Sunday, 21 June 2015

Trident changes

Trident 303 in its early Line 14 guise (Brian Turner)

Pioneer Dennis Trident 301 is currently receiving an advert for Heart FM Radio, replacing the Royal British Legion scheme applied last year.

Sister bus 303, withdrawn from service last month, has now returned to use as Driver Trainer 973. It is believed sister 304 will also be converted. 973 retains fleet livery.

303 was retired just short of its 13th birthday - ironically the previous 303s had similarly short lives. PD2 303 of 1957 was withdrawn (with sisters 301/2/4-10) in March 1970 a few months short of their 13th birthday. Atlanteans 301-310 of 1977 had short lives in Blackpool - 310 was burnt out in October 1986, 301-7 were stored in March/April 1989 - at less than 12 years old and 308/9 lasted a further year. In the 1970s and early 1980s many Blackpool buses had short lives, either due to Certification rules which required overhauls at 12/13 years or due to OMO conversion. The fast changing deregulated environment also saw the BTS fleet evolve with new minibuses and Deltas, plus seasonal operations allowing most of the early Atlanteans to be stood down. It was only the takeover of Fylde and its venerable fleet of Atlanteans that changed priorities and resulted in extended lives.