Friday, 1 March 2013

Spring Gardens - a Terminus Again for a week

Common Edge Road has been closed between School Road and Borough Boundary from 24 Feb to 2 March. As a result the 17 has had a lengthy diversion, running via Squires Gate Lane and Clifton Drive North to St. Annes Square. To maintain a service to North St. Annes, a 17A shuttle has run from Spring Gardens to St. Annes Square to connect with the 17 to Blackpool. Buses leave Spring Gardens every 30 minutes from 0733 to 1903 and return from St. Annes at 0620 and every 30 minutes to 1820. 1 bus is required - Solo 253 yesterday. Here it nears the end of its outward journey on Blackpool Road. Pity the poor passenger who is faced with a trip to St. Annes before reaching Blackpool.

Having continued via Kilnhouse Lane and Derwent Road, 253 has turned into Hoyle Avenue and approaches the bus stop at Spring Gardens. From the mid 1950s to 1978 Lytham's service 3 terminated here. It became the joint Fylde/Ribble 193 to Wesham in 1978, but from 1989 it was largely cut back to St. Annes - with route 11C, later 14/A and finally the 17 now serving Spring Gardens on the way to/from Blackpool. A few other services have terminated here, including St. Annes Roamer routes and the short lived St. Annes Handybus service in 1987. Some school services also end here. 

253 then continued along Hoyle Avenue turning left onto Bowness Avenue where it is seen before turning back onto Blackpool Road

At the end of Blackpool Road, 253 took a sharp left turn onto Leach Lane - the Airport is in the background. Route 11 once took the road in the distance to the Halfway House - though this was subsumed into the Airport in 1940, with Queensway opened in 1954 as an eventual replacement.

Leach Lane becomes Headroomgate Road, and 253 turns onto Heeley Road to head into St. Annes

Meanwhile Excel 215 works at diverted 17 at Starr Gate. The loss of Blackpool Road to the airfield is still felt today when either Clifton Drive or Queensway is disrupted as traffic congestion occurs on the sole alternative route. Next week the roadworks move to the section of Common Edge Road between School Road and Squires Gate Lane, so the 17 is diverted via Midgeland Road southbound only without need for a shuttle service.