Monday, 10 June 2013

Blackpool Transport & LTT to merge Heritage Tramcar Collection

Blackpool Transport and the Lancastrian Transport Trust intend to merge their heritage tramcar fleets by the creation of a new charitable trust which will consolidate the combined collection.
This positive move will guarantee a safe future for a precious collection of former Blackpool trams which span the era from the 1920s to the 1970s, and allow them to be seen once again on the Blackpool tramway for the first time in a number of years. 
Eric Berry, Trustee and Founder of the Lancastrian Transport Trust, stated: “Several years ago, when the upgrade of the Blackpool and Fleetwood tramway was first proposed, we began to acquire for posterity key types of Blackpool tramcars to ensure that a representative collection would survive on the Fylde Coast for the benefit of future generations. At that time it was unclear if heritage trams would have a viable future alongside the brand new fleet of Supertrams.”
“However, now that the tramway upgrade has been completed we have witnessed Blackpool Transport, and Blackpool Council’s, outstanding commitment to retaining and operating a working heritage tram fleet in the town. We now feel it only correct that the trams which we had saved for the future should return to their home tramway and into the care of the new charity.” 
Head of Blackpool Transport’s heritage tram operations, Bryan Lindop, commented: “I am thrilled that the Lancastrian Transport Trust has recognised the work that Blackpool Transport has done to secure a firm future for the best of the heritage trams in Blackpool. It was always our intention to retain, and continue to invest in, our most significant heritage trams, and to showcase these unique vehicles on the Promenade for the delight of residents and visitors alike. The creation of a new charity for the combined collections will allow us to build on our strengths and fill in the gaps in each collection, allowing us to develop a truly world class collection of heritage trams, right here in Blackpool!”
Bryan continued: “What we now need to do is to work together to mobilise tram enthusiasts, supporting groups and other interested parties into helping us to achieve our aims, for the benefit of all. To see these trams back running on Blackpool’s famous seaside tramway would be fantastic, but it will come at a price!” 
Eric Berry concluded: “We have always seen the Blackpool tramway as the logical home for our collection of Blackpool trams, and are delighted that the creation of the new charity will make this possible and allow transport enthusiasts and the public the opportunity to experience travel on the transport of yesteryear, which has always been the Lancastrian Transport Trust’s main aim.” 
The two organisations will now work together to form a charitable trust to care for the expanded fleet of heritage trams. This will be managed independently of Blackpool Transport’s core business but supported by representatives from both sides, and will allow for the chance to explore funding opportunities not normally available to a commercial organisation. Operation of the heritage trams will be undertaken by Blackpool Transport, as operators of the tramway. 
OMO 8 on one of its rare outings since restoration by the LTT in 2010.
Under the proposals being discussed scenes such as this will once again be possible with heritage trams currently owned by Blackpool Transport and the LTT operating together again on the tramway. Blackpool Transport would be the operator but the heritage trams would be in the care of a charitible Trust.