Monday 1 May 2023

Spring Round Up

 Blackpool Transport

Service changes from Sunday 16th April saw a change of heart for Staining where in December the former service 20 was cancelled as it was no longer commercially viable. Transpora won a short term contract for a replacement service numbered 72 which ran via Layton rather than the Zoo. Inspired, Blackpool Transport has now registered a commercial replacement over the same route numbered 15. It runs hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes.

Also from the same date most journeys on service 1 were diverted via The Stand, Marine Parade and Chatsworth Avenue- school time buses still follow the old route. Not previously reported was the ending of the late night buses introduced in July - presumably at the December change.

Minor changes were made to the 2 and 18, while the 3 was diverted on journeys back form Cleveleys Park via Cleveleys Avenue and West Drive rather than Cumberland Avenue and Rossall Road. On Sundays the 11 and 14 interwork during the day sharing nine buses.

Current fleet requirements are:

1 - 2 PVR usually SD in the week, DD weekends

2 - 1 bus daily with a 2nd at peak times. DD M-F, SD Sat, Midi Sundays

2C - 5 buses MS with a 6th at school times, 2 Sundays. DD MF, SD Sat, Midi Suns

3 - 6 buses MS, 5 shared with 4 on Sundays. Daytime usually Citaros, Eves/Suns Midis

4 - 5 buses (5 shared with 3 on Sundays). Midis.  On school days an extra bus works an 0804 Bispham to Mereside and a 1521 from the Saddle to Cleveleys.

5 - 5 buses (4 Sats, 3 Suns). DD M-S, SD Suns

6 - 5 buses (4 Sats, 4 Suns), mixed M-S, SD Suns. A sixth bus runs school times.

7 - 5 buses - DD M-S, SD Suns

9 - 4 buses MF with 2 extra at peaks, 4 Sats, 3 Suns. DD M-S SD Suns

11 - 6 buses MF, 5 Sats, 9 shared with 14 Suns. Usually DDs

12 - usually 1DD AM and 2 SD PM schooldays only

14 - 8 vehicles MF, 9 in the AM peak, 6 Sats and 9 shared with 11 on Sundays usually DD

15 - 1 bus Midi

17 - 5 MF, 3 Sat/Sun. Mixed M-F, SD weekends

18 - 2 Daily SD M-S, Midis Sun

74 - 4 MS, 2 Sundays Midis

75 - 4 MS, 2 Sundays Midis

With 2 buses for Myrescough College that means a total PVR of 79, of which 11 are peak only - often just one single or return trip. 104 buses are currently in the active fleet - 49 E400s, 26 long E200s, 22 short E200s and 7 Citaros.

In other fleet news:

  • 422/423 have recently lost their Platinum Jubilee adornments
  • Citaro 554 was converted to a driver trainer late last year and is now numbered 974
  • Sisters 550/1 have been sold, the former is under conversion as a exhibition bus, 551 is now with Lyles of Batley trading as Longstaffs as WIL3619 and can often be found on its 205 Dewsbury to Mirfield road

Recently construction work has commenced to ready the depot for electric buses with the work focused on the East Shed which will become the new maintenance shop. 115 buses are expected, which will provide 45% spare cover for the current service levels.

No orders have been publicised, though a further Wright Electroliner has visited the resort recently LY71GHZ which ran in London as a seed vehicle but is now back with Wrightbus. 

Transpora North West

Recent service changes include the end of the short lived 72 as noted above. The 24 was extended to Blackpool via the Hospital on 12th February with 1 bus per hour Fleetwood to Blackpool (3 buses Mon-Sat) and a 2nd working shorts Poulton-Cleveleys (4th bus Mon-Fri). 1 bus runs hourly Poulton to Cleveleys on Sundays.

The 22 resumed linking Tower with the Zoo from 7th April. It runs five days per week (not Mondays or Fridays). The 26 Beach Bus from Marton Mere restarted at the start of April.

Blackpool Survivors Update

Trident 304 (later trainer 974) was advertised for sale in Essex, part converted to a catering vehicle. 

342 has passed from Dews to Southern Coachlines. Powell's ceased trading last year, 294 has passed to Smiths, Marple. 

257 has passed from Archway to "the Baz Stop" a mobile diner based in Fleetwood. 

Saturday 31 December 2022

Survivors Update


307-309 have passed from Coach Travel Solutions to Davies, Ruithin (dlr) probably for scrap

334 and 337 have passed from Stockdale Selby, to Sweyne Goole - joining ex Blackpool 322 and 325

345 is now with Linburg Travel ex Lodges in white.


Dekkabus sold 354 (now Y346HAA) to Xelabus who are believed to have sold it on to an unknown owner.

371/2 passed from Coach Solutions, Blackburn to Andybus, Easton Grey and since have moved to Cotswold Green, Nailsworth


523 has passed from Paul Winson to Greaves, Nottingham reverting to its original registration. Sister 524 has moved to Redline Penwortham as YIL6984

Autumn Round up

 Blackpool Transport

From Sunday 18th December BTS withdrew service 20 and reduced the 1 to run from Affinity Fleetwood to Blackpool Tower. The 20 is replaced by a new LCC contract numbered 72 from Staining to Blackpool via Hospital and Layton operated by Transport North West every hour. Other than a brief spell in 1995/6 when Town Bus and the Fylde ran the 15, Blackpool Transport has provided the Staining to Blackpool link since 1927. 

An earlier change was the 74 which has been extended to serve Rossall Point via Affinity and Fleetwood Esplanade. A new 74/75 timetable has increased PVR from 7 to 8.

Enviro 428 has recently been adorned with stickers as a ‘festive’ bus.

Coastliner Buses becomes Transpora North West

Earlier this year the Transpora group which includes operations in Bristol, Hampshire, Manchester and London. It has now started to trade as Transpora North West and has introduced a fleet numbering system. The fleet list on this page is being updated to reflect this.

Recent fleet additions include:

  • YT09ZCJ - ex RATP London Scania Omnicity (2902)
  • YR59FYW - ex RATP London Scania (2903)
  • BX56XBY - at National Express West Midlands B7RLE (1301)
  • YX68URG - ex Powells, Rotherham Enviro 200MMC (1298)
  • YW68PDV - ex Stuarts, Carluke Enviro 200MMC (1296)


From 28 November, with Lancashire County Council Bus Service Improvement Plan funding, Stagecoach reintroduced evening buses on the 42 to Lancaster. 

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Electroliner trial


With plans to renew the Blackpool Transport fleet with electric buses, they entertained a trial of Wrightbus’s Streetdeck Electroliner last week. It ran on the 1 as a dupe to the 935 and 1335 trips with a conductor taking fares and collecting feedback. Many thanks to Paul Wigan for the photo.

In other news it is understood Enviro 400s 403-10 have been withdrawn and sold to Vision Bus of Bolton. 

Thursday 2 June 2022

Service Changes

 Blackpool Transport

As is common at this time of year, 12 June sees some timetable changes for Blackpool Transport's buses. 

1 - extra bus added to cycle at weekends- no change to frequency but new night journeys 2330 and 0130 from Starr Gate to Fleetwood and 0030 and 0230 from Fleetwood - the latter to Manchester Square only. This is slightly curious given the lack of evening service.

2 - 0730 from Blackpool, 800 and 1500 from Poulton will run year round rather than just school terms. The service remains hourly other than these weekday extras. 

6 - a second journey runs to Peel Park. A 5th bus added to cycle to extend running times. Still only every 30 minutes

5, 7, 9, 11 and 14 are retimed.

All services are retaining their current frequencies and the daytime PVR will be 69 buses with some peak extras. Not previously reported is Blackpool operating the 400 (Fleetwood-Blackpool-Poulton-Myrescough College) and 853 (St. Annes-Lytham-Kirkham-Myrescough College) buses on behalf of Preston Bus.

76 and 78

Coastal Coaches has recently lost the contract to operate these buses (on behalf of LCC) to Preston Bus. Minor changes have been made, notably a Sunday service on the 78 and some later evening trips to Lytham. The 78 now serves Derby Road in Wesham too. The 76 runs Blackpool-Poulton-Weeton-Kirkham-Wrea Green-Warton-Lytham- St. Annes and the 78 Great Eccleston-Wesham-Kirkham-Warton-Lytham-Ansdell-Heyhouses-St. Annes. Both interwork at St. Annes and use six buses with 2018/2019 Mellor Stratas in use.

Preston Bus use a two tone blue livery, replacing Coastal's blue and white buses. With the 78 evolving from a former Fylde service it is ironic that its current and previous operators are using similar liveries to Fylde's 80s and 90's schemes.

Coastal is still operating three LCC schools - two of which use coaches and one 813 (Hambleton to Garstang High) uses one of the two Stratas.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Jubilee buses

Blackpool Transport has outshopped two of its Enviro 400s in a commemorative livery for the Queens Platinum jubilee. 422/3 have both had some purple vinyls over most of the yellow bits on their liveries and suitable messaging in the advert panels. 423 entered service yesterday and was capture on camera by Mike Wilson:

Saturday 26 March 2022

ZEBRA bid succesful

Blackpool Council’s bid for 115 electric buses for its wholly owned operator Blackpool Transport is one of 12 Zero Emission Bus Regional Area projects announced this morning. It is understood 57 double deckers (like for like replacements for the E400s) and 58 single deckers replacing the 48 E200s and ten Citaros) are to be purchased 2022-2024. Significant work is also expected to make Rigby Road depot suitable for electric buses including a refurbished and extended east shed, demolition of the body, paint and tram fitting shops. By 2025 it is also possible that the bus depot will be demolished in favour of hard standing as most facilities will be accommodated in the East Shed. 

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Coastliner Expansion, Blackpool loans and suvivors

Coastliner Buses has secured five school contracts for Lancashire County Council and is starting to acquire suitable vehicles ahead of their start on 4th January.

  • LX03BTV is a new to Stagecoach London Plaxton bodied Trident acquired from London Borough of Havering and now in Coastliner livery.
  • 3 ex Abellio Enviro 400s including LJ09CAA
Their London Routemaster RML887 has been treated to a full repaint into London red and on completion featured on a road run in London to mark the anniversary of the end of Routemasters on their last route - the 159.

Meanwhile, Blackpool Transport has been assisting Warrington's Own Buses with a vehicle shortage. Centro 531 has been on hire from 1st to 13th December before returning to Rosso. Enviro 200s 566, 572 and 580 are there too. 

Blackpool survivor updates include the sale of 342 to Dews of Somersham ex Vision bus - it rejoins 336. Thanks to Ron Way for the report last month. Solo 249 has left Archway and is now with Smiths of Marple. DAF 354 has been sold by Dekkabus and is currently advertised by Xelabus in allover white.

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Blue Buses of Lytham St. Annes - the ideal Christmas Gift!

Blue Buses of Lytham St. Annes by Paul Turner is on sale at £45. You can buy it from:

Fylde Transport Trust - click here for how

Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours Click Here

Videoscene click here

MDS Book Sales click here

Blue Buses of Lytham St. Annes by Paul Turner is still available for sale from the following outlets:

From the author via EBay or by emailing

Plackitt and Booth bookshop, Lytham (on line shop)

MDS Books

Blackpool Tram Shop and Videoscene

Fylde Transport Trust

Heritage Tram Tours

Some feedback from early sales:

"Just a quick message to say thank you and to congratulate you for creating such a superb publication."

I think you and your father between you have written the definitive works on Lytham public transport." 

"I've had a quick look through it, very impressed with the quality and the excellent photographs"

"Have had trouble putting it down since the memories are overflowing.  A quality work to add to my collection that will be treasured."

"Well what a great book. Having great difficulty putting it down. So much detail, information & unseen photographs"

"received your book this morning and have to say it’s outstanding"

"Your book has just arrived.  It looks absolutely fabulous.  Out of the hundreds of transport books which I have, I am going to enjoy this one the most.  "

BLUE BUSES OF LYTHAM ST. ANNES has been researched and written over 25 years. It tells the story of the introduction of buses by Lytham St. Annes Corporation in 1923 right through the Fylde era to the final takeover by Blackpool Transport in 1996. It is 248 pages, 350 photos (250 in colour) and sells for £45

Sunday 7 November 2021

FTT Service 14 Running Day

516 passes the Castle Gardens

Today saw the Fylde Transport Trust’s final Blackpool Bus 100 event with PD3s 516 and 529, Atlantean 334 and Swift 570 operating between Blackpool and Fleetwood over the 14 route during the afternoon. An excellent day by all accounts - a few photos from Carleton and Fleetwood. 

529 at the Queens hi Hotel, Fleetwood

529 at Carleton Crematorium 

334 approaching Carleton Crematorium 


Autumn Update

A round up of recent news:

Coastal Coaches

Having standardised on Optare Solos, Coastal acquired its first Mercedes Sprinter buses with Mellor Strata Ultra bodies. They are WO21OGH and WO21OGJ. Ex Quality Line Solos YJ62FKX and YJ62FVT have been withdrawn. 

Zoo route 22 was extended to run every weekend in September and October plus Tuesdays to Thursdays in the last two weeks of October. They have been regularly working Metrolink tram replacements in Greater Manchester too. 

Blackpool Transport
Service changes saw an uplift in frequency on 5 September much of which was undone on the 19th as a staff shortage kicked in. This grew worse in October causing the 1 to be suspended on several days and in the end it was reduced to run between Cleveleys and Town Centre  only with an extension to Fleetwood on Tuesdays. This took effect on 10th September with a timetable change to coordinate with Coastliner 21 after a week. 

Former Blackpool Buses
The last of the withdrawn Tridents finally left on 5 November - 314/5 heading to Lodge Coaches High Easter joining several others. Trainer 974 (304) has joined former 975 (339) for conversion to cafes. 

343 (H1FBT) is now YIL2805 (it’s fifth registration) and after a brief period with B&N Barnoldswick has passed to Freeway of Pinton Notts. Sister 326 has passed to Panther, Parkeston from M&M Staffing.
358 has been withdrawn by Dekkabus and is being stripped for spares 

Saturday 14 August 2021

News Round Up

Blackpool Transport introduced revised summer services from 25 July which unusually features lower frequencies - reversing recent practise which saw frequencies increase.

The 1 still runs every 30 mins, the 2 reduced to hourly. The 3, 4 and 7 are running every 30 minutes, 5, 6, 9, 11 and 14 every 20 mins. Even the Zoo service, 20, is a poor 90 minute frequency. Meanwhile BT are providing several vehicles on rail replacement in Greater Manchester currently. 

Fleetwise the six Centros returned from loan to Rosso after the school term ended. They are currently for sale.

Coastliner buses has introduced a new 22 from Tower to Zoo every 20 minutes with the first trip starting at Marton Mere - the last one returns there too. It runs 17 July-30 August Tues to Thurs and at weekends too. V158MEV an open top Trident is now in fleet livery for this route having previously run on Sightseeing Manchester. Sister V145MEV has also seen use. 

Coastliner has been active on Manchester Metrolink replacement services recently. CK53AKO is the latest ex Cardiff Dart to join the fleet and is painted in a mainly blue livery. 

Sunday 4 July 2021

Anniversary review

Buses cross at Stanley Park with PD3 529 and Atlantean 334 on the 21 (Paul Turner)

This weekend saw the birthday weekend celebrations of Blackpool Buses with 19 different buses taking part. This included 6 from the Fylde Transport Trust, 6 which are owned by Gary Conn and Martin Gurr as part of the Best Bus in Town collection, 5 owned by Blackpool Transport and two privately owned buses.  

The events kicked off at 1400 on Friday - the birthday date - when Blackpool Transport's Olympian open topper worked the first of three tours up the Prom to Cleveleys then along the original route to Thornton and back again. Tour 2 used Preserved PD3 501 at 1600 and Tour 3 Blackpool's Atlantean 364. All three are part of the Blackpool Heritage fleet.

A superb addition to the ranks of preserved buses in Solo 288 which is now part of the Best Bus in Town Collection with 501, 554, 262, 133 and 589. Outshopped last week it has been restored to as new Lifestyle Line 16 livery. It arrived on 4th April 2007 and made its debut on the first day of the 16 on 16th April. It was repainted into the new black and yellow livery in August 2010 and again in May 2014. It was withdrawn in June 2018 and has been stored locally since disposal in December 2019

Saturday started with a parade of buses. 17 were involved and these gathered in Blackpool's Rigby Road yard. The buses were grouped into four and ran to Squires Gate in a holding area before running from Starr Gate up the Promenade to North Pier then running to Gynn Square to turn and disperse. 

Swifts 554 and 570 depart Rigby Road ready for the parade of buses (Paul Turner)

Group 1 featured PD3s 501 and 516 and Swifts 554 and 570. Group 2 had Atlanteans 334, 362 and 364 with Olympian 857 and Routemaster 521 (RM1583). Group 3 was all Optare built, led by City Pacer 575 with Delta 133, Metrorider 589 and Excel 225 with Group 4 featuring Solos 288 and 292, Citaro 554 and Enviro 400 458. 

After the parade, ten buses went on display at the Headland, some directly after the parade, others with a visit to the depot so as to spread the arrivals for marshalling purposes. The display comprised 501, 516, 512, both 554s, 362 857, 225, 589 and 458. 512 was the 18th bus used and did not take part in the parade.

At 1200 the free bus service numbered 100 started using Solos 288 - in Line 16 livery and 292 in black and yellow and now used for driver training. Atlantean 364 and Delta 133 completed the line up.

In the evening FTT ran 334 and 570 over the route of service 1 from North Pier to Poulton via Carleton and Castle Gardens.

Night bus - 570 awaits departure from Poulton at 2300 on Saturday. (Paul Turner)

Sunday saw two different free services, plus another round of tours 501 at 1100, 364 at 1300 and 857 at 1500. 

Service 100 used six buses. 133, 288, 362, 501, 857 and an ex Arriva Dennis Dart owned by Andy Mitchell and painted as a 'what might have been' bus in Blackpool's late 1990s livery and fleet number 296.

FTT recreated the Zoo service 21 using Atlantean 334, PD3 529 and City Pacer 575.

This brought the events to an end - though there may be some more celebrations later in the year. With 19 buses featured, 11 of which gave rides this was the biggest bus gathering in Blackpool since the end of Totally Transport a few years ago.

Metrorider 589 was one of three Handybus vehicles in the parade (Paul Turner)

City Pacer 575 was another - returned to use for the first time since 2004 (Paul Turner)

334 awaits departure on the first 21 to the Zoo (Paul Turner)

Delta 133 worked the 100 service on both days this weekend (Paul Turner)

334 at the Zoo terminus - this is one of the last remaining fully intact 1990s shelters. These were installed by Blackpool Transport who won the contract from Adshel, who responded by suddenly removing their shelters. This one retains all glass - including the 'tower and waves' logo. Several others exist in shell form (including one at Stanley Park) and others have been modified with new a flat roof and metal panels in place of the glazing. In a couple of places the shelters have been removed but the advertising panel survives! (Paul Turner)

PD3 529 negotiates the roundabout at Stanley Park on the 21 route (Paul Turner)

Friday 2 July 2021

100 years old

On Saturday 2nd July 1921 a Tilling Stevens single decker left Cleveleys Beach for Thornton Station and Blackpool Corporation became a bus operator. The Corporation itself first became a transport operator in 1892, when it took over the tram company and is believed to be the oldest council owned transport operation in Europe, if not the World.

Like the trams, bus operations tended to be started by private operators - indeed William Smith, a Blackpool councillor, had started Blackpool's first motor bus route from Layton tram terminus to Bispham in June 1920 and later added routes to Poulton and Staining plus local routes in South Shore and Fleetwood. In 1926/7 Smith's business was absorbed into the Corporation network which had expanded with its first Blackpool area route from Adelaide Place to Devonshire Road via Caunce Street in December 1922.

Starting with a route outside its boundary was unusual, but it was a product of an agreement which prevented the LMS from opening a branch from Thornton to Cleveleys. This also included a coal train service on the tramway from Thornton Gate to Fleetwood. The bus service linked the tramway at Cleveleys with Thornton Station and tended to use one bus at a time, sometimes with a second bus at peak times. 

It continued, with a brief extension to Burn Naze in 1927 until 1931. By this time Ribble had established a strong presence in the Fleetwood, Cleveleys and Thornton area and the Corporation had built up larger network centred on Blackpool. Route numbers had been allocated in 1927 and the pioneer service was given the somewhat dismissive number 13. It had grown to a 15 minute frequency by 1930 but ended on 20th December 1931, with Ribble taking over and integrating into its own network. Today the main link is provided by Coastliner buses 24 - though with a few diversions through residential areas that didn't exist in the 20s - and Blackpool's 75 which sticks to the main Victoria Road like the 13 did. 


Saturday 26 June 2021

Blackpool 100 Events

More details are now available for the Blackpool bus 100 events next weekend. Friday sees three bookable tours from Blundell Street to Cleveleys and Thornton. These cost £3 and trips are bookable on PD3 501 at 1600 and Atlantean 364 at 1800 on the Friday while the earlier trip at 1400 with Olympian Open Topper 857 appears booked up. On Sunday at the time of writing 501’s 1100 trip is nearly booked up with seats available on 364 at 1300 and 857 at 1500. Book at Blackpool Heritage Trams Tours

On Saturday there’s a procession at 1000 from Starr Gate to North Pier before many vehicles are displayed on Tower Headland 1200-1600.

A special free service will run from Pleasure Beach to Gynn Square on both Saturday and Sunday to the timetable below.

Saturday night sees Fylde Transport Trust run two of their buses, one confirmed as Swift 570, on a Beer and Buses from North Pier to Poulton to over the old 1 route to the times below. On Sunday they will operate very 20 minutes Tower to Zoo over the old 21 route. 

FTT are preparing Swift 570 and Atlantean 334 for the weekend and have cosmetically altered recently acquired Excel 225 to represent the Handybus livery. Also City Pacer 575 has returned home after mechanical repairs in Stoke and now has its first MoT since back in 2004.

FTT's Saturday Beer and Buses to Poulton

FTT's Sunday 21 service to the Zoo