Sunday, 22 April 2018

EYMS new 80

EYMS's long standing service 180 between Beverley, Cottingham, Willerby, Anlaby, Hessle, North Ferriby and Swanland comes to an end after operation on Saturday 5th May, as does it's more recent 'sister' route the X80 between Beverley and Hessle. Both services operate every two hours Monday to Saturday, with some peak time extras.

The main replacement is new Monday to Saturday hourly service 80 between Beverley and Hessle, which will mostly use the route of service X80, operating direct between Beverley and Cottingham via the A164, before serving Castle Hill Hospital, Willerby Shopping Park, Willerby Square, Anlaby, First Lane and Hessle. Looking at the new timetable it seems Flemingate in Beverley will be served both inbound and outbound as opposed to the current 'loop' arrangement which sees buses serve Flemingate outbound only, but with inbound passengers able to stay onboard at Beverley Bus Station.

Looking in more detail at the timetable there is a two hour 10 minute gap on weekday afternoons from Beverley between 1355 and 1605 and a two hour 15 minute gap from Hessle between 1405 and 1620. The last weekday departure from Beverley is 35 minutes earlier at 1705 compared to 1740 on the X80, whilst from Hessle the last departure is 20 minutes earlier at 1720 compared to 1740 on the 180. On Saturdays the last departure from Hessle is 35 minutes earlier at 1705 rather than 1740 on the 180. If the service is to be worked from Beverley depot there appears to be 'dead running' for one vehicle to Hessle in the morning and for one vehicle back to Beverley in the evening. It is a shame these couldn't be run in 'service' given the 80's fairly direct route.

For those destinations served by the 80, this is a significant improvement. I can see Cottingham to Beverley fast being a good market; Cottingham is a very large village and is also home to one of the regions main hospitals - Castle Hill. In addition a limited evening and Sunday fast service between central Cottingham and Beverley is available on service X47. For the Cottingham to Hessle section what is currently two buses every two hours now becomes a standard hourly service.

The three villages between Beverley and Cottingham served by the 180 but not the X80 or the new 80 - Walkington, Little Weighton and Skidby - become served by the new 63 every hour. The new 63 maintains hourly links to Beverley, Castle Hill Hospital and Cottingham Village Centre currently provided by the 61 and 180, and increases the link to Hull City Centre and Hull Royal Infirmary currently provided the 61 every two hours, to every hour. The trade off is the loss of a service to Willerby, Anlaby and Hessle; to me at least that is a trade off worth making.

For the other areas served by the 180 but not the new 80, there is either no, or only a partial replacement. Between Cottingham and Hessle the only difference is that the Willerby Parkway area is no longer served. This area won't be 'bus less' as the 35 and 44A provide a link into Hull every 90 minutes, but links to Beverley, Cottingham, Castle Hill Hospital, Anlaby and Hessle are gone without a long walk to catch the 80 (Kingston Road does have the 154 to Castle Hill Hospital).

The section of the 180 between Hessle, North Ferriby and Swanland is cancelled almost without replacement. The 153 continues to link North Ferriby and Swanland, and the two villages to Anlaby, but Swanland and North Ferriby no longer have links to Hessle, Willerby, Castle Hill Hospital or Cottingham, and neither does Swanland to Beverley. It is worth noting a passenger from Swanland could only spend 45 minutes in Beverley on weekdays with the current 180 timetable. If the Hessle Town Service was still around it could have been an option to reduce the frequency to incorporate North Ferriby and Swanland, but sadly it's not, and no easy replacement options exist.

The one replacement introduced for this section is the extension of service 143 to North Ferriby. Service 143 provides one Monday and two Wednesday and Saturday round trips between Melton, Brough, South Cave and Beverley and will now start/finish in North Ferriby, maintaining a North Ferriby to Beverley link.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Hornsea Town Service Reductions

From Tuesday 8th May, the EYMS operated Monday to Saturday service 550 Hornsea Town Service will have a reduced timetable; while the timetable remains mostly hourly during the daytime there are cutbacks at the start/end of the day and in the middle of the day. I presume this is to allow one vehicle and driver to operate the service all day?

In the morning the 0740 from Hornsea EYMS Depot to Hornsea Freeport no longer runs, with the first journey in this direction becoming the 0819 from Hornsea Caravan Park (0820 at the EYMS Depot). In the middle of the day the 1130 from Hornsea Freeport and 1200 return from Hornsea Caravan Park cease, leaving a two hour gap in the timetable. Then in the afternoon the 1630 Hornsea Freeport to Hornsea Caravan Park, 1700 return and 1730 Hornsea Freeport to Hornsea EYMS Depot end - the last departure from Hornsea Freeport will now be at 1530 and from Hornsea Caravan Park at 1600.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Hull to Beverley gains an extra hourly frequency

EYMS are making widespread changes to their services from Sunday 6th May. While there are service withdrawals and reductions, there are also some positives, including between Hull and Beverley.

Currently Monday to Saturday daytimes the frequency is every 15 minutes (excluding the longer 61, to become 63, via Cottingham), with three services an hour via Dunswell and Woodmansey (routes 121, 122 and 246), and one via the A1079 (route X46). Of the three Dunswell routes, a half hourly service operates into Beverley via Swinemoor Lane and Hull Bridge Road (routes 121 and 122) and an hourly service via Flemingate (route 246).

From Tuesday 8th May the 246 is doubled to half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes between Hull and Beverley, improving access to the relatively new Flemingate shopping and leisure complex, which is also home to East Riding College. Combined with the 121 and 122 this will provide the Hull-Dunswell-Woodmansey-Beverley corridor with a service every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes (due to the different routes in Beverley, intermediate points going into Hull don't quite have an even interval service). The X46 moves 'outside' this 'every 15 minute daytime pattern' but combined with the 121/122/246 means the Hull to Beverley direct frequency becomes five buses an hour.

This is a significant and welcome improvement, especially for Dunswell and Woodmansey. It was only in May 2015 that the 122 was introduced, taking the Hull to Beverley corridor from three buses an hour to four, and the Dunswell route from half hourly to three buses per hour. Now just under three years later further increases are being made. Both Hull and Beverley City/Town Centres seem to be doing well, and the route via Dunswell and Woodmansey benefits from travelling through virtually no open countryside. When you then add in the 121, 122, one 246 per hour, and the X46 extending beyond Beverley Bus Station to serve other destinations, and hence not reliant just on Hull to Beverley inclusive passengers, there would appear to be the 'ingredients' for success.

I will review the 121 and 246 full route timetables in more detail later, but off note on service 246 between Beverley and Hull on weekdays is a new 1750 from Beverley, 30 minutes later than the previous last 246 and a new 1850 from Hull, filling the half hour gap between the 1835 121 and 1905 X46. On Saturdays there is a new 0605 service 121 from Beverley to Hull, an hour earlier than the current first service.

The 122, which after linking Hull and Beverley Sow Hill Bus Station operates as a Beverley Town Service and extends through Molescroft to Butterfly Meadows, has it's first weekday departure move 10 minutes earlier, at 0741 rather than 0751 from Butterfly Meadows. The weekday only 0800 from Sow Hill Bus Station to Butterfly Meadows and back is withdrawn - this was East Riding of Yorkshire Council subsidised until the end of March and was an extra service over and above the main hourly frequency. In the 2016 Review of Bus Services this journey and an associated extra service 520 journey was recorded as carrying an average four passengers per journey at a subsidy of £5.87 per passenger journey.

The X46 between Hull, Beverley and York is retimed, now leaving Hull Monday to Saturday daytimes at half past rather than ten minutes past the hour, and York Station at 47 rather than 17 minutes past the hour. The first departure from Hull at 0605 now operates ten minutes later on weekdays and half an hour later on Saturdays. The first departure from York is now half an hour later on Saturdays as well, at 0705 rather than 0635. There is a new 0720 from Beverley into Hull Monday to Saturday, though on Saturdays this replaces the 0750. Weekdays now have a 90 minute gap on the Pocklington to Hull section between 0805 and 0935 but on Saturdays the morning Beverley to Hull service remains a consistent hourly frequency.

In the evenings Monday to Saturday the 1810 from Hull to York terminates at Beverley, with the last Hull to York service now at 1730 Monday to Thursday; the 1910 Hull to Pocklington remains, as does the Friday and Saturday 2005 from X47 from Hull to York. Departures from York across the X46/X47 drop from 14 (Mon-Thu)/15 (Fri+Sat) to 13/14, with the last service slightly earlier at 1947 rather than 2008 Monday to Thursday and 2205 rather than 2223 Friday and Saturday.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

North Lincolnshire Bus Changes

North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) are planning to make some significant changes to subsidised bus services "at the earliest practicable opportunity". The approach to bus services is summarised as:
  • "Utilise CallConnect where passenger numbers are currently low and the current service is infrequent;
  • Introduce fixed routes with CallConnect where there is sufficient demand;
  • Work to Total Transport principles of integration with school and college transport where possible;
  • Invest in concessionary fares at an annual cost of circa £1.8m;
  • Review existing networks to encourage strategic direct routes supported by CallConnect; and
  • Aim to increase the number of commercial routes operating across North Lincolnshire."
In terms of impacts on fixed/traditional services, the NLC documentation goes into some detail as to what is planned, although there are still plenty of unknowns.

Kirmington/Humberside Airport to Brigg and Scunthorpe

A new two hourly X4 services is proposed between "Kirmington/Humberside Airport" and Scunthorpe, which will operate in addition to service 4 between Brigg and Scunthorpe but via a "quicker and more direct route" - this would probably mean omitting Broughton and/or routing via Brigg Road rather than Ashby between Brigg and Scunthorpe. It is noted that a "key aim is to make the service more attractive for young people, thereby encouraging them to make greater use of the service and improving their opportunity to be both economically and socially active".

The new X4 will replace "the need to operate the [subsidised Saturday] service 366 (Goxhill to Scunthorpe via Brigg)". Subsidy will be available initially for the X4 to "encourage new passengers" and hopefully enable full commercial operation in the future. Apparently these changes also enable a "reconfiguration of the Brigg town services" 

I can only presume that the intended operator is Hornsby Travel, who operate the 4. A faster service between Brigg and Scunthorpe should have potential as journey times are currently not competitive with the car; this does however come at the cost of omitting significant en-route destinations, Broughton and/or Ashby. New links from Humberside Airport to Scunthorpe, and a much improved service from Humberside Airport to Brigg and from Kirmington to Brigg and Scunthorpe are also very much welcome. Furthermore if the X4 can eventually become fully commercial that would be some positive news for rural buses.

The villages of Wrawby, Barnetby New Barnetby and Melton Ross, between Brigg and Kirmington are not mentioned. Wrawby will almost certainly be served by the X4, and if the X4 is to serve as a 366 replacement and have a chance of being commercially viable in the future then surely Barnetby will be as well?

The 68 Wolds Villager between Brigg and Kirmington/Ulceby isn't mentioned either. The 68 provides 7 weekday journeys from Barnetby into Brigg, and 6 in the other direction, with some also serving New Barnetby, Melton Ross, Humberside Airport and Kirmington, plus Wootton and Ulceby on Tuesday and Thursdays. The new X4 could replace a large part of the what the 68 currently does if it serves Barnetby, albeit at a slightly lower daytime frequency.

Something else which isn't clear is if the X4 will serve Goxhill, New Holland, Barrow, Thornton Curtis, Wootton and Ulceby on Saturdays as the 366 does. Neither is it explained how these changes will allow the Brigg Town Services to be "reconfigured".

Humber Flyer/450

NLC propose that the Humber Flyer between Hull, Barton, Humberside Airport, Grimsby and Cleethorpes is rerouted away from the A15 to include Ulceby, Wootton, Thornton Curtis and Barrow. The press release makes this appear definite, but the NLC report states that discussions with Stagecoach are ongoing; I'm not sure if the Humber Flyer is fully commercial these days or if it still receives contributions from the various local councils it serves, but either way it's not NLC's route to just alter as it wishes.

On the one hand rerouting the Humber Flyer away from the A15 to serve four additional villages will hopefully generate additional custom, but with a longer journey time. For Ulceby, Wootton, Thornton Curtis and Barrow this will be a significant improvement, should it happen. The current 450 provides two to four services a day Monday to Saturday between Barton, these villages and Immingham, with the last bus from Barton to Thornton Curtis, Wootton and Ulceby on schooldays at 1215; connections to Grimsby are available at Immingham but they give a maximum 85 minutes in Grimsby. The Humber Flyer would provide a far superior hourly Monday to Saturday service, including commuting options, to Barton, to Grimsby without a change, and new links to Hull and Cleethorpes.

This change to the Humber Flyer would enable the 450 Immingham-Barton-Brigg service to be enhanced between Barton and Brigg, where four services a day are currently provided. My experience from ten years ago was that the non-schools services didn't get a huge amount of use on this section, but whether that is still the case or not I don't know.

The future of the Immingham to Barton section is unclear; NLC's report states "the intention, subject to the above is to then enhance Service 450 in its current form with an improved service running between Barton and Brigg"; current form to means me not cancelling half the route between Immingham and Barton, but with a diverted Humber Flyer would it be needed? NLC note that service 5 will continue to serve South Killingholme so the only unserved location would be Ulceby Skitter which has the train (and CallConnect). The current 450 is very poor for access to Immingham anyway as it doesn't serve the town centre. The through links across Barton would be lost but operational convenience probably plays a large part in them existing anyway.


Kirton Klipper/94/95

NLC propose to incorporate the Kirton Klipper (354) town service in Kirton in Lindsey into the 94 between Kirton and Brigg. The 94 would serve an "additional loop of Kirton in Lindsey" rather than Gainsthorpe/Lime Sidings, which apparently "seldom has any passengers". The Kirton Klipper currently operates 3 days a week but the 94 will operate 5 days a week "peak and off peak" and provide access to Brigg. It will also probably save a vehicle. Frequencies within Kirton will however be lower at every two hours and exact route details are not provided.

It is reported that Kirton in Lindsey Town Council supports the proposal, and overall it could be a good decision. Saving a bus, providing a five day a week service and new links to Brigg are probably worth the frequency reductions three days a week and the loss of reportedly little used Gainsthorpe services.

NLC also plan to alter the 94/95 route between Scawby, Brigg and Scunthorpe. Currently the 94 operates into Brigg via Scawby then operates to Scunthorpe as a 95 via Scawby. This means say a Hibaldstow to Scunthorpe passenger would travel via Scawby twice. The change will see "residents from Scawby travelling to Scunthorpe will catch service 94 to Brigg and then onto Scunthorpe. As such, they will no longer have the inconvenience of having to change buses in Brigg." This presumably returns to the old arrangement of running the Brigg to Scunthorpe section direct, providing a further additional fast buses between the towns in addition to the X4 noted above. Quite how the majority of Scawby residents who currently have the 95 into Scunthorpe without going via Brigg will benefit though I don't know, and I thought the 94/95 required no change of bus in Brigg? 

The withdrawal of the Saturday 366 noted earlier will reduce the bus service to Scawby unless the Saturday 94/95 is enhanced.


Service 55

Service 55 currently links Normanby, Burton upon Stather and Thealby to Winterton on weekdays then continuing to Scunthorpe via Appleby and Santon. It's not intended to be the main service from Normanby, Burton Upon Stather and Thealby to Scunthorpe - that's the 60 - but seems to fulfil three 'markets'
  • Normanby, Burton Upon Stather and Thelaby to Winterton
  • Appleby to Winterton
  • Appleby and Santon to Scunthorpe
NLC state the 55 has "few passengers" "between Appleby and Scunthorpe", not mentioning the rest of the route, and is to be replaced by 'flexible' CallConnect and a fixed CallConnect service on Fridays between Appleby and Scunthorpe that will also include Dragonby. A drastic cut in traditional/fixed bus provision, but with no data provided on passenger numbers it isn't clear if it is a justifiable cut or not. It is a shame that the local links into Winterton, also useful for Humber Fastcat connections, will be left entirely to flexible CallConnect, and that a fixed CallConnect service can't be provided for these, but again no passenger number data is provided to review how justified this decision is.

I'm not a huge fan of flexible CallConnect replacing existing services - you can't just go to a bus stop and catch a bus unlike traditional bus services or indeed fixed CallConnect services (a traditional bus service using a CallConnect bus). I would rather CallConnect is kept just for gaps in the public transport network that could never be realistically filled by traditional bus services. However if services really are very little used then maybe flexible CallConnect is the way to go.

Isle Shopper


The 58 Isle Shopper that currently operates on Wednesdays and Fridays into Epworth from Wroot and Sandtoft, and which also provides an Epworth Town Service, is to be replaced with a Friday only fixed CallConnect service, with no details on the exact route provided. It is disappointing to see the fixed service being cut back to once a week, but at least a fixed service remains and I'm sure there will be a cost saving.


The documentation from NLC also reveals that CallConnect in North Lincolnshire had 3091 registered users in October 2017, with 2510 journeys. Usage "continued to grow", and "was increasing month on month in the Brigg, Caistor, Ridge, and the Barton and Ferry CallConnect areas".

Monday, 2 April 2018

Hessle Town Service withdrawn

The 183 Hessle Town Service operated for the last time on Easter Saturday, March 31st, another loss due to the withdrawal of East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) funding. Stagecoach had been operating the service for it's final five months. The route provided an approximately half hourly service around Hessle, Monday to Saturday mornings and early afternoons. ERYC's 2016 Review of Bus Services documentation shows the 183 had an average five passenger per journey at a subsidy of £3.29 per passenger journey; annual passenger numbers 13308.

Other than parts of Hull Road, I believe the 183 served areas otherwise without a bus service (I'm not 100% familiar with exact 183 route so please correct me if I am wrong). For parts of the 183 route, other services are within walking distance, with the 350, Humber Flyer and X55 all operating along Boothferry Road in North Hessle, and the 155 and 180 also serving parts of North Hessle. Apart from the 180 however, none of these routes serve Hessle Town Centre. Sainsbury's Superstore near Priory Park also becomes 'bus-less' (though Hull Road served by the 57 is within walking distance if you don't have much shopping), as do the areas south of Hessle Town Centre (Southfield in southern Hessle is however 'home' to Hessle Station).

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Service 270 Ends

Maundy Thursday, March 29th, was the last day of operation for service 270, which provided a single journey from Driffield to Beeford on weekdays, departing Driffield George Street at 1710, and starting back at Driffield School on schooldays. The service had been operated by EYMS since November under contract to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, who have now withdrawn their funding for the service. It had an average five passengers per journey at a subsidy of £8.03 per passenger according to the council's 2016 Review of Bus Services documentation

Nafferton has alternatives on routes 45/46 and 121, as well as the train, however for Wansford, North Frodingham and Beeford the last departure from Driffield is now on service 136 at 1540. The 136 provides a commuting friendly service to/from Bridlington for North Frodingham and Beeford, but not from Driffield. Driffield School have arranged a replacement taxi for students attending after school activities.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Sunday and Bank Holiday 220 Ends

Good Friday (30th March) was the last day of operation for the Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys on service 220 between Hornsea and Aldbrough Cliffs. Two journeys had been provided by EYMS under contract to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, who withdrew funding, departing Hornsea EYMS Depot at 1335 and 1635, returning from Aldbrough Cliffs at 1403 and 1703.

Between the start of April and early September, another subsidised service, the 129 between Hornsea and Withernsea, also covers the route of the 220 on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Departures from Hornsea are at 0952, 1152, 1352 and 1552, and from Aldbrough Cliffs in the direction of Hornsea at 0920, 1120, 1320 and 1520. The 129 doesn't have as late a last departure as the 220, but otherwise provides a very good service for five months of the year, the likely five busiest months of the year.

The Sunday and Bank Holiday 220 is on the same contract as the Sunday and Bank Holiday 246 between Hornsea and Beverley, which continues until early May on a presumably commercial basis. The combined Sunday and Bank Holiday 220/246 carried an average 7 passengers per journey, 4313 passengers a year, at a subsidy of £1.84 per passenger journey, according to the 2016  'Review of Bus Services in the East Riding' documentation produced by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The Monday to Saturday 220 is unaffected by this change but has been deregistered by EYMS in early May.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Brough Town Service withdrawn

Easter Saturday (31st March), is the last day of operation for the 158 Brough Town Service. The service is falling victim to East Riding of Yorkshire Council cuts to bus subsidies. According to the council's 2016 'Review of Bus Services in the East Riding', the EYMS operated 158 carries an average 4 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £4.34 per passenger journey. Annual passengers were 19618.

The 'main' 158 operates mostly every 40 minutes, Monday to Saturday daytimes from Elloughton's EYMS depot via Beech Road and Hunter Road to Brough Crossroads (as opposed to Main Street and Elloughton Road used by the 155 and X55) then routes via Welton Road to Myrtle Way in East Brough. From here the 158 retraces it's route to Brough Crossroads before operating a loop via Skillings Lane, Saltgrounds Road, Station Road and Welton Road back to Brough Crossroads. The 158 then returns via Hunter Road and Beech Road to Elloughton before extending to Stockbridge Park in west Elloughton via Stockbridge Road and finally returning to Elloughton EYMS depot for a brief break. Three journeys Monday to Friday have also included a trip from Elloughton to Welton and Melton.

Some parts of the 158 do have alternatives. Melton and Welton were added to the 158 when the 155 was reduced from hourly to two hourly, but the 155 went back up to hourly in February. Welton Road in Brough and Stockbridge Road in Elloughton are well served by the 155 and X55 providing two buses an hour. However other parts of Brough and Elloughton are not so lucky.

From my fairly limited knowledge of Brough and Elloughton (so please correct me if I'm wrong), a full size bus probably wouldn't be suitable for Beech Road, Hunter Road or Stockbridge Park. Proposing to use Brough's main 155 or X55 services to serve these areas (or the 143 or X62) therefore probably wouldn't be possible. However full size buses could serve parts of the growing residential areas in East Brough (with more development to come), as well as the Skillings Lane/Saltgrounds Road/Station Road area. Unfortunately looking at the timetables the 155 has 10 minutes 'layover' at Elloughton and 8 minutes at Hull Interchange which would be tight to serve an additional part of Brough whilst still providing some time for delay recovery and driver changeover. The X55 looks tightly timed on South Cave terminating journeys. If EYMS didn't have an Elloughton depot maybe replacing the Brough to Elloughton part of the 155, also covered by the X55, with Skillings Lane would have been an option - but I presume Elloughton is needed on the 155 for driver changeovers.

So with diverting other services not likely to be realistic as a replacement (aside from the three day a week 143 Beverley 'shopper' or Stagecoach X62 to Leeds that wouldn't be any use for local journeys within Brough) it is worth asking - had retaining the 158 on less days of the week been considered? In North Lincolnshire the Barton and Brigg Town Services operate on alternate days of the week under what I believe is the same contract. Could the Brough and say Hessle town services have done the same?

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Sunday and Bank Holiday 18A withdrawn

Due to withdrawal of East Riding of Yorkshire Council subsidy, the EYMS operated Sunday and Bank Holiday 18A between Holme on Spalding Moor and York is withdrawn after operation on Good Friday (30th March). The 18A had provided four daytime journeys each way, operating via the Yorkshire Air Museum as opposed to the Monday to Saturday service 18 route via York Designer Outlet.

According to the 2016 initial withdrawal proposals from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the 18A carried an average 7 passengers per journey at a £2.94 subsidy per journey.

Monday to Saturday service 18 continues unchanged for the next few weeks, after which it has been cancelled by EYMS, with changes to the 45/46 set to cover Holme on Spalding Moor. Details on any other replacement services are unknown at present.

Monday, 12 March 2018

EYMS East Yorkshire Coast Changes

Easter Sunday (1st April) sees changes introduced to services operated by EYMS along the East Yorkshire Coast.

For Service 129 between Withernsea and Hornsea there are just some changes to intermediate times to "help buses stay on time in the busy summer traffic". As an aside, would the service benefit from making the small diversion into Hornsea Freeport car park?

On Service 130 between Hornsea and Bridlington, the weekday 1600 from Hornsea which had operated every weekday between Easter and the end of September will now only operate on weekdays during School Holidays during this time period; the year round 1600 weekend and Bank Holiday departure remains unaffected. 

Service X30 between Hornsea, Bridlington and Scarborough maybe withdrawn; it had provided one journey each way on weekdays in the School Summer Holidays offering a Scarborough daytrip option. The separate Bridlington to Scarborough registration was cancelled last month and the new 130 timetable on the EYMS website does not reference the X30, which it had done this early in the year in previous years. No official confirmation from EYMS though.

It will be interesting to see if the 130 has further changes later in the year if Hornsea depot closes, as the timetable is optimised for that depot to work the service. No changes registered yet despite multiple other changes being registered last week for early May to services across the EYMS network.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

More buses between Hull and Elloughton

Last Monday, 5th February, EYMS made some mostly positive changes to service 155 between Hull, Brough, Elloughton, South Cave, Howden and Goole.

The headline change is the doubling of the Monday to Saturday daytime frequency between Hull and Elloughton from every two hours to hourly. It is only four extra round trips (3 on Saturdays) but enough to make a big difference. This is particularly significant for parts of Hessle and the villages of Melton and Welton for whom the 155 is the main bus service. Combined with the X55, the frequency between Hull and Brough/Elloughton is now two buses an hour (as opposed to 1.5 per hour); departures from Elloughton are at half hourly intervals whilst from Hull are at 25 to 35 minute intervals. This is the best EYMS service since February 2012 when the frequency of the 155 was reduced from hourly. Service 155 takes 10 minutes longer in each direction between Hull and Brough/Elloughton which whilst notable is not enough to be unattractive compared to the X55.

One negative is the withdrawal of the Monday to Saturday 1718 Goole to Elloughton journey, with alternative departures from Goole remaining at 1543 or 1753. Within Goole service 155 will follow the X55 route, serving Pasture Road inbound to the town centre, and Oxford Road outbound.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

EYMS Hornsea Depot at risk of closure - 'Principal' services to continue

EYMS Press Release:

"East Yorkshire Motor Services has opened consultation with its staff to close its depot in Cliff Road Hornsea from Saturday 5 May 2018.

Falling revenue from East Riding of Yorkshire Council contracts & free concessionary travel reimbursement has required a significant reduction of costs, including the elimination of excess depot capacity.  Hornsea has been chosen for closure as its services can be run effectively from neighbouring depots in Hull & Beverley.

Should the closure go ahead after the consultation period, all the depot’s 27 drivers and engineers will be offered alternative work elsewhere in the company.

The depot’s principal services including the regular Services 240 & 246 to Hull, the Hornsea Town Service 550, Service 129 to Withernsea and Service 130 to Bridlington will continue to run, although there will be some timetable changes which will be announced closer to the implementation date."

Sunday, 28 January 2018

88 Goole to Thorne reduced to Rawcliffe Bridge shoppers bus

After operation on Saturday 3rd February, EYMS service 88 between Goole and Thorne will cease in it's current form. The route currently provides a Monday to Saturday daytime link between the two towns, via Rawcliffe, Rawcliffe Bridge and Moorends. The service operates every 90 minutes on weekdays and every 80 minutes on Saturdays, apart from a 2 hour 10 minute lunchtime gap. EYMS state the withdrawal is because "since taking over the service a couple of years ago after another operator withdrew from the route, there have not been enough people travelling to cover the costs of running the bus".

EYMS started the 88 in September 2015 when First truncated their Doncaster to Goole service at Moorends. In May last year the first and last round trips were withdrawn, before being partially reinstated on a trial basis in September.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council are stepping in to fund a limited replacement. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays one journey will operate from Rawcliffe Bridge to Goole at 0930, returning at 1230. EYMS will remain as the operator, and this ensures that Rawcliffe Bridge retains a bus service. If this revised 88 continues long term, maybe the route could be diverted via Airmyn and Hook which have limited bus services, or provide journeys to these villages in between Rawcliffe Bridge journeys?

As already mentioned, there is only one place on the 88 route that does not have an alternative service, Rawcliffe Bridge, population at the 2011 census: 837. Rawcliffe is served by Arriva's hourly Monday to Saturday daytime 400/401 route between Goole, Snaith and Selby (plus Thornes 488 into Goole on a Wednesday), whilst Moorends has frequent services into Thorne provided by First. In addition there is a hourly rail service between Goole and Thorne North station on the outskirts of Thorne. Put this together, and as disappointing as this change is, it starts to become a bit more understandable.

The uneven interval timetable probably didn't help either, especially on Saturdays. However in some ways it is a potential 'catch 22' situation. A 90 minutes frequency on Saturdays would need an extra driver, an hourly frequency any day of the week would need an extra vehicle and drivers on what is already a commercially challenging route, whilst an even interval two hourly frequency would have meant less journeys.

There is another factor potentially involved here. Until last April, East Riding of Yorkshire Council made a small 'de minimis' contribution to the 88 off 7p per passenger journey. (The consultation documents on the cuts gave an annual passenger figure of 45630 for the 88 and an average of 10 passengers per journey).

Monday, 1 January 2018

Humber Fastcat Evening Reductions

Back in early September, EYMS's Monday to Saturday evening roundtrip on the 350 Humber Fastcat - 1935 from Hull's Paragon Interchange to Scunthorpe and 2110 from Scunthorpe Bus Station back to Hull - narrowly survived withdrawal after North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) stepped in with funding to it operating. This was a late decision, with paper timetables having stapled inserts to explain as the timetable leaflet had already gone to print without these journeys. It was only a short reprieve however as they operated for the last time on Saturday 30th December due to NLC withdrawing their funding.

The 'backstory' starts last April and East Riding of Yorkshire Council's (ERYC) cuts to bus funding, which included their contribution to these journeys. Hull City Council (HCC) also withdrew their contribution to the 350 at the same time, though no details were given of what journeys were affected. Whatever journeys where affected, it made no difference to users at the time as no journeys were withdrawn in April - a situation that can't have been sustainable in EYMS's opinion hence the near withdrawal of their evening roundtrip in September until NLC stepped in. Whilst the loss of NLC funding is the direct reason for withdrawal now, the earlier loss of ERYC and possibly HCC funding are contributory factors to the journeys ending.

In ERYC's assessment of supported bus services 3928 annual passengers were noted for the roundtrip, an average of six per journey. Subsidy was 82p per passenger though in the balanced scorecard used to assess what to cut and what to keep it was penalised for being an 'urban evening' service and for having 'substantially similar' alternatives.

So what are those substantially similar alternatives? The 1935 filled a 115 minute gap in Stagecoach departures from Hull between 1825 and 2020, so in this particular direction the worse case scenario is a user having to catch a service 45 minutes later - not good news for those concerned but no one need be stranded. Between Hull and Barton there is also a 1910 Humber Flyer, which also provides the rail connection at Barton. I wonder if a consequence of this journey being introduced in March 2016 was to take some passengers that may have used EYMS's 350 journey previously? Improving one route but impacting another?

In the other direction, from Scunthorpe, substantially similar means the last departure is now one hour earlier, at 2010 which is the most significant aspect of this cut. Again between Barton and Hull the situation is better however as there is a later alternative with Stagecoach's 2255 Barton to Hull service.

If the information on the VOSA website is correct, EYMS's contribution to the 350 is now fully commercial (as is Stagecoach's).

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Hornsby 35 Timetable Change

Hornsby Travel service 35 between Scunthorpe, Gunness, Keadby and Amcotts, operated under contract to North Lincolnshire Council, has a new timetable from 2nd January. The service, which operates Monday to Saturday off peak daytimes, had been providing six journeys between Scunthorpe Bus Station and Amcotts, along with two Scunthorpe to Keadby 'shorts' (one on Saturdays), giving an overall frequency of every 55 to 80 minutes.

From Tuesday only four journeys will run to Amcotts, omitting the Queens Crescent area of Keadby, but there will be five Keadby shorts, that will serve the Queens Crescent area of the village. Combined there will be an hourly service from Scunthorpe Bus Station to Keadby Primary School. In the return direction services will be every 50 or 70 minutes from Keadby Primary School into Scunthorpe. 'Turnaround time' will be either 2 or 12 minutes at Scunthorpe Bus Station if the same vehicle is used on the service all day.

Winners and Losers with this timetable; the core section between Scunthorpe and Keadby Primary School gains an additional service each way and a far more memorable timetable, even allowing for the uneven interval going into Scunthorpe (at least it's the same repeating pattern every two hours). On the other hand Amcotts and the Queens Crescent areas of Keadby have a slightly reduced service.

Weekday peak services for Amcotts, Keadby and Gunness are provided by EYMS service 360, and residents of southern Keadby are within walking distance of Althorpe Station, which aside from an hourly rail service to/from Scunthorpe and Doncaster, is also served by Hornsby service 90 between Scunthorpe and Crowle (one journey to Luddington on Saturdays), EYMS service 361 between Scunthorpe, Crowle and Goole and Isle Coaches/Stagecoach service 399 between Scunthorpe and the Isle of Axholme; all the bus services mentioned also serve Gunness.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Stagecoach takeover service 60 from Hornsby

On January 2nd, Stagecoach takeover operation of North Lincolnshire Council tendered service 60 from Scunthorpe to various villages north of the town. The route has been operated by Hornsby since April 2012 when they took over from Stagecoach. Traveline East Midlands shows the timetable remains unaltered with the operator change. Monday to Friday six journeys operate between Scunthorpe and Whitton with two additional 'shorts' between Scunthorpe and Thealby; Saturdays have a slightly reduced frequency off five Whitton services and two Thealby 'shorts'.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Christmas and New Year Bus Services 2017/2018

Here is the annual round-up of Christmas and New Year bus services across the Humber region, covering Arriva Yorkshire, EYMS, First York, Hornsby Travel, Stagecoach, Transdev (York and Yorkshire Coastliner) and York Pullman. Services provided by these operators outside of the region are not covered. If anyone has information for other operators, please post a comment and I will update this post. Please check exact details before travelling as this is only a summary.

Christmas Eve - A normal Sunday service will be provided, but with an early evening finish around 1800-1900.
 
Christmas Day - No Services
 
Boxing Day - Limited daytime services on certain routes only in the Hull Area (the same provision as 2016):
 
EYMS:
34: Hull-Willerby - Hourly
56: Hull-Longhill-Asda Bilton - Hourly
64: Hull-Cottingham-Castle Hill Hospital - Hourly
66: Hull-Hessle - Hourly
115: Hull-Avenues-Cottingham-Castle Hill Hospital - Hourly (circular with 154)
154: Hull-Willerby-Castle Hill Hospital - Hourly (circular with 115)
Stagecoach:
1: Hull-Boothferry Estate - Hourly
2: Hull-Boothferry Estate - Hourly
3: Orchard Park-Hull-Greatfield - Half Hourly
4: Orchard Park-Hull-Bilton Grange - Hourly
5: Hull-Orchard Park-Kingswood - Half Hourly
8: Hull-Sutton Park-North Point - Hourly
10: Hull-North Point-North Bransholme - Hourly
11: Hull-North Point-Kingswood - Hourly
12: Hull-North Point - Hourly
13: Hull-North Point - Hourly
14: Hull-Greatfield - Hourly
Plus Football Buses to/from the KC Stadium

Wednesday 27th - A Saturday service will be provided, except Hornsby Travel and York Pullman who will provide a normal Wednesday service. There are exceptions as follows:
  • EYMS services 124, 360 and 361 will operate a normal Wednesday service (service 124 is a Wednesday and Thursday only service)
  • EYMS service 64 will have an extra journey from Hull to Castle Hill Hospital at 0615, returning at 0701
  • EYMS Saturday only services Beverley Town Shopper Shuttle and Nightbus 106 will not operate.
  • EYMS Friday and Saturday evening only journeys on routes 18, 45, 46, 75, 121 and X47 shall not operate (i.e. a normal Wednesday evening service will operate)
  • Stagecoach service 25 in North East Lincolnshire will operate a normal Wednesday service (this ensures a peak time service is provided)
  • No Stagecoach Saturday night/Sunday early morning only 'N' prefixed services will operate in Hull (departures from Hull City Centre after 2330)
Thursday 28th - A Saturday service will be provided, except Hornsby Travel and York Pullman who will provide a normal Thursday service. There are exceptions as follows:
  • EYMS services 124, 134, 195, 196, 360 and 361 will operate a normal Thursday service (service 124 is a Wednesday and Thursday only service, services 134 and 195 are Tuesday and Thursday only services and service 196 is a Thursday only service)
  • EYMS service 135 will have normal Thursday departures from Driffield at 0910 and 1140, however the 0655 and 1710 journeys will not operate
  • EYMS service 64 will have an extra journey from Hull to Castle Hill Hospital at 0615, returning at 0701
  • EYMS Saturday only services Beverley Town Shopper Shuttle and Nightbus 106 will not operate, nor will Monday, Wednesday and Saturday only service 143.
  • EYMS Friday and Saturday evening only journeys on routes 18, 45, 46, 75, 121 and X47 shall not operate (i.e. a normal Thursday evening service will operate)
  • Stagecoach service 25 in North East Lincolnshire will operate a normal Thursday service
  • Stagecoach service 161 from Market Rasen to Scunthorpe Lakeside will operate a normal Thursday service (this is a Thursday only service)
  • No Stagecoach Saturday night/Sunday early morning only 'N' prefixed services will operate in Hull (departures from Hull City Centre after 2330)
Friday 29th - A Saturday service will be provided, except Hornsby Travel and York Pullman who will provide a normal Friday service. There are exceptions as follows:

  • EYMS services 198, 360 and 361 will operate a normal Friday service (service 198 is a Friday only service)
  • EYMS service 64 will have an extra journey from Hull to Castle Hill Hospital at 0615, returning at 0701
  • EYMS Saturday only services Beverley Town Shopper Shuttle and Nightbus 106 will not operate, nor will Monday, Wednesday and Saturday only service 143.
  • Stagecoach Service 25 in North East Lincolnshire will operate a normal Friday service
  • No Stagecoach Saturday night/Sunday early morning only 'N' prefixed services will operate in Hull (departures from Hull City Centre after 2330)
Saturday 30th - A normal Saturday service will be provided.

New Years Eve - A normal Sunday service will be provided, but with an early evening finish around 1800-1900.

New Years Day - No Services; last year’s services in the Hull area were in connection with the launch event for City of Culture.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Evening Peak 103 To End

In April Stagecoach reduced the 103 service between Scunthorpe and Kirton in Lindsey, including ending the afternoon peak service from Scunthorpe. In June North Lincolnshire Council stepped in with a directly operated 1730 departure from Scunthorpe on weekdays, however that will end after Friday 24th November, leaving the last departure from Scunthorpe as being at 1605 on college days or 1610 during college holidays. Call Connect is available for peak time passengers from Scunthorpe to Kirton, connecting from service 100 in Messingham or Scotter.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Stagecoach takeover Hessle Town Service

Already briefly mentioned, but just to confirm, Stagecoach takeover the 183 Hessle Town Service from Monday, 6th November. The 183 had been operated by Bus King. Stagecoach haven't put a timetable on their website, but according to Yorkshire Travel will maintain Bus King's timetable, providing an approximately half hourly service during the morning and early afternoon Monday to Saturday.

The 183 is tendered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) and is due to end in April 2018 due to funding cuts. ERYC's Review of Bus Services documentation shows the 183 has an average five passenger per journey and a subsidy of £3.29 per passenger journey. In the balanced scorecard used by ERYC to propose cuts, the 183 was one 'place' away from being retained beyond April 2018.

161 passes to Stagecoach

From next Thursday, 9th November, Brigg market day service 161 will pass from Dents Coaches to Stagecoach. The 161 runs a very convoluted route from Market Rasen via Caistor, North Kelsey and Bishop Norton to Brigg and Lakeside Retail Park on the edge of Scunthorpe, covering what in the past 2 or 3 separate services used to provide. Traveline East Midlands shows the service continues to depart Market Rasen at 0930, arriving in Brigg at 1105, but will now reach Lakeside at 1130 rather than 1150. The return journey will operate half an hour earlier, departing Lakeside at 1300 rather than 1330, and Brigg at 1315 rather than 1345.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

East Midlands Franchise Consultation

In many ways, it’s a bit late posting this, but it took me until almost the deadline to get it finished – below are my responses to some of the Department for Transport (DfT) consultation questions for the next East Midlands rail franchise, focusing on the bits relevant to the Humber region, primarily the Barton to Cleethorpes route. (I’ve reordered the questions to provide a better narrative to this post).

Would you like to see any other routes transferred to or from the East Midlands franchise? If so, which routes? (Q18)

The Barton Line should not be remapped into the East Midlands franchise. Whilst the current arrangements are not ideal, I feel they are the best, or at least, the least worst option (considering the split between the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises), and it is disappointing that retaining the status quo was never an option when the Northern and Transpennine Express (TPE) franchises were consulted on. There are various reasons why I feel the status quo is the most appropriate way forward for the Barton Line.

As much as the current operational arrangements limit the ability to swap trains between the Barton Line and other services, especially on weekdays and Summer Sundays, and the nearest maintenance depot for the Northern franchise is located at Neville Hill in Leeds, I fail to see how the East Midlands franchise will offer an improvement. The current East Midlands service from North East Lincolnshire to Lincoln runs predominately to/from Grimsby Town whereas the Barton Line service runs predominantly to/from Cleethorpes. Changes to these arrangements would be required to reduce the “operational isolation” from the rest of the East Midlands franchise that would allow for trains to be swapped between services during the day. If these involved more Barton Line services terminating at Grimsby Town this would be a retrograde step, reducing services at Grimsby Docks and New Clee, and reducing connectivity from other stations to Cleethorpes. Even if on the other hand more Lincoln services are extended from Grimsby Town to Cleethorpes, allowing integration with the Barton Line service at Cleethorpes, the nearest maintenance depot is in Nottingham, which is not much of an improvement on Northern’s Neville Hill depot. Unless the small TransPennine Express facility is used to maintain Barton Line trains, no franchise is going to be able to offer a quick response to train maintenance issues that occur during the day.

Another important aspect to operational issues are staffing arrangements for the Barton Line. While the use of TPE staff for a Northern service is not ideal, it does at least mean Cleethorpes based crew are used on the service. On one hand there appears to be no requirement for this arrangement to end under the East Midlands franchise, which would make no difference in handling service disruption compared to the current arrangements, and if it does end there is no requirement for the East Midlands franchise to set up a Cleethorpes (or Grimsby) crew depot. Should a new North East Lincolnshire crew depot be established it will mean two franchises each having their own small depot in the area, potentially increasing rail industry costs, especially if both depots are to be well enough staffed to deal with short notice staff sickness and service disruption. Your Northern/TransPennine consultation response document noted that with regards to the Barton Line “Several respondents stated that the service should be run by whoever is operating the adjacent services, taking a ‘no fragmentation’ approach. This would improve reliability, due to operators being more able to replace … unavailable staff”. Separate TPE and East Midlands crew depot at Cleethorpes would be the exact opposite of this. If a new crew depot is not established, and the TPE arrangement ends, the Barton Line would have to be operated from Lincoln crew depot, around one hour’s drive from Cleethorpes. This would be a very retrograde step in dealing with service disruption, and based on current service patterns would require a late night taxi back from Cleethorpes to Lincoln as the last Barton Line service arrives into Cleethorpes after the last North East Lincolnshire to Lincoln service departs. Current service patterns must not be eroded just to avoid crew taxis. There are no good options, and this can be traced back to the split between the Northern and TPE franchises. I do not see how operation of the Barton Line by the East Midlands franchise will deliver a better solution.

It is also hard to see how the current early morning service on the Barton Line can be provided by the East Midlands franchise as efficiently as is done by the Northern franchise. The current Barton Line timetable requires a second train first thing in the morning, and Northern currently provide this by then using the same unit on a Scunthorpe to Doncaster peak time service. There are no current East Midlands morning peak services into North East Lincolnshire which the early morning Barton Line service could be combined with, raising the prospect of service cuts, an additional train being required over and above the one Class 153 earmarked for transfer from Northern to East Midlands, or a return to using a TPE Class 185 on the Barton Line – an arrangement I understood ended on costs grounds. The proposed Barton Line franchise transfer also throws into doubt the future of the current early morning Northern Scunthorpe to Cleethorpes service.

The remapping proposal also takes no account of political/administrative geography. Both North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils, which are the two local authorities served by the Barton Line, are both going to be full members of Transport for the North and already participate in Rail North – however neither are in the East Midlands region and therefore neither participate in East Midlands Councils which appears to be taking the lead in working with the Department for Transport on the East Midlands franchise. The remapping takes a service wholly within the North of England (and Yorkshire and the Humber), and that can benefit from Rail North’s local involvement in the Northern franchise and places it in a franchise from a different region with nothing like as advanced local involvement as that in the Northern franchise. It is also interesting to note your Northern/TransPennine franchises consultation response document reported “comments were received from some LAs that supported the proposals to retain the route from Cleethorpes and Grimsby to Barton-on-Humber within the Northern franchise”.

Your Northern/TransPennine franchises consultation response document notes “the franchise [East Midlands] operates other local and regional services in Lincolnshire, and the route appears to fit better in its portfolio” as justification for the remapping. Neither North or North East Lincolnshire fall under the jurisdiction of Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) so any existing relationships between the East Midlands franchise and LCC are irrelevant, and as explained above significant changes, potentially negative changes, will be required to obtain operational integration with East Midlands franchise services in Lincolnshire.

It is also important to note that the Barton Cleethorpes Community Rail Partnership has close links with the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Patnership, whose service remains operated by Northern Rail. These links include a shared community rail officer and plans for a DfT funded Cleethorpes to Scarborough Experience marketing project. Remapping The Barton Line to East Midlands franchise risks adding additional complexity and cost for the Community Rail Partnership and it’s projects with the involvement of an additional Train Operating Company it it’s work.
Regardless of the future operator of the Barton Line, Habrough station should be transferred to TPE management, with an increased number of TPE services calling at it. The station can serve as a parkway for the town and port of Immingham, and surrounding villages, and should be marketed as such. It should not be seen just as a local village station.

I am aware of a proposal from the North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Community Rail Partnership NNLCRP for a Nottingham to Cleethorpes via Worksop service which would replace the Saturday Northern Sheffield to Cleethorpes via Worksop service. Unfortunately I do not see envisage much demand from Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Habrough, Barnetby, Brigg, Kirton Lindsey or Gainsborough to the Robin Hood Line and Nottingham, and any demand from Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Habrough and Barnetby could be better met via Lincoln (see my response to question 9). The Brigg Line would be best served by an enhanced Sheffield service as part of the Northern franchise – a fourth Saturday service would be a good first step in building the case for restoring a 6 or 7 day a week service to this route. Service improvements could ‘piggyback’ on the new Sheffield to Retford Northern local service being introduced.

I also do not support NNLCRP’s proposal for the Doncaster to Scunthorpe service to transfer to the East Midlands franchise – the long term intention should be for this service to form a second hourly Cleethorpes to Doncaster service as part of the Northern or Transpennine Express franchises. [NNLCRP may not be the only organisation to suggest this, but they published their formal response including this suggestion online].

[Not strictly speaking related to the Humber Region but maybe off interest] I would also like to suggest transferring the Doncaster to Lincoln service to the Northern franchise, removing TOC overlap between Lincoln and Gainsborough Lea Road.

How could your local train services be changed to better meet your current and future needs? (Q9)

With regards to the Barton Line, whilst an hourly Monday to Saturday frequency should be the long term goal, current passenger numbers are unlikely to support this within the next few years so the focus should primarily be on marketing the existing service rather than significantly changing the service. This should be done with the aim of increasing passenger numbers to justify a frequency increase in the future. Provision of a reliable service is also paramount.

The times of current first services – 0559 from Cleethorpes, 0656/0658 from Barton – should not be moved later by more than a couple of minutes, nor the times of the current last services – 2104 from Cleethorpes, 2200 from Barton – be brought forward by more than a couple of minutes. I would recommend a requirement of first Monday to Saturday services from Cleethorpes no later than 0600 and from Barton no later than 0700, and a last service requirement from Cleethorpes of no earlier than 2100 and from Barton of no earlier than 2200. The current service pattern of approximately every two hours for the majority of the day Monday to Saturday should be retained, along with the current additional early morning service. There should be no further cutting back of services from Barton to Grimsby Town as opposed to Cleethorpes.

There are opportunities to ‘tweak’ the current service however:
  • Potentially operate the evening peak service from Cleethorpes/Grimsby Town slightly later to make it a better option for commuters, on weekdays this currently leaves Cleethorpes at 1655, serving Grimsby Town at 1704, which is early even for commuters who finish work in Grimsby Town Centre at 1700. Operating the 1655 anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes later would make the service more useful for workers, though this would leave a greater than two hour gap in the timetable before it and impact the later evening services. Such issues could be addressed by a future consultation but I do believe this idea is worth seeking stakeholder and public opinion on.
  • The current Summer Sunday service could be improved by an extended operating season and/or extra services. The current service runs from Mid May to early September, but this could be extended to start earlier, say at Easter and run to the end of September or October, or restored to an all year round service. The operation dates of the Cleethorpes to Lincoln Summer Sunday service must not be allowed to constrain the Barton Line Sunday service. The current Sunday service comprises four return services, but this could be increased to five or six providing extra flexibility for Sunday travellers.
I would also advocate these points being considered when considering any potential service changes:
  • Bus Links at Barton for Hull have become patchy in recent years, partly due to extra padding adding to the timetable between Barrow Haven and Barton to improve punctuality. Any opportunities to tweak the rail timetable to improve bus connections should be taken, recognising that the bus timetable has other requirements to fit around as well, such as the need to provide a reliable pre 0730 arrival into Hull which has seen the bus connection from 0559 Cleethorpes to Barton service lost.
  • Connections to TransPennine Express, Brigg Line and East Midlands Lincoln services could be improved at Habrough, although I would hesitate to place too much emphasis on this. While connecting flows could provide additional passengers for the Barton Line service, connections would be competing with users using cars to alternative railheads such as Barnetby, Brough and Doncaster, and from Barton with the excellent bus connections to Hull Station. Given this range of alternatives, while connections should be considered, the likely low volume of passengers they will generate means they should be a secondary consideration after the provision of a timetable to meet local demand between Barton and Cleethorpes.
  • Journey times are uncompetitive with the car, taking 53 minutes from Cleethorpes to Barton as compared to 34 minutes by car (taken from Google). In so far as the infrastructure allows, the Barton Line timetable needs to be as quick as possible without omitting stops, and longer term Network Rail needs to be funded to deliver infrastructure improvements to support quicker journey times.
New Years Day services should be retained, apart from early morning services. They provide a very useful public transport service on a day when no local bus services run. This is particularly important for the Barton Line which functions as a local rather than regional service. Boxing Day daytime services would also be welcome.
 
Another service I wish to briefly comment on is the Grimsby to Lincoln service. This service needs more capacity and the long term aim should be an hourly Cleethorpes to Lincoln and beyond service. If London connections could be provided at Lincoln then the service could run to Nottingham, and potentially Birmingham (dependent on any future franchise remapping), rather than Newark Northgate. Cleethorpes, Grimsby Town, Habrough and Barnetby also have London connections via Doncaster, so the London connection requirement is primarily for Market Rasen passengers.
 
What additional services would you wish to see provided in the next franchise? (Q10)
 
Please see my response to question 9.
 
I am very disappointed to see that the North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Community Rail Partnership (NNLCRP) have used their response to the consultation to call for the closure of New Clee station. This station is located close to part of Grimsby Docks and better promotion of the station should be attempted before closure should be considered.
 
Unfortunately I also feel necessary to disagree with the NNLCRP’s call for a Doncaster to Barton service. I do not feel that such a service would be competitive with the option of driving to Doncaster, Barnetby or Brough to catch longer distance services, or with the excellent bus links from Barton to Hull station. Such a service would have an uncompetitive journey time with road and bus alternatives and risks damaging the long term service provision on the Barton Line as if it was introduced and failed, the Barton Line risks being seen as an unviable route. As explained in question 9 the focus for the Barton Line needs to be on marketing the existing local service – it’s best future is as a high quality reliable local route between Barton and Cleethorpes.
 
What are the particular services, routes and times of day when you think additional seats for passengers are most needed? (Q6)
 
I only have experience of the Barton Line, which only needs additional seats during local events such as the Armed Forces Event in Cleethorpes, Cleethorpes Carnival and Barton Bike Night. Services on the Barton Line should be operated by two vehicle trains at these times. I am however also aware that the Grimsby to Lincoln service is in need off more capacity through increased frequency and/or longer trains.

Monday, 30 October 2017

EYMS takeover 270 and 502

Bus King are giving up three of their five local bus routes in East Yorkshire this coming weekend. The Hessle Town Service is passing to Stagecoach although they have not yet announced this or released a timetable on their website. Meanwhile EYMS are taking over services 270 and 502 from Monday 6th November operating to their current timetables.

Service 270 provides a solitary Monday to Friday evening peak departure from Driffield to Beeford via Nafferton, Wansford and North Frodingham, leaving Driffield George Street at 1710; on schooldays it also serves Driffield School. Nafferton is otherwise served by EYMS's far more frequent 45/46 and 121 services, while Wansford, North Frodingham and Beeford are otherwise served by Bus King's approximately three hourly 136, which for Driffield commuters offers 0719 or 0939 arrivals as the morning peak priority on this service is to serve Bridlington instead. I presume the 270's main flow is school children attending after school activities, and maybe some afternoon Driffield shoppers?

EYMS had been operating the 270 until September 2013 and their return to the route may be short lived as it is due to have it's East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) funding withdrawn in April 2018. The service has an average five passengers per journey at a subsidy of £8.03 per passenger according to ERYC's 2016 Review of Bus Services documentation.

Service 502 provides a Monday to Friday weekday evening peak and Monday to Saturday evening service between Bridlington, Flamborough, Bempton and Buckton. Services depart Bridlington Bus Station at 1715 (Not Saturday), 1905, 2005, 2105 and 2300, and Buckton at 1933, 2033 and 2133.

For Flamborough the 1715 fits in between the 1655 and 1755 EYMS service 510 departures from Bridlington Bus Station, with the evening service nicely following on from that final 1755 departure. From Flamborough Dog and Duck into Bridlington the final 510 is at 1825 with the first 502 at 1944. The situation for Bempton and Buckton is a bit different however - EYMS Bridlington town service 504 provides the Monday to Saturday daytime service to these villages, but the 504 only operates off peak. This means the 502 has no equivalent morning peak service from Bempton and Buckton, and on Saturdays there is a rather large gap in departures from Bridlington between between 1630 and 1905 and Monday to Saturday from Bempton between 1650 and 1935. Bempton does also have a railway station.

The 502, despite being primarily an evening service, is not due to have its ERYC council funding withdrawn; in the balanced scorecard used by ERYC it missed the 'chop' by one place. It carries on average five passengers per journey at a cost of £3.08 per passenger journey. Bus King have been operating the service since September 2013 when they took over from TD Travel, who in turn took over from EYMS in April 2011.

Bus King are, as far as I can tell, going to continue to operate the Monday to Saturday 136 between Driffield and Bridlington and the Monday to Friday 530 Driffield Town Service.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Further Cuts to the 22

Tomorrow, Monday 2nd October, sees Hornsby Travel reduce weekday Scunthorpe Town Service 22 from a half hourly to hourly frequency. The service links Lakeside Retail Park with Timberlands, Bottesford Lane, Bottesford Road, Ashby Town Centre, Priory Lane, Devonshire Road, Glanville Avenue and Scunthorpe Town Centre. The Saturday service was withdrawn in February after previously being reduced from half hourly to hourly. At one point around 10-11 years ago the service operated every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday, with Stagecoach operating half hourly alongside Hornsby Travel.

Hornsby Travel spoke to the Scunthorpe Telegraph about the changes:
"Unfortunately there isn’t sufficient income on service 22 to pay for two buses and drivers for 20 hours a day. The number of houses in the Timberlands and Lakeside area is growing but the number of passengers travelling isn’t growing. Putting up fares by a large amount to meet the shortfall isn’t an option so instead we can provide one bus and driver on an hourly timetable, making sure the peak journeys to the colleges have a larger bus. This will be sustainable without council support."

"Mr Hornsby criticised developers of the Lakeside estate for a perceived failure to plan suitable bus routes as part of the development. He said ... "There is only one road suitable for a bus. All other roads in the estate do not have sufficient road space for a bus to have a circular route in it which would give the public better access to a bus service and potentially more passengers using the service. There are also metal fences around the various areas which results in people having to walk hundreds of meters to a bus stop when it may be just outside their door. The consultation on the Lakeside housing development with bus operators and consultants was a waste of time because we were ignored. Buses and bus passengers may not be the top item to design into any new development whether it is a housing estate or retain area but they have to be planned in first. If not they are almost impossible to build in later."

"Simon Usher, the managing director for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, one of the major developers on the Lakeside estate, said: "The public transport policy for the development was comprehensively considered in partnership with the local authority at the time of the planning application process."

I'm not familiar with the area so can't comment on the design issues raised, but perhaps a good time to point out that North Lincolnshire Council are currently running a consultation on the Scunthorpe bus network that can be accessed here and an associated council report is available on this page. In summary the consultation is part of a Scunthorpe Bus Network Review which takes into account the following:
• "An analysis of bus passenger journeys in Scunthorpe using data held by bus operators
• An analysis of whether the current network met passenger and non-passenger needs and any potential changes that might improve connectivity for customers
• An understanding of future trends and developments
• Proposals to improve passenger journeys which would then hopefully result in an increase in passenger numbers
• Potential opportunities to increase the number of commercial services in Scunthorpe
• Information from passenger feedback, bus surveys and contacts made by local people in relation to the bus network.
The aim was to develop initial recommendations arising from the review by October 2017.  The council and local bus operators would need to agree to any changes, with the aim of implementing from April 2018".

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Later Acklams 142 on Schooldays

On 5th September, Acklams Coaches added an extra journey to their service 142 - a new 1710 departure operates on schooldays from Beverley Bus Station to Molescroft, Cherry Burton, Etton and back to Beverley - the previous last Acklams service was at 1500 with a later EYMS journey at 1535. The extra journey comes after requests from Cherry Burton residents, and it is good to see Acklams Coaches responding to these requests.

If the new journey is successful it could also operate during school holidays (last bus from Beverley 1500) and on Saturdays (EYMS have a 142 departure at 1600). I guess the current schoolday only operation is based around using a vehicle and/or driver that has just finished a school run?

Friday, 29 September 2017

Service 398 was to have been withdrawn

Catching up with something that happened over the Summer - Stagecoach cancelled their 398 Tuesday Only Belton to Gainsborough 'shopper' service registration with VOSA. The 398 links parts of the Isle of Axholme to Gainsborough on market day, routing via Nottinghamshire, departing Belton at 0945 and returning from Gainsborough at 1310. Somewhat surprisingly to me, the cancelled VOSA registration (PB0001484/190) had it recorded as a commercial service - Stagecoach's only other public service on the Isle of Axholme is an evening peak tendered service on the 399 from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside.

In the end it seems North Lincolnshire Council stepped in with funding and the 398 was reregistered to the same timetable:

PB0001484/362
LINCOLNSHIRE ROAD CAR CO LTD, WARNEFORD HOUSE, RUNCORN ROAD, LINCOLN, LN6 3QP
 
From: Belton To: Gainsborough Via: Name or No.: GA_398 / 398 Service type: Normal Stopping Effective date: 04 September 2017 Other details: To reinstate route following Council request. Supported by Helen Reek of North Lincolnshire Council. Hail and ride on all sections where traffic and safety conditions allow.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

9a back to East Hull Only

Back in April Stagecoach extended Monday to Saturday hourly daytime East Hull service 9a to the Bricknell Estate in West Hull, routing via the Avenues and Inglemire Lane. On Monday 4th September the 9a once again became an East Hull only service. The Bricknell Estate gains a quicker, more direct, link into Hull City Centre as a replacement - the 3b - and the Avenues are already well served.

Fairfax Avenue once again becomes unserved while Inglemire Lane goes from a half hourly off peak daytime service (service 9/9a combined)/less frequent in the peaks to just hourly off peak on the 9. Until April Inglemire Lane was unserved apart from the university term time only nightbus 107. The evening service has also been reduced to Inglemire Lane on the U5. Looks like Stagecoach's experiment here hasn't worked out as planned - trying a service enhancement around the University and new Halls of Residence mostly during holidays on one hand perhaps isn't the best time to do something new, but on the other hand when the 9a and to an extent the U5 are integrated into the main network, they really need to be sustainable when there are no students.

Looking back at this years changes I do think the old 9 routing in West Hull via the Bricknell Estate to Cottingham had considerable advantages, giving both the Hull and East Riding parts of the Bricknell Estate a direct service into Hull, as well as providing through links from Chanterlands Avenue and the Bricknell Estate to Cottingham and Castle Hill Hospital. I don't know what punctuality was like on the old 9, nor financial performance, and East Riding of Yorkshire Council withdrew their financial contribution in April, but from my outsiders view (maybe too outside) it seems the old 9 was the best solution. If Inglemire Lane can justify a service then maybe a stand alone service could be provided, perhaps reinstating a Beverley Road to Newland Avenue link at the same time, and/or restoring a service to Oldstead Avenue, the western part of Greenwood Avenue and the southern part of Ellerburn Avenue?

Crayons away, there are some other changes to the 9 and 9a timetables. On weekdays there is a new 0920 9a from Paragon Interchange to North Point, filling a 90 minute gap in the 9a between 0850 and 1020, and an hour's gap in the combined 9/9a between 0850 and 0950. The 1500 service from Cottingham on Saturdays now extends beyond James Reckitt Avenue to North Point, whilst the final service 9 of the day Monday to Saturday from Paragon Interchange at 1850 is withdrawn, with the last service now at 1820. In the opposite direction from North Point the 1555 9a is withdrawn, with the last 9a now at 1455 and creating a 90 minute gap in the combined 9/9a between 1530 and 1700 on weekdays; on Saturdays the 1700 service 9 from North Point to Paragon Interchange is replaced by 1630 and 1730 departures maintaining an hourly frequency all afternoon.