£2.2m fleet purchased for key resort route

An image of one of the new buses being bought by Blackpool Transport

An image of one of the new buses being bought by Blackpool Transport

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Blackpool Transport is investing £2.2m in 10 new buses – bringing the total amount ploughed into the fleet to nearly £4m in the past two years.

The latest additions are due to enter service in the summer and will operate on the number 9 route between Cleveleys and Bispham.

It follows on from the introduction of 10 single-deck Mercedes Benz buses on the number 5 route between the Halfway House pub on Squires Gate Lane and Blackpool Victoria Hospital last year.

The new buses will be double decker Enviro400 City buses boasting a glazed stairwell, recycled leather seats, wood-effect floors, wifi and USB charging points.

Passengers will also benefit from ‘next stop’ visual signs on board as well as audio announcements. There will be 27 seats and a wheelchair space on the lower deck, and 45 seats in the upper level.

The buses will be powered by low-emission technology with fuel saving capabilities.

Built by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), they are due to be on the road in July in time for the main summer season.

Managing director of Blackpool Transport, Jane Cole said: “The introduction of these leading-edge vehicles forms part of our on-going investment in modern buses.

“Our aim is to enhance the customer experience, provide value-for-money and encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport.

“The ADL City bus is a stunning, high performance, eco-friendly vehicle that sets the pace and reinforces our commitment to continuous improvement and further enhancement of the passenger experience.”

Richard Matthews, sales director at ADL Retail Bus and Coach, added: “We are delighted to be working with Blackpool Transport on this breakthrough contract.

“They will be the first transport operator in the country to introduce the one-door 72-seat variant of the Enviro400 City, which we launched just a few months ago.

“As we said at the time, it brings together style and innovation.

“In addition to the latest low-emission technology, it introduces a whole range of new features.

“The glazed stairwell is obviously a big attraction, as is the wrap-around driver’s windscreen with the wipers recessed at the top.”

Blackpool Transport has a fleet of 137 buses and accommodates around 18 million passenger journeys per year.

Prior to last year, the previous set of buses to join the fleet were refurbished vehicles bought from the Isle of Man in 2012.

Blackpool Transport is wholly owned by Blackpool Council.