Saturday 22 July 2017

Schools Out

Blackpool Council has announced the end of funding for the dedicated school buses to St. Mary's Catholic College and these have been deregistered, along with the 414 which serves Aspire Academy. 

To replace these schools services, BTS is adding some extra journeys to its core network:
  • 3 0756 Bispham Hotel to Abingdon Street which then becomes a 5 to Victoria Hospital via St Mary's School
  • 3 0743 Mereide to Abingdon Street which then becomes a 5 to Victoria Hospital to serve St Mary's School
  • 5 1515 St Mary's School to Dickson Road, then as service 3 1530 Dickson Road to Bispham Hotel
  • 5 1515 St Mary's School to Abingdon St then as service 3 1530 Dickson Road to Mereside
  • 5 extra journeys 0731 Halfway House to Victoria Hospital and 1520 return (using Grange Road for St Mary's)
  • 6 0740 Mereside to Corporation Street then to Aspire Academy, 1500 return
It is understood these will use double deckers, indeed the workings on the 3 are explicitly so stated on the BTS website.

Friday 21 July 2017

Upcoming Event: Lytham Classic Bus Display and Running Day

Bank Holiday Monday 28 August is the fourth running day from Lytham Hall organised by Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust. A frequent bus service is planned with Ribble and other local vehicles to the fore front. 

Sunday 16 July 2017

From the Archives: The Delta - Blackpool's Best Buy?

Blackpool's Deltas arrived in this attractive green roof, green skirt livery with black window surrounds with the rest cream. This winter view shows 114 operating service 15 on 2 February 1991 - this being one of two of the second batch to arrive early, in November 1991 (Brian Turner)
Blackpool's bus fleet was predominately double deck from the 1930s to the 1990s, and its only since 2000 that the more than half of the fleet has been single deck (including minibuses). Recent history has been littered with short lived single deck designs:
  • 55 AEC Swifts of 1969-1975 - w/d between 1980 and 1988 - the oldest being 14 yrs and 7 months old
  • 4 Dennis Lancets of 1982 sold in 1988 before their 6th birthday
  • 4 Leyland National 2s of 1984, sold in 1991 before their 7th birthday
  • 15 second hand Leyland Nationals which lasted 3 to 4 years.
Prior to the Swifts, the last new single deck bus arrived in 1940 - two of which survived to the ripe old age of 24, most of the rest having typical lives of 17-18 years. The second hand Nationals were effectively stop gaps to replace the Swifts while BT focused on its minibus fleet. During 1989 BTS tried a pair of Leyland Lynxes, two Deltas and a Dennis Dart, placing an order for 8 Deltas.

Like most Optare vehicles the Delta was sold as a complete bus, though it was of conventional body on chassis construction on the DAF SB200LC550 chassis. You couldn't have a Delta on any other chassis, though the body shell did spawn other variants.

So it was then that on 22 February 1990 106/7 G106/7NBV rolled into the depot yard from Leeds to start a new era. Optare's eye for style produced a stunning vehicle, slightly less harsh than its ground breaking City Pacer but with a family feel. Its low floor (for a step entrance bus) in the front half was coupled with deep windows to afford a view. Internally high backed seats for 46 were specified, rather than the 51 bus seats that could be squeezed in. A contemporary grey soft trim finish was all that let the image down.

The full batch was 101-108 (G101-8NBV) and it saw off Nationals 145-148 and some early Atlanteans. 106/7 made their debut on 5 March with the rest following over the next month. 7 were required on weekdays with five on the 23-25 (Hospital-Mereside/Midgeland Road) and two on the 53 (Airport-Poulton). On a Sunday five were used on the interworked 22/22A (Cleveleys-Halfway House) and 25 (Hospital to Halfway House) and spares often appeared on the 12 (Blackpool to St. Annes).
106, one of the first pair to enter service, seen in the later livery with the cream roof (Brian Turner)
A second batch was ordered - 109, 110, 112-117 (H109YHGetc). 112/4 arrived in late November 1990 well ahead of the rest which came in January/February 1991. These replaced the Strathclyde Nationals and allowed the interworked 2 (Poulton-Bispham), 15 (Bispham-Staining) and 180/2 (Poulton-Preston) to be largely Delta worked using five buses. Eight more followed during 1991 with 118-120/2 (H118-20/2CHG) arriving in April, 123/4 (J123/4GRN) in July and 125/6 (J125/6GRN) in November.

The new batches seemed to take the operations department by surprise as they now had 24 single deckers for just 13 all day workings:
  • 2/2A (Blackpool to Poulton) = 3
  • 15 (Staining to Cleveleys) = 2
  • 23-25 (Hospital-Mereside/Midgeland Rd) = 5
  • 180/2 (Poulton to Preston) = 2
  • 192 (Blackpool to Kirkham) = 1
A network recast saw route 12 extended to Cleveleys and converted to Delta operation in March 1992 taking 8 buses, but at the expense of the 2A and 15 which lost four workings. Three were put to use on a short lived service 4 between Blackpool and Mereside to compete with Fylde from September 1992 to January 1993 with these three moving onto route 11C (Blackpool to St. Annes). January 1993 saw the arrival of four more Deltas (127-130 K127-30UFV) making 28 buses yet without the work to justify them.

The take-over of Fylde in 1994 brought its three Deltas 1-3 (H1-3FBT) into the fold and 101/2 moved there as 8/9 in early 1995 as the 192 was transferred in. When Fylde was absorbed 1-3 became 131-3 and 8/9 regained their original numbers.
The Fylde takeover brought three more Deltas into the fleet - 1 and 3 retained two tone blue, 2 had received blue and cream. They became 131 to 133 and received green and cream fleet livery.  In April/May 2001 all three received the grey, mustard and yellow 'pool' livery for the Metro network. It is seen here on a Park and Ride for the 2001 Open Golf Championship  (Brian Turner)
The consolidated network of November 1994 saw Deltas on the 12 (4), 22/22A (10) 23-25 (5), 192 (1) and Fylde's 44A (3) making 23 duties for 31 buses which was a bit more respectable. The Deltas couldn't cope with the 22/22A so four double deckers were soon drafted in and in March the Deltas moved onto route 6. Next change in August 1996 saw the Deltas move from the 12 and 23-25 to the 12A and 26 increasing the utilisation to 25. The ex Fylde buses were now normally on the 193. Minibuses returned to the 12A/26 in December 1998 and several Deltas were consigned to store! 105-110, 112, 114, 115, 116 and 130 the affected buses. They returned to use in February with the conversion of the 11/11A and 12 to single deck operation.

The Metro network of 2001 saw the following official allocations:
Line 6: 108-110, 112-117 (9 out of 10 all progressively branded)
Line 7: 118-120, 126-129 (7 out of 8 all in livery from launch)
Line 11: 101-103 (3 out of 3 all retained green and cream)
Pool: 104-107, 122-125, 130-133 (122-5/130-3 receiving the original Metro pool livery).
Various transfers have since taken place:
Sept 2002: 125 to Line 7 (ex pool to replace 120)
Oct/Nov 2002: 122, 130-133 to Line 11 (ex pool)
March 2004: 118 to Line 6 (ex 7)
Apr-June 2004: 119, 125-129 to Line 11 (ex 7)
May 2005: 115-117 to Line 11 (ex 6)
Aug/Sept 2005 - 101-103 into Pool livery, 104-107 to Line 6
Apr 2007: 115/6 to Pool (used on tram replacement over winter 06/07)
Nov 2007: 115/6 back to Line 11
Feb 2009 - 103 to Line 6 (replacing 110)

The aforementioned storage of 130 in winter 1998 was for a pilot refurbishment. An odd choice as the newest bus and the most recent repaint! The bus was duly stripped in February 1999 and treated to retrimmed seat, light laminate interior panelling, new floor, revised lighting and another repaint, finally returning to use in October 1999. Deemed a success, the programme was rolled out with 129 first and then in reverse order to 120 which returned to use in September 2000. Neatly the Fylde trio slotted in here (their body numbers follow on from 122) and they were treated in reverse order. They received two modifications to match their sisters - rear number blinds (instead of side ones) and a reduction from 48 to 46 seats. 131 was followed by 119 and 118 which emerged in April 2001 as one of the vehicles in Line 7 livery for the new Metro network.
The first branded route was Line 7 for which 7 Deltas were painted ahead of the launch in April 2001. This is 120 seen on Bank Hey Street (Brian Turner)

The programme ceased for a while as attention focused on repaints for the new identity but in August 2001 114 entered the works as a pilot for a phase 2 refurbishment. This reduced some of the changes - retaining the soft trim ceilings/coves for example, but saw the high backed seats replaced by modern moulded bus seats. It returned to use in January 2002 after a protracted refit. 113 followed whilst 108 jumped the queue following minor fire damage. This emerged as a phase 3 job with original seats retrimmed and less internal changes. Phase 2 programme continued with 112, 115, 116, 110, 109, 117 completing the pack by December.

The phase 3 work on 101-107 didn't particularly take off. 101 was retrimmed and fitted with a new floor in Spring 2003 with 102 following. 103-107 retained their original seat moquette with 105 receiving attention to its floor during the autumn.
Deltas also gained Line 6 livery - a claret and yellow scheme - this is 107 turning from Adelaide Street onto the 6 stop at Bank Hey Street (Brian Turner)

Withdrawals and Disposals
The first Delta withdrawal was 120 which suffered a suspected electrical fire in the depot on 5 July 2002 and was scrapped in February 2003. Ex Fylde 131 was burnt out in dramatic circumstances in St. Annes on 18 May 2004 and was scrapped in September. 
The sad remains of ex Fylde 131 after its fire at St. Annes Square on 18 May 2004 (James Millington)

The arrival of new Dennis Tridents for Line 11 saw 115-117 and 130 delicensed in at the end of August 2006. 130 had been selected for conversion to a driver trainer vehicle - the retrofitment of ABS braking allowing it to replace one of the two Atlantean trainers. Sister 129 was also withdrawn in October (with 115 reinstated in its place) and became the second trainer conversion. This emerged as 969/70 (K129/30UFV) in February 2007 in a reverse Metro blue/yellow livery.
From 2002 several Deltas gained Line 11 turquoise livery including 115 seen at Cleveleys Bus Station (Brian Turner)
116 returned to use in November and with 115 had its Line 11 branding replaced by tram replacement lettering to cover for the trams during the winter track renewal process. They gained pool livery in the spring but went back into Line 11 before the end of the 2007. 117 was not so lucky, it was progressively stripped for spares and went for scrap in July 2007. 

The first Delta to be sold for further use was 128, purchased by Preston Bus as a driver trainer. BTS did the conversion over the winter 2007/8 and the bus moved to Preston in February 2008. 

110 was withdrawn in February 2009 and scrapped in June 2009. Its seats live on though - replacing the originals in 107. With 110 gone the remaining 26 were allocated as:
  • Line 6: 103-109, 112-114 (10)
  • Line 11: 115, 116, 118, 119, 122, 125-127, 132/3 (10)
  • Pool: 101, 102, 123, 124 (4)
  • Trainers: 129/30 (2)
So why the best buy? Well reliability. They have proven to be good workhorses and all retained their original engines until a catastrophic failure for 113 in February 2008. A rebuild could not be affected, but the engine from fire damaged 120 was rebuilt and fitted instead. Not a bad record.
Deltas 101-103, 123/124 gained the black version of the pool livery - this is 102 towards the end of its life on service 11 in Lytham (Brian Turner)

2010 saw a sudden end for the Delta, with service changes and some new Volvos wiping out the fleet during the year. 124 had minor fire damage in September 2009 which was not deemed worthy or repair and 103 was withdrawn in Feb 2010 with engine failure. The withdrawal of service 6 saw off Deltas 104-109,112-116 with 101/2/4/6-9/12/23 in use on Saturday 24th then 104, 106, 107, 109 and 112 ran on the final day with 107 last in working the 2300 Mereside to Grange Park then 2341 back to Market Street and depot. 105, 113, 114 and 116 had been laid up earlier in the month with defects.
123 was the sole Delta to carry an all-over advert - though to a somewhat uninspiring design (Brian Turner)

Nine new Volvo B7RLEs entered service in September and this saw off the remaining Line 11 Deltas with 119, 122/3, 125-7, 132 and 133 in use on the last day (4 September 2010) - 118 missing out. 101, 102 and 123 - in black and yellow - except for 123 which uniquely had a Blackpool Council advertising livery (applied Sept 2008). 101/2 were laid up on 28 October, 123 bowing out on service 17 on 27 November. Most Deltas went for scrap. 101 and 133 were preserved - sadly 101 falling out of preservation. 109/127 went to the Evesham area as staff buses so just 128 and 133 survive, the former in defective condition at Preston Bus and 133 splendidly restored. Trainers 969/70 (ex 129/130) were withdrawn in May and April 2015 respectively and scrapped later in the year
130 became driver trainer 970 in October 2006 it is seen here on 15 June 2011 testing the newly finished Promenade roadway (Brian Turner)

Preserved 3/2011
Believed Scrapped
Partons, Scrap 3/10/2011
Feb 2010
Partons, Scrap Aug 2010
Partons, Scrap 15/09/10
Partons, Scrap 03/08/10
Partons, Scrap 16/09/10
Partons, Scrap 20/09/10
Partons, Scrap 15/09/10
Kanes Foods 25/08/2010
Feb 2009
Preston Recyclers 26/6/09
Partons, Scrap 20/09/10
July 2010
Partons, Scrap 16/09/10
July 2010
Partons, Scrap 05/08/10
August 2010
Partons, Scrap 14/09/10
July 2010
Partons, Scrap 14/09/10
Sept 2006
Wigleys, Scrap 06/07/07
Partons, Scrap 22/11/10
Partons, Scrap 19/10/11
Scrapped 06/02/03
Partons, Scrap 13/10/11
Partons, Scrap Sept 11
Ingelmere Metals 12/05/10
Nov 1991
Partons, Scrap 22/09/11
Nov 1991
Partons, Scrap 27/07/11
Kanes Foods 04/11/2010
Nov 2007
Preston Bus Nov 2007
Preston w/d
Oct 2006
Driver Trainer Oct 2006
Then Scrap 10/11/2015
Sept 2006
Driver Trainer Oct 2006
Then Scrap 30/10/2015
Fylde 5/91
Preston Recyclers 02/09/04
Fylde 5/91
Partons, Scrap 29/06/11
Fylde 5/91
Preserved Apr 2011

Saturday 15 July 2017

From the Archive - from 11C to 17

Today the 17 provides a half hourly service from Blackpool to St. Annes and is a direct descendant from the 11C. The 11C's evolution was driven by circumstance and it seems unlikely to have been envisaged in its familiar form.

The 11C started in 1939 as short workings on service 11 between Blackpool and Lindsay Avenue in Ansdell- operating along Central Drive, St. Annes Road (Halfway House), Blackpool Road, Headroomgate Road and Church Street. In February 1940 Blackpool Road was closed and the 11C diverted via Squires Gate Lane, Clifton Drive and Highbury Road. It was later diverted via Division Lane and presumably then onto Common Edge Road and Hawes Side Lane instead of St. Annes Road. Division Lane was closed on several during World War II and was then closed permanently in 1954 to expand the Airport. A new road - Queensway - opened around the perimeter of the Airport and the 11C was diverted via Queensway and Kilnhouse Lane.

PD3 501 heads under the former railway line - now Yeadon Way shortly before the end of crew operation of the 11C in 1983. (Brian Turner)
Although initially operated by Lytham St. Annes buses, Blackpool took-over operations in 1940 - though the service was still part of the joint arrangement between the two organisations. 1946 saw an increase from the wartime half hourly frequency to every 20 minutes and in 1954 the service was extended from Hounds Hill to Talbot Road Bus Station with four buses now needed rather than three before. Double deckers had also by now replaced the single deckers used previously.
PD3s were synonymous with the 11C until 1983 - here 506 drops off passengers at the Borough Boundary before heading onto Queensway and St. Annes (Brian Turner)
Other than OMO conversion of the Sunday service in 1971, the 11C remained unchanged. Within St. Annes it was almost entirely duplicated by local services 2 along Headroomgate Road and 3 which served Leach Lane and Kilnhouse Lane. Within Blackpool it followed the frequent 6 and 13 to Spen Corner and the 6A to School Road. It was only the section round Queensway that was entirely unique - though it did link Hawes Side to St. Annes and North St. Annes to Blackpool. No attempt was made to integrate the service into the complex provision on the corridor in Blackpool. However the other routes were whittled away with Blackpool's 6A going in 1975 and the Lytham's 2 ceasing in 1968. The Sunday service was eased to every 24 minutes (3 buses) in the early 1970s and then to every 30 minutes in 1975.

1983 saw conversion to One Person Operation and the introduction of Fylde Borough to the service (the successor to Lytham St. Annes). During the day each provided 2 Atlanteans for the 20 minute service, Fylde providing 2 of the 3 on the half hourly evening/Sunday service.

Deregulation saw a half hourly 11C operate every day (2 Fylde and 1 Blackpool bus. The son of the 6A (route 10 Blackpool to Midgeland Road) duplicated it as far as Highfield Hotel making a 15 minute service. This lasted until November 1987 when Blackpool withdrew the 10 (and Fylde won a replacement contract!) and transferred the two buses to provide the full 30 minute service on the 11C, duplicating Fylde's two workings which remained every 30/60 minutes.
Not Fylde's finest hour as Atlantean 134 is pressed straight into service on arrival from Hull in August 1987. (Brian Turner)
Fylde retaliated in March 1988 by starting a full 30 minute daytime service and extending it to Grange Park competing with service 6. These journeys were renumbered 6A, though soon became 11Cs again in July. Blackpool then stepped up the competition by increasing to every 20 minutes in August 1988 and Fylde followed suit in November - six buses per hour being the highest frequency ever on this route - though it ended the Grange Park section.

In April 1989 both operators retimed their services to make an even 10 minute headway - the evening/Sunday service had survived these battles on a joint basis with 2 Fylde and 1 Blackpool bus - just like 1983.

October 1989 saw both operators reduce to half hourly making a 15 minute service. Fylde also withdrew its 193 route (successor to the 3) from Spring Gardens to St. Annes. Both operators now routed the 11C via Spring Gardens (between Kilnhouse Lane and Blackpool Road) and Fylde also diverted its journeys via Heeley Road and St. Davids Road North instead of Headroomgate Road. The evening and Sunday services were later revised to provide a bus every hour along each variant regardless of operator.

Blackpools workings were converted to single deck operation from February 1993 and Fylde's then followed suit by 1994 - the former with Deltas, the latter usually with rebodied Atlanteans. Sunday 13 November 1994 was to be the last day for the 11C as the following day saw its replacement by the 14/14A (Fleetwood to St. Annes).

The new routes reintroduced double deckers and conductors as the Fleetwood end of the 14 had never been converted to OPO. The 14 followed the Blackpool 11C route (Headroomgate Road) and the 14A the Fylde one (St. Davids Road North) - all journeys ran from Blackpool Transport's Rigby Road depot and 12 Atlanteans were needed. Evening and Sunday buses were OPO.
Trident 311 on a diverted Line 14 working in St. Annes in 2007 - these buses were dedicated to the route from 2002/3 to 2010 (Brian Turner)

March 2000 saw the end of conductor operation on the 14/14A (and indeed on Blackpool's bus network). The route was standardised with all journeys via St Davids Road North as service 14. The Metro network of April 2001 saw the St. Annes to Blackpool leg reduced to every 20 minutes with a 10 minute Blackpool to Fleetwood service operate. Atlanteans and Olympians ruled the roost until Tridents 301-316 arrived in 2002/3. These saw a minor change with Dawson Road no longer served, buses running up Leach Lane to the junction with Blackpool Road on their way to Spring Gardens. The evening service was withdrawn in February 2010 - though replaced by Coastal Coaches on contract to Lancashire County Council.
Delta 118 contrasts with 506's earlier picture at the Borough Boundary on new Line 17 28 July 2010 (Brian Turner)
From 26 July new route 17 replaced the 14 operating every 30 minutes (back to 1986 levels), extending to Lytham via Heyhouses. 5 buses provided a 30 minute frequency - 2 providing an hourly evening service and 3 provided a half hourly Sunday service to St. Annes only. Initially buses terminated at Albert Street in Blackpool, but later moved to Market Street. A mix of Deltas, Excels and Solos were used.

September 2010 saw the St. Annes to Lytham section jettisoned in favour of service 18, which was later replaced by Coastal Coaches 78. The 17 now used 4 Excels Monday to Saturday and 2 Solos in the evenings (with the 18) and 3 on Sundays. The evening service was withdrawn at the end of January 2011, Coastal Coaches won a tender for a replacement service but this only lasted three months. Also in January the full 17 was converted to Solos. Double deckers and Excels continued to appear with increasing regularity as time went on.
Excel 225 on the 17 at Market Street (Brian Turner)
In June 2015 the 17 was reduced to hourly, with the 10 (Blackpool to Midgeland Road) extended to St. Annes to retain the half hourly service on that section. In October 2015 the 17 was diverted via Lindale Gardens. Between April 2016 and April 2017 the 10 and 17 were extended from Blackpool to Poulton via Victoria Hospital replacing the 12/13 and were generally double deck operated. The 10 was withdrawn in April 2017 and the 17 returned to half hourly - with the Lindale Gardens diversion removed.

From the Archives: Route 12 - Lytham Road's Tram Replacement

Throughout the 1960s PD3s were the staple diet of service 12, though it was launched with PD2s until the first of the full fronted PD3s arrived in 1962. Swifts took over in 1974 but on 14 December 1981 PD3s appeared as their front engine offered greater adhesion - a sentiment presumably lost on the crew of 523 seen here stuck at the Airport (Brian Turner)
Blackpool Trams began operating along Lytham Road in 1895 initially to Station Road with a end on connection from 1896 with Gas trams to Lytham. Blackpool trams later ran the full length of Lytham Road to Squires Gate Airport but the line closed in October 1961. Replacement service 12 started on 30 October 1961. It started at Squires Gate - with the terminus opposite the Lytham St. Annes Bus depot then ran the length of Lytham Road, onto the Promenade and up Talbot Road to the Bus Station. The service was:
  • Summer - every 5 minutes (9 buses)
  • Winter - every 6 minutes (7 buses) except evenings/Sundays - every 8 minutes (5 buses)

Centre Entrance PD2s were not commonly associated with the 12 but here 210 is providing an unadvertised duplicate service 12A between Talbot Square and South Station to cope with summer loadings (Brian Turner)
Existing PD2s were used until the 20 new PD3s arrived during summer 1962 - after that the longer PD3 became the mainstay with PD2s - including the streamliners - providing unadvertised duplicate service 12A. The service frequency gradually eased with a 7 minute frequency in place by the 1970s. January 1973 saw the terminus move to the Airport Grounds and in May 1974 the service was converted to OMO operation using AEC Swifts. Daytime services used 7 buses at 7 minute intervals, evenings and Sundays saw a bus every 16 minutes with extra summer season journeys.
OPO operation with Swifts started in 1974. Now preserved 570 waits time at the Airport terminus (Brian Turner)
By 1977 the daytime frequency had dropped to every 10 minutes with a 20 minute evening/Sunday timetable in place. 1983 saw timetable revised with two journeys per hour replaced by Fylde's 11/11A - leaving the 12 providing 4 buses per hour at 10-20-10-20 intervals and no evening/Sunday service. Double deckers were now commonly deployed.

During the 1980s Atlanteans replaced the Swifts - here 356 loads at The Old Bridge - while the stop is blocked by brand new National 2 544 on its first familiarisation run. (Brian Turner)

Deregulation saw the frequency return to every 10 minutes with 4 Routemasters - crew operation allowed faster running times so the buses could - just - get round in 40 minutes. Evenings/Sundays saw OPO Double Deck buses run every 30 minutes.

In July 1987 the daytime 12 service was extended to St. Annes using 6 crew double deckers - RMs521-6 were supplemented by PD3s with 507 and 512 in the same red and white scheme as the RMs. November saw alternate journeys curtailed to terminate at the Airport but the evening/Sunday service was extended to St. Annes.

Routemasters were used from deregulation to garner a competitive advantage against Fylde's Blue Buses. 521 is chased down Talbot Road by Fylde 82 on the 11A (Brian Turner)
29 February 1988 saw the introduction of a supplementary minibus service providing a bus every 5 minutes from Blackpool to Highfield Road. The St. Annes service now ran every 30 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes at peak using crew double deckers. Evenings and Sundays - and some early journeys - used minibuses through to St. Annes on a 15 minute frequency.

City Pacer 550 is operating the new minibus version of the 12 introduced in February 1988. This later became service 12A (Brian Turner)
 August saw the minibus workings renumbered 12A and extended via Highfield Road, St. Annes Road, Halfway House to Lindale Gardens and back via Highfield Road. The offpeak  12 service ran every 15 minutes during the summer and this was then adopted year round from November. April 1999 saw the evening service revert to big bus operation with 2 Atlanteans or Olympians running every 30 minutes.

521 again leaving Blackpool Airport with an Easyway Leopard behind on route 53 (Brian Turner)
 From December 1991 the Routemasters were replaced by crew operated Atlanteans as several were now spare. March 1992 saw the 12 extended to Cleveleys replacing service 9. Optare Deltas took-over and 8 were required for the 15 minute daytime service and 4 for the half hourly evening/Sunday service. This followed Fylde's expansion of services with its 11 running from Lytham St. Annes to Cleveleys and the 11A following suit in May 1992.

With the two operators under common ownership, November 1994 saw the 12 drop to half hourly - co-ordinated with Fylde's 11/11A. The 12A was reduced to every 7/8 minutes. August 1996 saw the 12 converted to double deckers and the 12A coverted to single deckers with 5 operating every 10 minutes and  buses ran both ways via Lindale Gardens to terminate at the Morrisons Store at Halfway House - though the circular route was restarted in November 1996. A 6th bus was added quickly as the timetable provided too challenging.

PD3s 507 and 512 supplemented the Routemasters on the 12 - both carried the same red/white livery (Brian Turner)
 June 1998 saw one journey per hour daytimes on the 12 extend from Cleveleys to Freeport, Fleetwood via West Drive, Broadwater and Fleetwood Ferry requiring one more bus. This proved unreliable so it was diverted via Amounderness Way instead of Broadwater in December and was withdrawn in April 1999. Single deckers returned to the service in February 1999 following the conversion of the 12A back to minibuses in December - 5 Metroriders taking over.
Delta 107 on the extended service 12 near the Tower (Donald MacRae)

The new Metro network saw the 12 replaced by Line 11 from 30 April - this largely covering the 12 route, plus a diversion via Bispham Village with an extension to Lytham. Today the northern section is now route 9 while the Lytham Road service is now covered by a revised service 11.

The 12 was a regular haunt for demonstrators. Here East Lancs bodied Scania EMJ560Y loads in Talbot Road Bus Station alongside Atlantean 310 and Swift 579 (Brian Turner)