Electric trams in Fleetwood have been part of everyday life since the line was first laid in the late 1890’s. For well over 100 years they’ve carried tourists and locals from Fleetwood to Cleveleys and Blackpool. Services began on 14 July 1898.
The tramway runs along the coast from the sheds at Squires Gate, through Cleveleys to Fleetwood. Trams travel in a loop around the peninsula from The Esplanade at Fleetwood Ferry, along Lord Street to Fisherman’s Walk and back.
Most of the tramway is against the coastline. At Anchorsholme it parts from the seafront to go through the centre of Cleveleys, and continues inland to Fleetwood. It briefly meets the seafront again at Fleetwood near to the North Euston Hotel and RNLI station against Fleetwood Ferry.
The tramline runs along Lord Street at Fleetwood. There are stops on Lord Street and at Fleetwood market, so it’s an ideal way to travel in and out of Fleetwood. You can catch a tram about every 20 minutes during the day.
Did you know? That Fleetwood is the only town centre in Britain with trams running the full length of its main street, sharing road-space with cars.
- The sleek purple trams are the relatively new ones. The service is operated by Blackpool Transport.
A New Tramway for Fleetwood
The 100+ year old tramway has seen the Fylde Coast change, grow and evolve into the place it is today.
3 April 2012 was the day when the brand new Flexcity Bombardier trams made their very first passenger journey. It marked the start of a brand new era of passenger transport for residents and visitors.
With steep steps up to the old tram cars, they didn’t comply with modern access rules for disabled passengers. It meant that if they weren’t changed and adapted the service would ultimately have had to cease.
So the huge project to modernise the tram way for the twenty first century began. £100m of investment followed, with new tracks and platforms and a completely new system to see the tramway into the future.
Heritage Trams in Fleetwood
The old fashioned Heritage Trams are immensely popular. Their distinctive clickety-clack is part of the Blackpool seaside experience!
Although still a transport service, Heritage Trams are operated as an attraction in their own right. The service continues between Squires Gate and North Pier at weekends and every day in the school holidays. Special events and weekends see heritage trams running all the way to Fleetwood ferry.
History of Trams in Fleetwood
Today, you’d probably most associate the tramway with Blackpool. But it was originally called the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad when it opened in 1897.
In Fleetwood, the tramway was routed along East Street and West Street (now Lord Street and North Albert Street) rather than Dock Street.
Commercial trade followed the construction of the tramway, and the town centre grew.
Copse Road Depot was built in 1897, as a store and service depot. Six tracks went into it, enabling 18 trams to be stored there.
In 1920 Copse Road passed to Blackpool Corporation Tramways and was used to dismantle trams. Between 1925 and 1949 a line connected the depot with the railway and was used to shunt wagons. When Blackpool Corporation later sold the depot it was used as a car showroom by Fleetwood Car Centre. A scheme to convert the building into a tram museum failed, because of the poor condition of the building.
The depot was demolished in 2016 and is now used as a depot by Wyre Council.
Bold Street Depot opened in January 1899, with two tracks and a capacity of 4 trams.
It was only used by the first and last two trams each day. When Blackpool Corporation took over the tramroad in 1920, Bold Street depot was closed. Wires were taken down in 1924 when the Fleetwood loop was built. After World War II the depot was used by Fisherman’s Friend, but demolished in 1973 to make way for flats.
Various plans for tramway museums in Fleetwood have been explored over the years.
The original tram sheds at Copse Road were the first location, but that plan was abandoned, presumably due to the condition of the buildings.
Back in 2016, land at the Wyre Dock was then identified as the possible site. The new all-year round visitor attraction, was to include leisure and commercial development. That plan was also shelved.
The outline proposal included displaying the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust trams, vehicles and artefacts from other locally based groups. Plus a skills training workshop and a significant commercial scheme which could have extended to a tropical, year-round botanic display.
Dutch structural design company, Smiemans, which specialises in large ‘glass houses’, worked with FHLT on the development. The company previously worked with the Royal Horticultural Society to design their principal enclosure at Wisley, as well as other UK and European clients.
Tram Sunday is a huge event which takes place all over the town each summer. It’s official name is Fleetwood Festival of Transport.
Trams feature prominently in this event, with special services carrying passengers to Fisherman’s Walk. A selection of heritage trams is always on display each year too.
While you’re here…
Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Fleetwood website for more of the latest updates.
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