Sunday, 30 April 2017


New buses for the 11 - 33 years apart. Sunday 29 April saw ex Fylde Borough 1984 Leyland Atlantean 45 (B75URN) operate an enthusiast tour for the Fylde Tramway Society. It was new as Fylde 75 in October 1984 and was mainly used on the trunk 11/11A service. In 2017 new Enviro 400s, such as the one behind 45, have been introduced on the current Blackpool Transport 11 (Paul Turner)
Optare Excel 221 went for scrap on Thursday 20th April - this leaves just 225 at BTS. Tridents 342 and 349 have returned to use as temporary cover for other buses which are out of use.

Preserved Volvo Olympian 374 operated at the Keighley Bus Museum Trust's Rear Engined Running Day on Sunday 29 April. Former Solo 269 has moved from Halton Transport to John's Coaches of Blaenau Ffestiniog (photo here operating a long Bangor to Barmouth service). Of the six which went to Halton:
  • 269 - their 55 LIG1621 - now with Johns Coaches
  • 271 - their 56 LIG1622 - unknown but believed sold by Halton (still taxed)
  • 272 - their 57 LIG1623 - still with Halton
  • 273 - their 58 LIG1676 - now with Star Travel, Aylesbury
  • 274 - their 59 LIG1677 - belived sold by Halton, now back as V274HEC on SORN.
  • 276 - their 60 LIG1678 - still with Halton
Yorkshire Tiger 262/4 and Blackpool Council Track Services 267 are also still active of this initial batch of 15.

Catch 22 Bus - has announced the withdrawal of service 23 (Cleveleys to Victoria Hospital) on Friday 2 June. A variation to route and timetable of service 24 (Cleveleys to Poulton) has also been registered to start on 5 June. An associated company has started a Sightseeing Tour of Manchester using ex Golden Tours V362OWC and ex Arriva W501RBB.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Round Up

Enviro 416 leaves Victoria Hospital for Knott End on service 2C, passing Citaro 554 (Paul Turner)
Last Sunday, 9th April saw the formal launch of the latest 25 Enviro 400s. All 25 were taken to Starr Gate tram depot which required the early trams to be lined up around the depot access loop. At 0800 the 25 buses  ran in convoy along the tram tracks to Rigby Road where 411 to 430 returned to depot and 431 to 435 continued to Tower Headland for display. 421 to 430 then rejoined them, while 411 to 420 were used for service.

Fellow 'blogger' Alan Robson has a post featuring his excellent photos linked here. Blackpool Transport has shared a Youtube video

Today, Good Friday, has seen a Sunday service, but with an extension of the 2C to Knott End. The 2C and interworked 17 has seen Enviro 400s with 416, 423 and 424 noted today. Enviros were also seen on the 1, 11 and 14, with Citaros observed on 5, 7 and 9. On Good Friday 409, 417, 410, 526, 529, 555 and 559 were reported on the 7 with a similar mix of vehicles on the Monday. Route 1 had old Tridents and Enviros on Good Friday but all Enviros on Monday.

343-345/8 are presently stored in the Preston Bus base near Asda in Marton having moved from nearby Jackson's coaches. Tridents 334 and 337 have been retaxed and may now be with new owners - two Tridents were observed on the M61 recently. 

Excel 219 left for scrap on Monday.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

New Buses, New Routes

The return of the 6 to Mereside - Enviro 418 stands at the temporary stop on the Promenade during the closure of Market Street stops (Shaun C)
The revised BTS service network is now bedding in. Observations so far:

  • Route 1 is using Tridents/DAFs generally, with Enviro 400s observed on Sundays
  • New Route 2 is using two Tridents/DAFs. 308 was noted on the first day, 365 on Tuesday. Sunday's allocation was a Solo.
  • Route 2C is continuing to use Tridents/DAFs with Solos observed on Sunday
  • Routes 3 and 4 continue, as ever, to use Solos
  • Route 5 has seen its regular Citaros, supported by Centros as required
  • Extended Route 6 has seen a mix of singles and double deckers. 532, 430, 525, 433, 423, 417, 418, 528, 429, 529 were noted on Tuesday in timetable order
  • Route 7 is DAF/Trident operated, with Enviros noted on Sunday. 11 of the 12 buses were observed on Tuesday as 313, 319, 324, 326, 330, 332, 351, 357, 358, 359 and 361 - heritage livery 332 is normally found on the 7
  • Route 9 continues with its Enviros and will return to Crossley's Bridge and Layton on Saturday 8th - albeit via Plymouth Road roundabout as Benson Road will not reopen until July. On Tuesday eight of the nine workings were seen 401, 402, 404, 405, 406, 408, 409 and 427
  • Route 11 has yet to be fully converted to Palladium standards with a mix of old and new on Tuesday 350, 360, 363, 371, 415, 425 and 431 - the eigth bus was not seen.
  • Route 14 is mainly Palladium operated - but Sunday, Monday and Thursday have all seen older DDs in use. Tuesday saw 403, 426, 413, 420, 422, 424, 419, 428, 432, 412, 434, 416, 410 and 421 on the service. 368 was noted as one of the buses on school service 414.
  • Routes 15 and 16 saw double decks on Sunday, but seem to have reverted to a Solos with some big bus workings. 524 was noted on Tuesday and Thursday. 
  • Route 17 was Solo operated on Sunday, 520 was noted on Tuesday

Thanks to Shaun C for his observations used above, he has posted some excellent photos on his Flickr page - here
Rear view of Enviro 422 at Carelton on service 14 (Shaun C)

So far 17 Tridents 333-349 have been replaced by the 24 Enviros (435 is being held back for the formal launch events this week), five Solos (254-6/8/60) are also now stored. Sister 259 has been sold locally for spares. 333 has been reported at Tyrer's of Adlington.

431 outside the Town Hall on service 11 to Lytham (Shaun C)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

0 to 50 in 16 months

In an article in Bus and Coach Buyer Blackpool Transport has announced 15 more Enviro 400 City buses are expected in October for a contract, presumably for the winter rail replacement between Blackpool and Preston, the rail line being closed fpr six months for electrification. This will take the fleet up to 50 from the first entering service last July transforming the fleet. It is presumed they would replace Manx DAFs after the railway reopens.

Today has seen the start of the new timetables. Paladium double deckers were observed on routes 1, 7, 11 and 14 and the final weekend of winter rail replacement services, though Tridents and DAFs also appeared on the 14. The latter was something of a surprise as the Sunday service 14 has been Enivro operated since last year! 

Older double deckers operated the 15/16, Solos on the 2, 2C, 3, 4 and 17. Volvo 531 was observed on extended service 6, with Citaros on the 5. The 9 was not observed, but presumably ran with Citaros as usual. 

Trident 349 has now been withdrawn.