Saturday, 18 October 2014

Abandoning Ansdell

The vanquished from the victor. Blackpool Excel 226 approaches the junction of Commonside and Woodlands Road as a Stagecoach Trident heads the other way. The stop for Ansdell Library - built 1990 on the site of the Mission Hall which was destroyed by fire around twenty years earlier.

In among a raft of timetable changes from 9 November affecting all but the 16 and 17 is the surprising re-routing of service 11 from the centre of Ansdell. Presently buses from Lytham turn onto Commonside stopping at the library then via Gordon Road onto Central Drive, stopping by the Primary School then Worsley Road (stop at Lytham St. Annes High School) before turning onto Albany Road. From the 9th buses will now continue on Blackpool Road and onto Albany Road. 

Fortunately for Blackpool Transport's customers, Stagecoach will continue to provide a service into the heart of Ansdell on route 68 and Coastal's 78 will continue to serve the shopping area via Woodlands Road. Blackpool's buses have served the route for nearly 80 years - 91 if you include Lytham St. Annes Corporation.

Lytham St. Annes introduced its first bus service in August 1923 between St. Annes and Lytham, largely via the current 11 route. The latter was started by Fylde and Blackpool in 1935 operating direct from Blackpool via Blackpool Road (blocked in 1940 by an expansion to the recently closed Airport). The 1 and 11 continued until 1983 when Blackpool's 22 replaced the daytime 11 service while in 1984 the 1 was replaced by an extension of Ribble's 167. The 11 continued in the evenings and on Sundays but a full service restarted at deregulation. 

Blackpool absorbed Fylde (Lytham St. Annes's successor) in 1996 and combined the 11 and 22 into a new Line 11 in 2001 as part of the Metro network. Under Stagecoach Ribble's 167 grew and evolved into a 15 minute Preston to Blackpool service as service 68. 

Delta 125 is chased by Stagecoach Olympian 16649 in October 2009. This is the end of Commonside - the 11 will now approach from the right of the photo

Mis-matched eras. 1980 built Atlantean outside 1990 Library in 2004. 

Trident 327 heads away from Ansdell Library towards St. Annes and eventually Cleveleys. The parked cars may shed light on the decision to re-route the 11 - though when Fylde Rugby Club play, much greater congestion will be evident on the new route