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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

All Change 3 April

Blackpool Transport will be making alterations to services from April 3 on several of their bus routes. Notices and individual route timetables are available from the 'Travel Shop' aka as Information Office in former days - providing details on each of the Service Numbers.

Notable are the repercussions of the withdrawal of bus operating subsidies on some services outwith Blackpool Borough which hitherto have been provided by the County Council. This impacts on services to Knott End, Staining and other parts of the periphery communities east of Blackpool. There is a strengthening of services running to Victoria Hospital which is gaining increasing importance in direct relation to the large numbers of people accessing medical resources at this site. In fact Victoria Hospital has become a key destination for Blackpool's buses and is likely to remain so for many years to come given the large retired and ageing demographics on the Fylde coast. Perhaps in time Victoria Hospital may end up with a light rail link to the Town Centre running along Talbot Road which is already the busiest artery for bus services in Blackpool (as far as Layton).

Several decades ago - this was the bus to Victoria Hospital - PD2 341 delivered new in 1959 and seen here at the Midgeland Road terminus of Service 23.

A further and far less customer friendly change affecting postal delivery services for Blackpool area has been relocation of the Royal Mail Sorting Office from the logical and convenient General Post Office building in Blackpool Centre. This involved siting the relocated Sorting Office to a backwater facility on the fringes of Bispham on Faraday Way - a location noted for its inaccessibility from most parts of Blackpool. Given inevitable (and justified) complaints from people needing to collect parcels and undelivered mail - BTS have adjusted Service 3 to operate to Faraday Way with an enhanced route.

Other operators are taking up segments of Bus Services which are no longer being subsidised by the County Council in this area from April. Fuller details of who and where have yet to emerge but no doubt will become clearer from next week. BTS are publicising the improved vehicles which will appear on some of their routes during the summer months with a total of twenty new buses (in the grey and lemon 'Palladium' scheme) anticipated. All with the latest bells and whistles. This will mean withdrawal from service of the now vintage 1994 delivered Olympians bodied by Northern Counties and no doubt the still extant 'Excels' of varying years. Preservation interest anyone for examples of these types? Olympian 377 of 1995 seen here on a special working at Talbot Square in BTS colours with a particularly alluring advertisement on the side.. One of these buses deserves conservation.

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