Now that the New Year's festivities are over it is time to recommence preparatory work on the tramway extension to Blackpool North. January 8th saw a fresh set of road diversions springing up around the town centre as traffic was banished from Talbot Road to the Promenade from Abingdon Street, as well as most of Talbot Square and Clifton Street. This has meant that most (but not all) of Blackpool Transport's bus services have had to be rerouted along with loading (and unloading) points.
Blackpool's Central Library has found itself the focal point for bus services with new stops aligned along Queen Street - and lines of buses jostling to gain parking places on what is a narrow roadway not at all helped by continual parking being permitted along one side. The long familiar bus loading points adjacent to Wilko's store and on Clifton Street have been 'abandoned' in favour of alternative points next to Central Library. Other temporary stops have been needed to replace those on Corporation Street. A special BTS 'find your bus stop' flier has been issued to provide some measure of guidance. Just to complicate matters of course is the still continuing 'Rail Replacement' shuttle service from outside Blackpool North station precinct with a continuing stream of BTS (and other) chartered coaches to deal with rail passengers departing or arriving at Blackpool from Preston and points further afield.
Ironically Blackpool Central Library on Queen Street was the site of important bus stops in the 1920s and early 1930s. This lasted more or less until the imposing new Talbot Road Bus Station was opened in 1939 whereupon many of the town's bus services were directed into its cavernous ground level interior. So for a brief month or two - the same location is now the site of Blackpool's municipal bus routes and their terminal points in the town centre. The view outside Central Library this morning with a smart new bus stop erected and trio of ADL vehicles on the 9 and 14 Services.
Below : Talbot Road and much of Talbot Square bereft of vehicles as further works begin ahead of tram track installation later in 2018.
Promising signage to instil a sense of momentum in the makeover of Blackpool's town central area (and about time one might say). The new conference centre accessed off Leopold Grove (my grandparents lived there in the 1930s) and extension to the Hounds Hill Centre facing on to the Winter Gardens - as depicted in this hoarding erected recently on Abingdon Street with the Yorkshire Bank immediately behind.
Loading on the 2C - now on Abingdon Street. What is very notable for these buses which still retain their destination blinds - is how visible they are from a distance in comparison to the LED destination fixtures on buses (and trams) particularly when viewed against bright sunlight. Even for people with sharp vision the new technology is a retrograde step. All Images : John Woodman 8 January 2018
Note the clarity and immediate visibility of traditional blinds particularly yellow font on black background. This is a classic Blackpool bus from 2003 still giving good service.