A historic bus company has been re-named.

Blazefield Holdings, the Yorkshire-based arm of French firm Transdev, announced that Blackburn Transport will be known as Spot On as it unveiled 25 £150,000 easy access buses.

The name change was described as 'sad' by the workers' union but company bosses said they hoped it would be forgiven by passengers noticing an improved service.

Blazefield took over Blackburn Transport, which was owned by Blackburn with Darwen Council, for an undisclosed sum in January.

Under the agreement, key routes were protected and Blazefield gave an undertaking to provide 25 new buses.

The buses will start operating on the Hyndburn circular from Monday, May 14 and the rest will operate on route one, between Accrington, Blackburn and Darwen, later in the month.

The company hopes to re-brand all Blackburn Transport public buses and Lancashire United buses by the end of 2008, apart from the 225 service between Clitheroe and Bolton and the 152 between Preston and Burnley.

About 4.5million journeys are taken on Blackburn Transport each year.

Blazefield hope to increase this by five per cent in a year.

Alongside the £3.75million the company has splashed out on 40ft buses, it is also spending £125,000 rebranding.

The state-of-the-art vehicles feature CCTV, low emission engines, the capability to kneel to kerb height when required, and also sport more leg room.

Blackburn Transport started to operate in 1881 as Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways Company.

At a planning meeting there were fears that 40ft buses would not be able to negotiate a planned estate in Infirmary. But Stuart Wilde, Blazefield managing director, said the buses were only planned for main roads and that the company would be getting six midi-size buses for estates in June next year but already had buses capable of serving those routes.

Mr Wilde said: "We had a debate about what the name should be, we felt on balance it was best to start again."

The council's three party leaders, Coun Kate Hollern, Labour, Colin Rigby, Conservative, and David Foster, Lib Dem released a joint statement.

It said: "It is important that as the borough grows and continues to thrive, it is served by a first class public transport system.

"We are confident Blazefield will play a major part in helping that happen."