can’t remember what the design is! These trams are illuminated and provide visitors with a complete tour of the illuminations. They start from the North Pier and travel up to Bispham where they turn round and go all the way to Starr Gate and then back to the North Pier. I think the full tour costs about £5 – I may be mistaken, it’s been a couple of years since we went on it.
Incidentally the first real ‘date’ my partner and I had was a day trip to Blackpool which he had arranged so that I could travel on one of the illuminated trams, as it was something that I had always wanted to do. So you see, the trams are an aid to romance too!
Blackpool trams have a sinister side too – well, almost! Alan Bradley, the man who stalked Rita on Coronation Street was eventually killed running in front of a tram! So look both ways before you cross the track, just as you would before you cross the road.
The tracks are safe to walk on – in fact the comedians in Blackpool always tell the joke of the little old lady who asked if she would get electrocuted if she put her foot on the track. She was told no, not unless you cock your other leg over the overhead cable!
The prices on the trams are still reasonable, in my opinion anyway! We were there a couple of days ago and it cost us £1 for most of our journeys, which tended to be between the Central Pier and the Pleasure Beach. It cost us £1.20 from the Pleasure Beach back to the Imperial Hotel, which is between Gynn Square and the North Pier.
Travel cards are available, which can be used for journeys by tram, bus or handybus between Lytham Saltcotes Road and Fleetwood. The current costs are as follows:
One day travel card – adults £4.50, senior citizens and children £4.00
Three day travel card – adults
£12.00, senior citizens and children £10.00
Five day travel card – adults £15.00, senior citizens and children £12.50
Seven day travel card – adults £16.00, senior citizens and children £14.00
A word of warning though the travel cards on not valid on organised excursions or the illumination tours.
The main advantage for me with the trams, apart from appealing to the child inside me, is the fact that they are SO convenient. I never have to think about timetables as the trams are so frequent and it’s great to be able to hop on a tram back to the hotel after a day on the Pleasure Beach has worn me out!!