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Service 21 was amended from 18 July and extended to St.Annes with all Zoo journeys withdrawn.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)

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Fleet Update - April 2016

Three ex-FirstGroup single decks have been acquired - Volvo B6s W812PFB & W813PFB, plus Alexander bodied Dennis Dart X475SCY.
Former Cardiff Darts 363/366/369 (W363VHB etc) have all entered service after the introduction of revised services on 04 April, with 366/369 usually to be found on new service 24 (Cleveleys-Thornton-Poulton).
Mini-Dart 145 (T145DAX) is currently away for a replacement engine to be fitted whilst sister 147 (T147DAX) is under repair after sustaining accident damage.

363 posed at Mereside with its new all-over advert for Fleetwood Freeport
Ex-First W812PFB following collection is captured leaving Bristol Temple Meads station.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Appeal Upheld

The Upper Tribunal has quashed a decision by the Senior Traffic Commissioner to revoke the licence of Catch22Bus Ltd, operators of local bus services in Blackpool, effective from 15 April.
The move follows the intervention of the Government Legal Team, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport that proposed that a Consent Order is agreed between the parties to dispose of the proceedings, using Rule 39. 
Philip Higgs, Managing Director of Catch22Bus Ltd said that “This is good news for our 25 staff, our customers and the future development of the business”.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Ribble Running Day - Sunday 03 April

Stagecoach, as successors to Ribble, are pulling out of the Fleetwood and Thornton Cleveleys area and their final day will be Saturday 2nd April. Then, from Monday 4th April the former 84 route, and bits of the 74 and 87, will be replaced with a new service 24 and extension of service 22 operated by Catch22Bus.
So, on the day in between, Sunday 3rd April, to commemorate the end of the Ribble era in the area, the LTT will be running free bus services from Cleveleys to Fleetwood, and from Cleveleys to Thornton and  Poulton between 11.50 and 14.50, using the LTT's preserved Ribble buses 366, 1805 and 1997.  The main centre of operations will be Cleveleys Bus Station and the town is lively even on a Sunday with several cafes on the main street.
The event is sponsored by Catch22Bus and the journeys will operate over the routes of their new services 22 & 24 which start the following day. See for more details.
Ribble 366 & 1997 with destinations set ready for the Ribble event to be held on Sunday 03 April.

Fleet Update - March 2016

In anticipation of recommencing Promenade service 12 at Easter, extending service 22 to Fleetwood & starting new service 24 linking Cleveleys, Thornton & Poulton, a lot of activity is taking place on the operating fleet.
Former Cardiff Darts 366 & 369 have been repainted all-over turquoise and are expected to be dedicated to service 24 which starts on 04 April. Sister bus 363 remains stored at the moment but this and older 319 are earmarked to receive all-over adverts. An all-over advert for 657 is also likely, explaining this vehicle's return to service in its previous operators' dark blue livery in the interim.
Darts 143 (T143AUA), 617 (X617JCS) & 658 (V658HEC) will return to service from 01 April after winter storage; the increase in buses required prompting the return of 143 to the operational fleet.
Ex-Arriva Dart 234 (V234HBH) which has been used as a source of spare parts since acquisition back in April 2015, has been assessed for being prepared for traffic.
369 has been repainted in all-over turquoise with orange stripe and along with sister bus 366 will be dedicated to service 24 when this new service starts on 04 April 2016.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Ribble throwback

This throwback to the 1970s shows a Bristol RE (like preserved 366 in the LTT collection) unloading passengers at Cleveleys Bus Station on long discontinued service 92. With the announcement that Stagecoach are closing Fleetwood depot on 02 April, the long legacy of Ribble's once extensive network in Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Thornton & Poulton will draw to a close. The news follows LCC's termination of contracts for supported services 74, 75, 86/89 and the evening/Sunday operation of service 84. This would only leave Stagecoach with the three bus daytime operation of service 84 which was reduced from 30-min to 40-min headway earlier this month. As a result the small garage at Fleetwood is no longer viable and drivers have been offered posts at Stagecoach's closest garage, Preston.