Thursday, 26 May 2016

Fleet Investment

At a meeting on 23 May Blackpool Council approved a loan of £7.74mn to Blackpool Transport to accelerate fleet upgrades. This will fund the 10 new double deckers due imminently and 25 further buses for 2017. Due to the paucity of new buses in the Roberts era - with investment focused on ex Isle of Man Tridents and DAFs - the age profile of the fleet is heavily skewed as the pie chart shows with 58% of buses aged 13 or older. BTS intends to replace 110 of its 138 buses over the next five years - a rate of investment un-achieved since Walter Luff invested in 100 new buses over two years in 1949/50.

As a correction to an earlier post about the demonstrator Citaro - this is here to test a different specification with a view to modification of the existing ten. Non are currently away for warranty work.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

RVPT Morecambe Running Day

Sunday 29 May will see the annual Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust Morecambe running day. Examples of its Ribble collection will be in service - many of which have connections to the Fylde. They will be supplemented by various Lancashire Municipal buses.

Lytham Lion 24 and PD2 10 will be on display, while Preston Panther 204, Blackpool PD3 512, Burnley and Pendle Leopard 34 and Barrow PD2 169 should be in service.

Ribble buses include Titan 2057, PD3 1775, RE 338, National 2 831 - which were all Fylde Coast based, plus Atlanteans 1397 and 1481 and Stagecoach era Olympian 2186. Fishwick 5 will complete a roster of 12 vehicles.

A half hourly Heysham to Carnforth service will run with extra to make a 15 minute Morecambe to Carnforth frequency. Buses will start/finish at the Winter Gardens, Morecambe. In addition a local 'Bare Circular' will operate also from Winter Gardens.

The Saturday before will see an open day at Stagecoach's Morecambe depot on White Lund estate. Vintage buses will operate on local shuttle services to/from the depot.

On hire on the 5

Two visiting buses are currently in use on service 5. BP14FJZ is a Mercedes Citaro, believed on loan from Evobus, the Mercedes dealer to cover for warranty repairs on 550-559. Also in use is a second Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 Demonstrator YX65RKK which follows YK65RLO which operated here earlier in the year. 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Route 20 returns

Blackpool Transport service 20 resumes on 11 June - almost a year after it was replaced by southern circulars 15/16. The new route will run from Adelaide Street via Hornby Road, Mere Road, Stanley Park, West Park Drive, East Park Drive, Woodside Drive to Zoo then back via East Park Drive, South Park Drive, Preston New Road and Mythop Road to Marton Mere. A half hourly service is provided daily using 3 buses:

  • From Marton Mere 0915 to 1115 and 1515 to 1745
  • From Adelaide Street 0930 to 1130 and 1430 to 1830
  • Weekends 11 June to 6 November
  • Daily 23 July-4 September and 22 October to 6 November
Fleet wise, Excel 224 is back in store - its not known when it last operated. 216, 219, 220 and 225 remain in use
The third refurbished Centro, 531, has returned from Bus and Coach World with 530 replacing it for refurbishment. Not previously reported is the repaint of Trident 327 - observed with new fleetnames in March.

Catch 22 changes

Catch 22 bus changes in services from tomorrow, 16 May. On the downsize, service 22 loses its Mereside to Blackpool section as resources are transfered to enhance the recently launched Wyre services. This includes an hourly extension of the Sunday 22 to Fleetwood and some earlier morning journeys.

A new service 23 is launched between Cleveleys and Pheasants Wood every 40 minutes Monday to Friday (0920-1720 except 1240) and hourly on Saturdays (0920, 1000 to 1700) when it interworks with the 24.

Route 24 is retimed with an extension on Monday to Friday to Hardhorn running from Poulton Booths via Hardhorn Road, Highcross Road, Longhouse Lane, Hardhorn Road, Beach Drive, Carr Head Road, Lower Green, Station Road, Vicarage Lane and Ball Street to Poulton Church. This starts with the 0920 from Cleveleys. 3 buses are required. The Saturday and Sunday services are unchanged, but on Saturdays they interwork with new service 23.

The all-over turquoise livery applied to Darts 366 and 369 has also now been applied to short dart 657 - and is believed to be the new standard. Dart 363 has also entered service with an all-over advert for Freeport. 

Three more single deckers have been acquired recently - this time from First , W812/3PFB are ex Bristol Volvo B6BLE/Wrights and X475SCY ex Devon and Cornwall is an Alexander bodied Dart.