A fleet of brand-new buses bursting with the latest passenger-friendly features are now on the road in Blackburn and Accrington.
The launch of the smart new blue buses also marks the beginning of a brand new name in local public transport, set to become familiar to thousands of people across the area – The Blackburn Bus Company. The new name reflects a proud heritage of providing public transport in Lancashire dating back more than 85 years.
Passengers at Blackburn Bus Station were first to sample the delights of the new buses at a weekend preview event before they entered service on the circular 6 and 7 routes, serving Blackburn, Rishton, Great Harwood, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington, Oswaldtwistle and Intack.
The sparkling new buses, proudly built in the North of England by Optare, are equipped with high-tech creature comforts including superfast and free WiFi, USB power points at every seat, next-stop announcements, and stylish designer interiors with high-back seating, smart wood-panel flooring and aircraft-style spotlights along the gangway.
Each new bus will also have pioneering “countdown” destination displays, which show the remaining time before the bus begins its next journey.
The Blackburn Bus Company is part of the Transdev Blazefield group, which runs bus services across Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Blackburn General Manager, Shaun Walmsley said: “We’re delighted with the initial reaction to these amazing new buses, as we launch our new name – The Blackburn Bus Company. It reflects our long and proud history of operating services from an to Blackburn since 1929, but it’s also very much about looking to the future.
“Following on from the opening of new bus stations in Blackburn and Accrington, these new buses will ensure we can make the most of the £40 million Pennine Reach rapid transport scheme, which will deliver faster and more reliable bus journeys, supporting the area’s regeneration and providing a real and attractive alternative to the car.”
Timetables for The Blackburn Bus Company’s routes 6 and 7, and its other services including the popular ‘Red Express’ X41 linking Blackburn and Accrington with Manchester are available from Blackburn and Accrington bus stations, online at lancashirebus.co.uk, or by calling 0345 2 72 72 72.
An all-new Twitter feed with the latest news on The Blackburn Bus Company is also now live – follow @blackburnbusco for updated information on bus services, chances to win prizes and great ideas for days out by bus.