|Founded||15 April 2001|
|Headquarters||Intack, Whitebirk Road, Blackburn (Head office: Prospect Park, Harrogate)|
|Service area||United Kingdom|
|Service type||Local and interurban bus services|
|Destinations||Blackburn, Accrington, Clitheroe, Burnley, Haslingden, Preston, Skipton, Bolton, Manchester, Chorley.|
|Fleet||Approx. 94 buses|
|Chief executive||John Threlfall, Business Director|
Transdev Lancashire United is an English bus operator, running mainly in and around the boroughs of Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley. The company was founded in April 2001 following the buyout of Stagecoach Ribble by Blazefield Holdings and has since overcome other operators. Since 2006 Lancashire United Ltd has been a subsidiary of the global Transdev Group.
In 2001, Stagecoach sold its former Ribble operations in Blackburn, Hyndburn, Clitheroe and Bolton to the Blazefield Group after a series of reasonably high-profile industrial disputes. The resultant company was named Lancashire United for buses operating in the Ribble Valley, Hyndburn, Bolton and Blackburn and a separate operating company, Burnley & Pendle Travel was set up to operate buses in that area (see Burnley & Pendle). Investment commenced in new vehicles almost immediately, with over 30 brand new single-decker buses arriving in September of that year, displacing Stagecoach's much older models.
A number of service revisions followed with many marginal services withdrawn and a number of school contracts were terminated. Much of this work, mainly contracted to Lancashire County Council, was picked up by Northern Blue. A focus was then made on developing high quality trunk routes, namely the 152, 225 & Hyndburn Circulars. Also later the X1.
Later, in 2002, the Bolton garage was sold on to independent operator Blue Bus run by Roger Jarvis, who eventually sold out to Arriva in 2005. The contracted services in the Clitheroe area were given up and the garage was sold to a housing developer. Most of the Clitheroe contracted work passed into the hands of the Northern Blue bus company. The Blazefield Group became part of the multi-national transport Transdev group in 2006. The Clitheroe services were operated by LUL for a second time through the Northern Blue takeover, however these passed out of LUL's service profile in June 2008. The original Blackburn garage acquired from Ribble remains in use.
From 26 March 2011 the Manor Sutton Street fleet gradually transferred into the former Blackburn Transport depot at Intack, although the depot remained open for fleet refurbishments and repaints, the former tram sheds at Intack are currently being demolished and the site will be resurfaced to accommodate the extra fleet transferred from the Mannor Sutton St site, Blackburn with Darwen Borough council purchased the land in March 2011 and it is currently being leased back to Transdev until their new Intack Station is completed. As of 28 August 2011 operations at Mannor Sutton St have now ceased and the entire fleet are now based at the Intack depot, on 28 August 2011 an event was held at the Mannor Sutton St depot to mark the end after 83 years.
- Blackburn Transport
On 22 January 2007, Lancashire United acquired the business of Blackburn Transport from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, a move that was anticipated for months. The company stated that all drivers from Blackburn Transport would remain, as would all fare deals and passes. The buyout increased Lancashire United's fleet size by over 130 buses.
- Northern Blue/Accrington Transport
On 5 August 2007, Blazefield acquired the businesses of Northern Blue of Burnley and Accrington Transport, the company inherited a further batch of 65 buses to their fleet. Transdev Accrington Transport moved to Lancashire United's depot at Intack. On 16 March 2008, Lancashire United took over the Accrington local bus network from Accrington Transport.
Spot On 
Following the acquisition of Blackburn Transport, both its services and Lancashire United's Hyndburn Circular routes were combined and branded as 'Spot On', the service was launched on 14 May 2007 with a fleet of 25 brand new single deck buses .
Interurban routes 
The company operates interurban routes to Bolton, Clitheroe, Chorley, Burnley, Preston and Skipton and its separately marketed, high quality services into Manchester branded as The Lancashire Way. On 2 April 2011 Transdev lost the contract to routes C1 and 241.
Other town services 
The Outer Circle
The Blackburn Outer Circle is a circular service that connects schools, hospitals, and leisure opportunities around the edge of the town. It was started by Blackburn Borough Transport in 1980 as the 50 (clockwise) and the 51 (anticlockwise). The Transport Department did not register the service for commercial operation, and after deregulation, it became one of several routes in the area won by GM buses on a nil tender basis. GM buses found out that these services were not as profitable as they had imagined and pulled out of the area entirely, on 26 January 1987 the route was returned to Blackburn Transport, who re-instated Leyland Atlantean double-deckers to operate the service. At the next round of tenders, the services passed to Ribble, who operated it using Leyland Olympians from Preston's Frenchwood garage, The route again reverted to Blackburn Transport using Optare Metroriders, the route was then renumbered as Track 5 with an A or C suffix denoting direction of travel.
In March 2006 the route became The OC and used Volvo Olympians which received a purple and orange livery with route branding, the vehicles and branding were retained on takeover by Lancashire united.
Past services 
This was a circular service that connected Blackburn with the towns of Rishton, Clayton-le-Moors, Great Harwood, Oswaldtwistle and Accrington in the district of Hyndburn, the service was taken over from Stagecoach Ribble's Blackburn depot in 2001 and shortly after a brand new fleet were purchased and carried branding for this service, as of May 2007 the service is now part of the Spot On network.
The X1 was a semi-express route linking Clitheroe, Whalley and Accrington with Manchester. The route was for a time operated by a fleet of route branded Volvo Olympians and won a number of awards. The X1 and associated X2 were replaced with the X40/X41 service running between Blackburn, Accrington & Manchester. Route 241 was created for passengers between Clitheroe and Accrington, however this route has since passed in and out of the company's control a number of times. A very limited number of journeys still commence at Whalley or Great Harwood.
The Whalley Ranger
This service was introduced in late 2009 following customer requests after two years of the Whalley Range area being unserved by bus, the route used specially branded buses and operated every 10 minutes with a flat single fare of £1, on 14 June 2010 the service was extended to serve Openshaw Drive to replace Spot On route 24, with the frequency reduced to every 15 minutes and period tickets became valid. It was announced on 16 November 2010 that this service was to be withdrawn due to low patronage, the last service operated on 24 December 2010.
Route 225 was a long established route which ran from Clitheroe to Bolton via Whalley, Blackburn & Darwen. The route was taken over from Stagecoach Ribble in 2001 and a new fleet of route branded low floor buses operated it. As of 16 September 2012 this route was divided into two separate services with all buses now terminating in Blackburn Town Centre. The Blackburn to Clitheroe section has been renumbered as Route 22 and the Blackburn to Bolton section has become Route 1 which has subsequently replaced Spot On 1.
Spot on 1
As of 16 September 2012 this route was divided into two separate services replacing the Spot On branding from this route, renumbered as Route 41 to operate alongside the X41 between Blackburn to Accrington and the Blackburn to Darwen section becoming Route 1, buses every 20 minutes extended to Bolton.
The company sell a wide range of tickets besides single and return fares, from day, 7 day and annual travel tickets, which can be purchased on the bus, or from an information office at Intack depot. From 9 July 2010 period and 12 journey tickets became available to purchase online.
Ticket types 
Spot On Tickets
Allows one day or seven days unlimited travel within the Blackburn & Darwen and Hyndburn areas.
Spot On Hyndburn
Allows one day or seven days unlimited travel within the Hyndburn area.
Silver card (formerly Spot On plus)
Allows one, seven days or a months unlimited travel as far as Preston, Bolton, Clitheroe, Keighley, Skipton and Rawtenstall.
These tickets are valid on any Burnley & Pendle and Lancashire United service, tickets valid for one month, six months or a whole year are issued as Gold cards whilst a day ticket is issued as a Day Gold.
12 Journey Tickets
These tickets allow 12 single journeys for a month on any Lancashire United or Burnley and Pendle bus Within the Spot On, Silver and Gold zones.
Ribble Valley Day Ranger
For travel within the Ribble Valley area, and to many places beyond as well. Tickets are valid on bus services run by most bus companies.
Fleet history 
When Lancashire United took over Stagecoach Ribble in April 2001, the fleet was predominantly made up of aging buses. These included double-decker models such as Leyland Atlanteans and Bristol VRs and single-decker models such as Leyland Lynxes and Leyland Nationals. The new company also inherited a couple of Mini Pointer Darts and Mercedes minibuses with the Clitheroe depot. Not all of these vehicles were repainted into LUL blue and cream, many just had LUL logos covering the Stagecoach ones retaining their distinctive striped livery. By September 2001, most of these had been replaced by more modern Leyland Olympians, more Leyland Lynxes and some brand new Volvo B10BLEs, bodied by Wrightbus. Over 30 of these were purchased, and are still providing quality low floor service today. They were the company's first buses bought new to them.
Whilst the Leyland Olympians and Volvo B10BLEs remained with the company for years, other models were bought and sold, mainly middle aged versions at the time. Included were Dennis Darts, Volvo Olympians and some other Volvo single-deckers, many cascaded from Blazefield's other operations in Yorkshire.
During 2006 the company had five Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President buses, however one of these buses was badly damaged after a fatal accident in 2006 on the M66 and has now been repaired and transferred to fellow Transdev Blazefield company Harrogate & District. Therefore LUL had only four of these currently in the fleet, In summer 2008 two additional Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents were transferred in from Yorkshire Coastliner, with an additional Wright-bodied double decker in Lancashire Way livery.
New bus orders 
In 2007, now under Transdev ownership, Lancashire United gained a batch of 25 Wrightbus-bodied Volvo single-deckers, these were painted in a white and sandy gold livery, with purple Spot On brandings for routes 6 & 7 and a deeper shade of purple for route 1. Altogether, they cost £3,750,000. These were originally destined for Burnley & Pendle, but due to the acquisition of Blackburn Transport they were diverted to Lancashire United. In early 2008 Lancashire United gained a second batch of brand new buses in the form of 6 Optare Versas for Spot On routes 18, 19, 22 and 22A serving the Mill Hill, Leyburn Road and Feniscowles areas of Blackburn, these were the newest Optares in Blackburn since the Optare MetroRiders were purchased by Blackburn Transport in 1998, however following overhaul of services in Blackburn these buses were transferred to Transdev Yorkshire operating on routes between Leeds, Tadcaster, York and Heworth, however these have now been transferred back to Lancashire United and carries the new Lancashire United livery.
In May 2010 two demonstrator buses were trialled on Route 225, one was an Optare Tempo and the other was a Wrightbus Eclipse 2, the company purchased eight Optare Tempo single deck buses and entered service on this route on 26 September, these are the first Optare Tempos in any Blazefield group.
Seven new Wrightbus Eclipse Urban 2-bodiedVolvo B7RLEs were purchased and entered service in September 2012, from 16 September these operate primarily on Route 1 between Blackburn, Darwen and Bolton.
Current and former depots 
Intack, Whitebirk road: Former Blackburn Transport.
Manner Sutton Street: Former Stagecoach Ribble depot, all buses transferred to Intack in Summer 2011.
Current liveries 
Lancashire United's original livery was a predominant cream with blue and red stripes with a swoop towards the back and a black skirt in standard Blazefield style, many buses in this livery carried route branding such as Route 152, 225 and the Hyndburn Circular, in recent years the vehicles started to receive various new liveries, the majority of Lancashire United's buses can now be recognized in a wide variety of liveries.
As of September 2010 following the introduction of the new eight Optare Tempos, the interurban fleet received the new Lancashire United livery of blue and cream with most buses receiving route branding.
- Lancashire United - This new style livery consists of yellow and blue with a distinctive red rose swooping up along the curve, the livery also carries a new Lancashire United logo, The new Optare Tempos are the first to carry this livery with route branding for Route 225, the fleet is now being standardized into this livery replacing both the Spot On and The Lancashire Way liveries.
- School buses - Older double-decker buses used on school and college services carry an all-yellow livery scheme.
- Eclipse Driver Training - Predominantly white with blue and yellow stripes.
Former liveries 
A small number of double-deckers inherited from the now defunct Blackburn Transport still retain the old two-tone green and cream livery and the green and yellow Schools+ livery while two still wear the purple and orange Outer Circle livery, the colour-scheme is now gradually disappearing.
- Spot On - Predominantly white, with sandy brown skirts and wear Spot On branding, the livery features lifestyle pictures of passengers advertising attractive features of the service on the back of the buses. They originally carried varying colours of each route they operate, however since the overhaul of services in February 2009 most of the Spot on branded buses had their coloured route brandings removed, As of August 2011 new version of this livery had been applied to the buses, however due to services changes this livery is now being replaced with the new Lancashire United livery.
- Urban Cool - This was a new school livery for Lancashire, however, due to funding problems, they scrapped the idea, and have stuck with yellow double deckers.
- The Whalley Ranger - This consisted of a predominant white, orange skirt and branding.
- The Rible Valley Express -This livery consisted of a predominantly white with a large crimson circle with route listing below the windows and Ribble Valley Express logo above the skirt, this livery was replaced by the new Lancashire United livery.
- The Lancashire Way - In Similar style to Burnley & Pendles The Witch Way* but with a distinctive red Lancashire rose and white stripes rather than silver, Each bus running The Lancashire Way is named, this is now being replaced by the standard Lancashire United livery with The Lancashire Way branding.
Awards and honours 
- In 2004 Lancashire United were winners of the Marketing Award for Local Authorities and Joint Projects at the prestigious Bus Industry Awards held in London, for their joint work with Lancashire County Council in promoting route X1-X2 to Manchester. Parts of the route have since been upgraded and branded The Lancashire Way as services X40/X41. Clitheroe is no longer served and Whalley only served at peak times, a far cry from the hourly service to Manchester before.
- Lancashire United's The Lancashire Way route was shortlisted at the 2007 Manchester Tourism Awards at Hilton Deansgate Hotel. They were entered into the Tourism Transport Provider of the Year category at the event by the judges.
- In late 2008 Lancashire united were nominated in three categories for the prestigious UK Awards. The categories nominated are:
* Shire operator of the year, with the winner from this category put forward for UK Operator of the year.
* Express Operator of the year, for The Lancashire Way X40/X41 service to Manchester.
* Bus Marketing Campaign of the year, for the Spot On Services in and around Blackburn.
See also 
- Blackburn Transport
- Burnley & Pendle
- Harrogate & District
- Keighley & District
- Yorkshire Coastliner
- Northern Blue
- List of bus operators of the United Kingdom
- "More about Lancashire United" Lancashire United Website 2nd February 2008
- "Blazefield:Going for growth" Bus & Coach website 2nd February 2008
- "Transdev Operations - Blazefield Group" Transdev website 2nd February 2008
- "Council buys Blackburn bus depot" Lancashire Evening Telegraph - Retrieved 11 August 2011
- "Lancashire United buys Blackburn Transport - The Details" oft.gov.uk - Retrieved 17 May 2007
- "Acquisition of Blackburn Transport" 2nd February 2008
- "Blazefield buys again in Lancashire"
- Accrington bus service changes
- Transport Company's Change Of Name (from Lancashire Telegraph)
- "Spot On Timetables"
- "Bus driver dies after collision with lorry". Bury Times. Newsquest Media Group accessdate=2008-08-15. 2006-09-28.
- "Introducing 'Spot On' by Lancashire United"Spot On Bus - Retrieved 25 May 2007
- "Lancashire United's new Spot On service"Omnibuses.blogsot.com - Retrieved 25 May 2007
- "Optare Versa Image"
- "Blackburn Transportnet.co.uk Photolibrary"
- "BUSES Magazine July 2010 issue 664"
- Bus in Eclipse training livery
- Bus in Urban Cool livery
- Bus in Ribble Valley Express livery
- "National Transport Awards 2004"
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