Sunday 14 February 2010

Excel 219 returns and more Tridents arrive

Excel 219 is the latest refurbished bus to return to use - it was first noted on Line 7 on Thursday 11th. It retains pool livery having been repainted in January. Work is understood to have started back in October so this represents a significant acceleration of the 'down time' compared to 217 and 218.

This means 210-213, 216-220 are now in use with new engines with 215 currently at Cummins. 214, 221-226 retain original specification units.

Two further second hand Dennis Tridents are being purchased with PO51UMV noted on delivery on Lytham Road at 1545 today (15 Feb). This was new to Blue Triangle Buses as TL920 in October 2001 and has been purchased from Ensign bus. It is from the same batch as 338/9. Trident 310 has now entered the paint shop for Line 14 livery.

City Sightseeing Line 20 has now been registered for 2010 operation from Easter. The southern terminus this year is Blackpool Pleasure Beach following the closure of Pontins last year. It is understood that the Manchester tour will not be run by Blackpool Transport this year and that three of the open top Olympians will return to Ensign shortly.

Tuesday 9 February 2010

A brief guide to the Blackpool Bus Network

The main Blackpool  Transport bus routes are summarised below. Recent changes have impacted on early morning and late evening services which may therefore be below the frequencies quoted.

Line 1 Airport to Fleetwood via Promenade (orange)
Operates every 20 minutes daytime (daily) with 7 buses, and every 30 minutes every evening with four buses. Tridents 333-339 are allocated with spare buses from orange or black liveried Olympians. Extra workings operate in the summer season.

Line 2 Poulton to Wesham via Hospital, Blackpool, Marton, South Shore, St. Annes, Lytham, Freckleton
Line 2C Knott End to South Pier via Poulton, Hospital, Blackpool, Marton (Light Green).
Combined 15 minute service weekday daytimes Poulton to South Pier (each every 30 minutes to Wesham or Knott End) using 14 buses.
Weekday evenings every 30 minutes 2C only - 6 buses
Sundays all day every 30 minutes South Pier to Poulton and hourly to Knott End - 4 buses
Solos 240-247, 249, 284-287, 294 dedicated, one working usually a pool Delta Monday to Friday. Pool Solos as spares.

Line 3 Cleveleys to Mereside via College, Bispham, Claremont, Blackpool, Park Road (blue)
Operates every 20 minutes daytimes (6 buses), every 60 minutes evening and Sunday (2 buses)
Solos 258-260, 295-297 dedicated, pool Solos as spare. Guaranteed low floor service.

Line 4 Cleveleys Park to Mereside via Little Bispham, Bispham, Claremont, Blackpool, Stanley Park, Great Marton (Cadbury Blue)
Operates every 20 minutes daytimes (7 buses), every 60 minutes evening and Sunday (2 buses)
Solos 265-269, 271, 272 dedicated, pool Solos as spare.
Line 5 Victoria Hospital to Halfway House via Layton, Blackpool, South Shore, Lindale Gardens (Red)
Operates every 10 minutes daytimes (9 buses), every 30 minutes evening and Sunday (3 buses) 
Solos 248, 250-257 dedicated, pool Solos as spare. Guaranteed low floor service.

Line 6 Grange Park to Mereside via Layton, Blackpool, Welcome Inn (marroon)
Operates every 10 minutes weekday daytimes (10 buses), every 30 minutes every evening (3 buses) and every 20 minutes Sunday daytimes (5 buses)
Deltas 103-109, 112-114 dedicated. Pool Deltas or Olympians and occasionally Solos and Excels substitute.

Line 7 Cleveleys to Lytham Square via Devonshire Road, Blackpool, St. Annes Road, St. Annes and Fairhaven (purple) 
Operates every 15 minutes weekday daytimes (10 buses), every 30 minutes evening and Sunday with alternate buses running to Wesham (6 buses)
Excels 210-217, 224-226 dedicated. Pool Excels, Deltas and Olympians and occasionally Solos deputise. 11 different vehicles are used each day as one vehicle works evenings only.

Line 10 Blackpool to Midgeland Road via Royal Oak, Watson Road (grey)
Operates every 60 minutes weekday daytimes only with 1 bus. MetroRider 518 dedicated, Pool Solos substitute
Line 11 Cleveleys to Lytham* via College, Bispham Layton, Blackpool, Lytham Road, St. Annes and Ansdell (turquoise)
Weekday daytime: every 7/8 minutes Cleveleys to St. Annes and every 15 minutes to Lytham using 22 buses
Every evenings: every 30 minutes Cleveleys to Lytham using 5 buses
Sunday daytimes: every 15 minutes Cleveleys to Lytham using 11 buses
* Lytham terminus is Saltcotes Road (peak hours), Hospital (off peak daytime), Square (evenings/Sundays)
Deltas 115/6, 118/9, 122, 125-127, Tridents 322-332, Olympian 379 dedicated. Pool Deltas, Olympians and Tridents substitute with occasional Excels and Solos

Line 14 Fleetwood to St. Annes via Thornton, Carleton, Blackpool, Common Edge Road, Spring Gardens (dark green)
Daytimes every 10 minutes Fleetwood to Blackpool and every 20 minutes to St. Annes using 16 buses
Every evening every 30 minutes Fleetwood to Blackpool only using 3 buses
Sundays every 15 minutes Fleetwood to Blackpool and every 30 minutes to either St. Annes or Rigby Road using 10 buses.
Tridents 301-316 dedicated, pool Tridents or Excels substitute. Guaranteed low floor service.
Line 15 Staining to Poulton via Hospital, Layton, Blackpool, Bispham, College, Norcross (pink)
Weekday Daytimes every 30 minutes Staining to Poulton using four buses
Every Evening every 60 minutes Staining to Blackpool using 1 bus
Sunday daytime every 30 minutes Staining to Bispham using 3 buses
MetroRiders 515 and 517 dedicated with pool Solos in use on a daily basis plus as spare cover.
Line 16 Cleveleys to Blackpool via Thornton, Norcross, Grange Park, Hospital, Mereside, Highfield Road, Airport, Lytham Road (light blue).
Monday to Friday every 30 minutes using 6 buses
Saturday and Sunday every 60 minutes using 3 buses
No evening service
Solos 288-293 dedicated, pool Solos as back-up.

Line 20 Pleasure Beach to Marton Mere via Promenade, Tower, Hornby Road, Stanley Park, Zoo (City Sightseeing)
Every 30 minutes summer only using 3 buses. Early season service Town Centre to Marton Mere only, hourly with one bus.

part 2 covering other operators services to follow

Sunday 7 February 2010

MetroRider Mobile Mess Room

MetroRider 512 has been converted into a mobile mess room for the tramway overhead department who are currently engaged on an extensive rewiring of the tramway. The vehicle - currently in the paint shop - has had tables installed with some seats reversed to face backwards. A repaint into all-over yellow is ongoing.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Coastal 14A

Blackpool Transport's service changes commenced yesterday, 1 February, reducing early morning and late evening services in particular. Three route sections were removed and have been replaced by Lancashire County Council interventions involving the diversion of other routes:

Line 2 Hardhorn Corner - this has been replaced by a diversion of service 75 between Singleton and Poulton Holts Lane via Station Road and Hardhorn Road - probably the first bus service to use this route under the very low bridge at the site of the former Singleton Station

Line 7 Mythop Road, Lytham - Stagecoach 68 now diverts via Saltcotes Road, Mythop Road and Park View Road - replicating the deregulation day scenario when Fylde withdrew from Mythop Road in favour of the Ribble service to Preston (167).

Line 14 Evenings only between St. Annes and Blackpool. This has been replaced by a new Coastal Coaches service 14A on an hourly basis departing St. Annes Square at 1915 to 2315 and Blackpool Market St from 2000 to 2300. Two buses are needed with a generous 37 minutes layover at St. Annes - which could be used to provide a half hourly short working to Spring Gardens!

Coastal's operation is the first instance of another operator providing contracted journeys on an otherwise Blackpool Transport corridor since the take-over of Fylde.