Trams are due to be rolling on a disused section of Preston railway line ‘in the next six months’.
Preston Trampower are continuing to clear the former Longridge-Preston railway line in the Deepdale area.
The firm won planning permission in November last year for the ‘pilot line’ at Deepdale Mill Street.
A depot is to be built with tram station and platform on a small section of the old train line between Skeffington Road and Deepdale Street.
Professor Lewis Lesley, who has spent years battling to bring trams back to Preston, said they were making good progress.
He said: “I’m hopeful with the work all being well then we’ll have the first passengers on in six months time going on the pilot line.
“It’ll be a short demo line to show what it’s like and have trams running regularly one it.
“There’s a great deal of support for bringing trams back to Preston and we’ve got some big plans.”
Old railway line being uncovered
Originally proposed ahead of the 2012 Guild the tramway is now building momentum again.
Prof Lesley said: “We have a new planning application in for the next stage to bring a fully operating tram line to the city.
“Initial discussions have been positive about it.”
The line would run from Skeffington Road through to the M6 footbridge beyond Gamull Lane – with plans to eventually extend to the Red Scar business estate.
Prof Lesley said: “We’re in talks regarding the former Blue Bell Way park and ride. If you had a private park and ride there with a direct tram service into the city centre – which also called at Deepdale Retail Park – it becomes an attractive shopping option. You could also get to the football there as Deepdale is only a short walk from the Skeffington Road stop.”
A potential route for the tram line in Preston
How the tram would extend into the city centre is still to be confirmed, but Professor Lesley said a bus could be used as a temporary option.
Trampower say they have attracted £20million in equity funding promises to deliver the tram routes.
Six trams would be run on the line in total, with a seventh on the pilot line. A single ride on the tram would cost around £1.75.