All aboard for a final Routemaster ride

All aboard... fares please...

Saturday, 31st December 2016, 1:27 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:00 pm

Bus conductors are set to become a thing of the past on Blackpool Promenade as disability regulations end the use of iconic Routemaster vehicles.

Today is the last day Catch22bus will be able to run a conductor operated service on the Prom.

And to mark the occasion a bus has been painted in traditional London red.

The 21 service is the only remaining bus route outside of London where passengers can still regularly travel on the traditional rear platform buses and have their fares collected by a conductor.

Due to disability legislation which takes effect from tomorrow, all buses operating on registered services must be fully low floor compliant, this renders the Routemaster bus obsolete.

Dave Hughes, Service Operations Manager for Catch 22 said: “Sadly, after many years of service we will finally say farewell to our conductor operated Routemaster buses.

“ I’m sure visitors to the town and our regular passengers will miss seeing these iconic vehicles operating along the Promenade during the summer season.

“However, things change and to keep up with current disability legislation we must now retire these vehicles from front line service.

“The buses will be retained for special events and private hire work, and our conductors have been provided with alternative work elsewhere within the company.

“From January tomorrow all Catch22 services will be operated by low floor vehicles with no awkward steps.”

To mark the occasion Catch22 is today operating a full heritage bus service on route 21 between St Annes Square and Cleveleys via the Promenade. The heritage service will see both London Routemasters in operation as well as historic Blackpool and Ribble vehicles.

The iconic Routemaster was designed for London Transport in the 1960s.

In 2006, the Routemaster was voted one of Britain’s top 10 design icons.

Those seeking a nostalgic trip along the Promenade will still be able to hop on board one of Blackpool Transport’s heritage trams.