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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Goodbye to Solo

Blackpool Transport was an original customer for the then newly created Leeds bus builder Optare way back in the 1980s ordering tranches of its early van like 'Metrorider' vehicles for town services. These graduated in size, capacity and style to the once familiar 'Solo' buses which have now all but disappeared from Blackpool's streets,.together with the yellow and black livery which first started out as the 'Handybus' branding in the late 1980s.

An early example of Blackpool (and Optare) nimble town buses in the once familiar 'Handybus' branding.

In their place have arrived now ubiquitous Palladium branded Alexander Dennis eco friendly designs taking over 'back street' routes, as well as the trunk services which have been the mainstay of the town's operations from almost time immemorial; or so it seems.

Optare itself went through several transitions over succeeding years from its early days. It is to be hoped that at least one (or two) of its final designs for Blackpool, until recently so familiar in the town centre, have been preserved to join the ranks of earlier generations of buses serving the resort's needs.

One of the many 'Solo' types which came to dominate routes not too long ago. This time an early example also in the 'Handybus' branding seen here at Cleveleys Bus Station complete with crazy paving.

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