“Estimated 113,000 annual passengers if full tram line re-instated

The Douglas horse tramway has proven less attractive to cruise passengers visiting the Island due to the lack of a tram stop at the Sea Terminal.

Since the promenade refurbishment project, the tram line hasn't been re-instated along the entire length of the promenade, instead running from Derby Castle to Broadway only.

A new Freedom of Information response has shown an email exchange between a member of the Department of Infrastructure and SYSTRA - the consultancy firm examining the 'economic value of the Island's railways' - discussing how the reduced service has effected passenger numbers.

In 2018, before the prom works got underway, some 78,000 passengers were recorded against a backdrop of what's described as a 'fledgling' cruise ship itinerary.

The unnamed member of the DOI writes: ‘With the current terminus location it is not an attractive event for cruise passengers consisting of a bus ride, tram trip and another short bus ride.’

‘Additionally the hotels on Loch promenade are no longer served by the DBHT route and we have some anecdotal evidence that we lose significant numbers of passengers due to this.’

They suggest, if the tramway is reinstated, a jump in passenger numbers to 113,000 a year, with an extra 20,000 cruise passengers available, is ‘not as much of a leap of faith’.

The email also reveals, for the first time, that an estimated 59 cruise ships are expected to visit the Island next year, bringing around 31,000 passengers.

The reinstatement of the tramway between Broadway and the Sea Terminal has been the subject of discussion amongst the Islands politicians this year.

In October, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Juan Watterson, described the decision to use funds set aside for work on the horse trams elsewhere as a 'slap in the face to Tynwald'

In June, Garff MHK Daphne Caine asked the then-Infrastructure Minister Chris Thomas if the horse trams were being 'set up to fail considering the majority of hotels are between the Sea Terminal and Broadway'.

Manx Radio has contacted the Department of Infrastructure to ask when the full SYSTRA report will be published.

In Tynwald this week, Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall said it would be out 'in the coming days'.

Manx Radio


Powered by Quesmedia Sites