Northern Blue

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Transdev Northern Blue
A Northern Blue bus, still in the livery of its previous operator, Keighley & District (left)
Founded July 1999
Headquarters Queensgate Bus Depot, Colne Road, Burnley (Head office: Prospect Park, Harrogate)
Service area  United Kingdom
Service type Bus services
Destinations Burnley, Todmorden, Bacup, Blackburn,
Operator Transdev
Chief executive Philip Beaumont, Managing Director (Resigned August 2007)

Transdev Northern Blue was a bus operator running around Burnley in East Lancashire. The company operated many school routes, along with a small number of commercial and subsidised bus services. In 2007, Northern Blue was absorbed by two other Transdev companies; Lancashire United and Burnley & Pendle.


Northern Blue was a trading name of Travelspeed Limited which was incorporated in July 1999 by two ex-employees of Blackburn Transport. Initially, the company began operating on Monday 15 November of that year, in competition with Blackburn Transport (BBT) from a base at the West End Business Park, Oswaldtwistle. After 2 months fierce competition on BBT's mainline, service 346 (now spot on route 1) operating between Accrington and Darwen via Blackburn, the Northern Blue boys eventually sold out their initial business to BBT and began to concentrate on school contracts and some coaching work.

In August 2000, the Status Group, which traded in the Lancashire area as Border Buses, decided to pull out of the area. They operated from a base in Burnley. Having already won some contracted service work in the Burnley area, Northern Blue acquired the Border Buses and Viscount Central businesses from them and took over their base at Dean Mill, Plumbe Street. Northern Blue dropped the Border Buses name but kept the Viscount Central name going for a number of years as it was felt that Viscount was well respected as a quality coach operator in the area.

The bus side of the business continued to trade as Northern Blue and was expanded greatly. A number of local bus services and school contracts have been operated, mainly on behalf of Lancashire County Council.

The coaching unit and the Viscount Central name were sold in September 2005 to the Coach Centre, Accrington.

Northern Blue now operate a large number of school contract work on behalf of Lancashire County Council as well as some commercial and non-commercial service work and now through their associated company, Lancashire County Transport Limited (trading as Accrington Transport) they operate a fair network of routes in the Hyndburn, Clitheroe, Burnley, Nelson and Bolton areas.

Also associated is the business of Blackburn with Darwen Transport Limited which operates school contracts from a small base on Grimshaw Street in Darwen. (Closed down on 31 July 2007)

As at July 2007 the company employed about 80 staff based at the 3 operating centres at Burnley, Accrington and Darwen.

It operated 30 vehicles from Burnley, 20 from Accrington and 8 from Darwen. The operating area extended from Chorley in the West, Todmorden in the East, Clitheroe in the North and Bolton in the South.

The group of companies had operating licenses for 61 vehicles.


On 5 August 2007 the entire share capital of Travelspeed Limited trading as Northern Blue Buses and Lancashire County Transport Ltd trading as Accrington Transport (which owns Blackburn with Darwen Transport Limited) was acquired by Blazefield Holdings Limited, a company itself owned by Transdev. Transdev's other routes in the area are operated by two group companies - Lancashire United and Burnley & Pendle. As of 1 September 2009 the operations of Transdev Northern Blue has been merged into Transdev Burnley & Pendle.[1]


Number Route
3 Ightenhill Circular (Circular) - Burnley
8 Burnley - Townely - Weir - Bacup
74 Nelson - Marsden Park Circular
92 Burnley - Todmorden
X4 Colne, Nelson & Burnley to Blackpool & Fleetwood
X64 Oswaldtwistle, Accrington, Great Harwood and Mellor to Fleetwood via Blackpool & Cleveleys
ASDA Burnley from various local locations (Mon, Weds, Thurs & Fri only)


Type Body Number
Optare Solo M850 Optare 2
Volvo B6-50 Alexander Dash 8
Scania N112DRB East Lancashire 1
Scania N112DRB Alexander RH 6
Scania N112DH Alexander RH 2
Volvo B10M58 Alexander Strider 4
Volvo B10M-62 Plaxton Paragon 1
Volvo B10BLE Wright Renown 1
Leyland Olympian Northern Counties 1
Leyland Olympian Alexander RL 1
Leyland Olympian East Lancashire

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Northern Blue (bus company) at Wikimedia Commons