Monday 13 January 2014

Archway on the 80

Plaxton bodied Dennis Dart MPD X502WRG operates the 0900 Blackpool to Preston along Grange Road on the first day of Archway's operation on service 80 (David Umpleby)

Thursday 9 January 2014

Archway Steps onto the 80

On 13 January Poulton based Archway Travel starts a replacement for service 80 cancelled by Classic Bus North West after less than two weeks operation. 

The new route has a more limited timetable and is understood to be commercially operate. On Monday to Friday it starts with a 0620 Poulton to Preston, followed by departures from Blackpool to Preston at 0700, 0900, 1200, 1500, 1600 and 1800 with short workings to Poulton at 1000 and 1850. Departures from Preston to Blackpool are at 0730, 0830, 1030, 1330, 1630, 1730 and a trip at 1930 to Preston. 2 buses are required. On Saturdays one bus operates at 0700, 1000, 1400 from Blackpool (and 1700 Blackpool to Poulton) plus 830 and 1530 Preston to Blackpool and 1130 Preston to Poulton.

Yellow painted Dennis Darts have been acquired including X503WRG from Go North East. Archway has been a provider of school services for many years - in 1995 it had a brief foray into local bus work providing service P11 from Poulton to Carleton, later extended to Victoria Hospital via Bispham - prompting a response from Blue Buses and eventual withdrawal of the P11. 

Monday 6 January 2014

December Round Up

Blackpool Transport News
Excels 212, 214 and 215 have been placed in store following the reduction in PVR during the winter with the end of service 20. Sister 224 is the latest of the type to receive the DDA modifications joining 216, 219-221 and 223 and 226.

Repaints continue with 312 (the Tower Eye advert bus) now in paint with 315 nearing completion. Sister 310 - a long term absentee with fire damage - is now nearly complete and ready for test.

Olympian 857 - the last of its type to remain in store is expected to be retained following the disposal of its three sisters for scrap.

Classic Bus News
On Friday 20 December CBNW ceased operation of its new service 80 with immediate effect and two days later ended the Red Rocket Express. CBNW Ltd ceased trading leaving the Oakwood Travel entity and license to continue with service 22 and private hire operations. Some disposals have taken place with Olympian 324 believed to have passed to Red Bus Days of Keighley, while Volvo 899 is now up for sale - its loan from its private owner having ended.

Lancashire County Council cutbacks
LCC is currently consulting on proposals to reduce its supported bus network with the following evening and Sunday services under threat of withdrawal from May 2014

  • 2C Poulton to Knott End evenings/Sundays (Blackpool to Poulton is commercial)
  • 42 Lancaster to Blackpool - evenings
  • 68 Preston to Blackpool - Sunday to Thursday eveings
  • 74 Fleetwood to Blackpool -1911 Blackpool-Fleetwood; 1943 Poulton to Blackpool journeys and entire Sunday service
  • 75 Preston to Blackpool Sundays
  • 78 St. Annes to Wesham Evenings/Sundays 
  • 80 Preston to Poulton Evenings/Sundays (not operated since CBNW defaulted on contract on 20 December)
  • 82 Poulton to Fleetwood Evenings/Sundays
  • 84 Fleetwood to Blackpool Evenings/Sundays
  • 86 Fleetwood to Knott End Evenings/Sundays
  • 89 Knott End to Lancaster Evenings/Sundays
It is understood that LCC are not seeking a replacement operator for CBNW's service 80 due to the costs involved.