Tram plans dusted off in Preston

Preston Trampower has resubmitted proposals to create a pilot tram operation in the city, by reinstating a stretch of the former Longridge to Preston train line.

Lancashire planning consultancy PWA Planning has been brought in to advise Preston Trampower, a privately owned company, on the revised plans. PWA Planning has submitted a fresh application that addresses concerns over road safety and noise pollution, which led to the scheme being rejected in April 2015. The project also previously stalled in 2013.

The project would see a new tram station, platform and tram shed built on a former coal yard in the Deepdale area of the city, and a section of the disused train line between Skeffington Road and Deepdale Street reinstated.

Lewis Lesley, technical director of Preston Trampower, said: “This is an exciting project for the city of Preston and one that has the potential to play a major role in its ongoing regeneration. This pilot project would act as a precursor to a fully operational tram system that could be easily extended across the city and link up to other transport hubs.

“It’s a chance for Preston to see what’s possible and how a modern and sustainable light railway system could transform the city by improving local transport infrastructure and easing the traffic congestion we all experience. We’d love to the see the city getting behind this vision.”

Daniel Hughes, senior planner at PWA Planning, said: “With this new planning application, we’ve directly addressed concern about possible noise pollution through suitable noise reduction measures, and we’ve also shown how design and minor highway alterations can address any safety concerns relating to the proposed tram line crossing at Deepdale Mill Street.”

Preston Trampower has named Pre Metro Operations, which runs the Stourbridge Shuttle light railway, as its preferred operator to run the proposed tram operation.

Preston Trampower said that it hopes to be able to attract funding from the Green Investment Bank for the project. It is also in advanced negotiations with contractors and consultants who could help build the scheme.

If the pilot project is successful, Preston Trampower would seek approval to extend the project with the ultimate aim of linking up the train station with the north of the city, as well as serving the University of Central Lancashire and Lancashire Enterprise Zone at Salmesbury.

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Unfortunately I can’t see how there will be enough passenger demand to make a line between Longridge and Deepdale viable. If it’s going to work, a pilot tram scheme should surely have a station in the city centre…?


I agree with PH – seems a daft route to pilot. Connecting train station with the Docks would be a better plan – the route and track exists.

By Brian

If the Salmesbury link went in, the A59 corridor through the city to Penwortham with convenient park and ride sites next to the new bypass extension and or M6 could bear some fruit.

Have a bit of joined up thinking with the rest of the development proposals for the city. Moreso when one considers the housing developments out to the West and the new J2 of the M55. Plenty of potential to grow a market.

By Anon