BLACKPOOL’S fleet of refurbished buses are just the ticket, according to campaigners.
Blackpool Transport is buying a total of 21 double deckers from the Isle of Man to replace ageing vehicles which do not meet modern standards.
Each vehicle has cost around £50,000 – compared to £200,000 for a brand new double decker.
All bus companies must ensure their fleet is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) by 2017.
Blackpool Transport had come in for criticism in some quarters for using second hand buses.
But the Blackpool Passenger Focus Panel, which represents bus users in the resort, today said the deal represented good value for passengers.
Chairman Stephen Brookes said; “I am pleased that through some very wise buying of some underused, fairly recently-built buses from the Isle of Man, Blackpool Transport is becoming close to having the full complement of accessible vehicles in advance of any legislative cut off points.
“Accessibility is not just about disabled people but about mothers and fathers with prams, and older people having level platforms to gain entry.
“In an ideal world having £200,000 to spend per new vehicle would be wonderful, but in our economic reality to have obtained four buses for that same price is pretty good buying and should be commended.”
The refurbished buses each boast low floor access, wheelchair space and all the seats have been replaced with new upholstery. They also have LED external lights and electronic destination panels.
Each one had clocked up less than 20,000 miles a year – compared to 50,000 miles a year for a Blackpool bus.
Managing director of Blackpool Transport Trevor Roberts said; “These buses have done really low mileage on the Isle of Man and we’ll get a good 10 years out of them, so this makes really good business sense. What we are bringing in is a complete transformation. This is something we believe our customers will be really pleased with and represents excellent value for money.”
Seven of the refurbished buses are already in service.