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)

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.

Friday, 22 January 2016

All change on the buses!

Following the termination of bus service contracts throughout the county by Lancashire County Council (LCC) as a result of budget cuts, Catch22Bus Ltd has registered a new service linking Poulton, Thornton & Cleveleys that will replace the worthwhile sections of existing services 74, 75, 84 & 87.

In addition, service 22 will be extended to Fleetwood to cover the northern sections of service 84, which has been de-registered by Stagecoach. We are now in discussion with various stakeholders about the service changes and will be introducing a consultation panel for bus users on our website.

The changes will be effective from Monday 4th April.