Sunday, 30 January 2011

Farewell to the 18

Solo 266 heads along Folkestone Road in St. Annes on the final day of service 18
After 122 days service 18 came to an end with the 2234 departure from Lytham Square on Saturday 30 January. The 18 replaced the St. Annes to Lytham section of route 17 on 27 September after just 63 days. The same bus worked the 2255 service 17 from St. Annes to Blackpool and the 2335 return journey ending Blackpool Transport interest in the evening service with Coastal Coaches taking over. This represents the fourth service change for this six month old service.
266 again on Forest Drive

The 18 thus becomes one of Blackpool's shortest lived bus services and represents the end of over 30 years of the St. Annes Roamer in the Fylde/Blackpool family - apart from a brief period with Phoenix North West. More significant is the removal of Blackpool Transport services from Forest Drive and South Park which until July 2010 had a 15 minute daytime and 30 minute evening service. Now it is served only by Coastal's new 78 and nothing at all in the evening.

266 on Heyhouses  Lane
Line 7 also ceased operating between Wesham and Lytham on Saturday 30th and the following day reverted to single deck operation with Volvo B7 520 and Optare Excel 210 noted. 
The other Solo on the daytime 18 on its last day was 267 seen here on Crosland Road North

267 heads along Headroomgate Road towards St. Annes