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Double-deck Balloon tram at Bispham in July 2006
|Parent||Blackpool Borough Council|
|Service type||Tram & bus services|
|Destinations||Fleetwood, Lytham St Annes, Kirkham, Knott End, Poulton-le-Fylde|
|Fleet||170 buses, 75 trams|
|Chief executive||Trevor Roberts|
Blackpool Transport Services (BTS) is a bus and tram operator running within the boroughs of Blackpool and Fylde and into the surrounding area, including Fleetwood, Lytham St Annes, Poulton-le-Fylde and Cleveleys. It is owned by Blackpool Borough Council.
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Blackpool Transport was founded in 1885 by the town council. To comply with the Transport Act 1985, in 1986 the assets were transferred to a new legal entity. Neighbouring operator Fylde Borough Transport, which at the time traded as Blue Buses, was taken over in 1994; it had previously been a council-owned operation itself, but spent five months in private ownership before Blackpool Transport's takeover.
The company's network was relaunched in April 2001 under the name Metro Coastlines. Along with the new name came a new colour-coded service: each core bus route was operated by vehicles painted in a livery heavily featuring that route's colour. There were twelve such core bus routes, and the historic tramway along the promenade also had its own variation of the livery.
On Monday 26 July 2010, Metro Coastlines branding was discontinued and the company went back to the older name of Blackpool Transport. Buses have had their Metro Coastlines logos removed and replaced with a new Tower and waves logo, along with a black and yellow colour scheme. The tramway now uses a purple and white colour scheme, based on Blackpool Council's main colour schemes. The Tower and waves logo does not feature on the trams.
Blackpool Transport currently has a fleet of 147 vehicles as of January 2013. The fleet is primarily double deck. The mainstay of the Blackpool Transport fleet is the Dennis/TransBus Trident with 51 buses of this type currently in service.
In the single deck fleet the standard vehicle is the Optare Solo midibus with around forty examples in service. Also operated are seventeen Optare Excels and fourteen Volvo B7RLEs, 5 of which have Wright Eclipse Urban bodies, 9 have Plaxton Centro bodies, the latter are the newest vehicles in the fleet.
In terms of double deckers in the fleet, there are over fifty Dennis/TransBus Tridents with East Lancs bodywork. Also in service are an increasing number of ex Bus Vannin DAF DB250s also with East Lancs bodywork.
|Optare Solo (midibus)||
|Optare L1150||Optare Excel||
|Volvo B7RLE||Plaxton Centro
|Total (single deck)||
|Dennis Trident 2
TransBus Trident 2
|East Lancs Lolyne
East Lancs Myllennium Lolyne
|DAF DB250LF||East Lancs Myllennium Lowlander||
|Volvo Olympian||Northern Counties Palatine II||
|Total (double deck)||
|Total (all vehicles)||
Fares on Blackpool Transport depend on the distance travelled, although there is a cap per journey. Most tickets can be purchased from the driver of the first bus boarded, or on trams from the conductor. Holders of an ENCTS bus pass may travel free on buses in line with the rules of the scheme. Children under five also travel free. Drivers and conductors may also be able to give change in small denominations.
One day TravelCards can be purchased on any bus or tram, and longer term TravelCards can be purchased at offices and newsagents.
Bus routes and branding
Between 2001 and 2010 each line (service) had its own individual route colour which was painted with a contrasting colour of yellow, and there were also black generic painted buses which were used on any line if a branded vehicle couldn't be used for any reason. Each bus stop also featured the line colour and timetables were also colour-coded.
Route branding was discontinued on Monday 26 July 2010 when Blackpool Transport introduced major changes to its bus network, replaced by a new livery of black and yellow. The Line 6 service was axed on Sunday 25 July 2010 after 84 years in service; Optare Deltas 106, 107 and 112 performed the last duties.
Since 2002 local bus services have not used the 1960s bus station located on Talbot Road. The town centre Blackpool Transport offices were relocated to Market Street. With the new service changes, many services now serve different town centre stops. Service 1 stops at North Pier and Blackpool Tower in both directions. Services 2 and 2C terminate at Corporation Street Stop C1, with service 11 also serving this stop. Services 5, 7, 9 and 14 call at both Market Street and Corporation Street. Service 10 still terminates at Market Street. Services 3, 4 now operate via Topping Street (northbound) and Clifton Street (southbound), Service 16 also operates via Topping Street and now terminates at Blackpool North Station, Service 17 terminates at Market Street and Service 20 also stops at Market Street.
- Companies House extract company no 2003020 Blackpool Transport Services Limited
- Brown, Stewart J (November 1995). Buses in Britain 2: The Mid Nineties. Capital Transport. pp. 54–55. ISBN 1-85414-181-3.
- "Unofficial Blackpool Transport Fleet List". Fylde Bus Blog. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- Blackpool Transport woes Blackpool Aloud, 27 May 2010
- The end of the line for number six Blackpool Aloud, 27 July 2010
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