Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Exit the 18, enter the 78

January 30 2011 will see the introduction of new service 78 between St. Annes and Wesham replacing route 18 and the contracted extension of the 7 from Lytham to Wesham. Coastal Coaches has won the tender for new service 78 which represents a considerable increase in its bus operations from 3 on the 76 to 7 on the 76 and 78. The 78 will be routed to serve the Sainsbury's store next to St. Annes Station, the Victoria Hotel (to serve St. Albans Road Shops) and also reinstate the service to South Hey. The linkage also reinstates the link to Lytham Health Centre/Hospital from the St. Annes housing estates. A half hourly Monday-Saturday daytime and hourly Sunday daytime service will be provided. An hourly evening service will run from Wesham to Lytham only. It is not yet clear if the evening service 17/18 contract held by Blackpool Transport will continue in its current form, though LCC imply that the entire 18 service is withdrawn.

As a result Blackpool Transport will terminate Line 7 at Saltcotes Road and this will hopefully allow it to increase capacity as the reduction to Solos appears to have coincided with an increase in passenger numbers. If so this would allow the removal of the two peak only double deck duplicates and in addition to the four vehicles release from the 18 withdrawal the Wesham withdrawal could enable a further fleet reduction. The changes will remove Blackpool Transport services from South Park where until the summer it provided a commercial 15 minute frequency service.