A private-sector plan to create a light rail system for Preston, England was the hot topic in Monday’s Lancashire Evening Post. LEP’s “right on track for tram bid” piece by reporter David Coates offered several updates on the plan, including:
- Preston Trampower spokesman Shaun Baldwin saying that a team of community workers would start work next Monday, 4th Oct., and start speaking to people living in the area.
- The company also plans to launch a new website the same day.
- Preston City Countil planners are expected to approve a planning application for the demonstrator within the next fortnight, LEP reported.
As previously reported, Mr. Baldwin told the newspaper local investors have expressed an interest in the project, and would like to see Trampower’s initial demonstrator line working before committing their cash. That demonstration project along a disused rail alignment is expected to be running by the end of the year, company officials have said.
As a journalist, it’s interesting to note that the LEP story already has generated five pages of comments (I’m writing this at about 2:30 a.m. in the Eastern U.S.A., or 7:30 a.m. U.K. time). Also, LEP’s Web poll of the day asks “Does Preston need a tram network?” So far, the response is 248 ‘yes’ (65%) to 134 (35%) ‘no.’
Some context for my North American and other international readers who may not be familiar with Preston and its location in the United Kingdom:
The tram plan seems to be the issue du jour in “Proud Preston,” (pop. 131,900, according to its city council) an industrial city in Lancashire, located in England’s North West. I’ve only blogged about it twice — both times in the past two weeks — and already the topic has generated significant hits. For those who missed it, previous posts (including links to LEP stories and other relevant sites):
- Sept. 14, “Preston’s private sector tram plans advance.”
- Sept. 20, “Turbines to power Preston trams.”