The RedRocket Express Recommences

near Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK
The popular RedRocket Express service that connects Blackpool with Manchester resumed take off with its new weekend only timetable on Saturday 22nd November 2014. The service was first introduced by Classic Bus North West on the 4th October 2013, sadly Classic Bus ceased trading on the 20th December 2013 and sister company Oakwood Travel Services took over the business in a pre-pack business takeover package shortly afterwards.

RedRocket Express Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro G BD52 LNU (MAL41) at Blackpool Coach Station back in 2013
Photograph courtesy of Paul McKenna

Fares have been simplified this time around, with an adult return from Blackpool to Manchester costing £12.00, senior persons are eligible for a £2 discount on the adult return fare, and children are charged at just £6.00 for a return from Blackpool to Manchester. Interestingly an any four adults ticket has been introduced, enabling any four passengers a return on the service for just £35.00 offering a saving of £13.00.

Bus Boss Celebrates 40 Years In The Industry

near Wythenshawe, Manchester M22, UK
Christopher Bowles the managing director of Stagecoach Manchester, is currently celebrating a landmark, 40 years working in the bus industry. To mark the occasion, Christopher visited the company's Sharston depot, where a Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68/1R bus from 1974 – the year Christopher started work – stood side by side with a modern Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 hybrid bus, allowing Christopher to reflect on his career.

Christopher Bowles stands in front of a preserved Leyland Atlantean and Alexander Dennis Enviro 400H at Sharston Depot
With thanks to Jon Parker Lee for the photograph.

From a background working for local authority bus services, Christopher has spent all but 10 years of his career working in Manchester, where he is currently managing director of the Stagecoach operation, responsible for over 2,200 staff and 400 services across the region.

National Express celebrates 20 years of Liverpool Coach Station

near Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
Passengers using Liverpool Coach Station were treated to an unexpected blast from the past yesterday as a vintage preserved National Express coach rolled up to celebrate the coach station's 20th anniversary.

A National Express Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Leopard from the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust stands with a more modern Selwyns owned Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9R at Liverpool's Coach Station on Norton Street.

The UK's largest coach operator arranged for the historic National Express coach – a vehicle that served the city until just before the new station opened in 1994 – to park next to a modern coach to commemorate how far things have moved on in 20 years.

Driving the Leyland Leopard was former National Express driver Gerard Butler who drove National Express services to Liverpool in the days before the modern station existed, and he was thrilled to get back behind the wheel once again.

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