Sunday 30 May 2010

Service Changes confirmed

26 July is the confirmed date for Blackpool Transport's service changes - the biggest change since the introduction of the Metro network in April 2001. The changes comprise:

  • Line 2 withdrawn between Blackpool and Wesham. Will now operate every 15 minutes Blackpool to Poulton and every 30 minutes to Knott End (as 2C). Evenings and Sundays will run every 30 minutes to Poulton and hourly to Knott End
  • Line 3 - one directional terminal loop introduced at Mereside with buses from Tesco returning to Blackpool & Cleveleys via Clifton Drive
  • Line 4 - diverted via Whitegate Drive between Hornby Rd and Knowsley Road rather than via Stanley Park replacing Line 2 on this section
  • Line 7 - alternate daytime journeys (every 30 minutes) will be extended to Wesham via Freckleton replacing Line 2 journeys. Journeys terminating in Lytham will extend to Saltcotes Road. Will use Optare Solos. Evening and Sundays remains every 30 mins to Lytham and every hour to Wesham but now via Lower Lane (as per daytime service). Late evening service hourly
  • Line 9 - new service replacing 11 between Cleveleys and Blackpool operating every 10 minutes (weekdays) and 20 minutes (Sunday daytimes) and half hourly evenings using Tridents
  • Line 11 - diverted to start at Grange Park taking the current Line 6 route via Layton and Caunce St to Blackpool then as present 11 route to Lytham except for using Church St not South Park between Ansdell and Lytham Square. A 15 minute daytime service and half hourly evening and Sunday service will be provided
  • Line 14 - revised to run Fleetwood to Mereside adopting Line 6 route from Blackpool to Mereside but operating direct to Tesco via Clifton Drive and back via Langdale Road. Every 10 minutes daytimes, every 15 minutes Sunday daytimes and every 30 minutes evenings
  • Line 15 - revised to run via Newton Drive and Devonshire Road between Hospital and Talbot Road rather than via Grange Road and Layton Square
  • Line 16 - diverted via Fleetwood Road between Four Lane Ends and Norcross; diverted at Highfield Road/St. Annes Rd junction via Highfield Road, Harrowside and then as Line 2 via Bond St, Waterloo Rd, Whitegate Drive, Church St to Blackpool North Station. Every 30 minutes Monday to Friday, Hourly Saturday and Sunday
  • New Line 17 - Blackpool (Albert Road) to St. Annes as current Line 14 (via Hawes Side Lane and Spring Gardens then via Line 2 route (Shepherd Road, South Hey) to Ansdell then via South Park and Forest Drive to Lytham Square. Every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and hourly as far as St. Annes only on Sundays
Line 6 is completely withdrawn (replaced by revised 11 and 14) and no changes are made to the 1 or the 5 save for one extra journey on the latter.

It is expected that the 1, 9 and 14 would use double deckers, the 2, 11 and 17 use single deckers and the 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 15 and 16 use minibuses and around ten vehicles are expected to be saved as a result.

Major inroads are expected into the 22 strong Delta fleet. Presently nine are branded for the 6 (10 buses required); and ten for the 11. Two are in black and yellow and a third (123) is in an all-over advert. A Delta is regularly allocated to a Line 2C duty each weekday. Some inroads may be made into the ex Trent Olympian fleet at the end of the school term too.

Line 6 will end and the Delta fleet be reduced

Excels may be a more common feature on the revised service 11

The lengthy Line 2 is expected to be cut back
[Updated 4 June 2010 with details from BTS website] 

Thursday 27 May 2010

Fleet Update

Metrorider 518 has now returned to use on Line 10 and sister bus 515 has been reinstated to replace the failed 517 on Line 15. Optare Delta 103 is now withdrawn having suffered mechanical failure during the spring.

Tridents 340-342 remain under preparation, with 341 in the base coat for the experimental new livery; 342 in the depot awaiting repaint and 340 still in paint.

A substantial service change is expected to take place from July. Full details have not been released, but reports suggest Line 6 - a route hardly changed since deregulation - will be withdrawn with the 11 and 14 suggested as replacements for Grange Park and Mereside respectively. Further details to follow. This is expected to release further Optare Deltas for disposal.

The promotion of Blackpool Football Club to the Premier League was marked by a procession with an open top bus from Gynn to Waterloo Headland on 24 May. Olympian 857 took the limelight, carrying the victorious team, however sister bus 873 also put in an appearance as a static platform for filming.

Saturday 15 May 2010

New livery and Metrorider end (for now)

341's repaint is nearing completion with just silver/red vinyl "swoops" outstanding - click on this link 341 on flickr to view a picture.

Meanwhile the Metroriders have reached a temporary end with both 517 and 518 falling defective in the last week - Solos are covering Lines 10 and 15 but it is thought at least 518 will be repaired and returned to use. Sister 503 is also at Rigby Road for cannibalisation, 506, 511, 513, 515 and 593 remain in store at Jackson's Coaches, Marton with 365/6.

Stripped Delta 124 has now been broken up at Inglemere Metals as seen here

Sunday 2 May 2010

124 ready for disposal

Withdrawn Optare Delta 124 has now been stripped for disposal. New in 1991, 124 was refurbished in Spring 2000 and was repainted into the early mustard/yellow/grey pool livery in April 2001 ready for the new network launch at the end of that month. In January 2006 it gained the later black/yellow livery and in the early hours of 26 September 2009 suffered a wiring loom fire which caused its withdrawal.

After several months in store with various parts cannibalised it is now being stripped prior to disposal for scrap - the fifth Delta to be sold for scrap after 120 in 2003, 131 in 2004, 117 in 2007 and 110 in 2009.