Thursday, 29 September 2016

News Snippets

Minor timetable changes affect Catch 22 Bus from 1 October with some changes to early and late journeys on the 22 and a revised Sunday 22 timetable. The 23 journeys at 1300 (Saturday) and 1720 (Monday to Friday) are discontinued. Catch 22 has sold Dart V234HBH for scrap, it has been used for spares and was not operated. Ex Cardiff 361 W361VHB has been repainted into the new livery.

Blackpool Transport's New Enviro 400 City buses have begun to receive side advertising with 401 noted with an EE mobile advert on Wednesday 21st September. 

The depot tours last weekend included Trident 332 under repaint in the paint shop, extensive preparation has taken place following the removal of the all-over advert and repairs to the engine bay doors following a recent Road Traffic Accident. Atlantean 364 was in the body shop, nearly complete after restoration to original livery.
Trident 332 in the paint shop (Paul Turner)
An unusual event on Saturday 24th saw a 'strongman' competiton involving a 'bus pull' with heritage livery Volvo 524 on the Promenade near the Comedy Carpet. Palladium Buses 410 and 552 were on display alongside preserved PD3 501 and DAF 133.

Olympian Departs

Volvo Olympian 377 has departed for pastures new - here is seen in Line 11 colours back in 2004 (Brian Turner)
Blackpool Transport Volvo Olympian 377 was collected by the North East Electrical Traction Trust on Sunday 25th October and driven to their Sunderland base, where it rejoins some former Blackpool trams at the North England Land Air and Sea Museums. It is proposed to restore it to green and cream.

377 entered service in November 1994 in green and cream initially on the 6, but soon moved onto the 22/22A. In 2001 it was allocated to route 14 as part of the new Metro network but was switched to Line 11 in April 2002 after a repaint into turquoise and yellow. It was repainted pool black/yellow in March/April 2005. In September 2011 it was repainted into the revised black and yellow livery then went to Bus and Coach World, Blackburn, for fitting with seat belts for a school baths contract. It was withdrawn after service on the farewell event on 23 July finishing with the 1800 Fleetwood to Starr Gate.

Preserved Pair at Rigby Road, 377 about to depart for its new home, while 362 returns to its hold home for use on the free bus service as part of the Anniversary Weekend (Paul Turner)

Friday, 23 September 2016

Fleet Update

Excel 219 was withdrawn on Monday, leaving just 220 and 225 in service. Sister 223 is now being stripped of reusable parts and is expected to leave for scrap soon along with cannibalised fire damaged Trident 318.

525 returned to use on Monday after refurbishment.

Vintage Bus Service this Weekend

Following the success of last years '130th Anniversary' event for the Blackpool Tramway, a repeat takes place this weekend. As well as an intensive tram service a vintage bus service will run from Blundell Street on a circular route via old tram routes. Buses depart:

Blundell Street 1000 every 15 minutes to 1645
Starr Gate 1010 every 15 minutes to 1655
Pleasure Beach 1015 every 15 minutes to 1700
Round trip time is 40 minutes

Vehicles, subject to availability will be:
Saturday, Blackpool PD3 512, Ribble Atlantean 1397, Blackpool Atlantean 362 and Swift 554
Sunday 362, 554, Blackpool Delta 133 and PD3 501.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

News Round Up

Volvo B7RLE 525 returned from Bus and Coach World after refurbishment yesterday - this is the sixth to be treated after 527 (Feb), 529 (March), 531 (April), 530 (June), 533 (August) while 528 has now gone in its place.

Trident 332 is currently under repaint having lost its Tower Circus advert. 

Solo 273 has been sold by Halton Transport to Star Travel of Aylesbury.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Timetable Changes

Saturday 3rd September sees changes to the timetable on services 9/9A adding an additional ten minutes running time each way and increasing the PVR from 9 to 11 - meaning there are now insufficient Enviros for the service! This reflects the delays caused by the first stage of replacing Crossley's Bridge. Presently this is reduced to one lane while 'services' are relocated prior to its demolition and replacement. This itself will require a major diversion to the 9/9A. 

Illuminations Saturday timetables are revised on most routes with the 1 also amended on Fridays

  • Service 1 on Fridays and Saturdays withdrawn after 1800 ex SG and 1730 ex Fwd. From 14 Oct last buses are 1640 north and 1550 south and this also applies daily from 28 Oct-5 November.
  • Services 3 and 4 - same frequency but extra running time all day
  • Service 5 - same frequency but extra running time in the evening
  • Service 7 - reduced to 20 minutes daytime, same frequency evening but extra running time all day
  • Services 9 and 9A - reduced to 15 minutes daytime, same frequency eveing but extra running time all day
  • Services 10 and 17 same frequency but extra running time
  • Service 11 - reduced to 20 minutes daytime, same frequency eveing but extra running time all day
  • Service 14 - reduced to 12 minutes daytime, same frequency evening but extra running time all day
Route diversions also apply on Friday and Saturday evenings from 1800 as follows:

  • 2C into Blackpool will run from Church Street through St Johns Square to terminate at Abingdon Street then run back to Knott End via normal route.
  • 3 and 4 northbound diverted in Bispham via Cavendish Road and Devonshire Road to Bispham Village, 4 then via Red Bank Road and Norcliffe Road. 
  • 3 and 4 Southbound diverted in Bispham (4 via Norcliffe Road, Red Bank Road to Bispham Village), both via Northgate, to Wabreck Drive. In town centre will turn left from Dickson Road into Talbot Road without serving Abingdon Street.
  • 5, 7, 14 and 17 from Central Drive then via Albert Road, Regent Road, Church Street, St Johns Square to Abingdon Street then onto Talbot Road. Southbound as normal to Talbot Road then via Dickson Road, Springfield Road, High Street, Talbot Road, George Street, Grosvenor Street, Park Road, Reads Avenue, Central Drive and as normal
  • 9/A as normal to Talbot Road, then High Street, Springfield Road, Dickson Road and Talbot Road to terminate outside Wilkinsons
  • 10 and 11 run via Tyldesley Road and Rigby Road to Central Drive then as 5/7/14/17 diversion. Southbound 11 takes the 5/7/14/17 diversion, but the 10 runs through St Johns Square, Abingdon St, Talbot Road, Cookson St, George St and as 11 - both using Rigby Road to reach Lytham Road
  • 15 and 16 will terminate in St Johns Square from Church St then returning via Abingdon St and as usual
  • The 20 will terminate on Albert Road outside Argos on Fri/sat from 14 October and daily from 28th.
Every day Stagecoach 68 will divert at Royal Oak via Waterloo Road, Central Drive, Albert Road, Cookson St to Talbot Road returning then back via Cookson St, Grosvenor Street, Park Road, Reads Avenue, Central Drive and Waterloo Road. The 61/68 will terminate at Talbot Road Fridays/Saturdays and Corporation St/Market Street as normal Sun to Thurs.

Also overlooked on this blog is the withdrawal of Excel 216 and Solo 277 on 5 August and 279 has also been retired. Excel 218 and Olympian 378 went for scrap during August.

Summer Scenes

Blackpool Transport Citaro 550 on service 5 awaits to turn into Clifton Street in Talbot Square. These Citaros are still mainly found on service 5, plus the 9/9A on Sundays - but have now appeared on most other big bus services with sightings on 1, 2C, 7, 11 and 14 recorded. (All photos Brian Turner)

Sister bus 551 heads south on Talbot Road towards Halfway House

Enviro 400 City 405 crosses Abingdon Street junction on the approach to its terminus at Clifton Street on its regular service 9/9A duty. 

220 - one of the two ex Go North East Excels still in service turns into Clifton Street on service 7 
The last remaining Reading Excel in service - 225 - sets off having let Solo 246 out.

Preston Bus Solo 20767 approaches its terminus on service 74. 

What Might Have Been

Volvo B7RLE 524 on its first day out in 'Delta style' heritage livery (David Umpleby)
To mark the 30th anniversary of the formation of Blackpool Transport Services Ltd for deregulation in October 1986, Volvo B7RLE 524 has been repainted into the fleet livery applied to the Optare Deltas of 1990-1993 with a green skirt and roof with cream in between and black window surrounds. It returned to service today on service 7.