Bus passengers will be able to enjoy a ride into the future next week with a first look at how a multi-million pound investment will transform Blackpool’s public transport.
Blackpool Transport is set to spend £7.7m over the next two years on a fleet of 35 new buses – with bosses looking to replace their entire fleet in the next three years.
And the first of those new vehicles, one of 10 double deckers, will be unveiled to the public in St John’s Square next Thursday.
The vehicles, representing a £2.2m investment, will be on display to the public between noon and 6pm, giving the public a chance to step aboard before they roll into service.
There will be a team of Blackpool Transport experts on hand to answer any questions and there will be goodies to give away.
The buses, which are the first of their kind in the UK outside of London, will replace vehicles on the number nine route, between Cleveleys and Lytham, which are set to be withdrawn from service.
Featuring the Palladium branding, the buses have seats that are trimmed with E-leather and a wood effect flooring. There is also free WiFi and mobile charging points on the lower deck.
Bob Mason, (pictured) service delivery manager at Blackpool Transport, said: “We are excited about these new buses.
“The vehicle was on display at Excel in London last year and we asked ADL, the manufacturers, to bring it to Blackpool on the way back to Scotland.
“The staff loved it, the board love it and we think passengers will love it too.
“It will be more fuel efficient to operate and more environmentally-friendly, featuring stop start technology and low emissions.
“The premium Palladium product has already proved popular on the routes where it had been introduced and we are hoping this will attract passengers to the service.”
Blackpool Transport is considering the next round of bus orders, with more than £5m of finance agreed with shareholder Blackpool Council.
The company intends to have a bus fleet aged five years or less by 2020.
The new buses will enter service on the 9 and 9a route on July 22.