Blackpool’s half cab buses gained classic bus status towards the end of their lives, but in fact it was not until 1965 that Blackpool adopted this conventional double deck bus design. Prior to this the town’s buses were unique full fronted models such as Nos. 246 and 346 described earlier.
The half cabs came in two distinct batches between 1965 and 1968. Nos.381-400 introduced the type to Blackpool whilst 501-540 were delivered in 1967/8. Although the first to be withdrawn was in 1977, the type had relatively long lives with Blackpool Transport with the last examples operating in passenger service until November 1988.
The 1968 batch of PD3s were largely withdrawn in 1980/1 and were replaced by a batch of 86-seater Leyland Atlantean buses. 529 was taken out of service in August 1980 with the arrival of a further batch of Atlanteans, including 334 that is now part of the LTT collection.
It was stored until July 1981 when LTT member Graham Oliver acquired it for preservation - the first Blackpool PD3 so purchased. It was modified to match the original livery and rallied for a few years.
Graham sold the bus in 1984 and it was kept initially in Blackpool then later in Burscough and more recently at St.Helens Transport Museum for restoration. 529 was sold back to Graham Oliver in 2001 and in 2003 it returned to Blackpool to join the LTT collection, passing into Trust ownership during 2005. Full restoration of 529 started in May 2006. The bus has been extensively repanelled and was repainted into original livery style during September 2006. 529 finally returned to the road in October 2008 for the first time since 1983 - an absence of 25 years.
529 has operated commercially on wedding hires for our sponsor company Catch22Bus since 2013 and occasionally on Sea Front service 21. In December 2017, the bus received a further repaint, with period adverts in the 1970s all-cream livery.