top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Transport Promotions

Blackpool's trams and buses evolve and so does the marketing of services. Currently the flavour of the month is the 'Palladium' styling introduced four years ago with the arrival of a fleet of Mercedes 'Citaro' single deck buses. Previous to that Blackpool Council's sombre dark purple black and white branding was applied to the Bombardier light rail vehicle delivery in 2011, now showing its age. A handful of the traditional 'Balloon' cars upgraded to light rail service were similarly given a makeover to the Council's light rail branding - not necessarily resulting in a favourable style.

Once upon a time the town's transport services were provided with two timetables in plain vest pocket booklets - one for the winter season which began at the end of the Illuminations, and one for the summer season which began in May. A fold out transport map or 'guide' was also provided to supplement the service timeable - with varying designs on its front cover - now collectors items.

In the colourful era of 'Metro Coastlines' introduced in 2000 and running up to 2009 under the managership of Steve Burd, individual branded 'Lines' were given their own distinctive livery themes and seperate pocket timetables. This gave the town a kaleidascope of bright buses filling the centre with ever frequent repainting of individual vehicles as they were reassigned to different routes. Some of the tram fleet were also treated to the 'Metro Coastlines' brand but very much in an ad hoc manner.

Simplistic approach to tram timetables with little variance year on year except for the colour of the timetable cover. This is the 1950s complete with updated 'Guide' 1958 :

With the arrival of Trevor Roberts the Metro Coastlines era was quickly consigned to the wastebin with consequent savings on paint stocks and paintshop time. Instead a black and yellow branding was introduced on the bus fleet complete with in vogue silver 'sweep' on the vehicle sides. Blackpool Transport logo reappeared in original form as well - whilst timetables were reduced to printed black and white single sheets with consequent reduction in expenditures.

The early 1950s left :

Welcoming a new vehicle and service style in

1986 :

Moving on to the current management of Jane Cole, BTS have adopted an aggressive marketing of their 'Palladium' brand - at least on the bus fleet - whilst the trams have been surprisingly left to do their own thing for the time being. A plethora of marketing materials, publicity and notices of all kinds extolling cashless payment systems, 'apps' and further topical technologies - backed by the now dominant fleet of 'Palladium' buses both single and double deck versions. The yellow and black bus livery is filling out its final months in public service, but hopefully a couple of survivors will be retained as testimony to the 1990s and the previous operating style of BTS. The trams are equally benefitting from new year round timetables (in 2018) with comprehensive coverage of service times. The heritage tram 'tour' service goes its own way with variations on a theme well publicised by its supporters and in so doing keeps visible the green and cream colours of the former municipal system (from 1933).

A sample of the

Metro Coastline Line timetable in the final year of that brand - 2009.

The current BTS

Palladium brand

applied to bus timetables - this is the 9 Service.

And for up to the minute BTS marketing in 2018 on the trams :

The latest in tramway information from BTS

Just a slight upgrade from earlier days above!

Featured Posts
bottom of page