Alexander Dennis Gets New Owners whilst Pacers Find Second (or Third) Lives :
Blackpool Transport's relationship with its principal bus supplier - Alexander Dennis of Falkirk is now entering a new phase with the acquisition of ADL by Canadian group NFI Inc announced this week. Blackpool Transport has transformed its fleet with deliveries of new environmentally 'clean' vehicles over the past four years - and further buses on order.
Blackpool's interest in moving towards an all-electric bus fleet is a strategy awaiting implementation but with definite plans already announced. These include redevelopment of the company's operating base at Rigby Road to accommodate transformational technology.
What impact the news this week of ADL's sale to a Canadian firm will have on current plans and procurement is too early to say (if any). Below : Now typical of Blackpool's principal bus routes (with one exception) an ADL product seen here at Bispham Road stop (formerly Bispham Library).
A further highlight of the news today was announcement of the final withdrawal of 'Pacer' units from passenger service this summer (or indeed any service). The possibility of making available Pacer units to community and social groups is planned. Applications from local charities and social groups for individual units will be solicited in due course - so that these veteran railway vehicles may well find themselves embedded in new static roles up and down the north of England. As they have been a feature of services running into Blackpool's two railway terminal stations over decades - it may be more than appropriate for the town to put in a bid to acquire a coupled set for social benefit. Perhaps one might even make it to Fleetwood where the FHLT are in discussion on a transport exhibition at Wyre Dock. Funnier things have happened !