August Bank Holiday Scenes
The August Bank Holiday is not yet over but it has provided already quite memorable scenes in the town centre and on the promenade. Closure of the promenade to all traffic between North Pier and the Tower (including tram services) meant innumerable alterations for a long suffering Blackpool Transport having to plan for alternative scheduling and rerouting of buses whose journeys were truncated. Below :
Centenary 648 hidden behind crowds and the queue for entry to the Concert venue on the Tower Headland. The structure behind is the main stage setting.
Below : Less frenetic scene at Pleasure Beach with a northbound run of 680 loading at the temporary heritage stop.
Tower South Platform with passers by! Tower Headland Concert Queue and a waiting southbound tram with conductor protecting the rear entrance door from both queue and pedestrians - before departing south to Starr Gate. (1545 approx on Sunday) Note the heavy police presence.
Add to this mix exceptionally fine weather (at least until today) and record crowds of visitors arriving for both sun, sea and sand, and the Tower Headland Concert which headlined Will Smith as the lead 'artiste'. Long queues snaked along the promenade and in front of the Tower waiting to gain access into the Headland 'arena' with the line running (not literally) onto the southbound platform of the Tower tram stop. A short 'headshunt' allowed a single tram to reverse at the Tower to return to Starr Gate on the southern 'shuttle', whilst heritage tour cars were submerged by crowds and security staff as they awaited their turn to make the southbound journey, this time as far as Starr Gate (to make up for the lost journey time up to North Pier and beyond).
Buses reappeared on Church Street and Abingdon Street having being rerouted in the town centre and away from the promenade entirely. Temporary bus stops with the service numbers discretely but helpfully posted on to whatever lampost or pillar was adjacent to their assigned temporary town centre terminus. Quite a large number of Inspectors and other staff were seen providing information to understandably confused passengers seeking out their next journey out of town to Thornton, Poulton, Bispham, Grange Park, Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Victoria Hospital and other destinations.
One bus driver found time inbetween his Sunday timetabled service to progress work on his next book - about which more later...
Trident 319 (with new digital destination fittings) awaits its next journey (via Staining). The temporary service stop signs are affixed on the pole.
Mix and Match. A nice contrast in design aesthetics on Abingdon Street with Service 1 (Promenade!) and a 2017 ADL 431 in the current BTS house colours, with 2008 Solo 296 in previous yellow and black branding on a break opposite Abingdon Street Market. Just about the same position as the former Abingdon Street inbound tram stop....