Monday, 20 June 2011

A 223 day life story

Tridents saw use on the 1 and 1A at weekends. On the final Saturday 324 heads to Pleasure Beach as 342 loads for Fleetwood on route 1
Sunday saw the end of route 1A. Although the planned reopening of the Promenade was delayed until early afternoon today route 1 was restored to its Fleetwood to Starr Gate route with morning buses following the diversion route.
Excels were commonly used on the 1A - here 217 heads down Reads Avenue on the revised southbound diversion that increased route length by over 50%
Due to the effective closure of the Promenade to buses as a through route in November it was decided to split the 1 into north and south sections. The southern section ran from Corporation Street to Pleasure Beach turning via Clifton Drive and Burlington Road West. This controversially left the section to Starr Gate unserved. Two buses were allocated for a half hourly service with 22 minutes running time allowed. Northbound buses initially used the Promenade with an average speed of 6mph for the 2.2mile route leading to some slow journeys. Southbound buses were diverted via Grosvenor Street, Adelaide St, Bethesda Square and Chapel Street - a 3.4 mile route at just over 9mph.

Finally back on the Promenade 216 heads south at Foxhall.
February saw the full closure of the Promenade and northbound buses now diverted via Chapel St and Albert Road to the Town Centre; southbound buses now served Park Road rather than Adelaide St between Grosvenor Street and Reads Avenue.

Manchester Square was the intermediate timing point and 218 waits in a characteristically bleak winter scene - albeit this one was taken in May!
Single deckers were typically allocated - Excels seemed the more common but Volvo B7s regularly appeared. Buses with LED blinds often showed "Burlington Road West" rather than the more familiar "Pleasure Beach" on the roller blinds.
Busy spring weekends saw Tridents emerge such as 315 on Sunday 19th - the last day
Route 1A had previously appeared as a variation to route 1. In the 1990s it variously denoted buses terminating at St. Annes Square instead of St. Annes Pleasure Island; evening buses to Pontins or Pleasure Beach and general short workings. This version ran for 223 days - every one except Christmas day - showing the length of 'winter' disruption. Presumably it will not appear again though the long term future of route 1 must be in doubt in view of the modernisation of the tramway.
215 turns into Burlington Road West as part of the terminus manoeuvre.
The revised timetable for route 1 provides for an eight bus operation on the daytime 20 minute frequency; reducing to four for the half hourly evening service. Daytime buses run to Freeport.