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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Taking to the road

An ever changing sign of the times are the successive Driver Training vehicles of the Transport Department / sorry Blackpool Transport Services. Over the years generations of aspiring bus drivers have cautiously edged out on to Rigby Road in more or less the same style as the victim (sorry - recruit) above.

In earlier years a usually elderly bus nearing its sell by date was assigned to provide a least expensive way of driver training - with a large red letter 'L' affixed to the front radiator. Leyland Titans gave way to a dedicated 1940s example which was given a new paint job and correct signage - Number 25 lasted until replaced by a succession of later postwar PD2 examples and finally PD3 520. This in turn was deemed to be inappropriate for drivers taking on the more up to date Atlanteans which assumed this role in the 1990s.

Two 'Deltas' were the later Driver Training buses - with a neat return to traditional Corporation Transport green and cream branding in more recent BTS years. More recently a second hand (or third hand) bus was acquired (see earlier Blog) to retire the Deltas, whilst 2015 saw two Tridents retired to provide additional vehicles for this specialist duty. They were repainted in a version of the new 'Palladium' branding livery - possibly to test out the application of this latest BTS colour scheme on double deck vehicles. A glimpse of the current Driver Training 'fleet' parked up at Rigby Road below.

A rear view of BTS Driving Training Bus with obligatory L decals. A Mercedes Citaro can be glimpsed parked alongside the historic Workshop buildings in the background. The noticeable difference in the shades of yellow is evident. Top Image Tony Armitage. Below : John Woodman

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