Monday, 31 October 2011

New Route for 2C

A surprising change from Monday 31 October sees route 2C re-routed between Poulton and Victoria Hospital via Blackpool Old Road (serving Sixth Form College and Collegiate School), Garstang Road, Dinmore Avenue, Gateside Drive, Chepstow Road, Fulwood Avenue and St Walburgas Road. While this reinstates the link between Over Wyre and the School/College from the former Ribble 85, it reduces the frequency via Normoss Road to every 30 minutes - a far cry from the six buses per hour on this corridor in 2009. It also re-introduces regular Blackpool Transport operation to Blackpool Old Road (previously evening/Sunday services to Knott End on the 58 served this route) and seems to be a response to Stagecoach's diversion of route 84 to Victoria Hospital.

The 2 and 2C continue to provide a 15 minute frequency service between Blackpool and Hospital, but from Poulton the 2/2C now run at 10 then 20 minute intervals. Saturday times have been revised to largely match weekday times (increasing the Saturday vehicle requirement to seven) and the 2 now runs hourly between Blackpool and Poulton in the evening. 5 workings use Solos, the other two use big buses with a Trident now a regular on one working.

In other news Solo 252 is currently under repaint - the latest Line 5 one to be treated after 255, 250 and 251. Excel 222 is nearly finished in the new livery while 221 remains in the body shop for refurbishment and 226 is away for its engine change. Olympian 374 is now out of use for seat belt fitting, presently all six Volvo Olympians are inactive.

Former Optare Excel 208 has been sold to a Barnsley dealer from Stagecoach Chesterfield and sisters 201/206 are believed delicensed by GHA, Wrexham. These were the last of the batch to operate.

Former Blackpool 208 (centre) awaits its fate at Stagecoach Chesterfield Depot on 14 August. (M Crisp)