Anger at bus vandalism
Persistent vandalism means passengers will no longer have access to high-tech facilities on board Blackpool buses.
Blackpool Transport is removing some of the USB charging points from its multi-million fleet of new buses after yobs damaged them.
Vandalism has included pouring sugary drinks over them to corrode the electronics, stuffing them with chewing gum and intentionally disconnecting wiring.
The sockets had been installed on tables on board the 25 Palladium buses introduced into service in April.
However, charging points will remain in other areas of the buses.
Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport, said “We believe our customers deserve the very best, which is why we were delighted to introduce social seating with USB charging points as part of our fleet upgrade.
“Feedback from students, busy parents, workers and those simply whiling away their journey using their mobile phones and tablets has been fantastic.
“Sadly, the actions of the few is jeopardising the viability of these facilities.
“Having replaced the USB ports numerous times in the space of just six weeks, we can no longer sustain the cost of doing so and all USB charging ports will unfortunately be removed from the table space in the coming weeks.”
The company is increasing spot checks, monitoring on-board CCTV footage and working with the police to tackle vandalism.
As part of its ‘Love Your Bus’ campaign, it is also urging passengers to report any anti-social behaviour or vandalism.
Ms Cole added: “These buses belong to the residents of Blackpool, we are here for the community, and we hope our community of customers can help us to continue to provide a premium service.”
Blackpool Transport is currently investing around £7.7m in replacing buses and hopes to have replaced its entire fleet by 2019.
This week has seen fares rise by an average of three per cent blaming inflation and a rise in the cost of fuel.