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.

343-345 are presently stored in the Preston Bus base near Asda in Marton having moved (with 348 that has since left) 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.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

More Enviros in use

Further Enviros are now in service with 430, 432 and 433 recently observed. Examples have now been seen on route 11 which will be formally converted after this weekends service changes. 434 entered service on Tuesday 28th, 435 has not yet seen use and is expected to be released to service after the launch.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

More Second Hand Tridents Retired

The withdrawal of second hand Tridents continues with 333/4 and 339/40 now parked up - the last of the ex Blackburn and ex Blue Triangle examples. Enviros 425-427 have entered service today, 423 was noted in use yesterday.

Update: 428/9 entered service on Friday 17th with 431 expected out on Saturday.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Service Changes

Blackpool Transport has released timetables for their April changes. The network is summarised below and needs 102 buses + 7 for schools (or 3 for the 20 holidays/weekends). This compares with the winter network of 96+7 and last summers of 100+7.

New route 2 takes the traditional route, latterly served by the 10/17 between Blackpool and Poulton via Newton Drive, Victoria Hospital (old terminus) and Highcross Avenue. From Poulton, once per hour Monday to Saturday, it continues via Tithebarn Street, Poulton Road, Arundel Drive, Fleetwood Road, Fleetwood Road South, Four Lane Ends, Victoria Road East and West to terminate at Victoria Square. This is the first time BTS has regularly served Arundel Drive other than a few months when the 16 terminated at Castle Gardens during bridge work in Poulton in 2013.

All routes appear stand-alone except the 2C and 17 which interwork on Sundays. 


No
Reg
Days
Eves
Sunday Days
MF Requirement
1
Starr Gate to Fleetwood 
20
30
20
8
2
Blackpool to Poulton
extends to Cleveleys
30
60
60
-
60
-
3
2C
Blackpool to Poulton
Extends to Knott End
30
30
-
-
30
-
5
3
Cleveleys Park to Mereside
20
60
60
15 (with 4)
4
Cleveleys to Mereside 
20
60
60
15 (with 3)
5
Halfway House to Victoria Hospital
12
30
30
9
6
Mereside to Grange Park
2 journeys to/from Peel Park
12
30
20
10
7
Cleveleys to Lytham Saltcotes Road
15
30
30
12
9
Blackpool to Cleveleys
12
30
30
9
11
Blackpool to Lytham Hospital
15
30
30
8
14
Blackpool to Fleetwood 
10 MF
12 Sat 
30
20
13
15
16
South Circular 
30 ew
-
60
7
17
Blackpool to St. Annes 
30
-
60
3
20
Blackpool to Marton mere weekends
and school holidays 
30
-
30
(3)
Schools 
12 Blackpool to Baines
400 Fleetwood to St Marys
401 Lytham to St Marys
402 Mereside to St Marys
403 Halfway House to St Marys
414 Norcross/Aspire/Blackpool/Mereside 
1RT
1RT
1RT
1RT
1RT
2/3RT
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
1
1
1
1
2

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Palladium update

Mercedes 550 operating on South Fylde Line rail replacement today in St. Annes. Enviro 414 was also seen on rail replacement work in Poulton (Paul Turner)
Enviro 422 has entered service today on the 14. Trident 335 is now in store, meaning 335-338, 341-348 are all now out of service.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ins and outs

The latest Enviro to arrive is 426, but no further examples have entered service. 343/7/8 are confirmed as withdrawn, while ex Blackburn 336 and ex South Lancs 342 are now in store. 

Update 7th March - 412 was seen in service today and 414 has been seen on flickr operating service 12 (411-4/6-8 are confirmed as in use). 344-346 are also reported at Jackson's Coaches in store. SN17MGX - believed to be 425 - arrived today. 

Update 8th March - 415/9/20 entered service today, making ten. 338/41 have been stored as a result. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

More Enviros

Enviros 416 to 418 are now ready for service and should appear tomorrow (Sat). Tridents 343, 347 and 348 have been placed in store today.

Demonstrator 500 has moved to Arriva in Rhyl on completion of its trials here.
Demonstrator 500 seen at Fleetwood Ferry on service 1, with a BTS example behind on the 14 - 26 Feb 2017 (Chris Callan)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Enviros in, Tridents out

Enviros 411 and 413 made there debut today on service 14. The first of the new batch to enter service. It is expected the full batch will find use on the 11 and 14 from the April service changes. Extended service 6 will also use Palladium buses, but these are expected to be single decker said - the route currently mainly uses the refurbished Volvos.

Tridents 344-346 were withdrawn after service on 28th Feb, the first casualties of the new Enviro intake. Excel 220 left for scrap on 28th Feb.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Enviros Illustrated

Enviro SN66WLK is allocated fleet number 500, like most demonstrators, but unusually actually displays this on the front. After a spell on route 9 on Thursday, it has operated on the 1 on Friday and Saturday. (Photo Rob Bray)
Brand new Enviro SN17MGV leaves the Alexander Dennis factory at Larbert, Falkirk on a test run. (Gordon Scott)

Brand new Enviro SN17MGV leaves the Alexander Dennis factory at Larbert, Falkirk on a test run. (Gordon Scott)

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Demonstrator and Changes

Blackpool Transport has ADL Enviro 400 City demonstrator SN66WLK on loan. It arrived on Monday and is operating on service 9 today. It is passing through on a UK tour, having operated at Manchester Airport last week. It features different interior specification to the existing and new buses.

Further details of the service changes from 2 April have been received:

  • 1  route unchanged, summer timetable introduced every 20 minutes
  • New 2 will run Blackpool to Cleveleys via Hospital, Poulton and Carleton - every 30 minutes Blackpool to Poulton and hourly to Cleveleys Monday to Saturday
  • 3, 4 and 5 are unchanged
  • 6 returns to its old Mereside to Grange Park route with a 12 minute service. Peel Park will be served at peak hours using Palladium Buses
  • 7 is increased back to every 15 minutes for the summer
  • 8 is withdrawn
  • 9 remains every 12 minutes but returns to its usual route - no mention of the 9A returning - presumably the 2 will cover the Hospital-Cleveleys link
  • 10 is withdrawn - Blackpool Council has withdrawn the revenue support for this service.
  • 11 unchanged
  • 14 Town Centre to Fleetwood only increased back to every 10 minutes M-F using Palladium buses
  • 15/16 return to every 30 minutes Mon-Sat and hourly Sundays - double deckers are to replace Solos for summer capacity reasons
  • 17 Blackpool to St. Annes only, will run via Common Edge Road not Lindale Gardens, it will run every 30 mintues, offsetting the loss of the 10.
  • 20 reintroduced school holidays and weekends only
Town Centre stops changes took place from 20 February with phase 1 lasting until 2 April and phase 2 until 14 May. Market Street stops M1 to M3 are closed to enable an extra stop to be added. The 5, 10, 11 and 17 southbound are serving a temporary stop on the Promenade by West Street. The 6, 11 and Stagecoach 68 are terminating at M4 on Market Street, 10, 14 and 17 northbound are turning from the Promenade right into Church Street to reach Corporation Street, but the evening 17s which start from Blackpool are turning via Market Street and West Street and using stop CO4. There is also a temporary stop on Talbot Road westbound between Topping St and Abingdon St for the 5, 7, 10, 14 and 17.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

News Update

Further new buses have been delivered, with SN17MGV being the highest registered observed on test in Falkirk. SN17MFJ/K/O/P/U/V/X/Y/Z are now live on the DVLA database as registered from start of March.

Trident 329 has gained a new advert for Heart FM replacing 301 which is gaining a fleet livery repaint. Excel 216, the last of the new to Blackpool batch has been sold for scrap. Solo 259 is now withdrawn, the first of the longer batch to be withdrawn.

Monday, 20 February 2017

April Service Changes

Blackpool Transport has registered some service changes from Sunday 2 April, including the withdrawal of services 8 and 10 and the return of service 2. Limited details are available so far, but the effected services are:

1 - revised timetable
New 2 Blackpool Town Centre to Cleveleys via Poulton and Victoria Hospital (Monday to Sunday) returning service 2 to its traditional Poulton route.
2C - revised timetable
6 route and timetable change  
7 - revised timetable
8 - withdrawn
9 - revised route and timetable presumably due to re-opening of Crossley's Bridge
10 - withdrawn
14 - route and timetable change
15/16 - route and timetable change
17 - route and timetable change
New 20 Marton Mere to Blackpool Town Centre via Zoo and Stanley Park from 1 April to 5 November every weekend and daily to 23/4, daily 27 May to 4 June, Daily in August and from 31 October to 5 November.
Schools 12, 400, 401, 403 and 414 are also retimed.

It is expected that the 25 new Enviro 400 City double deckers will enter service on 2 April. It is rumored that the 14, for which they are intended will only run Fleetwood to Blackpool now with the 6 reinstated to Mereside, so presumably a further route will be treated to these impressive new vehicles.

Friday, 17 February 2017

New Buses Roll In

The first delivery of new buses has taken place with four SN17MFJ/K/O/P noted today. Minor differences from the first ten are apparent, most notably three tables upstairs - one on the nearside amidships and two at the rear.