Blackpool buses 100

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Blackpool buses from the 1950s onwards will be in use and on display over the first weekend in July. BLACKPOOL TRANSPORT via TWITTER

Blackpool Transport is celebrating 100 years since the first bus service began on the Fylde Coast, reports Nick Larkin

A long weekend of events is planned to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Blackpool bus service , including a cavalcade of vehicles, over the weekend of 2-4 July.

On 2 July 1921 Blackpool Corporation commenced services between Cleveleys and Thornton railway station, running every 15 minutes with a 4d fare being charged. To mark the occasion Blackpool Transport, with the support of the Fylde Transport Trust, will give members of the public the chance to enjoy a ride on a vintage bus along Blackpool’s promenade, travelling on sections of the original bus route on 2 and 4 July.

On Friday 2 July, heritage tours will depart Rigby Road at 1400, 1600 and 1800hrs, offering a 75 minute trip, with fares from £3 per person.

Saturday 3rd July will see a convoy of up to 20 buses take place, going from Starr Gate to North Pier and starting at 1000hrs. Buses in the parade will date back as far as the 1950s, showcasing the vehicles through the ages. The parade will be followed by a static display of 10 rare, vintage buses on the Blackpool Tower Headland from 1200 to 1600hrs. Free vintage bus rides will also be available along the promenade, running every 15 minutes, and from 1900hrs a ‘Beer & Buses’ event will be operated by the Fylde Transport Trust.

The Sunday will also see heritage bus tours departing at 1100, 1300 and 1500hrs, along with a free circular journey taking in Stanley Park and Blackpool Zoo running every 20 minutes from 1030 to 1600hrs. Free vintage bus rides along the promenade will also operate, every 15 minutes between 1100 and 1700hrs.

Shane Grindey, Marketing Manager at Blackpool Transport said “This is a real celebration of our history that we can’t wait to share. Our weekend of events has something for all and we’re looking forward to welcoming families young and old to experience our buses of the past and present.”

Booking in advance for the tours is essential, said the operator, and donations will be welcome aboard the free services, which will operate on a turn-up-and-go basis, with monies going to Trinity Hospice and the preservation of heritage trams.
The Fylde Transport Trust is also working with local authors Paul and Brian Turner to produce the definitive history of Blackpool’s of buses from 1921 up to the present day, with further details released via the Trust’s social media channels in due course.