Monday, 28 February 2011

Excels Everywhere

Similar yet different. Purple Excels were been a familiar site in Lytham from 2004 to 2010 - sometimes in pairs when Line 7 struggled to keep to time - but with route branding gone they can appear alongside each other on the 7 (217 right) and 11 (213 left)
Recent changes have seen Excels back on their familiar service 7, but also stretching their legs onto other routes and they now appear across virtually the entire 'big bus' network interspersed with the Volvo B7s. This is quite a change for the Excels as they have almost always been restricted to one main route:
  • June 1996 to April 2001: - 44A/B (eves 333/444) (PVR 8, later 9)
  • April 2001 to Jan 2003:  Line 4 (PVR 7)
  • Jan 2003 to Mar 2004: Line 5 (PVR 9)
  • Mar 2004 to July 2010: Line 7 (PVR 8, later 10/11), pool buses regularly on 14 and occasionally on 6 and 11
  • July 2010 to January 2011: 2/2C (PVR 7), 17 (PVR 4)
  • January 2011 to date: 1, 1A, 2/2C (part), 7, 11 (part), 14 (part) shared with Volvos.
New livery 211 heads over the fragile Skew Bridge on Lytham Road prior to the imposition of a diversion for the 11 to affect repairs to the bridge.
The pool liveried buses saw wider use with the arrival of the ex Go North East buses in 2004 as the Excels now supplemented the Tridents on the 14 to guarantee low floor status and made occasional appearances on the 6 and 10. Now routes 1, 1A and 7 are fully single deck, the 11 and 14 split between single and double decks and there is one remaining single deck working on the 2/2C which is otherwise back to Solos. The odd example has appeared on the 9 which is mainly double deck worked.
216 waits time at the Big Blue Hotel while laying over on a 1A working