Apologies for the apparent lapse in postings early this week, however some background nerds on the far side of the globe modified the formatting of the
server and our modest online offering had a hiccup. Thankfully the matter has been sorted (not by me) and things are now on an even keel, but one never knows !
Two blogs went into a filing system which are somewhere else in the ether and rather than spend time repeating earlier postings which did not appear - I will simply move on. Tramtalk is not the only misstep it seems - with Blackpool Transport fielding an anonymous bus on the 5 Service this week. Waiting for a bus to Layton yesterday I was accosted (almost) by a grim looking Mercedes Citaro which looked unfamiliar given its orange destination lighting and without the lime highlight strips and flourish. No fleet number or BTS logo in sight - but the Operator ID was added next to the entrance for legal reasons one assumes.
Apparently one of the BTS Citaro fleet has had to 'return to sender' for repairs which presumably will take a while, and the supplier has provided a replacement from stock to fill the gap in the meantime. All of this is going on whilst Blackpool Council and its Executive agree on providing a £7.7 Million financing facility which will allow the Company (BTS) to proceed with a phased fleet renewal over the next four or five years. The expectation is that the Tridents will be gradually replaced with ADL models - of which the first ten are due in the next few weeks - and subsequent tranches thereafter. Large capacity single deck buses will also be in the mix with an intent that these would (or could) be the Mercedes Citaro model. However the word on the street? has it that this may not now eventualise and instead the ADL vehicle currently being demonstrated on the 5 Service and subject of much enthusiast attention - will now be annointed as the standard BTS large single deck type. Probable economies of scale with the both types being sourced from a single supplier - and commonality of parts and so on.
With Blackpool's Council having to trim its financial outlays and overhead even more due to cuts in Central Government funding across services, the Council's ownership of BTS requires economies wherever they can be found, certainly on capital spend. We therefore await with interest the sight of both the new ADL double and single deck models in Palladium branding coming to a stop near you. A further economy might be similarly rebranding the Bombardier trams with Palladium colours to replace the morbid black and dark purple arrangement currently in view. Saving on paint supplies as well perhaps ?
Apologies for the less than sharp images of the replacement Citaro as I waited for a bus (not the 5) on Talbot Road, Other online blogs use superior cameras....
Looking somewhat grim in its all over dark grey demonstrator (or replacement) colour - the stand-in Citaro (unnumbered) plies its trade on the 5 Service this week.