New buses are just the ticket!

Launch of new buses for Blackpool Transport
Launch of new buses for Blackpool Transport
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Passengers will be travelling in style when 10 new Mercedes buses, costing a total of £1.7m, begin operating in Blackpool.

Blackpool Transport unveiled its new fleet on the Tower Festival Headland yesterday, with the vehicles due to start operating on the number 5 route between the Halfway House pub on Squires Gate Lane and Blackpool Victoria Hospital every 10 minutes from May 31.

The environmentally friendly single-deckers boast low floor access, USB charging points, free wifi, wood effect flooring, recycled leather seats and next stop announcements.

Bob Mason, director of delivery at Blackpool Transport, said: “This is a step change in quality for us and passengers will really benefit from all the mod cons the new buses have.

“Everything about the buses is also environmentally friendly.”

It is the first investment in new buses since 2010, with the last set of buses to join the fleet being refurbished vehicles bought from the Isle of Man in 2012.

Blackpool Transport driver Mark Hall said: “They are very smooth to drive and the turning circle is amazing.

“I think it’s good for the town as when you put it alongside the investment we’ve had in the trams, it shows passengers we are moving forward.”

Stephen Brookes, chairman of the Blackpool Transport Passenger User Panel, welcomed the introduction of the new fleet on behalf of passengers.

He said: “We were pleased to be part of the consultation on the original demonstrator and ensure the buses are accessible for everybody including the older people who come to Blackpool during the season.”

Each vehicle can carry 45 passengers seated plus 32 standing. They are painted in a sleek grey and yellow with a silver Blackpool Transport logo incorporating the Tower on the front.