The contractor to build a pilot tram line in Preston has been appointed.Advertisement
Eric Wright Construction are due to start the work in March for the 1,250 metre-long test line in Deepdale.
Once operational it would be the first tram line in the city since the 1930s.
The test line is to run on part of the former Longridge to Preston railway line.
Read more: A history of the ghost railway line running through Preston
Preston Trampower Limited says it is due to table plans for a full 3.5mile tramway later this year – costing £25million – which would connect the city centre to employment sites at Bluebell Way.
Technical director for Preston Trampower Professor Lewis Lesley said: “To have such a prestigious local contractor on board is another huge vote of confidence in this project.
“We’ve all seen how the Manchester Metrolink has been instrumental in the growth of that city and I have no doubt that a Preston tram system can provide a huge shot in the arm for the city’s economy.
“We’ve put years of hard work and detailed research into this project. By utilising existing rail infrastructure, we can deliver this tramway with the minimum of disruption to residents and motorists. While only a small section of track is being built initially, we’re confident the full Guild Line can soon become a reality.”
The pilot line is to run between Skeffington Road and Deepdale Street, and includes building a new tram station, platform and tram shed.
Read more: A brief history of Preston’s former tramways
A memorandum of understanding was signed between Preston Trampower and Eric Wright to work together to develop the scheme.
Read more: Mothballed Fishergate tram plan due to be resumed
Managing director of the Eric Wright Civil Engineering Diane Bourne said: “Signing this memorandum of understanding is an important milestone and reassures the people who live and work in Preston that the new tramway is coming.
“As a local contractor with a strong heritage across Preston, we’re very proud to be leading the project. We’re looking forward to starting on site and delivering a quality scheme that meets local need and that the community can be proud of.
“City centre tramway projects are proven to bring numerous benefits and we’re aiming to replicate this same success within Preston.”
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