Friday 30 October 2015

Further Network Changes

As an update to last week's post - further minor network changes take effect from 8th November: 
  • 1 Winter timetable reduced to every 20 minutes, but full evening service restored (7 buses v 10/11 presently)
  • 2C - new terminal loop in Knott End - inbound via Hackensall Road, Quail Home Road to Bourne Arms then back via Esplanade as present - no longer works with 10/17 (5 buses) - interworks with 12/13 evenings
  • 5 - reduced to 12 minutes but still with nine buses
  • 12/13 and 15/16 no longer interwork - 7 buses on 12/13 and 6 on 15/16
  • 15/16 will now start on Clifton Street not Corporation Street
  • 17 - diverts at Highfield Hotel via Highfield Road, Lindale Gardens, Squires Gate Lane (and reverse towards Blackpool) some extra 10 and 17 journeys added. Now uses 4 buses (10/17 no longer work with 2C weekdays
This will reduce requirement by 2 buses Mon-Fri and 3 Saturdays 

Wednesday 21 October 2015

News Round Up

Blackpool Transport Trident 333 has been outshopped in standard fleet livery after all - despite receiving an undercoat for a possible Palladium inspired livery. Trainer Trident 973 is now in the paint shop for a repaint to match 974 while Sainsburys advert 311 is also in the works to lose its vinyl wrap.

Service changes from 8 November will see winter timetables introduced, but also a revision to the 7 and 11 in Lytham. These will no longer interwork and will revert to earlier versions of their terminal arrangements having been linked at Saltcotes since March 2012:

  • 7 clockwise loop via Station Road, Mythop Road, Saltcotes Road, Preston Road, Hospital, Warton Street (as from 2004 to 2010)
  • 11 anti-clockwise loop via Station Road, East Beach, Hospital (as per the route up to 2012)
Catch 22 Bus has accumulated further second hand Darts from Cardiff. W362VHB arrived and entered service in September, W371VHB arrived in October. Dart 512 has been sent for scrap as a result. W474UAG has also arrived from Walsall Community Transport. T147DAX has been repainted into fleet livery. Dennis Trident 51 LX51FNJ entered service still in red during August.

 Service 22 was increased to run every 20 minutes from 21 September, while summer season service 21 ended on 27 September. This had seen a mix of vehicles with PD3s 516, 529, Routemasters 521, RML887, Ribble RE 366 and VR 1997, Atlantean 334 and occasional open top Metrobuses.

Sunday 4 October 2015

PD3 532 resurfaces in USA

Blackpool PD3 532 still wears its Eastbourne colour scheme and side advert (Photo "Colorado King" via British Buses in USA Facebook group with permission)

Blackpool PD3 532 has recently been reported in Castle Rock, Colorado, USA - after some years in the wilderness. One of the final batch of 15 PD3s purchased in 1968. Many had short lives, withdrawn in the early 1980s - but 532 lasted until 1985 when it became a driver trainer alongside sisters 516 and 520. 

It continued as a trainer until 1987 when it was, surprisingly, selected for a return to service. Work to return it to bus specification was drawn out - it was repainted into the latest green and cream livery with a green skirt in July 1987- as also applied to sister 503 - but it was not until January 1988 that it entered service. Its return was short lived as it, and the other nine survivors, were laid up after the 1988 summer season and 532 became the first to leave - swapped with Eastbourne Buses for an open top PD2 in February 1989. Repainted in their blue and cream livery, it ran as fleet number 81 until withdrawal in 1993. 

It was a curious addition to the Stevenson's of Uttoxeter fleet - though they did not repaint it and in 1994 it was exported to Canada, intially used by Photobus in Alberta, but by 1997 was 'resting' in Calgary. From 2002 it was advertised on EBay on a few occasions but has now been reported in Colorado - over 1,100 miles from its last known home. Its new owner also has a Bristol Lodekka and is intending to restore both.

Blackpool PD3 532 still waits its Eastbourne colour scheme and side advert (Photo "Colorado King" via British Buses in USA Facebook group with permission)

Streetdeck Demonstrator

Last week Wrightbus Streetdeck demonstrator SL15ZGP entered service with Blackpool Transport on service 1 between Starr Gate and Fleetwood Freeport. The bus was first licensed in June and is on a tour of various operators in the UK. Wrightbus developed this Daimler powered integral double decker to partner its Streetlite integral model having previously provided bodies on other makers' chassis. Blackpool Transport operate five Wrightbus bodies on ex Anglian Volvos 520-524 but have never purchased new from this Northern Ireland manufacturer.

Pictures of the vehicle with Blackpool and others are on flickr, these show the unusual glazed staircase influenced by Wright's design for the New London Routemaster and included on recent demonstrators, however most orders have specified traditional paneled stairs - perhaps reflecting advertising commitments.

As usual with demonstrators - there is no certainty that it will lead to a fleet order - however with the newest double decker approaching ten years old investment will be required in the near future.