Saturday, 14 January 2017

January 2017 - Fleet Update

Versas YJ10MGU & YJ61JHH have both entered service and are usually to be found on service 24 with sister bus YJ61JHE awaiting parts from Optare before it can enter service.
Recently joining the fleet is ex-Golden Tours Dennis Trident V362OWC, but previously new to Stagecoach Selkent back in December 1999. The bus is to be repainted back into London red livery and receive DDA modifications before it enters service on Coastliner 21 service this summer.
V362OWC posed at Mereside following arrival in Blackpool. 

Too late for the last Routemaster

On 31 December, we said goodbye not only to the last London Routemaster to operate in stage-carriage service in Blackpool, but the last Blackpool PD3s and Bristol VRs. It was on this date that Catch22Bus said farwell to its non-accessible double deck types. Routemasters RML887 & RM1583, Blackpool PD3s 516 & 529 and Ribble VRT 1997 all operated on service 21 between St.Annes and Cleveleys throughout the day. Even the LTT's Ribble Atlantean 1805 made a guest-star appearance as a free bus.
The last Routemaster to operate was ironically the first to be trialled in Blackpool. RM1583 made its last departure from Cliffs Hotel bearing the red and white band it arrived in back in 1986.
RM1583 prepares to depart Cliffs Hotel at 17:31 on New Year's Eve 2016. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Getting the London look

Over 30-years after first appearing on Blackpool's streets, RM1583 has been returned to its London look following a complete repaint by the team at Arriva's St.Helens depot. This will make the bus more useful within the private hire fleet and has completely refreshed its appearance.
Arriva St.Helens maybe offering commercial repaints to outside customers from 2017 and we are very happy to be the guinea-pig and are very pleased with the result.
RM1583 has already made its first appearance back in London livery on private hire work, but it will be used n our "Step Up" event on service 21 on Sat 31 December where we say farewell to step entrance buses, and the classic Routemaster from our stage-carriage operations.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Versas for Catch22Bus

Catch22Bus has signed a deal to purchase three Optare Versas that have recently been released from a 5-year lease to the Birmingham based operation of APH airport parking. The buses will join the fleet next week but they will need seats refitting to replace the luggage racks in the low floor area. They will also require repainting in fleet livery, although two of the buses were resprayed in all-over white prior to sale.

The buses represent a £150,000 investment in our operation and will enhance our services considerably, allowing older Dennis Dart buses to be retired. It is planned to dedicate the Versas to service 24. The buses are registered YJ10MGU and YJ61JHE / YJ61JHH.
Optare Versa YJ61JHE was repainted in stock white colour prior to resale whereas sister bus YJ10MGU retains APH Parking fleet livery.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

October update

Ex-Stagecoach London Dennis Trident 17773 (LX03BVJ) has joined the operating fleet and will be used on service 21 in its London red livery. The bus was new in March 2003 as part of a batch of 22 buses delivered to Stagecoach East London (17765 (LX03BVA) to 17782 (LX03BVU) for routes 86 and 103, operating from Romford garage.
Dennis Dart 371 has finally returned to service after an absence since March of this year, following the fitting of a replacement engine and gearbox.
Further additions to the fleet, replacing Mini Darts are expected in the coming weeks. Watch this space!
Stagecoach Trident 17773 has spent almost its entire operating life in London on routes 86 and 103, operating from Romford garage. 


Sunday, 25 September 2016

September Update

Heritage buses, including Blackpool 334, ex-London Routemaster RM1583 and Ribble 1997 from the LTT collection, have continued to see active duty on Service 21 (St.Annes-Promenade-Cleveleys) in what is expected to be the last year of non-low floor operation for double deck vehicles.

Ex-Cardiff 361 has returned to Blackpool following respray into the new fleet livery but awaits the fitting of retrimmed seats and MoT prep. Sister bus 371 has returned to the operational fleet following the fitting of a replacement engine. Meanwhile, ex-Arriva Dart V234HBH has departed Blackpool for scrap, having never operated for Catch22Bus.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Summer update

Apologies for the lack of posting - it has been a busy summer so far. Anyway, an update..

Ex-First Bristol Volvo B6s W812PFB & W813PFB have both been repainted in current fleet livery and should enter service in August.
Volvo W812PFB on its return journey to Blackpool following repaint. It awaits LED displays to be refitted and orange lining out.
Acquired is Dennis Dart 361 (W361VHB) ex Cardiff Bus - a bus that was set aside for a charity project that was not progressed. It has been partly repaneled and is now away for repaint.

Service 21 was amended from 18 July and extended to St.Annes with all Zoo journeys withdrawn. As this will be the last year of unrestricted "Step entrance" on stage carriage bus services, we are taking the opportunity (in partnership with LTT) to utilise a range of heritage buses on the 21, including Routemasters RML887 / RM1583, Blackpool PD3s 516/529, Blackpool Atlantean 334 & Ribble 1997.
RM1583 heads for St Annes on service 21 (picture by Alan Robson)