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Why this bendy bus was in Fishergate

Posted on - 26th October, 2017 - 1:29pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston City Centre, Preston News, Roads, Transport
The Coventry bus wasn't lost - it was on loan as part of the city's tram project Pic: Rob Fairclough
The Coventry bus wasn’t lost – it was on loan as part of the city’s tram project Pic: Rob Fairclough

A bendy bus took to the streets of Preston city centre as part of a proposal to bring trams to the city.

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Preston Trampower, who want to operate the Guild tramway, hired the bus from Coventry.

It used a route proposed by the tram operator using sections of the old railway lines in Deepdale.

Throughout Wednesday it also took trips down Fishergate to see whether the road has the space for a tram.

Director of Trampower Professor Lewis Lesley said the bus was a similar shape and size to a tram.

Read more: This map of Preston city centre could save you £60

He said: “As the Guild tram line gets closer we wanted to show Preston, and its politicians, how the tram could operate in the city.

“The Guild tramway will change the transport system of Preston. It will increase capacity and offer an alternative for many car trips, that get stuck in congestion and add to toxic traffic pollution.

“We need to satisfy ourselves that the Guild Tramway can operate safely and effectively, without disrupting other traffic, so we have commissioned a survey of key traffic junctions.

“Government policy is for trams should have priority over other traffic at road junctions” “This is usually achieved by trams getting an immediate green signal. Without this we have calculated that there will be a passenger delay on average of 25minutes per tram having to wait a turn for a green traffic light.”

One of the trams which could come to Preston, and an artist impression of the Deepdale station
One of the trams which could come to Preston, and an artist impression of the Deepdale station

Trampower has planning permission for a tram stop and test line in Deepdale – and work is continuing on clearing the former rail line and upgrading it. This pilot line will not take fee-paying passengers.

From Wednesday (25 October) to Friday (27 October) a traffic management firm is also undertaking measurement of traffic levels at key city junctions.

Read more: Discover the ghost railway line running through Preston

Professor Lesley says they are targeting a fee-taking tram service, with 12 stops, to be in use by 2019.

Modal TP director Petros Price said: “We are measuring the traffic movements at two key junctions for three days during the week. We will know the exact numbers and types of vehicles and how much delay that is presently experienced. This will be for both peak and off peak periods.

“From this we can model the impact of Guild trams with different junction control scenarios, and to see if there are statistically difference in the flows on the days surveyed.”

Read more: A brief history of Preston’s former tramways

The move comes as Lancashire County Council is understood to have commissioned consultants Mott MacDonald to produce a report on the future of transport in Preston.

What do you think of the idea for trams in the city? Let us know in the comments below

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