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City centre tram plans to create new network

Coming soon?: How the tram would look running down Fishergate, it would  run from Deepdale Road into the city centre as far as the train station

Coming soon?: How the tram would look running down Fishergate, it would run from Deepdale Road into the city centre as far as the train station

The latest part of Preston’s tram dream has been unveiled.

A planning application has been submitted by Trampower, the firm behind the plans, to run from 
Deepdale Road through the city centre to the train station.

But, the company is still waiting for the last chunk of its Guild Line network, running from the West View Leisure Centre to Deepdale Road, to be given the go-ahead by highways officials.

That application has been with the planners since the summer and its failure to be passed has ended hopes of a demonstrator line being up and running by the end of the year.

Director Lewis Lesley said it was still awaiting a decision from Lancashire County Council on that section.

He said: “They have asked a lot of questions and we have given them a lot of answers, but they do things at their own pace.

“The city council have indicated they are minded to approve it but until the county council comes back with an answer it cannot happen.

“We have decided to move ahead and put this next section (to the train station) in for planning because we want to get moving.”

He insisted securing planning permission for the entire route, which is proposed to run from Junction 31a of the M6 at Fulwood to the city centre, would unlock investment to start building the line.

The company has budgeted for any costs associated with getting the plans through the planning process, Prof Lesley added.

He said: “Until we have planning permission there is nothing to invest in.”

County Councillor Michael Green, the cabinet member for transport on the county council, said it would assess the latest application when it is asked to do so by planners at the city council.

He added: “It is the county council’s role to manage the overall development of transport infrastructure across the county, so clearly we will be taking a close interest.”

The plans would see trams running down Fishergate for the first time since 1934 when the route was shut.

Prof Lesley said the original tracks are still under the road surface but said it would need to lay its own tracks over the existing road surface.

 

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