Blackpool presses on with tram bid despite Yorkshire vote

Sir Peter Hall, leading plans for an extension of the resort's tram line, pledged to fight on despite the Government's plans for trials in Yorkshire.

A German system which allows trams to run on national rail tracks, enabling towns to be connected, is to be tested on the 37-mile Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield line from 2010.

ReBlackpool, the urban regeneration company, chaired by Hall, has campaigned to trial this technology on the Blackpool South to Preston line, and is applying to the EU for a grant to test the trams on the upgraded Promenade tramway.

Hall is standing down as ReBlackpool chairman in May to head the new bid. He said: "Going into Sheffield is a step too far. We can't allow Yorkshire to claim a double prize. Before this happens, in 2012 we shall be running our Red Rose LancsTram on the newly-upgraded Blackpool promenade tram track beside Blackpool's own new supertrams. This will be our own Tramway Olympics – the greatest tram show in Britain.

"When I shake hands with my successor, I shall be able to say that we've just launched our bid to meet the EU's deadline of 9 May. We're fully confident that we have a winning scheme that will allow us to prepare for the new service, including a demonstration of the trams. I don't intend to allow Yorkshire to steal a lead on Blackpool. Sheffield: you've been warned!"

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