2020 turned out to be a very different year from the one that we envisaged when we discussed the big plans and service improvements we had hoped to bring to you. But the time has now arrived that we can dip our proverbial toe into the water once more. But only a toe at this stage.
Much work has been taking place behind the scenes as not only has there been over three months of engineering backlog to catch up with but our service and the Tours have had to be redesigned from the tracks upward.
We can’t tell you how good it’s going to be to see you climb on board with us once more.
So when will the Heritage trams run again?
Our first public services will be for the Bank Holiday weekend of 29th to 31st August 2020. The timetable will be a very different one than the one you may be used to so please read on.
We don’t intend sitting back at this point though – we are busy working toward restarting a service for other weekends and even Illuminations Tours. Some more weekday services may be in the offing too – watch this space!
What sort of service will it be?
We’ve updated the pages of our web site with all the detail but below is an overview of the changes and new arrangements containing links to the pages that will give you the nitty gritty detail.
The main changes
Much as we would like to offer a turn-up and ride service as in the past, it’s simply not possibly to apply social distancing on that basis. We strongly recommend that you pre-book your tour with us.
We have created new pages on here for you to see the details of the two new style of Tours and on those pages are buttons so you can choose, reserve and pay for your ticket online.
Our fares have not changed from those prior to the closure of the tramway last March but we are no longer able to offer one-day or 3-day tickets, concessionary or group tickets as these are not compatible with pre-booking.
4 for 3 Pass
We now have a ‘4 for 3 Pass’ for Coastal tours and for Promenade tours. With a pass you will be able to book 4 tours at any time during 2020 yet pay for only 3. You’ll find details of these on the Fares page.
These arrangements are not intended to be permanent and will be reviewed as the situation changes but always with an emphasis on safety.
We’ve have made a slight adjustment to the age at which children can travel for free – this is now only available to those under 3 who are not occupying a seat of their own. If a child under 3 needs a seat of their own, please book a child ticket for them.
We have had to simplify our timetables to match the availability of trams and of staff. Our Timetables page gives details. This will be updated as arrangements change.
We have carried out a full review of our trams to create seating plans that will allow for social distancing to be maintained. This does mean that the capacity of our trams has been significantly reduced.
It also means that, when booking your tour, you will need to select if you wish to travel on the upper or lower deck of double-deck trams. You will be shown to your reserved seat as you board the tram and it may not be possible for you to change seats on arrival nor during the tour. This is so that we can maintain social distancing at all times.
Travelling as a family/with friends
When you pre-book your ticket we will allocate seats on the basis of the number of tickets on that booking so that all those on the same booking can sit together. If you need social distancing between members of your group, please make separate bookings for those that need it.
If you have made individual bookings we regret that it may not be possible to arrange for you to sit together.
We realise that many passengers have previously swapped from tram to tram during their tour by leaving one tram and waiting for the next. Unfortunately this is no longer possible whilst social distancing is in force.
The ONLY boarding point for Coastal and Promenade Tour trams will be our northbound North Pier & Tower Heritage Tram stop. You cannot board at any other stop. You are welcome to leave the tour at any of our intermediate stops but, once you have left, that will be the end of your tour and you will not be able to complete that tour later.
Initially our tours will be very different from the ones you may have taken in the past. We are constantly reviewing the ever-changing situation with Coronavirus and associated laws and gudelines. When possible we will adjust our services and the way they work. The safety of our passengers and our staff are our first concern. We are very much aware that the precautions and changes that we have had to put in place may not seem ideal but they are there for the benefit of us all.
Whilst on board you will need to comply with the laws and recommendations for travel that may be in force at the time of your tour. This includes, for example, the wearing of a face covering at all times when on board, unless you have an exemption. If you would like to read more on this subject, please go to this page on the Blackpool Transport web site.
Please allow our staff to keep you safe
Our conductors are briefed before every tour day on any changes to laws and recommendations.
We would ask that you listen to and act upon the recommendations and instructions given to you by our staff – they have been trained in how to keep you safe but will need your help to do so.
For more details of how we are trying to ensure we can all travel safely, we explain it at Keeping You Safe
If you would like to comment about our new arrangements, you’ll find our contact details on our Get in Touch page.