Weekend wonders & armchair comfort
Blackpool's transport scene is like no other. One of the few remaining urban systems in the country which remains outside the grasping clutches of the corporate sector - and the only one to operate a 'light rail' service under municipal ownership.
Lingering traces of the traditional tram service are also allowed alongside the light rail operation under the guise of 'heritage tours' - a result of being beside the seaside with donkeys, stag and hen parties, piers and a seasonal economy.
The operator - Blackpool Transport Services Ltd., manages to maintain a distinctive flavour that contrasts with the rest of the country. Vehicles and fleet branding make it stand out among the bland corporate owned set ups elsewhere in Britain. Perhaps Lothian and London are equally distinctive (but on a larger scale) but our coastal sights and sounds give off a sense of being somewhere completely different.
Blackpool Transport (or the Council) have embarked on upgrading the passenger shelter experience - starting with a stop on Warbreck Hill Road overlooking the Gynn (and sea views). In this case a comfortable arm chair has been sited within probably the most rundown, god awful looking Council bus shelter on the Fylde coast.
(Thanks to Colin MacLeod for alerting me to this latest Council ''improvement' near his home).
Blackpool Transport's continued and extended trial of the ADL Demonstrator through the past week on Service 5 suggests growing affinity with this model - and less affection for the German 'Citaro' class which was heralded to great fanfare last year. in the new 'Palladium' brand colours. Delivery of the ADL double deck design is imminent with ten due to arrive in the next few weeks - signalling the start of phased withdrawal of the dominant 'Trident' type which have characterised Blackpool's bus services since 2003. Although it will be a few years before they are all finally retired
Happy Days - the Author with the ADL Demonstrator in the town centre.