Figures for the 2014 horse tram season saw an increase of 3.6 per cent over 2013 with 61,877 passenger journeys made, a report by Douglas Borough Council has shown.
The service operated from May 12th to September 14th, a total of 18 weeks, with some peaks and troughs in figures; numbers were down marginally in June and July over the previous year but good weather during August saw an increase of 5.3 per cent over the same month in 2013. The final two days of the service, during which there were special promotions and an open day, boosted income and passenger numbers, which were also up in May, 8.4 per cent more than in May 2013.
Regeneration and Community Advisory Committee Chairman Councillor Stephen Pitts said: ‘Given the current economic climate and recent year-on-year falls in passenger arrivals to the Island these figures are most encouraging. Weather inevitably causes spikes in passenger numbers which, in some months, were boosted by cruise visitors and coach package holidays.
‘Additionally we have employed a vigorous marketing strategy, using social media and the Council’s website in tandem with brochure distribution and horse tram bingo, the latter proving especially popular and encouraging a good number of children and young people to travel on the trams. These initiatives combined with continued interest from visiting vintage transport enthusiasts’ groups, film crews and journalists have had a welcome impact on this year’s figures.
‘At a time when the scheme to upgrade Douglas promenade is prompting much animated debate it’s comforting to note the groundswell of support that exists for the service and the public’s abiding affection for this unique attraction.’