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Fishergate ‘tram bus’ experiment hailed a success by tram firm

Posted on - 6th November, 2017 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Politics, Preston City Centre, 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

Engineers behind a proposed tram route in Preston have hailed a bendibus experiment as a success.

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Prestonians saw a bendibus making its way down Fishergate the other week.

It’s part of the proposal from Preston Trampower, who want to create a tram network for the city, to show how trams could run down Fishergate for the first time in nearly 100 years.

Professor Lewis Lesley and his team hired the bus from Coventry.

It’s size is nearly as big as the planned city class tram which would run on the Preston Guild Line.

Prof Lesley said: “The bendibus ran along Fishergate and was able to clear all the recent changes without difficulty.

“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 Redscar.

“The bus ran along Fishergate at 10mph, the expected speed of Guild trams and very safe to mix with pedestrians.”

Read more: Fishergate bus lane cameras going back on – but Lune Street link is delayed

Under the Trampower proposals an initial tram line would run to the Miller Arcade.

Prof Lesley claims a survey of businesses in Fishergate and Church Street had 70 per cent behind the tram plans.

He said: “Trams are the most efficient way to get people into the centre of Preston.

“People will leave their cars at home or at park and ride station and go by tram, as shown every day in Manchester.”

Read more: This map of Preston could save you £60 in future

Trampower say they are now going to undertake a follow-up survey of Prestonians in Fishergate to see how well the Guild tram would be used.

The company has planning permission for a depot and test tram line on a section of the old Longridge to Preston line in Deepdale.

Prof Lesley said they were working to clear the tracks and were in discussions with one of the nearby landowners Gafoor Pure Halal Ltd to agree proposals for the former coal yard.

Do you think trams are feasible for Preston? Let us know your views in the comments below

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