Tram’s green plan is blowing the wind

Wind plan: Professor Lewis Lesley, a director of Trampower which is behind the plans to bring trams to Preston
Wind plan: Professor Lewis Lesley, a director of Trampower which is behind the plans to bring trams to Preston
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Preston’s new tram network will run using wind power to transport thousands of passengers around the city.

Lewis Lesley, a director of Tram Power which is behind the plans, said it had opened talks to take on a plot at the disused park-and-ride site on Bluebell Way, Fulwood where it plans to install a two megawatt generator to power the network.

He said this would be sufficient to transport vehicles on the proposed network and pump surplus energy back into the national grid.

Professor Lesley said it had opened talks with land owners, Lancashire County Council, about installing a turbine on the site and said it would be willing to buy a patch of land to install it, if necessary.

He said: “The site is right next to a sub-station which has recently been upgraded and we have spoken with National Grid which has told us it would be no problem for us to connected up.

“There would then need to be further sub-stations along the route of the track which would draw from the power generated by the turbine.

“The two megawatts would be sufficient for us to operate the network.”

He added Trampower had received a letter from county council chief executive Phil Halsall confirming the former park-and-ride site had been “declared surplus.”

The details of the proposals have been passed to the council’s property department for consideration.

The council shut the site as a park-and-ride to save £40,000-a-year maintenance costs for the chronically underused facility.

It shut in January 2011, less than two years after being opened.

In 2010, Trampower branded plans to sell-off the £2.5m site as “stupid” arguing it was s crucial stop on the network which will run from Junction 31a of the M6 motorway to the city centre.