Monday 1 April 2024

50 years of Fylde

Almost book ends of the half century of Lytham St.Annes Corporation. 1935 Lion 34 and 1970 Atlantean 77 pose with employees at Squires Gate Depot on its closure in April 1999. (Paul Turner)

1st April 1974 saw the implementation of part of the 1972 local government act. This involved a new structure of county and borough councils and had two main impacts locally:

Blackpool County Borough council became a borough council with Lancashire County Council taking on some functions. Fylde Borough Council was formed to replace Lytham St. Annes Borough, Fylde Rural and Kirkham Urban District councils. 

The act had an impact on many local council transport operations. Some were merged - eg Blackburn and Darwen and also Lancaster with Morecambe and Heysham. 

Others were renamed Accrington becoming Hyndburn and Lytham St. Annes becoming Fylde. The impact on Blackpool was less visual but it gave Lancashire and influence especially when money was required. This was perhaps most obvious in the 1983 network review which saw changes to the joint 11/11A and the extension of Blackpool’s 22/22A to Lytham. This reduced duplication and increased coordination. Nothing is forever and in 1986 bus deregulation saw the two council owned companies compete aggressively. Then in April 1998 another reorganisation saw Blackpool become a Unitary Authority taking functions back from Lancashire. Imminently a combined authority will bring everything back into one authority again - until the next change. To muddy things further by 1994 Blackpool Transport owned by Blackpool Council had taken over Fylde Transport once owned by Fylde Council!

So locally the main change in 1974 was the Lytham St. Annes buses became Fylde Borough Council’s Transport Department. Other than an instant application of a simple FYLDE fleet name, before the application of FYLDE BOROUGH and a new crest in 1975 little changed.

Five Bristol REs were unusual purchased by Fylde in 1975 but lasted a good life running until 1993. Sadly non survived into preservation. (Paul Turner)

Two coaches arrived with an avant garde livery variation of a mustard stripe on the traditional blue and white in 1974 and this became the standard livery. Ribble retained responsibility for the services in more rural Fylde - though Blackpool provided a link to Staining. It was in 1978 that the blue buses extended out beyond the Lytham boundary into Fylde when its route 3 (Spring Gardens - StAnnea and Lytham) was merged with Ribble’s bus to Wesham as the 193.

We are fortunate to have a fantastic collection of Lytham St.Annes buses preserved and mostly restored. There are four from the 1930s (3x Lions and 1x Titan), four post war Titans (plus a fifth ex Warrington), six Atlantean double deckers and one single decker plus a Delta from 1991 a Seddon RU from 1972.

Fylde 77 on standby at Lowther Gardens as a relief bus for Lytham Club Day

Fylde Transport Trust has just repainted Atlantean 77 to its 1977 guise in Fylde’s blue white and yellow livery. Many others represent Lytham’s classic blue and white livery while three have the later two tone blue livery. 

FTT is also working on bringing back into use Lytham Lion 34, PD1 19 and PD2 70. 

Lion 24 restored

Lion 34 restored under attention

Lion 44 awaits restoration 

Titan 45 under restoration

Titan 19 restored under attention

Titan 10 restored

Titan 24 restored in Warrington livery

Titan 61 awaiting restoration 

Titan 70 restored under attention

Atlantean 77 restored

Seddon 47 under restoration

Atlantean 79 stored 

Atlantean 71 restored

Atlantean 96 under restoration

Atlantean 44 under restoration

Atlantean 45 restored

Delta 3 restored as Blackpool 133. 

Atlantean single deck 7 restored

Friday 29 March 2024

Full front PD2 346 for repaint

346 in cream undercoat alongside the resplendent Fylde 77 at St Helens (FTT) 

With Fylde Atlantean 77 now back in blue, white and mustard - Fylde Transport Trust has taken PD2 346 to Arriva at St. Helens for repaint. 346 is the solve survivor of fifty rear entrance PD2s purchased between 1957 and 1959. Other than 301-305, these were bodied by Metro Cammell to their standard Orion body with four bays. Less common was the full front with a nearside cab door giving somewhat reduced access to the engine v the later half cab St Helens front buses. Blackpool's engineers were no doubt used to this after two decades of Streamlined full fronted Titans. 

The fifty PD2s arrived in three batches of 10 (1957), 20 (1958) and 20 (1959). 346 was part of the latter, first registered on 25th March 1959. Interestingly records show an order for 20 buses for due in October 1957 and 10 in October 1958 with chassis costing £2,430 each and the bodies at £2,685. Metro Cammell were outbid by Crossley - who offered £25 less, but MC were chosen to match the last five of the 1957 deliveries. Local firm Burlingham was the most expensive at £2,914. In October 1957 the order was increased by a further ten buses - at the same price. March to May 1958 saw the arrival of the first of the new buses (311-330) - somewhat later than the October 1957 date promised. Likewise 331-350 were delayed to 1959 - arriving in the last couple of weeks of March.  

Anecdotally 331-350 were noisier than the previous batch - as picked up by a couple of Gazette letter writers: "They are cold and draughty, and the seating is very utilitarian and uncomfortable. One point in particular is that while we can have a very expensive material on the interior roof, where normally paintwork would suffice, we have to suffer by reason of economy, I suppose, the lack of insulation-no inside panels on some of these machines. With regard to the noise factor, it appears that the exhaust system may differ from the old vehicles. This seems to be the primary fault."

The 50 rear loaders replaced the pre-war Titans giving a fleet of 150 PD2s (100 Burlingham Centre loaders of 1949-51 completed this), 3 1940 open top Titans and just nine single deckers.  As was the norm the new buses entered services on the busiest routes, such as the 11/11A to Lytham, 14 to Fleetwood and 22/22A Cleveleys to Halfway House. Older buses were cascaded to quieter routes. 

346 was first registered on 25th March 1959. Like its sisters it seated 63 v 52/54 of the post war Streamliners and just 48 on the pre-war ones. All 50 were painted cream with a green band above the lower deck windows and green mudguards. In later life many gained the plain cream livery adopted with the 1969 Swifts and applied to PD2s/PD3s from 1972. 346 was never so treated lasting in the original scheme to the end of service life in March 1975 after 16 years. 

Since 1959, 90 longer 71 seat PD3s had entered service. 20 full fronted similar to the PD2s in 1962, 10 more but with St Helens fronts and asymmetrical windscreens in 1964 then sixty half cabs between 1965 and 1968. These replaced the 100 centre entrance PD2s - plus some trams. To replace the PD2s, Blackpool turned to the one man operated AEC Swift single decker, placing 55 into service from 1969 to 1975. 

346 in slightly faded original cream and green livery poses at reversing bay at Thornton Social Club, terminus of the 14A (FTT Collection)

The 50 PD2s had a split future after withdrawal. Some went for scrap, others saw use with new operators while some had an ancilliary role. This included 334 and 337 which were used by the tram track gang as mess buses from 1975 to 1986/7 in a vivid orange livery, while 346 also went bright, painted all-over yellow and was used by the Council's Illuminations department as a mess bus, replacing older 310. It was last so used in 1982, and by 1985 was windowless having suffered a vandal attack at the Illuminations department yard. It was purchased by what became the St Helens Transport Museum and moved to Burtonwood in December 1985, then St Helens itself soon after when the new museum opened in the town's old bus depot. It was reglazed using parts from 334 which was broken for spares.

346 was kept on display in yellow for several years before moving into the museums workshops, but work did not commence. A collection review saw it purchased by the Lancastrian Transport Trust (now Fylde Transport Trust) in August 2005, it returned to Blackpool on 10th December. After some time in store, restoration commenced in 2014 and has progressed in stages. After a recent hiatus work has resumed and the bus was moved to St Helens (this time to the bus depot which replaced the one which became the museum) on 20th March.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Fylde 77 ready for repaint.

Today the Fylde Transport Trust's Atlantean 77 moved to Arriva's St Helens paint shop for a full repaint into the Fylde Borough blue, white and mustard. This was first applied in 1977 - when the bus was seven years old and had a 'mid life' overhaul (though it managed 19 more years in service!). It was 1986 before a further repaint saw it outshopped in a blue and white variant. The mustard band livery was a characteristic 70s livery as the operation tried to evolve from its traditional style. Fylde Borough was formed 50 years ago this year, from Lytham St. Annes, Fylde Rural and Kirkham Urban councils. FTT hope to celebrate this with an event later in the year at which the newly painted 77 will star.  

Photos thanks to Philip Higgs

77 from the rear - in the Arriva paint shop

77 started the day at the North West Museum of Road Transport in St Helens

77 on arrival at Arriva.

77 in the Arriva paint shop

77 from the rear - in the Arriva paint shop

Tuesday 26 December 2023

'Reimagined Routes'

 This blog has ground to a halt simply because there is little worthy of reporting on however its worth a post to record a curious network change to Blackpool Transport's services from Sunday 7th January.

Why curious? Well the change is being promoted as "Your Routes Reimagined" and there is both lots changing, yet little changing at the same time. After over 20 years of a simple straightforward network with little variation, the change introduces several suffices and route variations. 

In an exercise representative of an ill-fated change in Bournemouth many routes are renumbered without change and corridors grouped, sometimes having to change numbers midway to complete this. Sometimes the groupings are tenuous - eg the 5C having little in common with the 5, 5A, 5B and the 11B likewise with 11/11A.  The 5 gets different suffixes for different termini, the 6 gets three southern termini but no suffixes!  Long standing routes 2 and 9 disappear, not for the first time. 

Changes are summarised by existing route number:

1 (Fleetwood to Blackpool) minor route cut back to North Pier rather than Tower. Presumably this means it can turn via Market Street rather than Central Drive/Chapel Street. It will run hourly daily with 2 buses. During the summer extra hourly buses will run from Cleveleys to St. Annes Square as they did this year but will be numbered 1A. This makes a 30 minute Cleveleys to North Pier service. Oddly this appears in the new timetables as starting 7th January but the accompanying news item says its summer only.

2 (Poulton to Blackpool). This is withdrawn and replaced by an extended 5 between Hospital and Poulton. Route 5C (the current 2C) will be the only BTS service along Newton Drive from Devonshire Square to Hospital with one bus every 40 minutes, rather than four per hour as present. On school days an "X2" bus will run over the current 2 route at 8am from Abingdon Street and 3pm from Poulton.

2C (Knott End to Blackpool). Renumbered 5C and cut down to every 40 minutes from every 30 minutes. PVR=4. The renumbering is to "group" the service with the 5s, with a selling point that any 5 goes to the Hospital from Blackpool. All well and good, but from the Hospitals, 5s could take you in multiple directions! The logic of grouping the 5C with the 5/A/B is flimsy as there is no route section in common - it takes a different route Blackpool to Hospital and Hospital to Poulton. There is no hope of co-ordination of the 40 minute with the 15 minute 5/A/B.

3 and 4 (Cleveleys to Mereside). The 4 is renumbered 3A, despite having very little commonality with the 3. The Cleveleys to Cleveleys Park loop switches from the 3 to 3A. Only Bispham Hotel to Gynn Square and the last few stops at Mereside are common yet the pair of half hourly services are timed such as they leave Bispham with alternate 10/20 minute intervals! The 3 loses its evening services, though the 3A keeps it. That means there is no service on Park Road in the evening, despite Whitegate Drive also having Stagecoach's 61 operating. 10 buses are required. An 11th bus works a 3A at 809 Bispham to Mereside and 324pm back from the Saddle to Cleveleys Park. 

5 (Halfway House to Hospital). A rare good news is the increase of the 5 to every 15 minutes between Halfway House and Victoria Hospital from every 20 minutes. However the simplicity of this service - a 2001 Metro creation, then every 10 minutes is eroded by the creation of sub routes 5A and 5B. The 5 itself will extend over the current 2 route every 30 minutes (Mon-Sat daytime) and hourly (Sunday daytimes). Curiously it runs every 30 minutes through to Poulton on weekday evenings, meaning this section gets a better Sunday evening service than in the day. The 5A runs hourly Mon-Sat daytime only replacing the 15 to Staining, while the new 5B, with shades of the prederegulation 23/23A runs hourly beyond the Hospital to the Zoo hourly every day - daytime only.

Collectively 9 buses are needed.

6 (Grange Park to Mereside) happily this gains an increase from the remarkably poor half hourly service this one high frequency service currently endures. It runs every 20 mins from 9am to 6pm, remaining half hourly in the morning peak - though there is an extra 730am Mereside to Aspire Academy bus with a 1508 return. 

It is half hourly on Sundays, hourly in the evening. Not previously noted here is that from sometime in 2022 evening buses were routed via Devonshire Road and Church Street rather than the section of Caunce Street between Devonshire Road and the Town Centre. 

The daytime service pattern sees 2bph extend from Tesco to Peel Park and the other extends to Whitehills Park. All buses show 6 regardless of which of the three Marton termini they serve.

7 (Cleveleys to Lytham). The 7 is split cosmetically with the Cleveleys to Blackpool section continuing as the 7 every 30 minutes (hourly evenings/Sundays). The southern section is renumbered 11A and extends beyond St. Annes over the same route as the 11 to Lytham Hospital.

9 (Cleveleys to Blackpool). Despite having little in common with the 7, the 9 turns into the 7A. It runs every 15 minutes at peaks, 20 minutes off peak and hourly evenings/Sundays. 5 buses run through the day, 2 extra in the peak. Evenings there is some interworking at Cleveleys with the 7.

11 (Blackpool to Lytham). A mixed pattern here - the current 11 reduces from 20 minutes to 30 minutes - certainly the worst (covid lockdown excluded) service ever along the length of Lytham Road). The 'reimagined 7' becomes the 11A but runs along St. Annes Road and extends to Lytham. It makes an almost 15 minute service from Starr Gate through to Lytham Hospital but not quite with 12/18 minute gaps the main pattern. Even Sundays end up 20/40 minutes appart.

The main pattern is for an 11 Blackpool to Lytham, 11A Lytham to Blackpool, 7 Blackpool to Cleveleys then the reverse back.11 buses are needed. A 12th works an 11 at 715 from Lytham to Blackpool Sixth college, returning at 415pm

12 (Blackpool to Poulton schools) no change - one bus runs mornings, 2 afternoons. 

14 (Blackpool to Fleetwood) a basic 7 PVR 20 minute service is provided reducing to half hourly evenings/Sundays and hourly after 9pm. Peak services increase to 15 minutes using 2 extra buses.

15 (Blackpool to Staining) replaced by 5A.

17 (Blackpool to Lytham Saltcotes). Renumbered 11B, despite little in common with either the 11 and 11A and a longer journey time. Frequency drops to every 40 minutes with 4 PVR. Sundays is hourly with the 5C and 11B interworking.

18 (Blackpool to Mereside) minor timing changes.

There are no changes to the 74/75. Total core PVR is still 75 on top of which are seven school extras determined from the timetables and the two buses used on Myrescough contract work. Looking back PVR was 97 in summer 2018. The July 2010 network reductions saw a PVR reduction from 113 to 104.

Current fleet is 102 buses, 49 E400s, 26 long and 22 short E200s and 5 Citaros. The much vaunted electric bus project has reduces from 115 to 90 buses given the reduced network currently provided. Little progress seems to have been realised on this, with recent stakeholder board meeting minutes suggesting it is still far from clear cut and awaits tender results for buses and infrastructure before a final decision is taken. Planning permission was granted which involved demolishing the bus depot and bus/tram workshops, but these plans appear now dropped for economy reasons.

Since our last post, Citaros 552 and 553 have left the fleet with 552 now at Howards Travel, Warrington and 553 at Baileys of Southsea used as a Shuttle Bus for Portsmouth International Port. Long term stored accident damaged Centro 532 has finally gone for scrap as has the last Trident ex trainer 973 which left in May. 

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