Saturday 27 August 2011

Double Deckers in the News

Trident 308 loads at Cleveleys Bus Station for Saltcotes Road on service 7 on Thursday

Dennis Tridents have made several appearances on route 7 recently as these photos show with route 11 being mainly single deck operated. Meanwhile Olympians have appeared across the network with 417 on the 20 on Tuesday while on Friday 378 was on the 17 and 371 on the 2C. Volvo Olympians 376/7 are still at Bus and Coach World, Blackburn alongside the first two of the eleven ex Isle of Man Tridents. Trident 339 has now returned to use in the new fleet livery.

Tuesday saw 417 operating on route 20 at Stanley Park and passes a very rare artifact in the shape of an Edward VIII Pillar Box - one of 161 built during his 326 day reign in 1936

Barlow Crescent is back in use for the 20 after a few days of disuse during Lancashire County Cricket Club's annual fixture at Blackpool Cricket Ground
East Lancs at Cleveleys. Trident 305 with East Lancs body passes the tramway Engineering Car built by the same manufacturer.

Friday saw Trident 315 put in an appearance on route 7

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Olympians to return?

Leyland Olympians 365 and 403 have been extracted from storage and returned to Rigby Road. It is understood both are being prepared for MOT tests and a short term return to use. This may be to cover for the Volvo Olympians which are starting to receive internal refurbishments, 376/7 are currently at Bus and Coach World, Blackburn for the installation of seat belts. If the mooted Isle of Man Tridents appear this will allow the Volvo Olympians to be cascaded onto schools work and release older Olympians for withdrawal.

Tridents 310, 339 and Solo 292 are currently in the paint shop.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Exit Zone Card enter the Saver range

5 September sees the launch of the new Saver ticket range which replaces the Travelcard, Metro Saver and Zone Card tickets. The Travelcard dates back to 1985 but became a tourist focused ticket in 1988 when the Residents Club was launched with Yellow and Green Flexicards for locals. February 1989 saw these replaced by Gold and Silver Cards. The former cost £8.50 for one week and was valid throughout the bus and tram network with the £5.50 Silver card valid from St. Annes to Cleveleys and Poulton.

April 1989 saw a day version of the Travelcard introduced and in 1994 the Gold/Silver cards were replaced by the Zone Card after the takeover of Fylde. The residents club became the Seasiders club A one zone ticket cost £7.00 and an all zone one £9.00. Zones included North (Cleveleys to Fleetwood), Central (Cleveleys-St. Annes and Poulton), South (St. Annes to Lytham) and Rural (Kirkham/Wesham-Lytham) - though the last two were merged in February 1997.

A one day zone card was introduced in 2000 but was later replaced by the 'Metro Return' (still a day ticket but initially for Central zone only) in late 2001. This initially required a Seasiders Club card to prove residential eligibility. In due course this was dropped so anyone could buy the ticket and its validity was restricted to buses only. The curious Metro Return name was replaced by Metro Saver.

The new range is available to all with no identity card required which means that Travelcard using tourists get a significant saving (up to £2.50 for a day and over £10 for a week) and the tram is once again integrated into the ticketing structure. The £10.50 (North/South), £12.50 (central) and £14.50 (all zones) Zonecard are replaced by a weekly saver at £13.50 and the Day Saver ticket now costs £4.00 (or £3.50 off bus). The full range is:
  • On Bus Sales: Day £4 (adult), £2 (child), £9 (family)
  • Off Bus Sales: Day £3.50 (adult), £2 (child), £9 (family)
  • 3 Day Savers £10.50
  • 7 Day Savers £13.50 (adult), £7 (child)
  • Monthly Saver £50.00
At the same time single fares will be simplified with fewer values - most fares being increased at the same time.

Saturday 20 August 2011

August Scenes

August has been an unremarkable month so far. Bus workings have become less rigid with double deckers operating on route 1 and further single deckers appearing on routes 9, 11 and 14. Route 17 has seen variety too with regular use of Excels and even new liveried Olympian 369 today. Further Olympian repaints are in the pipeline following the return to use of 379, sister buses 376/7 have been dispatched to Bus and Coach World, Blackburn for contract repaint. Trident 338 has also returned to service after a repaint into the new livery and 339 is now underway which will mean that 322-342 have now all been treated, leaving 301-316 in Line 14, 317-9 in pool livery. 

Olympian 818 is the third open topper to operate the City Sightseeing tour - initial duties were dominated by 857 and 873 

The aged Olympian fleets continues to dominate route 20 with several of 402-417 also appearing on route 1 duplicates throughout August. 402 demonstrates how several further Olympians have lost their route branding - though oddly retaining the Schools + 1 sticker.
Olympian fans have welcomed the regular appearance of 411-417 on local service work during the school holidays

416 at the Sylvan setting of Blackpool Zoo

Most buses have settled back to normal routes with the end of major road works in Blackpool and Cleveleys. Solos 252 (above) and 296 (below) head along the Promenade on route 5.

Passengers board 309 on route 1 on the Promenade near the Tower.

Trident 311, the last bus painted into a Metro route livery leaves Church Street on route 11 to Lytham

Tridents such as Line 14 liveried 315 have been allocated to service 1 for the summer holiday period providing extra capacity. On busy days, particularly Fleetwood Market old Olympians have provided duplicates