Tram firm hails 'bendy bus' test a success

Professor Lewis Lesley of the Preston Tramway project running a bendy-bus down the tram-route to recreate traffic conditions at this busy junction, with Highway Consultant Petros Price
Professor Lewis Lesley of the Preston Tramway project running a bendy-bus down the tram-route to recreate traffic conditions at this busy junction, with Highway Consultant Petros Price
Share this article

The organisation behind plans to establish a congestion-busting tram route in Preston has hailed its bendy-bus experiment a success.

Trampower hired the public transport vehicle to recreate how a tram would impact on busy city junctions as they gear up to hand in their masterplan to bosses at county hall.

Project director Lewis Lesley said the trial run proved “bendi-trams” can run along Fishergate and a further public consultation is set to be launched.

Prof Lesley said: “The bendy-bus ran along Fishergate and was able to clear all the recent changes without difficultly.

“Indeed there is room for two tram tracks, one to be shared with buses going towards County Hall, and an exclusive track for trams going to Red Scar.”

Trampower says the tram route will have a major impact to reduce city congestion however the county council has said the firm must prove it will not have a detrimental effect on other road users to gain planning permission.

A green light has already been given for a trial track to be established in Deepdale, which the company hopes to have up and running in early 2018 and includes a depot and training facilities.

Last month the county council said it “continue to work” with Trampower but emphasised several issues still need addressing.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We have been in discussions with Trampower for several years to consider the opportunities.

“Along with the resulting negative impacts that would need to be overcome for such a system to function effectively alongside all other modes of transport.

“The work so far has indicated a number of issues, and we are continuing to work with Trampower to consider all their evidence regarding their proposals.”