There are not amy Companies in this day and age that can trace their origins back to 1885, but Blackpool Transport certainly can. It was opened way back on the 29th of September 1885 using a conduit system to operate trams by means of electricity. In 1889 overhead wiring was installed as it was better and safer, and then in the 1920s the first buses commenced operation.
Clearly the Company has successfully managed to retain its independent status of one of only a handful of Local Authority owned bus and tram operations. Today all these years on it still serves the Fylde coast, Lancashire operating from 5 depots, Fleetwood, Lytham St Annes, Kirkham, Knott End and Poulton -Le Fylde. The Company operate a current fleet of 135 buses and 25 trams as well as some classic vintage trams that come out on special occasions.
There is something of a family feel within the Company, and i was fortunate recently to attend an excellent ALBUM conference where we were given a free bus/tram pass which I could not resist playing with. Well it would be rude not too in all fairness, so I took the chance to catch the tram along the world famous Promenade and great fun it was as well. I spoke to some of the staff and i detected a real sense of pride and belonging as is often the case with Companies of such heritage.
I also had the chance to meet the Chief Executive of Blackpool Transport Mrs Jane Cole and a charming and capable leader she proved to be. I liked her refreshing approach towards customer service, at the conference they introduced a number of students from Blackpool Sixth Form Conference who had been researching customer attitudes and experiences on behalf of the Company and very honest they were in their findings, which the Company duly took on board.
The branding and marketing of the Company is fresh and colourful certainly in stark contrast with many of the big groups who look drab and tired in comparison. Route colour branding is the order of the day indeed the promenade route also has its own smart livery, although I half expected to see the drivers donning kiss me quick hats just to add to the holiday fun time experience.
So I take my hat off to Jane and all her team at BT they have upheld the long and historic standard and tradition for a staggering 132 years and with the incumbent team I see nothing but good things for the future of the Company and the people that it serves.