Friday 25 May 2012

Any colour you like, as long as its Black (and yellow)

Volvo 523 and a pool Solo follow a matching landau outside the tower. With the entry into service of 353 and withdrawal of 412, 54% of the fleet now carries the new livery (81 out of 151 excluding open toppers) 4 carry all-over adverts; 22 Pool livery and 44 in the seven surviving Metro Line liveries

Wednesday 23 May 2012

412 Retires

Leyland Olympian 412 (OFS684Y) has become the latest Olympian withdrawn following the entry into service of 353. So far the 11 Tridents have seen off 365, 402, 406-408, 411, 412, 414 and 416.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Merlin's adverts cast a spell

Trident 314 is now receiving the fourth all-over advertisement for Merlin Entertainments, this time for the Sealife Centre. It will join 312, 313 and 315.
315 in Madame Tussauds livery. The effect of the opening upper deck windows rather hinders the message!

Sister 312 promotes Blackpool Tower Eye 

The two sisters pass.

DAF 354 Unveiled

DAF 354, former Isle of Man 97, is on display at the Album (Association of Local Bus Managers) Conference event in Broughton near Scunthorpe on behalf of Bus and Coach World.

DAF 354, formerly Isle of Man 97 (FMN835J) has journeyed to Broughton near Scunthorpe for the ALBUM Conference. Note the fake "BCW2012" plate. Its UK identity is not yet known - the bus retains its Manx tax disc!
The refurbished lower deck with new seating

Upper deck seating has been retained but retrimmed

Monday 21 May 2012

Purple Patch

Five Line 7 liveried Excels remain in service (plus 225 at Cummins). Of these 213 puts in a turn on route 9 and is seen leaving Abingdon Street for Cleveleys. 
216 nears its Town Centre terminus as it crosses Abingdon Street on Talbot Road

Having arrived on the 2C, 216 heads back to Poulton as route 2.

353 hits the road

353 entered service today on service 9, completing the entry into service of the eleven ex Bus Vannin Tridents 143 days after the first, 343, made its debut.

Manx Trident Status
NoRegIOM NoIOM RegChassis NoBody NoStatus
343H1FBT53EMN53Y2106734305To Service 30 Dec 2011
344E11BTS50EMN50Y2105534303To Service 24 Mar 2012
345E12BTS48EMN50Y2104534301To Service 9 Mar 2012
346E13BTS51EMN51Y2106634304To Service 8 Mar 2012
347E14BTS52EMN52Y2106834306To Service 21 Apr 2012
348E15BTS49EMN49Y2104634302To Service 21 Apr 2012
349E16BTS71MAN93F3130336802To Service 1 May 2012
350E17BTS75GMN324F3130836805To Service 2 May 2012
351E18BTS74FMN540E3130736804To Service 2 May 2012 
352E19BTS73FMN412E3130436803To Service 5 May 2012
353E20BTS72FMN158E3129936801To Service 21 May 2012

Sunday 20 May 2012

Handybus at 25 - Part 1: The Routes 1987 to 1994

City Pacer 562 turns from Waddington Road into Pilling Avenue on the St. Annes Handybus service working the Whalley Place leg in September 1987
May marks the 25th anniversary of the now defunct "Handybus" brand, which introduced minibuses, Optare products and the first black and yellow fleet livery to Blackpool. Later posts will cover the buses (City Pacers, Metroriders, Renaults, Excels and Solos) but this post focuses on the routes.

The introduction of the minibuses was somewhat low key. City Pacers 560-564 had arrived in late March/early April and entered service at the beginning of May on evening and Sunday contracted local services in Cleveleys - the F3 (Cleveleys-Fleetwood), F4 (Cleveleys-Thornton) and F5 (Cleveleys-Little Thornton). Three buses were required. It is believed that the City Pacers also ran on route 33 (Cleveleys-Marton) during May but this is not confirmed.

The main use for the new buses became apparent during May when publicity appeared for a new service in St. Annes. The service started on 1 June with a free travel day and needed four minibuses operating every 10 minutes during the day only. To reach Spring Gardens to start service buses ran out from Blackpool as route 11C and returned as such in the evening, with routes 4 and 14 used to position buses to Thornton and Fleetwood for the evening service.

Route 1 St. Annes Handybus (Whalley Place to Spring Gardens from 1 June 1987 to 27 February 1988
The 1 was not a success, perhaps being somewhat ambitious and was withdrawn in February 1988. A second batch of minibuses arrived during the autumn of 1987, though most were too late for the launch of the second minibus route - a conversion of big bus route 26 (Talbot Square to South Pier via Marton) to a 5 minute frequency.
Handybus Route 26 from 5 September 1987 on which City Pacers ran until August 1996
A batch of Ford Transits was borrowed from Midland Red North and mainly ran on route 1 to release the City Pacers for the 26. The 26 was much more of a success. 9 buses provided the daytime service with three in the evening and on Sundays. The route remain unchanged, save for an unusual evening diversion via Watson Road to serve the Ice Drome which ran from August 1988 to March 1992. The latter date also saw the frequency eased to every 6 minutes (8 minibuses). November 1994 saw the evening service terminus move to Cookson Street and on 5 August 1996 the route was converted to single deck operation. Minibuses - mainly Metroriders resumed on 7 December 1998 and lasted until the end of the 26 on 7 April 2002.

A 5 minute daytime and 15 minute evening/Sunday service was provided - note the promotional maximum fare for the first weekend

The evening Ice Drome extension took service buses through the Watson Road underpass  for the first and only time

Five of the new City Pacers (549-553) had arrived by the end of September and with two demonstrators purchased (as 565/6) there were now 12 buses in stock for the 13 workings, aided by the Transits. 554-559, 567/8 completed the batch of 13 new buses during October and November. They allowed the launch of new routes 17A/17B in Bispham. These provided a 10 minute frequency circular in each direction around estate roads mostly served by Fylde's 5 and 66 introduced in November. Fylde's buses ran through to Blackpool leaving a somewhat restricted market for the Bispham circulars.
Bispham Handybus 17A/B featured a festive addition to the standard leaflet
Four City Pacers were required two on route A and two on route B with a short day from 0800 to 1800
The 17A/B, like the 1, were not particularly successful, in contrast to route 26. It was decided to drop both and they ended at the end of February. The minibuses released were transferred to a new high frequency service on route 12. The 12 used Routemasters running between Blackpool and St. Annes via Lytham Road, but from 29 February were supplemented by a 5 minute minibus service as far as Highfield Road. 8 minibuses were required and a 15 minute evening and Sunday service was provided on the full route to St. Annes. 
Minibuses on route 12 short workings to Highfield Road turned via Scarsdale Avenue and Abbey Road.
The minibuses ran every 5 minutes but also worked some early morning journeys to Squires Gate and the evening/Sunday service to St. Annes.
17 out of 20 buses were needed for the 12 and 26, but only seven on Sundays. Route 33 saw regular Sunday minibus operation at these times. From 1 August the minibus 12s were revised into a stand-alone service 12A which continued from the Farmers Arms up Highfield Road and then in a loop via St. Annes Road to Halfway House and back via Squires Gate Lane and Lindale Gardens to Highfield Road. The frequency was dropped to every 6 minutes so that the longer route could use the same eight buses. The evening/Sunday service continued to use minibuses until April 1989.
The new 12A route from 1 August 1988 with hail and ride operation on the extension to Lindale Gardens
1 August 1988 saw a third batch of new City Pacers (569-578) convert route 9 from crew double deck operation to a 7/8 minute minibus service. 8 buses were required with four for the 15 minute evening/Sunday operation. The route featured a terminal loop in the Town Centre with buses running via Cookson St, Talbot Road, Market St, Church St, Corporation St, back up Talbot Road, Topping Street and into Talbot Road Bus Station. This lasted until April 1990 when the Corporation St route was dropped with buses terminating at the Bus Station. The 9 retained this timetable until it was replaced by extended route 12 in March 1992

Route 9 showing the Town Centre route adopted for this and route 7/7A
A fourth batch of minibuses (579-582) allowed the re-introduction of routes 7/7A on 12 December 1988 which provided a 15 minute service in each direction to Bispham with the 7 out via Devonshire Road and back via Warbreck Drive as a response to competition from Fylde. An hourly weekday evening service was provided, this having started back in January 1988 having been taken over from Fylde who ran it on contract from Lancashire CC. 29 buses were now needed for the 7/7A, 9, 12A and 26

From 2 April 1990 the Town Centre loop ended and the route was increased to every 12 minutes using 5 buses with the route diverted to serve Claremont Park to replace routes 3/3A. The evening service ended sometime in 1989 but was reinstated (with a Sunday equivalent) to replace the 2/2A from 10 June 1991. 
The 2/2A got revenged as they were merged with the 7/7A in 1994 under the 2/2A/2B identity. 

The minibuses released by the conversion of route 9 were redeployed on the 2A and 15 from 30 March 1992. The 2/A were withdrawn between Bispham and Blackpool as the 7/A provided an adequate service. They were doubled to every 10 minutes between Blackpool and Poulton. 5 workings per hour ran as 2A via Highcross Road and used five minibuses; the sixth ran via Hardhorn Road as service 2 using Deltas interworked with the 180/2. One minibuses provided the hourly 2A evenings/Sundays. Another two minibuses ran the 15 from Cleveleys to Staining during the day. From October 1992 the 2 workings also became minibus operated while the 15 was converted to single deck operation from 4 January 1993.

Other Routes
The Fleetwood tendered services ended on Sundays around February 1988 and in the evenings in November. A contract for Fleetwood Sunday circular 150 used 1 minibus from 21 August 1988 until October 1989. Blackpool also ran a Sunday evening F11 between Fleetwood and Cleveleys between November 1989 and May 1990.

Sundays also saw extra workings on route 14 (Blackpool to Fleetwood) to duplicate Fylde's competitive service from 17 May 1988 but these ceased later in the year. Minibuses also worked some early morning and late evening works buses to BNFL at Salwick - a network Blackpool took a large share of in 1988 which promoted Ribble to close its Blackpool depot. They also provided tendered service 173 which ran on Tuesdays and Fridays from Peel Corner at 0945 returning from Lytham Square at 1200 from 2 August 1988.  From November it became route 172 and ran from/to Wrea Green but passed to Redline Coaches the following year.

1993 saw a shortlived service 3 and 4 from January to April competing with Fylde's 33 from Blackpool to Welcome Inn via Park Road. Minibuses also ran service 23A (South Pier to Mereside) won on contract in March 1994. One City Pacer worked service 53 (Airport to Victoria Hospital) from 21 February to 15 July 1994 competing with Town Bus service 53A.

1994 saw a fleet of 35 City Pacers providing services 2/A (6 buses), 7/7A (5 buses), 12A (8 buses), 26 (8 buses) making a total of 27 workings. 1994 also saw the purchase of Fylde Transport and from November 1994 their Renault minibuses and routes joined the Handybus network. 1995 saw the introduction of the first Optare Metrorider and this signalled the beginning of the end of the City Pacers.

Friday 18 May 2012

And then there were three

Trident 315 has operated service 1 today outshopped in the third Merlin Entertainments all-over advert. It promotes Madam Tussauds following on from schemes on 312 for Blackpool Tower Eye and 313 for Blackpool Tower Dungeon. This leaves 316-319 as the only the Tridents purchased new to await their first repaint.

DAF double decker 354 has been noted completed at Bus and Coach World alongside sister 356.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

In Camera: May 2012

Excel 215 turns into Market Street from the remodelled Talbot Square

Remodelling in Talbot Square is nearly complete with the mini roundabout at Corporation Street and Talbot Road now replaced by a give way junction. 224 passes by,

Under threat of withdrawal, 410 is one of three Trent Olympians still in use. Here is leaves depot for Lytham St. Annes High School 
Contrasts as Blackpool Transport Solo 293 passes Classic Bus Routemaster RML2290 at the Tower

Solo 243 in Line 2 green at North Pier

Contrasting minibuses as Solo 245 follows an extreme party bus 
245 shows the assymetrcial doors fitted 

The final Line 5 bus is 248, on its once regular route.

278 new for the Lifestyle Line is working route 10 in pool livery

Meanwhile in St. Annes Solo 296 turns from St George's Road onto Clifton Drive North as part of the route 17 terminal manoeuvre

Sister 297 turns from Market Street into Church Street

And is also seen the following day on the Promenade
RML2290 on a wedding hire passes Solo 280 on Market Street

Solo 260 turns into Market Street showing the shaper turn created by the new road layout

Friday 11 May 2012

Four Buses and a Wedding

Solo 259 passes the site of the demolished Revills Hotel on North Promenade

214 operating on route 17 to St. Annes. This is normally Solo operated but often sees larger vehicles on Saturdays

Excel 218 one of three remaining in the pool livery pauses to allow Wedding Guests to cross the Promenade on the way to Festival House Wedding Chapel

The bright interior of Plaxton bodied Volvo 531 is shown to good effect

DAF Debut Moves Closer

The first of the Manx DAF double deckers has been observed at Bus and Coach World, Blackburn outshopped in Blackpool livery and numbered 356, confirming that the buses will follow on from the Tridents as 354-363. 

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Two more DAFs

Bus Vannin 94 and 96 (FMN620/3J) have been noted on the M6 today on their way from Heysham to Blackburn for refurbishment. This brings to five the total presently at Bus and Coach World.

Manx Trident Status
NoRegIOM NoIOM RegChassis NoBody NoStatus
343H1FBT53EMN53Y2106734305To Service 30 Dec 2011
344E11BTS50EMN50Y2105534303To Service 24 Mar 2012
345E12BTS48EMN50Y2104534301To Service 9 Mar 2012
346E13BTS51EMN51Y2106634304To Service 8 Mar 2012
347E14BTS52EMN52Y2106834306To Service 21 Apr 2012
348E15BTS49EMN49Y2104634302To Service 21 Apr 2012
349E16BTS71MAN93F3130336802To Service 1 May 2012
350E17BTS75GMN324F3130836805To Service 2 May 2012
351E18BTS74FMN540E3130736804To Service 2 May 2012 
352E19BTS73FMN158E3130436803To Service 5 May 2012
353E20BTS72FMN158E3129936801awaiting service

Manx DAF Status
NoRegIOM NoIOM RegChassis NoBody NoStatus
tbctbc97FMN835J00926738310Arr Blackburn Mar 2012
tbc tbc93FMN621J00926138304Arr Blackburn Apr 2012
tbctbc95FMN622J 00926638309Arr Blackburn Apr 2012
tbctbc94FMN620J00926438307Arr Blackburn 8 May 2012
tbctbc96FMN623J00926238305Arr Blackburn 8 May 2012
tbctbc 89FMN299J00925938302Awaited

Sunday 6 May 2012

Weekend Debuts

In addition to 223, yesterday marked the debut of Trident 352. It is out again today noted running out of service up North Promenade, probably to work the 0944 route 9 from Cleveleys. 345-351 have all been observed on service 1 today.

Yesterday also saw 312 in service in its new advert for the Blackpool Tower Eye as captured in these two flickr photos (front; rear). Both 312 and 313 have lost their side advert frames for these vinyls. 313 has been almost universally used on route 1 and it remains to be seen if 312 follows.

Saturday 5 May 2012

223 back in service

The 16th refurbished Optare Excel, 223, has returned to service noted on the 7 and 11 today. Also out is the sole surviving Line 5 Solo 248 - the previous reports of a repaint commencing have been corrected.

Friday 4 May 2012

The Metro Years: 2006

New Trident 332 was the first bus to be named to acknowledge a late operations manager
2006 saw a welcome return of fleet investment with the arrival of five more Dennis Tridents for Line 11. Launch day was 23 June 2006 and after this 328-331 entered service, but 332 was held back to appear at Totally Transport on 25 June and entered service the day after. It would later travel to London in October as part of a display at the Integrated Ticketing Systems World Congress and Exhibition at Excel in the Docklands demonstrating the Nowcard Smartcard technology.
818 was the third open top Olympian - note the rather 'home made' destination display for Line 1.
At the other end of the age spectrum, a third new to London Buses Olympian arrived for City Sightseeing work as 818 (D218FYM). Unlike 813 and 849 this arrived in London red and was repainted into City Sightseeing colours by Blackpool Transport. It entered service in September. Metrobuses 815 and 864 remained in the fleet. Blackpool also assumed responsibility for the Manchester Tour and took on the three  Metrobuses previously used by Ensignbus: 802 BYX302V; 814 BOK68V, 892 GYE392W. 

Several demonstrators visited with two Optare Tempos in June, a Citaro and MAN in November and a Scania single decker in December.

Bus service changes saw the City Sightseeing open toppers transferred onto Line 1. The two Olympians and two Metrobuses had four booked workings providing a 20 minute Pontins to Cleveleys service. Orange and yellow Olympians provided back up and, from May, a Tuesday only North Pier to Fleetwood service which grew into a daily North Pier to Cleveleys (Fleetwood on Tuesday) service during the summer holidays. The 21 ceased and was replaced by an extended 20 which now ran Marton Mere to Zoo via Promenade and Town Centre using 3 buses with Olympian 404 painted lilac to match 401-3.
Smartly painted Solo 249 turns into Lytham Square on Line 2 prior to its extension to Wesham
Other changes saw the L1 re-route perimeter road from May 2006. In September saw the extension of route 2 to Wesham replacing route 70, taking the vehicle requirement up to 20. Further minor route changes to the 2 saw some links lost in Lytham St. Annes. Lancashire County Council procured a replacement route numbered 72 from 30 October that provided five journeys per day with a break for the driver to have lunch. This used pool minibuses.
Metrorider 591 on lightly used route 72 in the upmarket Cypress Point estate in Ansdell

Farewell to the Atlantean?
The arrival of the Tridents saw 352/4-6 withdrawn on 23 June joining 359 which had a defective engine. Sister 350 had been sold to Blackpool Council in March for use as a mess bus for the tramway track gangs and was converted and repainted by Blackpool Transport, entering service as the council's 270 in December 2006. Sister 351 was purchased by the M3 group for spares, while 473 was scrapped in the spring. The day after the Atlanteans withdrawal five of the survivors (353, 357, 358, 361 and 362) put their customary turn on Line 7. All five, plus 360 were withdrawn at the end of July. 
362 on the Saturday of the farewell event loading at Marton Mere
Disposals commenced in July with 356 sold for playbus conversion. 355 and 359 went for scrap to Partons with 355's engine transferred into 363. It was decided to commemorate the seemingly impending end of the Atlanteans with a farewell event. 363 and 364 were still active and four of the stored buses (358, 360-2) were retaxed and had their paintwork touched up. The event took place over the weekend of Saturday 28th and 29th.

The Saturday featured three buses working on Line 20. 362 started with the 0900 route 20 departure from Marton Mere to Blackpool Town Centre and returned empty for the 1000 trip to Blackpool Zoo. Departures from the Zoo at 1045, 1215, 1345, 1515, 1645 and 1815 followed with buses from Marton Mere at 1130, 1300, 1430, 1600, 1730 to Zoo and  the 1900 and 2000 to Town Centre with the 1930 return.

Second out was 361 which worked the 0930, 1100, 1230, 1400, 1530, and 1700  from Marton Mere to Zoo returning at 1015, 1145, 1315, 1445, 1615, 1745. It worked the 1830 and 1930 from Marton Mere to Town Centre returning at 1900.

The third bus was the last, 364, which started with the 1030 ex Marton Mere (then 1200, 1330, 1500, 1630) and 1115, 1245, 1415, 1545, 1715 finishing with the 1800 Marton Mere to Town Centre (arr 1827)

Sunday saw the three 20 workings in the hands  of 358 working the 0900 from Marton Mere and finishing 2027 in the Town Centre; 360 on the 0930 and changed over around 1900 (for Olympian 371) while 362 worked the third cycle starting at 1030 and terminated at Albert Road at 1827 - its last duty prior to withdrawal.

Longer days were had by three buses on Line 6. 361 started with the 0745 Town Centre to Grange Park. It worked 10 trips from Grange Park: 0806, 0946, 1126, 1306, 1446, 1626, 1806, 1946, 2126 and 2306. It departed Mereside at 0900, 1040, 1220, 1400, 1540, 1720, 1900, 2040, 2220. Its final journey finished at Mereside at 2352 and the bus reached depot around midnight.

363 started at 0719 at Bloomfield Road and worked from Mereside at 0740, 0920, 1100, 1240, 1420, 1600, 1740, 1920, 2100 and 2240 with trips from Grange Park at 0826, 1006, 1146, 1326, 1506, 1646, 1826, 2006, 2146 with a final working at 2326 to Town Centre and Depot arriving at 2355.

364 started at 0705 from Town Centre to Grange Park from where it made ten departures 0726, 0906, 1046, 1226, 1406, 1546, 1726, 1906, 2046, 2226 and from Tesco at 0820, 1000, 1140, 1320, 1500, 1640, 1820, 2000, 2140 and finally the 2320 to Grange Park where it arrived at 0006 and ran back to depot with the last few dedicated passengers.

The following day 363 was out on the regular morning and afternoon workings on route 2C, with 364 out the following day! It was truly the end for 361 and 362, but 358 and 360 would both work again in 2007.

362 immediately joined the LTT collection and 354, 357 and 361 were sold to Scotbus of Inverness on 29 November joining ex Preston examples there. This left 352, 353, 358 and 360 in store with 363/4 still active.

Other fleet changes saw Olympians 365-7 stored for the summer holidays while four Deltas were withdrawn in August - 115-117 and 130. 115 was reinstated in October to release 129 as this and 130 were to become driver trainers to replace Atlanteans 922/3 with 923 laid up at the end of the year. 116 was also reinstated in November with both 115/6 dedicated to a tram replacement service initially between Starr Gate and North Pier. Spares Metrorider SIL7473 was sent for scrap in the spring having donated parts to repair 511 which returned to use on 7 August 2006, 22  months after its accident.
Olympian 408 one of several Olympians treated to a routine repaint in Line 1 colours

Repaints started with the completion of the Line 6 Deltas with 113 outshopped in January. The old pool livery ended with 124 and 590 painted into the new scheme. March saw 378 lose Line 11 livery for pool, and 404 switched Line 1 orange for Line 20 lilac. 511 received a full repaint in Line 2 livery as part of its repairs. Routine Olympian repaints saw 407-410 retain Line 1 colours and these were joined by 368 and 369 in September and November. Solo 249 was a surprising repaint in June - this was transferred to Line 2 to provide extra capacity for busy Knott End journeys and this was followed in August by the Kirkham Roamer Solo 285. 365/6 were the final repaints of the year, again in Line 1 colours.

  • Line 1: 365-9, 405-410 (11)
  • Line 2: 249, 285, 501-518, 595 (21)
  • Line 3: 258-264 (7)
  • Line 4: 265-9, 271/2 (7)
  • Line 5: 250-257 (8)
  • Line 6: 104-110, 112-114 (10)
  • Line 7: 210-7 (8)
  • Line 10: 593 (1)
  • Line 11: 118/9, 122, 125-8/132/3, 322-32 (20)
  • Line 14: 301-16 (16)
  • Line 15: 584-7 (4)
  • Line 20: 401-4 (4)
  • New Pool: 101-3, 123/4, 218-221, 273-6, 317-9, 370-9, 588-592/4/6  (33)
  • Lifestyle Line: 277-284 (8)
  • Green and Cream: 363/4 (2)
  • Tram Replacement (L11 base) 115/6 (2)

The Metro Years: 2005

Day one of the expanded Line 10 with dedicated bus 593 showing its bright colours on a dull day. Passengers are not evident, unless they had popped in for some Mushroom Compost.
2005 was a quiet year on the vehicle front with no new buses arriving following the extra influx in 2004. The network remained stable until the Autumn, but the experimental "L8 Buses" ended on 16 April. Two new routes started on 17 June on Friday/Saturday nights with the N1 Corporation St to Fleetwood via the Line 1 route at 0030/0230 with an 0145 short to Cleveleys and the N11 running south to Lytham at 0030/0230 with an 0145 short to Lytham. Buses ran back to the Town Centre empty and each route required one bus - normally and Olympian. These were no more successful than the L81-L83 and ceased on 1 October.

Summer services saw the 1 operate Pontins to Cleveleys for most of the year with a Tuesday extension to Fleetwood for the Market and a summer holiday extension to St. Annes from 25 July to 5 September. 

Metrorider 502 operating on the 2C at Hambleton. Blackpool had served this route through its evening tender for the 58 for some time but had now taken over the daytime service too as part of the ever expanding Line 2
The Autumn network expansion saw Blackpool replace Stagecoach between Poulton and Knott End from 30 October with two journeys per hour (one eves/Suns) on route 2 extended from Poulton over the route of Stagecoach's 58 numbered 2C. Blackpool's tendered operation to Preston on the 58 and 68 ended at the same time. 31 October saw the Kirkham Roamer 70 revised to run a between Wesham and Lytham Saltcotes Road replacing another withdrawn Stagecoach route (the 69, once the joint Fylde/Ribble 193 given up by Blackpool in 2000). A half hourly service was provided with two buses, dedicated Solo 285 was joined by a pool liveried Solo.

Further changes on 5 December saw then end of the 2A - extra 2s filling the Poulton-South Pier shot and the 2C workings were diverted via Longhouse Road during the day (but not evenings or Sundays). The combined 2/2C PVR dropped from 19 to 18 as a result.
The Line 10 livery suited 593 well. It is seen here at Manchester Square. Oddly throughout its life its destination display was not modified to remove the "Via Town Centre" notation from the Midgeland Road display
To replace the 2A in South Shore, route 10 was upgraded from an off peak service to a full day (but not evenings/Sundays operation). It was re-routed away from Mereside now terminating in a loop via Highfield Road, Midgeland Road, School Road and Hawes Side Lane. It was given a light blue route identity and Metrorider 593 was so painted as the dedicated bus. The Lifestyle Line L1 was re-routed via Acre Gate and Lennox Gate to cover for the 2A in that area.
Solo 275 on the extended Kirkham Roamer to the less than convenient terminus of Saltcotes Road 
350 and 351 returned to use in the summer for a final spell of operation - both were withdrawn again in December
Fleet movements saw the reinstatement of Atlanteans 350/1 in June. Atlanteans commonly appeared on route 10 until the summer holidays when minibuses took over, as ten out of the 15 Atlanteans spent the holidays in store with 353/8/60-2 still active. All returned to use for the new term, but 350/1 were back in store at Marton in December. Long term stored ex Fylde 473 was moved to Rigby Road in September for stripping but remained on site at the end of the year.
362, the last of the 62 bus seated Atlanteans works the off peak route 10 in May 2005

The Atlanteans featured on a now regular duty when the normally Excel operated Line 7 was given over to double deckers for the annual Lytham Club Day on 25 June. 352, 353, 356, 359 and 363 were rostered with Olympians 368/74/7 with 360 seen on route 20 and 362 on the 10 for good measure.

Metrorider use fluctuated and surprisingly 589, 590 and 596 went on loan to Arriva North East in Darlington  due to the need to source vehicles urgently following another operator's cessation. The first two returned on 7 July with 596 back on 24th. All went into store but returned to use in October.

Excel 220 on 7 February having entered service a few days previously following purchase from Go North East
The three ex Go North East Excels made their debut with 220 first o 31 January, 221 on 1st February and 219 later in the month. Also acquired were two new to London Buses Leyland Olympians converted to open top by Ensign as 813/49 (D213/149FYM). Metrobus 864 was also used and 815 returned to use in July when four vehicles were required. 810/1 (BOK72/5V) and 821/2 (LAT501/2V) left the fleet and returned to Ensign. Ensign's generic branded VRG417T arrived in August to help out as 817 but suffered accident damage in September. It was repaired after the season and returned to Ensign.

Enviro 300 Demonstrator SN54HXG visited in December for use on Line 7, while a spares donor Metrorider arrived to repair stored 511. Registered  SIL7473 it was new to Lowland Scottish as L723JKS

2005 started with the repaints of new Excels 220/1 and the last Handybus Solo into pool livery in January. 219 and the final Handybus liveried Metrorider 588 and sister 592 received pool livery in February. March saw 123 become the first Delta in the black and yellow scheme while Volvo Olympians 376/7 lost Line 11 colours for pool livery with 374 following suit in April. Delta 118 was the first of four which moved from the 6 to the 11 in April with 116/7 following in May and 115 in June.
The early Deltas rarely troubled the painters but this year saw all of 101-107 painted into Metro colours ending the green and cream era.

Their replacements on Line 6 began to emerge in June with 107 the first, followed by 106 in July and 104/5 in August. Following problems with the claret fading on earlier repaints these were varnished to protect the finish. The era of green and cream Deltas was drawing to a close with 101 painted black and yellow in August followed by 103 and finally 102 in September - leaving just Atlanteans in green and cream.

With the Deltas completed 379 became the penultimate Olympian to lose 11 livery in November leaving 14 Deltas, six Tridents and 378 so attired. Routine Line 6 repaints began with 108, 109 and 114 treated in November and 110/2 in December. Further Metroriders lost the old pool livery with 591/4 painted black/yellow in November while 595 gained Line 2 green for the 2C extension. 593 was outshopped in blue/yellow for the Line 10 upgrade on 5 December and 589 was painted into the new pool livery in December.

At the end of the year the livery breakdown was:
  • Line 1: 365-7, 404-410 (10)
  • Line 2: 501-510, 512-8, 595 (18)
  • Line 3: 258-264 (7)
  • Line 4: 265-9, 271/2 (7)
  • Line 5: 249-257 (9)
  • Line 6: 104-110, 112-114 (10)
  • Line 7: 210-7 (8)
  • Line 10: 593 (1)
  • Line 11: 115-9, 122, 125-30/2/3, 322-7, 378 (21)
  • Line 14: 301-16 (16)
  • Line 15: 584-7 (4)
  • Line 20: 401-3 (3)
  • Old Pool: 124, 590 (2).
  • New Pool: 101-3, 123, 218-221, 273-6, 317-9, 368-373, 374-7/9, 588/9, 591/2/4/6  (32)
  • Lifestyle Line: 277-284 (8)
  • Kirkham Roamer: 285 (1)
 148 buses now carried Metro livery with just 352-364 in green and cream and eight Solos in Lifestyle line livery and one for Kirkham Roamer.