Tomorrow - Monday 7th September - Stagecoach takeover the East Riding of Yorkshire Council contract for Monday to Saturday evening services on the 78 and 277 routes between Hull and Hedon from EYMS, who operate daily daytime services. There are a couple of small but very useful enhancements at the same time.
Departures on service 78 from Hull Interchange at 1810 and 2110, and from Hedon at 2019 and 2359 remain, as do service 277 departures from Hull Interchange at 1940 and 2320, and from Hedon at 1850 and 2150, however the 1850 277, 2019 78 and 2150 277 departures from Hedon will extend beyond Hull Interchange to Newland Avenue while the 2110 78 and 2320 277 departures from Hull Interchange will start back on Newland Avenue 15 minutes earlier. These extensions provide new access to the various restaurants and nightlife in the Avenues area of Hull. As a result the evening 78/277 services will now require more than one vehicle, but Stagecoach will have factored that into their bid.
There is also one further enhancement, a new 0005 Saturday night (early hours Sunday morning) journey on service 277 from Newland Avenue to Hedon. Arguably the villages of Bilton, Sproatley and Preston now have a nightbus service! I do wonder if diverting this journey via the Longhill estate would also be worthwhile as it's current last departure from Hull Interchange is at 2300 on EYMS service 56.
I'm not sure how much is Stagecoach's initiative and how much was in the East Riding of Yorkshire Council tender specification, but these changes are fantastic news for the communities on the 78 and 277 - small improvements can transform a basic evening service into something more exciting and useful. Lets hope these changes are well used and justified and similar improvements could be tried out elsewhere - some Barton Town Councillors for example want a later last service from Hull (currently 2125).
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