Blackpool Corporation Transport can trace its ancestry to 1885 when the electric street tramway was opened by a private company. The Corporation exercised its right to take over the company in 1892 and added the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad Company in 1920. In addition to the original Promenade route, trams now ran along Lytham Road, Central Drive, Talbot Road to Layton and Whitegate Drive/Waterloo Road through Marton, plus the newly acquired line to Fleetwood.
The first bus service started in 1921 linking Cleveleys tram stop with Thornton Railway Station – well outside Blackpool. The following year saw local bus services commence in Blackpool though these were often short and inefficient. The Layton and Central Drive tram routes were converted to buses as part of a modernisation plan which saw 115 new trams and 154 new buses arrive between 1933 and 1940 all featuring the trademark centre entrance favoured by legendary manager Walter Luff.
Further tram services were replaced by buses between 1961 and 1963 and the bus fleet now topped 180 – almost all Leyland Titan double deckers. From 1969 to 1975, 55 driver only AEC Swift single deckers replaced the older Leyland Titans allowing staff efficiencies to be achieved.
Local government reorganisation saw Blackpool Corporation become Blackpool Borough Council and the transport department became ‘Blackpool Transport’ in 1974 and by this time the fleet had dropped to 143 – as it had been before the 1960s tram route conversions reflecting reduced services and frequencies as bigger buses were now used and more people owned cars.
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