Thursday, 28 February 2013

CBNW joins Competition Review case-study

Back in January 2010, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred local bus services to the Competition Commission (CC) for investigation and report. It was December 2011 before the CC produced its comprehensive final report (see but one of the conclusions of the report was that new entrants to the bus industry were uncommon.
This week, Classic Bus North West has been invited to be one of a select number of new entrants to the bus market to take part in a 5-year case study which will monitor the extent and reaction of competition in the local bus market. As part of the case studies, the selected operators will submit quarterly reports to the consultants which will include a range of empirical research. CBNW welcomes the research, with other operators selected being regarded as competing with examples of the major bus groups.
Service 22 started operation in September 2012 and CBNW is regarded as a 'new entrant' to the local bus market. This week, CBNW agreed to take part in a 5-year case study that will monitor the effectiveness, or otherwise of competition in local bus markets of operators that have been established since the Competition Commission's 2011 report.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Another Dart joins the fold

A further Dennis Dart has been acquired to strengthen our low-floor operation of service 22. Former Metroline DLD182 was one of a batch of 20+ Plaxton bodied Darts delivered new to Metroline in London in June 2001 but upon withdrawal in 2012 it passed to dealer Ensignbus. It operated briefly for Ensignbus on rail replacement work but was sold to us earlier in February.
Although mechanically in superb condition, its appearance shows years of hard work with Metroline and it looks like it has never been repainted. Before entering service with CBNW on service 22, Y652NLO will be internally refurbished and externally resprayed in red livery.
Y652NLO on its return journey to Blackpool

Big Mama II acquired

Following the arrival of "Big Mama" earlier in the month comes news of our second example to be acquired from Big Bus Tours, reg F69SYE. Like no.326, this bus has been out of service with the London sightseeing operator since 2009 and needs refurbishment work.
F69SYE prepares to depart from the Earlsfield premises of Big Bus Tours

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Cardiff VRT returns

During the summer of 2012, our open top ex-Cardiff Bristol VRT enjoyed a summer holiday in Weston Super Mare where it operated with our good friends at Crosville Motor Services. It has now been exchanged for our genuine ex-Crosville VRT DCA528X and so WTG360T, still wearing the livery it operated in Bournemouth in 2008, will rejoin the CBNW operating fleet this summer. It is planned that "360" will be repainted in our red fleet livery ready for the summer months.
360 is the first of four more additions to the fleet this week. Watch this space....
360 arrives back in Blackpool after its summer holiday in Weston Super Mare with Crosville

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Catch 22 - Heritage Running Day

Buses from the LTT collection will be operating in passenger service on Saturday 25 May. In co-operation with the Lancastrian Transport Trust, we are hosting a Heritage Running Day on our "Catch 22" between Mereside and Cleveleys. Buses will operate every 30 minutes on the Saturday service and a selection of buses are being considered including Blackpool PD3 No.529, Routemaster 521 (RM1583), Atlantean 334 & Swift 570, Fylde 71, Lytham 19, Ribble 1997 as well as some other surprises. More details to follow...
Former Blackpool Atlantean is to be inspected soon for MoT exam as one of the heritage buses that will operate on service 22 on Saturday 25 May.

Monday, 11 February 2013

143 pressed into service

Dart 143 was pressed into service today, a little earlier than planned, to replace Dart 163 which developed a problem in service and had to be replaced by Olympian 324 which was booked to undertake the return journey on College contract 72.
143 posed at Fleetwood after its first passenger carrying duty with CBNW on 11 Feb.
It has become almost fate that each new Dart undertakes its maiden voyage with CBNW on the 72 contract and newly acquired 143 has proved to be no exception! It has had its front repainted in CBNW red but the sides & rear retain all-over white for a planned advert livery. 143's destination box has yet to be refitted.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Support Paul Maynard MP's e-petition

Paul Maynard MP, elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, is inviting support for an e-petition to force Blackpool Coucil to debate its road transport strategy, and in particular the congestion on Blackpool Promenade following the paved "shared space" area with its three zebra crossings and 20mph speed limit.
If 1,500 people sign the petition then the council has to debate the matter and Paul will get 5 minutes to present his case that Blackpool Council’s road management is not conducive to private investment and therefore is stopping jobs being created. It is affecting the reliability of bus services and increasing journey times for all transport users.
Classic Bus North West ask you to sign this petition. Just click on the link below and follow the instructions. It does not matter where you live, Blackpool, Cleveleys or any other part of the country. Each signature is as valid as the next, as the Council itself has made clear in guidance.
Find out more...

Traffic congestion on Blackpool Promenade

Monday, 4 February 2013

Meet our Oriental Big Mama!

Well it's only been with us a few days, but this beast has already been christened "Big Mama" and at 102 seats, it will be the biggest bus in Blackpool this summer. It has come from our friends at "Big Bus Tours" of London but its origins are far more oriental. Now 326 in our fleet, this tri-axle MCW Metrobus was new to China Motor Bus in Hong Kong in 1988. After withdrawal from service, several of the batch were imported back to the UK where they gained a new lease of life as either high capacity school buses or open top sightseeing vehicles on London tour work. DZ7095 from CMB became F326UJN with Big Bus Tours of London following open top conversion.
The MCWs were later joined by ex-Hong Kong Olympians and Condors and following new vehicle purchases, the MCWs were retired after the 2009 summer season and placed in store. Three of them remained in Big Bus ownership at the beginning of 2013 and 326 has been acquired for the CBNW operating fleet, where it will replace Bristol VRT 528 (DCA528X), following refurbishment work.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Dart 145 enters service

Dart 145 was taxed from 1st February allowing the bus to carry its first passengers since 2009 when it was withdrawn for refurbishment by Metroline in London. Looking superb and much younger than its 14 years of age, 145 was used on the afternoon working of college contract 72 and this view shows it with the Fleetwood Mount in the background.