Plans to create a tramway pilot project in Preston have been approved, and will see a stretch of the former Longridge to Preston railway line reinstated in Deepdale.
The plans were first tabled back in 2010, but faced a series of rejections at planning committee.
Lancashire-based planning consultancy PWA Planning was brought in earlier this year to advise applicant Preston Trampower and new proposals were submitted in April.
Under the approved plans, the tram operation will not be open to paying customers, but will be used for training purposes, as a demonstrator for other local authorities, and to raise public awareness of trams as a sustainable mode of transport.
Daniel Hughes, senior planner at PWA Planning, said: “We’ve worked with Preston Trampower to help satisfy a variety of planning constraints and we’re pleased this ambitious scheme finally has permission to move forward.
“The project had a rather long planning history, but since being brought in we’ve been able to help the company devise a clear strategy to achieve their objectives.”
A tram station, platform and tram depot shed will be built on a former coal yard while the section of the disused train line between Skeffington Road and Deepdale Street will be reinstated as a tram line.
Preston Trampower’s wider vision would see the company seeking approval to extend the project with the ultimate objective of linking up to the railway station with the North of the city, as well as serving the University of Central Lancashire and the Lancashire Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury.