BRADFORD Council says it is looking at how it can incorporate a fascinating piece of history into new paving in the city centre. 

The significant stretch of tram lines was recently unearthed on Bridge Street, prompting a former Bradford resident to ask about the council’s plans for the discovery. 

Former tram tracks have been uncovered in Bradford city centre worksFormer tram tracks have been uncovered in Bradford city centre works (Image: Newsquest)

The council has now spoken of its surprise at the find, and its plans to incorporate the tracks into the city’s new pedestrianisation scheme.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Finds like this show the changing face of the city over time and are not uncommon in Bradford.

"The current find was somewhat unexpected as it was generally believed that the area in question had been cleared of such items during the post-war redevelopment of the central area.

“In recent times, we have also discovered old tracks in the Great Horton Road area as part of our corridor improvement scheme.

“The majority of the rails that have been uncovered in the city centre will be buried beneath a raised planter that will be constructed in that location.

"However, we are looking how we can incorporate them into the new paving. Our current idea is to then install a plaque or information board with appropriate wording about their history.

“Tram tracks from the district are already held in collection by our Museums and Galleries Service and you can see examples of these and other items of our fascinating transport heritage on display at Bradford Industrial Museum.”

Silsden resident Richard Hughes, who was in Bradford city centre for a meeting, told the T&A last week: “They’ve been digging up the city centre and they’ve uncovered some old tram lines by Centenary Square.

“To be honest, it’s surprised me that they’re still there.

“Rather than taking them up, it looks like they had tarmacked over them in the past.

Mr Hughes said: “How many years has it been since the trams stopped running?

The decline of the tram system began in the late 1920s and much of it had closed by 1939, and the remainder was abandoned in the following years, with the last Bradford tramcar returning to Bankfoot depot for the final time on May 6, 1950.

He added: “I was too young to remember them myself, I’m 54, but I remember hearing about the trams from my family.

“I never thought I’d see them in situ. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“They are definitely a part of Bradford’s history.”