Former railway line between Longridge and Preston to be cleared of vegetation making way for new tramline
A former railway line between Longridge and Preston looks set to be cleared of vegetation to make way for a pilot tramline.
Preston Trampower has the wheels in motion to start work to get a tramline running in the Deepdale area.
Lincoln Shields, director of Preston Trampower, which was formed in 2010, says work could start on the line as soon as September 1.
“We are close to making a start on it,” he said. “The railway easement, which used to be old Longridge railway land, is completely overgrown.
“There is Japanese Knotweed.
“Because its so overgrown and easy to access residents who live near there get a lot of younger people doing things they are not supposed to do.
“When we have been at the site there’s always lots of needles for drugs.
“Some people we spoke to just can’t wait for work on the Tramway to start and the dereliction to be cleaned up.
“We are going to clear the vegetation, tidy everything up and use the tracks that are there for our trams.
“There will also be a footpath and cycle way alongside.
“We’re hoping to extend that down through to the city centre.
“It will be an easily accessible route through town.
“We have planning approval for the depot, the track which runs close to Skeffington Road and a for the tram stop which is by the depot on Deepdale Street.
“We will be running the tram in a trial run for our drivers and we’re going to be offering people sample rides for free before we start a passenger service.
“We have to start work on what we have permission for by mid-December but we are hoping to start work on September 1.
“As well as clearing vegetation we’ll be putting up various poles and wires.
“The passenger carrying service will start towards the end of next year.”
Preston Trampower, formed in 2010, was granted planning permission in November 2016 to create a pilot tramway in the Deepdale area of the city.
The first stage of the project will see the pilot line built on a stretch of the former Longridge to Preston railway.
A second phase of the line which aims to link the city centre with employment sites on the edge of the city is also planned. The tramway will stretch to 3.5 miles once completed.