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Blackpool's new trams unveiled

Blackpool Flexity 001 Launch Event
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The worldwide launch of Bombardier FLEXITY 2 Tram took place in Blackpool on Thursday 8 September. This marked a milestone in the regeneration of Blackpool's tramway as the new FLEXITY 2 model will be on the in service by Easter, As a popular tourist destination, 4 million passengers use the tram annually, with the majority travelling during the busy summer period. While the heritage trams that operate the service remain a popular tourist attraction for visitors, with new accessibility regulations coming into effect in 2019, Blackpool and Lancashire County Council began an extensive programme to identify a supplier for a new fleet of vehicles, which would enable ease of access and comfort for all passengers.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council commented: "Providing a modern tram service that operates as an effective transport system while still offering visitors and residents the opportunity to enjoy uninterrupted views of our coastline is something unique to Blackpool. The new FLEXITY 2 model will help us improve access for people with prams or with wheel chairs for example and will run alongside our heritage trams.

"Today marks a significant milestone in modernising our tramway and I am delighted that Bombardier chose the new tram depot on our Promenade as a fitting backdrop for an international launch of their new model."

Germar Wacker, President of the Business Unit Light Rail of Bombardier Transportation commented: "We are delighted that Blackpool and Lancashire chose the FLEXITY 2, to bring the latest technology to such a revered tram operation in the UK. The FLEXITY 2 tram incorporates outstanding, proven features of Bombardier trams into one vehicle. FLEXITY 2 will ensure that all passengers in Blackpool and the Fylde coast can enjoy the best standards in comfort and safety."

The FLEXITY 2 is a development of the FLEXITY model and each vehicle will be about 32m long and 2.65m wide, with five sections. The trams can carry about 74 seated passengers, with room for wheelchairs and pushchairs. A video of the launch can be found on the Blackpool Council You Tube page

9 September 2011

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