Atlantean returns

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.

Are you enjoying this feature? Why not subscribe to continue reading?

Subscribe for 6 issues/weeks from only £6
Or login if you are already a subscriber

By subscribing you will benefit from:

  • Operator & Supplier Profiles
  • Face-to-Face Interviews
  • Lastest News
  • Test Drives and Reviews
  • Legal Updates
  • Route Focus
  • Industry Insider Opinions
  • Passenger Perspective
  • Vehicle Launches
  • and much more!
[/wlm_nonmember] [wlm_ismember] Another classic vehicle back in action recently is a 1971 new to Lytham St Annes Leyland Atlantean, which made its first passenger carrying journey in 22 years at the recent Fylde Transport Trust (FTT) running day. Northern Counties-bodied ATD 281J operated on a 30-minute frequency between Talbot Square and St Anne’s Square during the event.

Commemorated was the 35th anniversary of the first former London AEC Routemaster being trialled on route 5 – the actual bus, RM 1583, operating – and also 60 years since buses replaced trams on Lytham Road. Blackpool would go on to run 13 Routemasters, the last leaving in 1997.
Lytham Atlantean 77 had been bought for preservation from its original operator’s successor Blackpool Transport and last used in public at the closure of Squire Gate depot in 1999. Since then the bus has received a front end rebuild and retrim, having waited its turn along with other Flyde Transport Trust projects.

Also present at the 13 June running day was a rather contrasting Atlantean from the Fylde fleet: TKU 469K, new to Bradford in 1972 and rebodied by Northern Counties in 1993. New to Reading Optare Excel T35 EAN, which ran for Blackpool Transport for many years, was joined by MCW-bodied Leyland PD3s HFR 516E and LFR 529F.

FTT spokesperson Philip Higgs said: “This was an extremely enjoyable day and we were so glad to have the Atlantean back on the road. It created a lot of interest.”

The Leyland PD3 wore the same livery as Blackpool’s Routemasters. GARY MITCHELL/FTT
Back in action for the first time since 1999, the 1971 new to Lytham St Annes Leyland Atlantean. GARY MITCHELL/FTT
Blackpool’s first AEC Routemaster back on its original route 35 years on. GARY MITCHELL/FTT
Optare Excel T535 EAN ran for Reading prior to Blackpool Transport, and TKU 469K was originally a double-decker with Bradford. GARY MITCHELL/FTT