Wednesday 24 October 2018

DAF disposals

Three more withdrawn DAFs have been sold. 355 has gone to B&J Barnoldswick, 364 to Midland Bus Hire, Birminghamand 362 joins 358 at Dekkabus.  

Saturday 20 October 2018

Catch 22 Bus

KP04GZM - one of the latest additions to the Catch 22 fleet in their new green and blue livery (Philip Higgs)

Catch 22 has upgraded its fleet recently with some Dennis Darts from Stagecoach Midlands. KP04GZM is the first repainted into the new livery, GX54OWO has gained an all-over advert for Hounds Hill Centre.
GX54OWO shows off its new Hounds Hill allover advert (Philip Higgs)

Also the company has regularly used open toppers from its affiliated Sightseeing Tours business on the Beach Bus 26 and sometimes the Coastliner 21. Its most recent one to enter service is V145MEV which has received an allover advert for Marton Mere Holiday Park and it is expected to regularly work the 26 in the summer and Sightseeing Tours in the winter. 

The Sightseeing Tour business uses mainly Alexander bodied Dennis Tridents with V158MEV and V362OWC branded for Manchester, V168MEV for Birmingham and W501RBB with generic branding. Northern Counties Volvo Olympian P534EFL is also operated. All have the same green and blue livery now being used by Catch 22. 158, 168, 362 and 534 have been seen in service in Blackpool.

Routemaster RM2681, repatriated from Denmark in February 2017 has been progressively overhauled since and has recently moved for underframe painting. 

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Winter Service Changes and Fleet Disposals

Blackpool Transport has announced some minor service changes from Sunday 4th November. Most significant is the withdrawal of the 7 between St. Annes and Saltcotes in favour of service 17. The changes in summary are:

  • 1 - Blackpool Town Centre (Queen Street) to Fleetwood Affinity Outlet (the former Freeport) at a winter frequency of 30 minutes daily. The Starr Gate section is suspended due to a planned Promenade closure at Talbot Square. 4 buses v current 8 (MF), 5 (SASU). 
  • 2 Unchanged - 2 buses
  • 2C - rerouted in Knott End via Grasmere Road and Pilling Lane to improve access to the Over Wyre Medical Centre in Knott End. 5 buses
  • 3 and 4 minor timing changes - Saturday service runs every 30 minutes on each - this was adopted for the Illuminations period, but the usual 20 minute frequency is not being reintroduced 15 buses
  • 5 and 6 minor timing changes (9 and 8 buses resp)
  • 7 withdrawn St. Annes to Saltcotes Road and reduced to every 20 minutes - 8 buses (v 13 currently)
  • 9 unchanged (8 buses)
  • 11 unchanged - continues every 15 mins M-F, 20 Sat, 30 Sun - the Saturday service reduced from 15 mins (8 buses)
  • 14 winter service (12 minutes M-S, 30 Sundays v 10 mins M-F and 20 Sats presently) 11 v 13 buses
  • 17 extends from St. Annes to Saltcotes Road replacing the 7. Runs every 30 minutes, hourly eves/Suns - this reinstates an evening service on the 17 for the first time since May 2011. 5 buses (v 3 now)
  • 18 diverts via Stanley Park (2 buses)
  • 19 unchanged (1 bus)
  • 20 withdrawn for winter
This gives a fleet requirement of 85 buses plus 3 on schools a reduction of 9 buses v the current timetables.

More withdrawn buses have left the fleet. Trident 341 went for scrap on 19th September. Solo 250 has moved to Henshaws Coaches of Moreton in Marsh, DAFs 357 and 361 have joined 363 with Ashcrofts of Runcorn. 242 and 248 are running for CTN Nottingham, rather than Redfern Travel (who do some maintenance for CTN) 247 is assumed there too. 294 to 297 are sold to Powell's of Hellaby. This leaves 13 Solos, 3 Tridents and 8 DAFs in store. 364/5 were stored at the end of August leaving just 367-372 in service.