As a result of a questionable article in a well-known local magazine, there appears to be a lot of spurious misinformation floating about in respect of some forthcoming tram movements. Whilst not giving too much away about the Company’s future plans, it is no secret that Blackpool Transport is about to commence a phased series of essential redevelopments at Rigby Road depot in order to re-purpose it for the future for both bus and heritage tram. This work will be spread over a number of years. As a result, the volume of space currently occupied by the heritage department will progressively shrink, leaving us with reduced space in which to work and to store our heritage assets. In order to facilitate these changes, it became crucial to re-assess the trams stored at Rigby Road and it was immediately apparent that we have too many.
For some considerable time, in order to assist various organisations and individuals, we have been in the position of being able to store trams on their behalf entirely free of charge because we had the space to accommodate them. Now, those circumstances are changing and we are no longer able to continue this arrangement. The owners are all fully understanding, grateful for the support and assistance that we have provided free of charge in terms of storage and are entirely aware as to the reasons. Indeed, before the notice letters were sent out, I spoke to representatives of each group or owner either in person or by telephone to appraise them of the situation. Additionally I also gave each owner an opportunity to make representation for my consideration ahead of the letters being sent out. This resulted in one tramcar being immediately removed from the list along with another one subsequently. I therefore re-iterate that what is taking place, is taking place amicably on the part of the organisations and individuals involved, who have all been entirely professional about it.