Saturday, 27 February 2016

Blackpool Transport School Services

Volvo Olympian 376 heads a line of three sisters at St Mary's School prior to working the 400 to Fleetwood. 374, 378 and 375 make up the quartet
November saw the opening of the new "Blackpool Aspire Academy" replacing both Collegiate and Bispham High Schools. The school is on the site of Collegiate school. At the end of December Blackpool Council withdraw the school services 410 (Mereside-Bispham High) and 420 (Boundary to Bispham High) that previously served the school. Former school services 411 (Marton-Collegiate) and 421 (Mereside-Bispham High) ended in December 2014 with the school merger and to the closure of the Collegiate site.

The expanded school and the cancelled school services has caused high demand for service 14 so Blackpool Transport has introduced a new school service 414 over the 14 route from the Town Centre with 3 departures from 0753 to 0813. At the end of the school day two buses are provided and based on recent observations one works as a 414 to Town Centre then works a further 414 journey back to Thornton Four Lane Ends via Sixth Form College and another bus works as a 14 duplicate through to Mereside.

The four school services to St Mary's School continue and are usually in the hands of the remaining Olympians:
  • 400 Fleetwood via Cleveleys, via 14 to West View, via 1 to Cleveleys, Anchorsholme Lane, North Drive, Warren Drive, Devonshire Road, Red Bank Road, Warbreck Drive, Warbreck Hill Road, Plymouth Road, St Walburgas Road to School.
  • 401 Lytham via South Park, Forest Drive, Ansdell Library, Church Road, St Annes Road East, St Davids Road North, Highbury Road, Kinhouse Lane, Queensway, Boundary, Hawes Side Lane, Waterloo Road, Park Road, Palatine Road, Whitegate Drive, Devonshire Road, Caunce Street, Layton Road, Westcliffe Drive and St Walburgas Road to School
  • 402 Mereside via Langdale Road, Cherry Tree Road North, Preston New Road, South Park Drive, West Park Drive, Forest Gate, Newton Drive, St Walburgas Road to School
  • 403 Halfway House via 7 to Tower, Promenade, Warley Road, Devonshire Road, Talbot Road, Westcliffe Drive and St Walburgas Road to School
The last Lancashire County Council contracts ended in April 2015 - 649 Kirkham-Lytham ended April 2015 and 840 Fleetwood-Preesall. This ends such operation after almost 30 years and the current schools operation is the smallest it has been. At a peak back in 1999 39 workings covered school services. Much of this work was taken over with the Fylde business and has since been taken over by smaller operators such as Archway, Bank View, Waltons and Bradshaws - with Preston Bus also having a small network.