Friday, 6 September 2013

Buses back on Skew Bridge - News Round Up

From Sunday 6th October Skew Bridge on Lytham Road will reopen to buses. Blackpool Transport routes 5 and 11, plus Stagecoach 68 will revert to their established route on Lytham Road, removing the "temporary" diversion via Watson Road, Bond Street and Station Road which has been in place since February 2011. The bridge has had a 7.5t limit since 2006 with an exemption for buses, though this was withdrawn in 2011 due to concerns about the structure. Blackpool Council has now arranged a re-inspection using new technology to test the strength of rivets and this has enabled Network Rail to relax the limit.

Not previously reported was a change to service 5 from 1 September. This has involved the reversal of the terminal loop at Halfway House. Buses now run anti-clockwise from Highfield Road via St. Annes Road to Halfway House then via Squires Gate Lane, Lindale Gardens and Highfield Road. This is the direction adopted by the 12A from 1988 to 2001 (except for a brief period of two way operation along Lindale Gardens), with the 5 adopting the reverse route at its launch in 2001 to enable routes 5 and 7 to share common stops on St. Annes Road for passengers to Blackpool. The change 12 years later does allow an easier, all left turns route to be adopted.

The final Metro Coastlines route liveried bus - and the final passenger service bus in green - is 303, following recent repaints to 304, then 305 with 306 now under treatment. Nine buses retain Metro pool livery.

Excel 223 is the latest of the type to visit Bus and Coach World for DDA modifications.