First day of service on the RedRocket Express
There was no Spock or Captain Kirk lookalikes at Sackville Street, but the RedRocket Express’ maiden voyage began today. The new express route from Manchester to Blackpool departed from Blackpool Coach Station at 0715, with the first journey from Manchester leaving at 0900.
Most journeys will operate seven days a week with an extra southbound weekday journey, and a late departure [at 2000] on Fridays and Saturdays from Blackpool Coach Station.
What’s more, the RedRocket Express’ service number is X70 – also the same number used by Ribble Motor Services for a motorway express version of the X60 route.
Bispham, we have a problem…
As expected on the first day of any new service will be teething troubles. Thankfully, Classic Bus North West’s launch on a slightly less busy time would allow the service to bed in and consolidate itself in the summer season. Apart from the fact one journey (the 1330 from Manchester, Sackville Street at Stand TA) ran late, there was one Mercedes Citaro short. Instead, our craft along the M61 Constellation (sorry, motorway) on the 1330 journey to Blackpool was an Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympian.
Besides the website, Transport for Greater Manchester have yet to update the timetable display at TA stand. A friendly driver, via a fellow bus enthusiast, gave me a copy of the RedRocket Express timetable. It is a clear yet colourful leaflet – very Blackpool. Times are displayed in an easy to read format and in larger print than most bus, rail and coach timetables.
As well as the standard single, return and period return fares, there is also a special £30 fare for passengers going to Pleasure Beach Blackpool. As well as return travel, this special fare includes a wristband so you can enjoy the rides and waltz through the entrance outside Noah’s Ark with your ticket.
And of course, the best of luck to Classic Bus North West in their new venture.
S.V., 04 October 2013.