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 The Saturday service was withdrawn in February after previously being reduced from half hourly to hourly.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.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Stagecoach 5/U5 Evening Changes

As part of Stagecoach's service changes in Hull on 4th September, the Monday to Saturday evening service on the 5/U5 routes between Hull City Centre, the Avenues, Orchard Park and Kingswood was revised.

Starting with weekdays, the previous arrangement was a half hourly 5 from Hull Old Town to Kingswood, and a half hourly U5 from Hull Old Town to the Hall Road/Endike Lane roundabout, via Inglemire Lane. This has now changed to a half hourly 5 between Paragon Interchange and Kingswood (two journeys still start back from the Old Town), supplemented by a half hourly U5 from Hull Old Town to Kingswood in the early evening only (last departure 2015 from Kingswood, 2030 from Hull Old Town).

These changes are an improvement for Hall Road which now has four buses an hour to/from Hull City Centre in the early evening combined with the 3, and for northern parts of Orchard Park and Kingswood which regain a quarter hourly early evening service 5/U5. It does however reduce the late evening Stagecoach frequency in the Avenues from quarter to half hourly, whilst Inglemire Lane's last bus is now 2040 from Paragon Interchange as opposed to 2335.

On Saturdays the 5 had been operating half hourly between Hull Old Town and Kingswood, as on weekdays, with the U5 operating every 10-20 minutes between Hull Old Town and the Hall Road/Endike Lane roundabout to give a service every 10 minutes between Hull Old Town and the Avenues. This has now been changed to a half hourly service 5 between Paragon Interchange and Kingswood (the last journey still starts in Hull Old Town) and a half hourly U5 between Hull Old Town and Kingswood, but unlike on weekdays, the Saturday U5 operates all evening.

As on weekdays this is great news for Hall Road, northern parts of Orchard Park and Kingswood while the Avenues area and Inglemire Lane see a reduction in services though.

Late buses are cut back on Saturday's, now 2330 last bus rather than 0030 from Kingswood, and 2320 from Hull Old Town/2330 Paragon Interchange rather than 2330 from Hull Old Town or 0055 from Hull Truck Theatre. The new N125 provides a partial replacement for the Avenues and northern part of Beverley Road.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Nightbus to and from Beverley

As well as the N62 to North Ferriby, Brough and Elloughton, Stagecoach's other new nightbus service from Hull into the East Riding of Yorkshire this September is the N125 to Beverley. The N125 runs from Monument Bridge in Hull City Centre via Ferensway, Princes, Newland and Cranbrook Avenues, then right onto Greenwood Avenue and up Beverley Road to Dunswell, Woodmansey and Beverley Bus Station. Journeys into Beverley route via Swinemoor Lane and Hull Bridge Road, while the outbound route appears to be the quicker option via Flemingate (see simpli after dark map).

The N125 runs on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and has three departures from Monument Bridge, at 2320, 2350 and 0050, with the 2320 also serving Paragon Interchange. There is one solitary service back from Beverley at 0015 to Ferensway, which is probably just an in service positioning journey, but maybe useful for anyone wanting a Saturday night out in Beverley, or needing to travel from the Avenues into Hull City Centre for a connecting service.

The 2320 is an entirely new journey, however the 2350 and 0050 act as partial replacements for service 5 journeys from Hull Guildhall at 2355 and 0055; the N125 serves the Avenues and parts of Beverley Road as the 5 does, but not the Orchard Park Estate, aside from Tesco on Beverley Road, or Kingswood. This 'tactic' of 'piggybacking' a new nightbus service onto an existing service was also used for the N62, and reduces the amount of new mileage involved - the 2350 and 0050 are only 'new' north of the A1079/A1033/A1174 roundabout.

The last EYMS service from Hull to Beverley is at 2300, so no overlap between EYMS and Stagecoach in this direction, although from Beverley to Hull EYMS have a 0024 service.

Hopefully the N125 does well, serving both Hull City Centre and the Avenues area of nightlife should help. Again like the N62, the N125 is trying to tap into Hull's growing evening/night-time economy, but like the N62 it also faces the promotional challenge of Beverley, Woodmandsey and Dunswell not being significant Stagecoach operating territory, and there are no services from these locations to the Avenues so passengers would need to connect or walk from Beverley Road on their inbound journey.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Stagecoach N11 (and 11 changes)

As part of Stagecoach's changes to services in Hull on Monday 4th September, service 11 between Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road, North Point and Kingswood has been revised. Evening times have been changed to improve co-ordination with other services and there are some notable changes to very late services.

From Kingswood the final two weekday services at 2310 and 2340 have been replaced by a single 2335 service, 50 minutes after the previous journey at 2245. On Saturdays the half hourly evening frequency from Kingswood continues until 2345, but the 0022 from Kingswood Leisure Park has been withdrawn.

From Hull City Centre the previous 0000, 0030 and 0100 service 11's from Hull Truck Theatre on Saturday night/Sunday morning have been replaced by two service N11's at 0000 and 0100. The new 'N' prefix is needed as these journeys now deviate significantly from the standard 11 route. After serving Lowgate in Hull's Old Town they follow the 11 route up part off Holderness Road, before using the 12 route via Summergangs Road and Gillshill Road. Then it's along Ings Road, served only by the 9 and 677 and otherwise unserved Savoy Road to rejoin the standard 11 route via Bellfield Avenue and Spring Cottage. After Spring Cottage the service routes via Wawne Road, otherwise covered by the 9a and 12 before routing via the residential areas of Kingswood to terminate at Kingswood Retail Park.

The new N11 route seems to be an attempt to maximise how much of East Hull can be served by one route, without being too long for residents at the far end of the route in Kingswood. It's not as simple as largely just following the standard 11 route as before, but more people get a chance to have a nightbus service. Parts of Holderness Road previously served by the 11 on a Saturday night/Sunday morning are now covered by the N4.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Service 13 Start/End of Day Reductions

As part of last Monday's (4th September) changes by Stagecoach to services in Hull, service 13 saw some reductions at the start and end of the day - it continues to provide a half hourly daily daytime service between Hull Paragon Interchange, Salthouse Road and North Point, extending to Orchard Park on weekdays.

The 13W variant has been withdrawn - this operated twice on weekday mornings 'clockwise' from Paragon Interchange via Chanterlands Avenue to Orchard Park and the main service 13 route back to Paragon Interchange, and once anti-clockwise in the evening. The main purpose seemed to be links to Wilberforce College. Now however these services operate as standard 13's between Orchard Park, North Point and Paragon Interchange only.

In the weekday morning peak the 0650, 0720, 0750 and 0824 from Paragon Interchange have become three departures at 0710, 0740 and 0810. The last weekday journeys each way in the evening, at 1808 from Orchard Park and 1840 from Paragon Interchange to North Point are withdrawn, with last services now half an hour earlier in each direction. On Saturdays the last two services from Paragon Interchange to North Point, at 1824 and 1840 have been withdrawn, with the last departure at 1755. On Sundays first departure from Paragon Interchange becomes 0940 instead off 0845, and last departure 1740 rather than 1815; from North Point the last departure is now 1645 rather than 1718.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Some Park and Ride Journeys back via the A63

Last Monday - 4th September - Stagecoach partially reversed a change they had made in April to Hull's Priory Park Park and Ride service. In April the service was routed away from the A63 to instead operate into the City Centre via Hessle Road, Askew Avenue, Boothferry Road and Anlaby Road. Now alternate weekday peaktime journeys will resume operating via the A63, providing a 20 minute frequency via the A63 and a 20 minutes frequency via Askew Avenue, where all stops are served. Within Hull City Centre, morning journeys via the A63 will operate via Carr Lane and Queens Dock Avenue rather than via Hull Truck Theatre, Albion Street and Bond Street.

The 3, 3a, 3b, 4 and N4

Monday's changes (4th September) by Stagecoach to their Hull network included 'cross city' service 3 and 4, and new services 3a, 3b and N4. The 3 and 4 link Orchard Park, Hull City Centre and Greatfield/Bilton Grange, but via different routes between the three locations, and operate as a circular at both ends of the route.

On service 4 there are two new weekday journeys from Paragon Interchange to Bilton Grange at 0430 and 0500, current first service at 0530, and four new weekday journeys from Paragon Interchange to Orchard Park at 0440, 0510, 0540 and 0610, current first journey at 0625. As a result the first two weekday service 3's from Greatfield no longer start back at Marfleet Lane and the first four weekday service 3's no long start back at Greenwood Avenue - service 4 now covers these extensions. Other early morning improvements see the first four weekday service 3's from Orchard Park now operating through to Greatfield. This means the first departure for Greatfield from Paragon Interchange is now at 0537 rather than 0657. Additionally the 0600 service 3 from Greatfield to Paragon Interchange on weekdays now extends to Orchard Park, providing a 30 minute earlier first service from central Hull.

On Saturday's the first three departures from Greatfield on service 3 also no longer start back on Marfleet Lane but only the latter of these services seems to be covered by a slightly retimed first service 4 of the day. The first three Greatfield departures on service 3 do now however operate through to Orchard Park on Saturdays now, rather than a connection being required for cross city travel at Paragon Interchange.

Both service 3 and 4 have timing changes throughout the day. The last service 3 from Greatfield to Orchard Park is now split at Paragon Interchange so that it continues to depart to West Hull at 2330. On service 4 the 2300 from Bilton Grange to Orchard Park now only operates between Paragon Interchange and Orchard Park on weekdays, last Bilton Grange departure becomes 2230.

The other big change is very late evening, with new service N4 introduced from Hull City Centre via Holderness Road to Diadem Grove (so omitting Marfleet Lane as served by service 4) then around Bilton Grange and extending into Greatfield and onto Preston Road. There will be a 2330 departure from Hull Interchange Monday to Saturday and then extra journeys at 0000, 0030 and 0100 on Saturday night/Sunday morning from Hull Truck Theatre. These journeys replace the previous service 3 departures from Hull Truck Theatre to Greatfield and onto Bilton Grange and Marfleet Lane at 0000 and 0100 on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

The N4 seems to be in part about covering the diversion of the 11's nightbus journeys away from parts of Holderness Road as otherwise it would make more sense to use the route of service 3's previous nightbuses and provide a quick journey to Preston Road/Greatfield without compromising travel time to Bilton Grange too much. The end result is a slight increase in the nightbus provision however which is welcome to see.

Finally to the 3a and 3b, which replace the 9a in providing a service to Bricknell Avenue Estate - the 9a will no longer operate in West Hull. Back in April the Bricknell Avenue Estate saw service 9 replaced with a longer routing into Hull City Centre on service 9a. Now the direct route into Hull City Centre via Chanterlands Avenue that service 9 used to use, is brought back - service 3b will provide a simple Paragon Interchange-Chanterlands Avenue-Bricknell Avenue-Burnsiton Road-Grammar School Road-Bricknell Avenue-Chanterlands Avenue-Paragon Interchange loop every hour Monday to Saturday daytimes (with one two hour gap on weekday mornings). A single service 3a operates from Paragon Interchange in the evening peak, extending to Orchard Park after serving the Bricknell Avenue estate. The change does mean Fairfax Avenue becomes unserved again but otherwise it seems like a far better service than what the 9a was providing.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Kingswood Service 6 Small Reductions

Back in April, Stagecoach introduced a new 2330 journey on service 6 Monday to Saturday from Hull Paragon Interchange to Kingsbury Way, Kingswood, on a route which otherwise has no evening service - service 7 being the main evening service to most off Kingswood. From today (Monday 4th September), the 2330 will no longer operate on weekdays, but will continue to do so on Saturdays.

The last three journeys from Kingswood are also withdrawn Monday to Saturday, at 1820, 1850 and 1920 from Kingsbury Way, but there is a new 1900 departure on Saturdays only. Again these now withdrawn journeys were only introduced in April, and service 7 provides an alternative for Kingswood travellers heading into Hull City Centre, and to Kingswood Retail Park and Beverley Road, at these times.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

New N62 nightbus to North Ferriby and Brough

Not sure if it started yesterday - the 2nd - or next week - the 9th - but North Ferriby and Brough have gained/are gaining a new Saturday nightbus service. (The VOSA registration is effective the 2nd, but the details are listed on the Stagecoach website under changes being introduced from Monday 4th).

Stagecoach are incorporating their current late Saturday night/early Sunday morning services on service 2 between Hull City Centre, Boothferry Estate and Hessle into new service N62 between Hull City Centre, Boothferry Estate, Hessle, North Ferriby and Brough (Elloughton Road) - the N62 number 'ties in' with their X62 service between Hull and Leeds via Brough and North Ferriby. The N62 will operate from Hull Paragon Interchange at 2330, replacing the previous service 2 at 2325 from the Interchange to the Boothferry Estate, and then from Hull Truck Theatre on Ferensway at 2400 and 0100, replacing previous service 2 departures to Hessle at the same time.

Currently the last service from Paragon Interchange to North Ferriby and Brough is on service 153 at 2255. North Ferriby and Brough have a sparse evening service from Hull - the 155 from Hull at 1800 (commercial) and 1950 (subsidised) and then the 2255 153 (subsidised), so the N62 means there will be as many departures from Hull City Centre between 2300 and 0100 as there will be between 1800 and 2300! (There is an evening rail service as well). For Hessle there is currently a gap between the 2305 57 from Carr Lane and the 0000 service 2, which the 2330 N62 will nicely fill.

Single fares will be £1.80 within Hull, £2 to Hessle, £3 to North Ferriby and £4 to Brough.

It will be very interesting to see how the new N62 does; incorporating the established Hull to Hessle section should help leaving only the Hessle to Brough section as 'new' mileage. The City of Culture and Hull's growing evening/night-time economy will hopefully kick start and sustain the N62. Brough is also seeing significant new housing development. On the other hand three services within 90 minutes all the way to Brough is a bold start, especially given the minimal current evening service. Additionally neither North Ferriby or Brough are major Stagecoach operating areas, so beyond any X62 users there is no existing Stagecoach customer base to target - it will mostly need to be 'new to Stagecoach' customers. I would wonder how EYMS will react but given the sparse, partly subsidised, existing evening service I doubt they will be bothered so long as a nightbus is the extent of Stagecoach's ambitions in the area, as it has been in Hessle (except Boothferry Road).

It seems that Stagecoach are missing out the villages of Melton and Welton which will mean slightly quicker journey times to Brough, although at that time of night I suspect the time saving will be very small. It also seems that Elloughton won't be served, even though the N62 could easily extend there before running back to Hull. Another idea could be to extend at least the last departure to South Cave (and maybe even beyond) on a request basis. Credit though to Stagecoach for trying something out and I hope it works out for them and supports Hull's night time economy.

The new N62 seems to return empty from Brough to Hull, so the Sunday morning 0025 service 2 from Hessle to Hull has been withdrawn. Also, as a consequence of the 2325 service 2 becoming a N62 extending to Brough, the final service 1 departure from Boothferry Estate to Hull at 2350 is withdrawn on Saturdays only, with the last service now at 2320.

Also on service 1, the weekday 2210 from Boothferry Estate now operates as a standard 1, rather than a 1W via Smith and Nephew, while the final 2315 departure from Paragon Interchange Monday to Saturday moves to 2330 - Stagecoach are trying to standardise last Monday to Saturday departures from Paragon Interchange at 2330, which also sees the weekday service 2 from the Interchange to Boothferry Estate at 2325 depart 5 minutes later.

EDIT - If you search for the N62 timetable as opposed to using the link in the service change announcement on the Stagecoach website, a different format timetable is shown, which indicates the N62 terminates in Elloughton Main Street, not Brough Elloughton Road.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Humber Fastcat and Flyer Changes

From Sunday 3rd September for EYMS journeys, and Monday 4th September for Stagecoach journeys, the 350 Humber Fastcat between Hull, Barton and Scunthorpe is changing - as is Stagecoach's Humber Flyer between Hull, Barton, Humberside Airport, Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

Sadly the 'headline' change to the Humber Fastcat isn't positive, although no journeys are withdrawn. Monday to Saturday journeys departing Hull's Paragon Interchange between 0840 and 1610 will no longer serve the City Centre Loop, instead departing the Interchange for Anlaby Road via Park Street. This means during these times the only City Centre stop will be the Interchange - the useful Carr Lane stop as well as the stop opposite the station on Anlaby Road will no longer be served. For anyone visiting or working in the Old Town area of Hull City Centre, or Princes Quay, it will mean a long walk (or catch another bus) to the Interchange. The Carr Lane stop can also be useful when connecting off another service that operates inbound via Carr Lane before the Interchange - when at university changing at Carr Lane often got me home half an hour earlier.

EYMS put this change down to congestion. It is perhaps worth explaining the operation of the 350. The route works Monday to Saturday daytimes on the basis of 6 vehicles, able to complete a round trip within 3 hours. The April timetable change to improve punctuality 'used up' all the 'slack' in the timetable, and if that hasn't worked either the route needs shortening or extra 'resource' added to the route. Aside from the costs involved with extra 'resource', the 350 is split between 2 operators, one of which, EYMS, only runs every 3 hours, and 3 different depots as Stagecoach split their workings between Hull and Scunthorpe to reduce dead mileage at the start/end of the day. Adding an extra vehicle into a joint service to give a 3 and a half hour round trip per vehicle could mean EYMS no longer operate popular journeys, whilst interworking with other routes that may have 'excess layover time' (if any exist) would be hard to organise under these circumstances - plus the vehicles are in a dedicated livery.

So extra 'resource' isn't practical, which leaves shortening the route. The loop around Barton is needed to serve the eastern part of the town. Winteringham could maybe be omitted on alternate journeys, but I don't know the specifics of usage there. Frodingham Road in Scunthorpe could also maybe omitted on alternate journeys, running to Scunthorpe Bus Station direct via Brigg Road, but Frodingham Road is a busy residential area and the route also serves the far end of Scunthorpe Town Centre. The Hull City Centre loop is the easiest way to shorten the route sadly. I don't like this change, but I can understand it.

Anlaby Road in Hull does have bus lanes, but at peak times only. The Humber Fastcat seems to be most affected by congestion off-peak, or at least that is when it is hardest to 'work around' it, and I did have a rather long trip on a Park and Ride bus down Anlaby Road one Friday lunchtime. Could there be a case for bus lanes being in operation Monday to Saturday daytimes as well?

Early morning, peak time, evening and Sunday journeys continue to use the City Centre loop in Hull - these are times when either the standard half hourly timetable isn't followed, or when traffic is lighter. The loop also gains an additional stop on Bond Street, which is handy for the Hull New Theatre - services had previously run via Albion Street/Bond Street without stopping, unlike all other Anlaby Road services using the City Centre loop, so this anomaly is now 'corrected'.

When EYMS first announced the changes, they said their evening journeys Monday to Saturday at 1925 from Hull and 2110 from Scunthorpe would be withdrawn due to funding changes by North Lincolnshire Council. East Riding of Yorkshire Council withdrew their financial contribution at the start of April. This would have left a near two hour gap in departures from Hull between 1825 and 2020 (the Humber Flyer does run to Barton at 1910), while the last departure from Scunthorpe would have been one hour earlier at 2010 (Barton to Hull does have a later service). "Following a last minute change of heart by North Lincolnshire Council" however the evening journeys are retained, with the 1925 from Hull retimed to 1935 as the inbound service from Scunthorpe now arrives later. This is welcome news, and there can't be many places in the country these days which are getting council funded evening services to fill gaps in commercially provided evening timetables that do provide alternative travel options an hour earlier (or later in some cases).

Many journeys, particularly departing Hull, have minor timing changes. Train connections from Hull to Barton throughout much of the day are improved, with the daytime :10 past from Hull now connecting with trains, rather than having to use the Humber Flyer 20 minutes earlier (the Humber Flyer is still the best connection for a couple of trains). Sunday departures from Ashby are standardised at :55 minutes past the hour, with standardised intermediate timings reintroduced across EYMS and Stagecoach journeys in this direction only.

Finally on the Humber Fastcat, I will copy and paste what Stagecoach have put on their online announcement of the changes: "Don't forget your later journeys home from Hull to Barton Monday to Saturday evenings leaving Hull Interchange at 2220 and 2330." (It would be a shame if these were withdrawn).

Turning to the Humber Flyer, it too will depart Hull's Paragon Interchange for Anlaby Road via Park Street, but on all journeys - this seems to be to allow for extended running times as far as Barton, with consequential retimings over the rest of the route. The Humber Flyer has been departing Paragon Interchange via Ferensway, Spencer Street, Brook Street and Ferensway again onto Anlaby Road and in that time only served one stop on Anlaby Road opposite the station. The re-routing removes one service an hour from congested Ferensway and 'busy with pedestrians' Brook Street, so the loss of a stop very close to the Interchange on Anlaby Road seems an acceptable trade off. The increase in running times to Barton could also not have been realistically accommodated without shortening the route.

It's not being advertised but one benefit of the Humber Fastcat/Flyer re-routing is that there are now 3 direct buses an hour from Paragon Interchange to Hull Royal Infirmary, not using the City Centre loop.

Blog post on April 350 Humber Fastcat Changes

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Stagecoach in Hull Future Developments

Route One magazine has an interview with Stagecoach's Hull Operations Manager, and it includes this interesting comment

"Working with the commercial team is a totally new experience for me. We’re just in the process of developing a new network and introducing late evening services into the East Riding, and that’s all because of the evening economy in Hull is changing off the back of the City of Culture."

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Extra 88's - On a Trial Basis

In May EYMS cancelled the first and last weekday round trips between Goole and Thorne on service 88, due to low use. This comprised the 0725 and 1740 from Goole, and 0806 and 1820 from Thorne. From Monday 4th September this change is partially reversed, on a trial basis. There will be a new 0810 Thorne to Goole (current first departure 0930), and a 1710 Goole to Thorne (current last departure 1620).

Sunday, 2 July 2017

York Pullman 36/X36 Enhancements

From Monday 24th July, York Pullman services 36 and X36 have two small but welcome changes.

On a Saturday the first and last journeys from Sutton upon Derwent will start back in the East Riding village of Melbourne, at 0835 and 1625, and the last journey from York at 1515 will extend from Sutton upon Derwent to Melbourne. This reinstates a through shopping link from Melbourne to York that was lost in the East Riding of Yorkshire Council bus funding cuts at the start of April. Melbourne had enjoyed such a service on Wednesdays and Saturdays via EYMS service 195, and on Tuesday afternoons by catching the EYMS 195 into York and returning on York Pullman's peak time X36. However since the cuts, the only shopping link to/from York has been on a Thursday and requires a change of bus from service 195 to service 196 en-route.

During the school summer holidays, some weekday journeys are also being diverted via York Maze, with consequential minor retimings as a result.

Summer timetable.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Scheduled CallConnect replacement for Saturday 260

Good news to report, relative to the original announcment. As already reported the Saturday service on the 260 Villager from Goxhill, New Holland and Barrow into Barton is sadly operating for the last time today. Originally the alternatives were to be the existing demand responsive CallConnect service, the 450 from Barrow or the train from Goxhill and New Holland. Now though it has been announced that a 'scheduled' CallConnect service will operate on Saturday mornings.
From 3 July 2017 the Barton Villager Saturday service will no longer operate.  Passengers can use the CallConnect service.  There will be a scheduled CallConnect journey from the villages into Barton at 0900 and a return from Barton at 1130.  The CallConnect service can be booked for journeys at other times on a Saturday.
I presume the vehicle usually used for the standard demand responsive CallConnect service will be used for this new scheduled service. Traveline East Midlands shows a 0900 departure from Goxhill to Barton Tesco via New Holland, Barrow St Chad, Barrow Market Place, Barton Market Place and Barton Station, arriving at Tesco at 0940, with a 1130 return from Tesco. This provides a basic Saturday morning 'shopping' service without the need to register and ring up in advance to use the demand responsive CallConnect service. Keeping the 260 'as is' would obviously be a better option, but it is better than what was initially announced.

The new scheduled journey is also well timed to compliment the 450, with the new scheduled departure leaving Barrow Market Place at 0925 before the 450 at 1010. Leaving Barton Station the scheduled CallConnect service departs at 1133 before the 450 at 1215.

CallConnect in North Lincolnshire is operated by Hornsby Travel.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

260 Saturday Service Cut

The North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) website reports that the Saturday service on the 260 'Barton Villager' is to end. The service links Barrow, Goxhill and New Holland with Barton, and operates seven daytime journeys on a Saturday. The route is operated by Stagecoach under contract to NLC.

 
"From 3 July 2017 the Barton Villager Saturday service will no longer operate.  Passengers can use the CallConnect service".

The Saturday service was introduced in 2012. It is not clear if the cut is down to a need to find cost savings, low usage, a combination of these, or something else. I have sometimes seen the first arrival into Barton on a Friday full (on an Optare Solo) but that doesn't necessarily mean the Saturday service loads as well.

Clearly this cut is disappointing, however there are far worse cuts that could be made. The 260 continues to operate on weekdays, for those who can rearrange their trips to a different day. There is CallConnect as NLC point out. Not that NLC are promoting it on their website service changes page, but for Barrow residents there is also the NLC subsidised 450 to get them into Barton on a Saturday without the need to pre-book CallConnect. One positive could at least be to 'funnel' some extra passengers onto the 450, but if it isn't promoted as an alternative that is less likely to happen. Reminds me of when the 150 was withdrawn NLC just promoted CallConnect and ignored the Thursday diversion of the 260 to East Halton. Goxhill and New Holland also have the train into Barton, and retain one Saturday bus service - the 366 to Brigg and Scunthorpe which also serves Barrow.
 
 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Afternoon Peak Scunthorpe-Kirton Service to be restored

At the start of April, Kirton in Lindsey saw a significant reduction in it's main bus service, the Stagecoach 103, including the withdrawal of it's afternoon peak service from Scunthorpe as the last departure became just after 1600. From 12th June a weekday later departure is restored, with a new 1730 service from Scunthorpe to Kirton being operated 'in-house' by North Lincolnshire Council. Unlike the Stagecoach 103, this new service will operate via the A18 and B1398, presumably to avoid any competition issues with commercial services along Ashby Road, Messingham Road and to Messingham itself.

Welcome news!

Monday, 22 May 2017

EYMS Hull to York Changes

Sunday 21st May saw EYMS amend it's Hull to York services, and while one route was withdrawn completely, another service group saw some improvements.

As briefly already mentioned, the X4 has been withdrawn due to what EYMS say is "low numbers of regular passengers meaning that this high-mileage service costs more to run than it takes in fares." The X4, branded as the Wicstun Express, started in March 2011 as a Market Weighton to York express service with five weekday and four Saturday roundtrips. In February 2012 the service was extended to start back in Brough, also serving Elloughton, South Cave and Sancton, but reduced to four weekday and three Saturday round trips. January 2013 saw North Newbald added to the route, while in July that year the service was extended further to start back in Hull, serving North Ferriby en-route to Brough; it was also increased up to five round trips. May 2015 saw the first service from York truncated to start in Market Weighton on weekdays and withdrawn entirely on Saturdays.

As can be seen EYMS tried to make the Wicstun Express work, with various changes in the six and a bit years it operated. The X4 saved only 12 minutes over the hourly X46 from Market Weighton (plus Shiptonthorpe and Hayton) to York Station off peak, and only 5 minutes compared to the 46 to York Station Road, so despite omitting Pocklington the time saving was minor and arguably not enough for the X4 to be perceived a significantly faster service. There are now more 45/46's serving Market Weighton as a partial replacement for the X4.

Between Hull and York the X4 was slightly quicker than the X46 and in the hours it operated enabled EYMS to offer two Hull to Market Weighton and York services an hour. Was this not appreciated by passengers, or did passengers just prefer to stick to the consistent every hour X46? The train is also an option for Hull to York travel, and en-route also serves Brough.

So with other options for Hull, Brough and Market Weighton to York, Hull to Market Weighton and for local travel between Hull and South Cave inclusive, arguably the X4's USP came down to North Ferriby (very limited train service to York), Elloughton, South Cave (and Brough for OAP's with their free bus passes) to Market Weighton and York, plus the small villages of North Newbald and Sancton. Not big markets. It's a shame for North Newbald and Sancton, the latter is down to just the Friday 198, whilst the former has the 198 plus three day a week 143 - however at the start of the 2012 the only difference compared to now was the 198's predecessor, the S2, running on a Tuesday as well as a Friday.

What could have made the X4 work? An hourly service? Divert via Pocklington? Maybe, but that would have probably have been at the expense of a reduced 45/46, and at the expense of some of the X55/Petuaria Express frequencies. It would probably have meant 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'.

Part of me thinks it's a shame there isn't a Saturday only residual service for York daytrippers, like the old 857 service, but I guess that such a service would face the problem of what to do productively with a vehicle and driver in York all day.

Moving on to the main X46 service between Hull and York via Beverley, Market Weighton and Pocklington, there is a revised timetable but the Monday to Saturday daytime service remains hourly. There is a new 0605 X46 from Hull on Saturdays that replaces the 0615 X4. On weekdays there is a new 0810 X46 from Hull to York which starts in Market Weighton on Bishop Burton College Days and seems to replace the previous 0915 service 46.

Evening and Sunday variation X47 now serves Barmby Moor and Wilberfoss, and while on Sundays this is to replace the 45/46, on Monday to Saturday evenings these are limited additional services for the two villages.

Sundays see the biggest change, and it's a significant enhancement. The previous every 'one to two hour' frequency daytimes becomes hourly - matching Monday to Saturday - and continuing to alternate between the X46 and X47. This does partially replace the 45/46 between Pocklington and York, but between Hull and Pocklington is a genuine enhancement which is good to see.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

EYMS 45/46 Revised and Cut Back

Today, Sunday 21st May, sees some major changes to EYMS's 45/46 group of services between Bridlington, Driffield, Market Weighton, Pocklington and York.

Very major on a Sunday actually, as the entire Sunday service is withdrawn. This had comprised three service 45 round trips between Bridlington and York plus five service 46 round trips between Pocklington and York - giving the Pocklington to York section an approximate 90 minute frequency. All these services were financially supported by East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) until the end of March this year. The 46 had an average 10 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £1.72 per passenger; the Sunday service performed sixth worst in the 'balanced scorecard' used by ERYC to determinate which contracted services would be having their funding removed. The 45 performed better with an average 20 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £1.67 per passenger journey.

To partially mitigate the changes, EYMS have diverted service X47 via Barmby Moor and Wilberfoss, which will provide these villages with five Sunday journeys each way between Hull, Pocklington and York, operating every two hours. Pocklington to York via Kexby Bridge also benefits from enhanced Sunday services X46/X47 which now operate hourly combined Sunday daytimes as opposed to every 1-2 hours previously. Dunnington and the University of York have alternative Sunday links into York with First York so as far as the Pocklington to York section is concerned the main loss is links east of Pocklington.

Between Bridlington and Driffield service 121 operates hourly on Sundays, although the first departure from Bridlington is at 1025 rather than 0830 on service 45. Any passengers for Pocklington and York will need to travel via Beverley and change. For Bridlington to York the Coastliner also offers an alternative, albeit one that is designed to get daytrippers to Bridlington rather than to York. There are however no alternatives for the villages of Warter and North Dalton between Pocklington and Driffield.

Monday to Saturday also sees big changes. It's probably easier to break them down into three sections; York to Pocklington, Pocklington to Driffield and Driffield to Bridlington.

Between York and Pocklington the service remains hourly daytimes, with some additional services that had operated over and above this frequency withdrawn. The major change is a reduction in services running via the University of York, which had been served by all journeys except those via York Maze and the 2305 from York. Now only most morning journeys from Pocklington and most afternoon journeys from York will run the university - this should at least cater to the main traffic flows from Pocklington and surrounding villages to the university, and First have frequent services between the university and York City Centre. Not serving the university saves five minutes on journey times.

Dunnington sees slightly more services from York/to Pocklington and less in the other direction. Calls in the 0945, 1145, 1345, 1645 (Sat), 1730 (Mon-Fri), 1835 and 2305 from York become calls in the 0900 (Not Sat), 0950, 1150, 1650, 1850, 2105 and 2305 (Fri+Sat). From Pocklington calls in the 0800, 1055, 1255, 1455 and 1745 become calls in the 0800, 1300 and 1500. This provides a basic service for Common Lane in Dunnington and for any Dunnington to Pocklington shoppers. The main service for Dunnington is provided by First (and Transdev).

Services running via Dunnington and/or the University of York use service number 45; service 46 is only for journeys omitting both locations.

A note about the evening service which until late March was subsidised by ERYC with an average 10 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £2.89 per journey. The 2025 from Pocklington remains, as does the 2110 from York, retimed to 2105 and now serving Dunnington. The 2225 from Pocklington and 2305 now operate on Fridays and Saturdays only.

On the Pocklington to Driffield section, very few services will now use the direct route via Warter and North Dalton; only the 0650 Bridlington to York, 1350 York to Driffield or Bridlington and 1850 York to Bridlington. These journeys will have an A suffix added to their route number, the only route variation to gain a suffix. Whilst North Dalton will also be served by other journeys, Warter will not, and it's only other bus service is the Tuesday 199 'shopper' to Pocklington.

The previous Pocklington to Driffield timetable had a 0905 46A between the two towns via Market Weighton, Middleton, North Dalton, Bainton, Tibthorpe and Kirkburn, then 0945, 1130, 1330 and 1630 departures from Pocklington via Market Weighton, Middleton and Bainton and 1030, 1230, 1430 and 1920 departures from Pocklington via Warter and North Dalton. All bar the 0905 started in York and some continued onto Bridlington.

There are now just five departures from Pocklington to Driffield, at 1035 via Market Weighton, Middleton and Bainton, at 1235 and 1635 via Market Weighton, Middleton and North Dalton and at 1435 and 1930 via Warter and North Dalton. Extra departures from Pocklington to Market Weighton operate at 1130 and 1330. All services start at York, and apart from the 1435 on schooldays, all run through to Bridlington.

From Driffield previous services departed the Middle Street South stop at 0723, 1020, 1220, 1420 and 1710 via North Dalton and Warter, at 1110, 1510 and 1620 via Bainton, Middleton and Market Weighton, and at 1258 as service 46A via Kirkburn, Tibthorpe, Bainton, North Dalton, Middleton and Market Weighton. Some started in Bridlington and all continued to York. Extra journeys from Market Weighton operated at 0725 (Not Sat), 0915 (Not Sat) and 0940 (times taken the Griffin).

As with services from Pocklington, departures from Driffield are reduced to five a day. A 0723 departure operates via North Dalton and Warter, 1015 and 1215 departures via North Dalton, Middleton and Market Weighton, a 1415 departure via Bainton, Middleton and Market Weighton, and a 1710 departure via Bainton, North Dalton, Middleton and Market Weighton. All start in Bridlington and continue to York. Extra departures from Market Weighton are at 0725 (Not Sat), 0945, 1145 and 1345, creating hourly departures from Market Weighton between 0945 and 1445.

These changes maintain a basic service between Pocklington/Market Weighton, Middleton and Driffield. Bainton and North Dalton retain services, though the first North Dalton to Driffield service is at 1304, with the only suitable return at 1710 - North Dalton shoppers may prefer to use Market Weighton or Pocklington instead. With only one eastbound service, Bainton customers only have a usable shopping/leisure service now to Driffield or Bridlington (plus Beverley on Acklams 142). Tibthorpe and Kirkburn Village Centre are unserved, and will be left without a bus service (is there a stop on the A614 main road on the edge of Kirkburn that the 45/46 can use?).

Finally looking at the Bridlington to Driffield section, the service is reduced from six to five journeys each way, with the 0900 from York truncated at Pocklington, and the first arrival into Bridlington now at 1154 rather than 1104. The penultimate 1545 departure from Bridlington is also removed. In addition the 1350 from York now terminates in Driffield on schooldays, with a connection onto service 121 required for travel further eastwards.

In reviewing these changes between Pocklington, Driffield and Bridlington, it's important to note that ERYC removed some financial support at the end of March for the 0905 Pocklington to Driffield and 1255 return on Saturdays between Middleton and Driffield - average 4 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £7.59 per passenger journey - and also for the 1345 York to Brildington east of Pocklington and 1545 Bridlington to York east of Pocklington - average 11 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £3.07 per passenger journey. The 1345 survives, truncated at Driffield on schooldays, however there has been an overall thinning out of the timetable, and I'm sure these subsidy cuts have contributed to that.
 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Major EYMS Changes between Hull and Goole

On Sunday (21st May), EYMS are making significant changes to it’s services along the ‘A63 corridor’ between Hull and Goole. There is a major simplification of services, some positives and some significant negatives.

At present the Monday to Saturday daytime service comprises an hourly Petuaria Express between Hull Interchange and Goole via Hull Royal Infirmary, Rawling Way, the A63, Brough, Elloughton then either the A63 again, Newport, Gilberdyke Village Centre and Eastrington (service X55) or South Cave, North Cave, Newport and the 'main road' in Gilberdyke (B1230) (service X56), before both variations 'reunite' and serve Howden into Goole. This is supplemented by service 155 between Hull and South Cave via Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Boothferry Road as far as Darleys Roundabout, residential parts of North Hessle (Swanland Road, Barrow Lane and Ferriby Road), North Ferriby High Street, Melton, Welton, Brough, Elloughton, Brantingham and Ellerker, operating just over every 2 hours.

The above is very much a simplification, at peak times/mornings some journeys on service 153 between Hull and Melton West extend to Brough, Elloughton and in some cases South Cave. Some 155 journeys operate as far as Goole, some journeys as service 155A serving Anlaby instead off Boothferry Road, while some Petuaria Express journeys operate as route X57 serving South and North Cave as well as Gilberdyke Village Centre and Eastrington. On top of this there is also service X4 between Hull and York via North Ferriby, Brough, Elloughton and South Cave.

After operating on Saturday 20th May the X4 is being withdrawn entirely, due to what EYMS say is "low numbers of regular passengers meaning that this high-mileage service costs more to run than it takes in fares". In so far as the 'A63' corridor is concerned the big change is the loss of links to Market Weighton and York, as the service was timed with York passengers in mind, however the X4 did still form part of the overall service offer between Hull, North Ferriby, Brough, Elloughton and South Cave operating every two hours. (I'll cover the other impacts of the X4 withdrawal separately).

As the X4 ceases to form part of services along the A63 corridor, the 153 becomes a lot less significant, with only one evening journey operating west of Melton each way Monday to Saturday.

Simplification is also achieved on the Petuaria Express as the X56 and X57 are gone, with a revised X55 remaining. The X55 will no longer use the Clive Sullivan Way leaving Hull, instead routing along Anlaby Road, the full length of Boothferry Road and serving the new Bridgehead Business Park before picking up the A63 to Brough. This maybe less prone to delays and will certainly mean more opportunities to pick up additional passengers. After serving Brough and Elloughton the X55 operates direct to South Cave, with certain journeys then serving North Cave, Newport, Gilberdyke Village Centre, Eastrington, Howden and Goole. The 'new X55' will operate hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes between Hull and South Cave, with extensions to Goole every two hours; the South Cave 'shorts' will serve Water Lane, which is currently served by the 155.

The off peak Monday to Saturday daytime 155 will now link Hull and Elloughton via it's existing route, operating every two hours (exactly!). At peak times, and late afternoons (when there are various changes to the standard pattern), some journeys run as far as Goole, using the same route as service X55 (barring some services via Brantingham). Some 155A variations also remain early morning and on one weekday late afternoon journey.

Looking in more detail at what the changes mean for certain communities - Go back about ten years and Boothferry Road between the Hull City boundary and Darleys roundabout had the 155 every hour, and the 350 every hour (Mon-Sat daytime frequency). Over time this has evolved with the 350 going half hourly and the Humber Flyer routing along here, but the 155 being approximately halfed. With these changes the 155 frequency isn't much different but the X55 adds a further hourly service along here, and Stagecoach become a little less dominant in this small part of traditional EYMS territory.

Between Darleys Roundabout and the Humber Bridge it was just the hourly 350, but with the addition of service X55 there are now 4 services per hour along this part of Boothferry Road, which is seeing new housing development. Boothferry Road has certainly seen a substantial improvement in frequencies over the past decade.

Whether by accident or design the new 155/X55 co-ordinate well with the 350/Humber Flyer leaving Hull Interchange Monday to Saturday daytimes. The hourly X55 leaves at :25 past the hour; perfect co-ordination between the :10 past :40 past 350 departures. The 155 in the hours it does run departs on the hour, fitting in perfectly between the :50 past Humber Flyer and :10 past 350. Sadly going into Hull it's not so good; the X55 leaves Bridghead Business Park at :46 past the hour, with a 350 leaving the comparable Humber Bridge stop at :42 past the hour.

For Brough and Elloughton, journey times to/from Hull on the Petuaria Express increase with the revised route, from 25 minutes inbound off peak from Brough, to 38 minutes. On a more positive note the journey time differential with the 155 reduces, which now only takes 10 minutes longer, so maybe passengers will perceive a '3 buses per every 2 hours' frequency rather than hourly plus an occasional slow bus? Although there is the loss of the X4 to consider as well.

Decimated would be an appropiate word to describe the impact of these changes on the village of Brantingham between Elloughton and South Cave. Currently it enjoys a daytime service every 2 and a bit hours on the 155, but from next week it will be served only by the weekday 0619 North Cave to Hull, the 0725 Elloughton to Goole, the weekday 1428 Goole to Hull, and by evening journeys - i.e. what I think are the East Riding of Yorkshire Council supported journeys. The only other bus service to Brantingham is the 3 day a week 143.

However what for Brantingham is a decimation of service 155's, is a total elimination for nearby Ellerker, and it will be left with the 143 as it's only bus service.

Another big negative is on the Newport to Goole section of route, which goes from hourly to every 2 hours. For Eastrington and parts of Gilberdyke village it's already two hourly, but for Newport, Gilberdyke as a whole, Howden and Goole it's a halving of service. The first arrival into Goole on weekdays is also significantly later at 0827 into Goole Interchange as opposed to 0702 at present. Hull to Goole, Hull to Gilberdyke and Gilberdyke to Goole does have the train as an alternative, but the location of the station in Howden is a long way from the town and not on the route to Goole. Rail also isn't an option for Newport.

One small piece of good news in Goole is that the Petuaria Express will serve Goole Hospital in and outbound instead of just inbound as at present (with outbound passengers needing to travel via Goole Town Centre).

Aside from the 1820 X57 from Hull to Goole becoming a 1800 service 155, Monday to Saturday evening services are unchanged. On Sundays the X57 between Hull and Gilberdyke becomes the 155 between Hull and South Cave; this means the end of Sunday buses for North Cave, Newport and Gilberdyke which had enjoyed three X57s' each way. The new Sunday 155 provides four daytime journeys each way and reintroduces Sunday services to parts of Hessle. It does however duplicate the 153 in Melton and Welton.

Friday, 12 May 2017

EYMS 153 Changes

From Monday 21st May, EYMS service 153 sees some alterations as part of wider changes to services along the 'A63 corridor'. On Monday to Saturday's the only services west of Melton will be the 1856 Elloughton to Hull and 2255 Hull to South Cave. This means an improved service for Nunburnholme Avenue in North Ferriby as more service 153's will now complete the loop of residential areas in the village instead, with the first service into Hull City Centre becoming 0720 (0728 Sat) as opposed to 1023, while the last return will be at 1745 rather than 1540 (1640 Sat).

Sunday services are unchanged, including serving the villages of Melton and Welton; this is in addition to the Sunday service 155 via these villages being restored.

Monday, 1 May 2017

EYMS 88 reductions

From Monday 21st May, EYMS are reducing service 88 between Goole and Thorne. The service was introduced in September 2015 to replace First's long standing Goole-Thorne-Doncaster service. Until March East Riding of Yorkshire Council provided financial support that amounted to 7p per passenger journey, but this subsidy was a victim of cuts to the council's financial support for bus services.

Due to low use, the first and last weekday journeys in each direction will be withdrawn - 0725 and 1740 from Goole, and 0806 and 1820 from Thorne; first journeys will now be at 0850 from Goole and 0930 from Thorne, and last journeys at 1620 from Goole and 1700 from Thorne. Other journeys are unaffected; 6 journeys each way will now be provided on weekdays as well as on Saturdays, but with the differing 90 minute weekday and 80 minute with a lunch break Saturday frequencies remaining.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Great news for Inglemire Lane, not so much elsewhere

Easter Sunday saw Stagecoach revise services 9/9A and 5. The 9 links Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, Hull Interchange, Garden Village and North Point, while the 5 links Hull Interchange with the Avenues, Orchard Park and Kingswood.

Service 9 sees the biggest changes. In West Hull the service had been operating hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes routing via the Bricknell Estate and Chanterlands Avenue. It still does operate hourly, but via Endyke Lane, Hall Road, Inglemire Lane, Cranbrook Avenue, Newland Avenue and Princes Avenue. Endyke Lane, Cranbrook Avenue, Newland Avenue and Princes Avenue already have EYMS services every 20 minutes to Castle Hill Hospital via Cottingham, however the Bricknell Estate and Chanterlands Avenue no longer have a link to Castle Hill Hospital and Cottingham. The peak time service has also been withdrawn which may impact those with early or late appointments at Castle Hill Hospital; the first arrival at Castle Hill Hospital is now 0900 weekdays/1000 Saturday rather than 0749, and the last departure is at 1600 rather than 1800. Apart from one morning EYMS service 61C, the 9 is also the only service along St Margarets Avenue in Cottingham.

Service 9A, which had previously operated only in East Hull, is now extended into West Hull. It will follow the service 9 route from Hull Interchange to Inglemire Lane, then 'loops' via the southern part of Hall Road, Fairfax Avenue (not served since the 23 was withdrawn in November), the Hull City Council part of the Bricknell Estate - replacing service 9, Hotham Road North and Hall Road again back to Inglemire Lane, Hull Interchange and East Hull. The 9A in West Hull will operate hourly Monday to Saturday off peak, co-ordinating with the 9 to provide a half hourly Hull to Inglemire Lane service, with less frequent peak time journeys. Some peak time journeys will operate as service 9 due to their route in East Hull.

While the Hull City Council part of the Bricknell Estate does regain links to the Avenues, the route into Hull Interchange is less direct and longer, taking around 42 minutes inbound as opposed to around 28 minutes (timing points on the old 9 and new 9A aren't exactly the same in the Estate so not directly comparable). The apparent 'loop' on the route map also seems to include a 28 minute wait on Grammar School Road each hour to maintain the even interval frequency with service 9 over common sections of route.

This wait makes it even more disappointing that the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) part of the Bricknell Estate becomes unserved - Lythe Avenue and St Mary's Avenue. ERYC had been providing 6p per passenger journey towards this part of the route - the balanced scorecard used by ERYC to decide what got cut in their reduction in bus subsidies at the start of April was weighted against routes that received less than 25p per passenger journey, probably on the basis that operators maybe able to convert such services to commercial operation without any major changes. Stagecoach evidently don't agree and the area becomes unserved - despite a vehicle and driver appearing to be waiting for 28 minutes an hour in a very nearby residential area.

The December revised ERYC proposals refer to the contract as "Bricknell Avenue-Cottingham" so maybe the funding was not for a service into Hull? It might just about be possible for the 9A to do Bricknell Estate to Cottingham and back in 28 minutes off peak (but not Castle Hill).

Whatever the contract was exactly for, these changes are not good news, unless you are on Fairfax Avenue, need access to the Avenues and University, or are on Inglemire Lane. I think I'm correct in writing that new Hull University halls of residence have been opened on Inglemire Lane, and the Lane also serves the Northern part of the university campus and some residential areas. So it is good to see Stagecoach trying to tap into a new market, and I doubt the 9 is a runaway commercial success - not only had ERYC been contributing, but Hull City Council still do for the Hull part of the Bricknell Estate and in parts of East Hull - so Stagecoach making changes as funding is reduced is perhaps understandable. However with all the negatives I can't get too excited by this service revision.

The times of services 9 and 9A in East Hull are also revised throughout the day, but with no change to the frequency - half hourly 9 at peak times and half hourly 9 and 9A combined during the off peak period. Inbound into Hull Interchange the Saturday 1602 9A from North Point now operates at 1555 Monday to Saturdays, providing a later last weekday 9A from North Point. The 1632 and 1732 service 9's from Noddle Hill become a single 1700 from North Point - the Noddle Hill peak time variation no longer operates in the afternoon. From Hull Interchange the 1545 service 9 to Noddle Hill becomes a 1550 to James Reckitt Avenue only and the Saturday only 1615 9A becomes the Monday to Saturday 1620 service, providing a later last 9A from Hull Interchange on weekdays. The service 9's from Hull Interchange at 1645, 1720, 1750, 1820 and 1850 to Noddle Hill now use the daytime route to North Point, and the 1645 moves to 1650.

Service 5 only has minor changes apart from Monday to Saturday evenings when it is substantially revised. At these times the route in Hull City Centre will be revised to terminate in the Old Town at the Market Place, with inbound journeys stopping at Paragon Square instead of serving Hull Interchange - the Paragon Square stop is on the opposite side of Ferensway to the Interchange. This provides access to one of the main areas of nightlife in Hull City Centre. It is also reduced in frequency from every 15 minutes to half hourly which is disappointing for Orchard Park and Kingswood.

However the southern part of the 5 will also be served by new Monday to Saturday evening service U5 between the Market Place, Avenues, Inglemire Lane and Hall Road/Endike Lane roundabout. On weekdays the U5 will operate half hourly, combining with the 5 to maintain a service every 15 minutes between Hull City Centre and Cranbrook Avenue. On Saturdays the U5 will operate every 10-20 minutes, combining with the 5 offer a service every 10 minutes over the common section of route. This is a frequency increase from every 15 minutes, with the Avenues being another key area of nightlife/the evening economy.

The U5 provides an evening service for Inglemire Lane, to go along with their new daytime 9/9A's. For the university student market this will be an important part of the overall 'service offer'. I'm not sure if the Hall Road/Endike Lane roundabout being a good place to 'turn' non-Kingswood journeys is also part of the reasoning behind this change? Despite the U prefix, the U5 will round year round, not just during university term times. Some late night U5's extend to/from Kingswood.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Stagecoach 13 Changes

On Easter Sunday (16th April), Stagecoach revised route 13 in Hull, linking Paragon Interchange and the City Centre with Holderness Road, Salthouse Road, Dunvegan Road, North Point Shopping Centre, Sutton Park and Orchard Park. The service remains half hourly daily daytimes between the Interchange and North Point, and throughout the full route to Orchard Park Monday to Friday.

The main change is to the route in Orchard Park; instead off most journeys operating a clockwise loop via Greenwood Avenue, Ellerburn Avenue, Hall Road and Beverley Road, journeys will run via Greenwood Avenue, Ellerburn Avenue, Orchard Park Road and Hall Road to Orchard Park Tesco and reverse. Stagecoach state this is to improve punctuality.

Peak time variation 13W, or rather college time variation that runs on all weekdays, 13W, is reduced in the evening from three journeys to one. The 13W operates as a circular around Hull, using the service 3 route between Hull and Orchard Park to complete it's loop of the city. While the 'anti-clockwise' 1554 from Hull Interchange remains, presumably for the benefit of Wiberforce College students, the 'anti-clockwise' 1640 and 1710 are now 'standard' 13's terminating at Orchard Park Tesco. Weekday evening peak service 13's from Orchard Park back to Hull Interchange change from 1555, 1625, 1655 and 1725 to 1608, 1638, 1738 and 1808.

The only significant change at weekends is an additional 1840 Hull Interchange to North Point on Saturdays, previous last journey at 1824.

Monday, 17 April 2017

More Buses via Lowgate

Yesterday, Sunday 16th April, Stagecoach routed a number of their East Hull services via Lowgate in the Old Town part of Hull City Centre, and Myton Bridge, instead off Drypool Bridge. This provides improved access to a key area of nightlife, the main cultural area of Hull City Centre and a side entrance of the market. While easily accessible for most by walking from Alfred Gelder Street, these changes may help those with mobility problems and generally make bus travel more attractive and convenient for those visiting the Old Town area; it also reduces the walk needed to access the Fruit Market and Marina areas on the other side of the A63 Castle Street.

All journeys on service 16 take this revised route providing an hourly Stagecoach service to the area Monday to Saturday daytimes. EYMS also provide Monday to Saturday daytime services via Lowgate and Myton Bridge, with service 78 in both directions and journeys from Hull Interchange on service 79.

Service 16 is also having other changes; it will now extend to a new stop on the Siemens site while the timetable is revised, particularly at peak times. Evening peak departures from Hull Interchange are now at 1650 and 1810 rather than 1640 and 1740, providing a later last service but nothing at all in the key 1700 hour.

Late evening journeys towards East Hull on services 3, 4, 11, 12 and 14, mostly after 2300, will also take the Lowgate route on a daily basis.

Service 11 also has new earlier first journeys from Hull Interchange on weekdays at 0555 and 0625 (first journey previously 0655). The 0655 from North Point on weekdays will no longer serve Hull Royal Infirmary and Smith & Nephew, but the 0555, 0625 and 0655 from North Point on Saturdays will. The 2310 and 2340 from Kingswood on Monday to Saturday evenings will operate via Carr Lane to Hull Truck Theatre on Ferensway rather than the usual route via Bond Street and Albion Street in Hull City Centre. Service 12 also gains an earlier first weekday journey from Hull Interchange at 0640 (previously first service at 0710), as does service 14 at 0650 (previously 0715).

Evening services on route 5 are also now serving Hull Old Town as part of a wider series of changes to North West Hull services, which I will cover separately.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Stagecoach Kingswood Changes

Today (Sunday 16th April), Stagecoach have revised their Kingswood area services in Hull, with the main change on Monday to Saturday evenings, and Sundays. Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes service 7 had been operating Hull Interchange-North Point-Bodmin Road-Kingswood Retail Park every hour, and service 8 Hull Interchange-North Point-Wawne Road-Kingsbury Way-Kingswood Health Centre-Kingswood Retail Park every hour; Sunday evenings just had the 8 every hour. Now service 7 operates at all times, using it's Monday to Saturday daytime route from Hull Interchange to North Point and Bodmin Road, then via a one way loop of Kingsbury Way, Kingswood Health Centre and Kingswood Retail Park back to Bodmin Road, North Point and Hull City Centre.

This does simplify the simplibus network, with service 7 operating the same route all day every day, and all services into Hull operating in the same direction around Kingswood. It's not the neatest solution though having a large one way loop that for example makes a Kingsbury Way to North Point journey a lot longer that it could be. I would like to see the Kingswood residential area to North Point link be provided either by extending the 6 to North Point, consolidating all Monday to Saturday daytime travel in the Kingswood residential areas onto one single, hopefully more successful service, or through reinstating the old 7/8 evening/Sunday routes described above on an all day basis. However both of these options would probably require an additional vehicle and extra drivers which is why I guess they aren't in operation and the 7 is the way it is. Maybe the Kingswood network will further evolve over time as further housing is built on the estate, and if the proposed Wawne View development is built?

There are other minor timetable changes for the 7 and 8 as well. The number 8 is only used for Hull Interchange-North Point 'shorts' now, bar 3 weekday morning journeys that start at Wawne Road Drain Bridge, which replace the previous morning peak service 8's from Kingswood Retail Park.

The other route to the residential areas of Kingswood, service 6, also sees minor timetable changes as well as some additional evening services; there are later return early evening services into Hull from Kingsbury Way at 1820, 1850 and 1920 (last bus previously 1750), and a new 2330 departure from Hull Interchange. The 2330 oddly isn't mentioned explicitly in Stagecoach's announcement about the changes; while there is no 'all-evening' service on route 6, this could be a useful way for Kingswood passengers to get home, and everywhere served by this journey also has alternative all-evening services to complement it.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Hull Park and Ride Changes

Starting on Tuesday (18th April), Stagecoach are revising their Priory Park Park and Ride service.

Instead of operating to Hull Royal Infimary and the City Centre via the A63 and Rawling Way, the service will route via Hessle Road, Askew Avenue, Fiveways, Boothferry Road and Anlaby Road. Stagecoach state that this is due to the numbers of incidents and delays incurred, and future upgrades to the A63 set to potentially cause further disruption while they take place. Using Anlaby Road also allows the service to make use of the bus lanes provided here.

Hessle Road, Askew Avenue and Boothferry Road isn't exactly the most direct route between Priory Park and Anlaby Road however. When the Priory Park service first started the more direct route via Pickering Road was used from Priory Park to Fiveways, and another direct alternative would be to use North Road between Hessle Road and Anlaby Road. However I suspect the volume of park and ride buses may not be popular along residential North Road, and is that the reason why Park and Ride stopped using Pickering Road as well?

The good news for Askew Avenue though is that the Park and Ride service will use stops along here, providing a step change in frequency from the tendered 51 every 90 minutes to a service every 10-15 minutes. Whilst park and ride service need to be fast services to where car users want to go, not offering stops in areas with poor alternatives that are already on the route would be a missed opportunity. There could now be scope to divert the 51 via North Road or Hawthorn Avenue instead, but that would sever the Askew Avenue to Hessle Road link. The Park and Ride service also gains a stop at the KCOM stadium in addition to the existing football and rugby match specials.

The other major change is the city centre route. The service has recently been operating via Ferensway, Spencer Street, Albion Street, Bond Street, Alfred Gelder Street, Wilberforce Drive, George Street, Bond Street, Albion Street, Brook Street and Ferensway. From Tuesday it will operate via Ferensway, Spencer Street, Albion Street, Bond Street, George Street, Wilberforce Drive, Alfred Gelder Street and Carr Lane, reinstating the Park and Ride service to the Princes Quay area. The only loss is the Brook Street stop, and that is only a short walk away from the Ferensway or Albion Street stops. Removing the Brook Street stop may also help traffic flow on Brook Street, a key route for buses in the city centre accessing the Interchange.

The service continues to operate from Hull Royal Infirmary to Ferensway via Anlaby Road, with a stop provided for the station on Anlaby Road. However now Park Street bridge has been upgraded, would it be worth while routing the service through the Interchange instead? It would mean the loss of the Anlaby Road stop, and unless the service turned against the main flow of incoming traffic it could not serve the bays in the Interchange, but it would eliminate 4 to 6 buses per hour from part of Ferensway and route them via the far quieter Park Street.

Stagecoach are also planning to extend the city centre route to operate via the Old Town and Marina during some special events.

There are also some changes to the timetable. While the headline frequencies remain unchanged - every 10 minutes Monday to Friday peaks and Saturday daytimes, every 15 minutes Monday to Friday early evening and Saturday early morning - the weekday every 10 minute morning peak frequency is now provided 0700-0930 from Priory Park instead of 0730-1000, and Saturday services run around 1 hour later, with the last departure from Ferensway at 1911 rather than 1813.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Kirton in Lindsey cutbacks

Nearly two weeks ago now, on Monday 3rd April, Stagecoach removed the short Scunthorpe to Kirton in Lindsey journeys on service 103 between Scunthorpe, Messingham, Kirton and Lincoln. Service 103 had been providing an hourly frequency Monday to Saturday daytimes between Scunthorpe and Kirton via Messingham, with extensions every two hours to Lincoln, but now the service is every two hours throughout the whole route. As well as the loss of frequency, Kirton has also lost it's afternoon peak time service from Scunthorpe, as the last departure from Scunthorpe is now 1605 college days/1610 college holidays and Saturdays, as opposed to 1740 and 1840 previously. (Call Connect does provide a demand responsive alternative however).

Between Scunthorpe and Messingham the hourly 103 had combined with the hourly 100 to provide a half hourly frequency; this has been maintained off peak by adding three Scunthorpe-Messingham-Scotter 'shorts' to service 100. So some good news for Scotter, but very disappointing changes for Kirton.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Humber Fastcat Changes

Last Sunday, 2nd April, Stagecoach and EYMS made changes to the 350 Humber Fastcat timetable between Scunthorpe, Barton and Hull. There have been no changes to the number of journeys, even with East Riding of Yorkshire Council withdrawing their contribution for EYMS's Monday to Saturday evening journeys, and Hull City Council withdrawing a contribution they have made. More good news is that Monday to Saturday evening journeys, and all bar the last journey on Sunday now route via the Hull City Centre loop on their outbound journey, as happens Monday to Saturday daytimes - this will be useful for the Old Town as well as Princes Quay. The Princes Quay timing point has been reinstated as well.

The main changes are down to punctuality improvements. From Scunthorpe all Monday to Saturday journeys leave at the same time as present, but daytime journey times to Hull are extended from 1 hour 12 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. From Barton daytime departures from Interchange are now at 3 minutes past and 33 minutes past the hour, with daytime journey times to Hull increased from 27 minutes to 32 minutes. Some evening journeys do have running times reduced slightly however; for example the 1810 now departs at 1815 yet still arrives into Hull for 1922, while the 1910, 2010 and 2110 arrives into Hull 3 minutes earlier.

From Hull most Monday to Saturday journeys depart 5 minutes later at 10 past and 40 minutes past the hour with journey times to Barton Interchange during the daytime increased from 40 minutes to 43 minutes. Departures from Barton Interchange to Scunthorpe Bus Station move from 15 and 45 minutes past the hour to 23 and 53 minutes past the hour during the daytime, with journey times increased from 43 minutes to 48 minutes. Hull to Scunthorpe daytime journey times increase from 1 hour 23 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. The 2025 and 2125 from Hull now depart 5 minutes earlier.

As a result of the extended journey times, 'turnaround' times at Hull reduce from 8 to 5 minutes, and at Scunthorpe from 17 to 5 minutes. The impact of congestion on bus services can clearly be seen here, and extended journey times won't help entice car users to the bus; hopefully improvements to Anlaby Road in Hull will help stabilise or improve journey times, but if they get much worse the only way to maintain a half hourly service with six vehicles would be to shorten the route, which isn't a good thought...

The Sunday times are also changed. Departures from Ashby to Hull at 0855, 0955, 1255, 1455, 1755 and 1955 become 0855, 1005, 1255, 1505, 1755 and 1955. Departures from Barton Interchange for Hull at 0955, 1055, 1355, 1555, 1855 and 2055 become 0958, 1108, 1358, 1608, 1858 and 2052. From Hull departures at 0825, 1025, 1325, 1530, 1830 and 1930 become 0835, 1025, 1320, 1530, 1825, and 1930, with Barton Interchange departures to Scunthorpe/Ashby moving from 0855, 1055, 1355, 1600, 1900 and 2000 to 0906, 1102, 1403, 1607, 1856 and 2000. Unlike the rest of week, EYMS and Stagecoach journeys have different running times between individual timing points creating a rather disjointed timetable.

Co-ordination between the 350 and Humber Flyer between Hull and Barton isn't as good as it was; leaving Hull the 50 minutes past the hour Humber Flyer doesn't fit in quite as well between the 40 and 10 minutes past the hour 350 and it did when they operated at 35 and 05 minutes past the hour. From Barton the Humber Flyer now leaves the Interchange 7 minutes after daytime service 350's, as opposed to 10 minutes afterwards previously. Ideally the Humber Flyer could do with operating 5-10 minutes later in each direction, but I doubt it is as simple as that sadly when driver rotas and maybe co-ordination with the 53 between Laceby and Grimsby is considered. Something to work on maybe?

The higher profile link between the 350 and another public transport option is the connection to Barton-Cleethorpes train service, and that hasn't faired well. Here is how they connect now:

From Cleethorpes to Hull, Monday to Friday
0652 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 0653, or more realistically 0743
0753 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 0810 (Humber Flyer)
0948 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1003
1148 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1203
1348 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1403
1548 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1603
1748 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1803
1952 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1952, or more realistically 2052
2157 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 2255

From Cleethorpes to Hull, Saturday
0651 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 0653, or more realistically 0743
0752 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 0810 (Humber Flyer)
0948 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1003
1147 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1203
1347 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1403
1547 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1603
1747 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1803
1948 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1952, or 2052
2156 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 2255

While the daytimes connections are at least reliable, the biggest issues are in the early morning and the evening. The answer to the early morning connection maybe at first be to simply wait the 0605 Scunthorpe to Hull at Barton Interchange for a few minutes and offer say a 0658 departure, however going by a comment on this 2015 blog post there are bus passengers who use that service for onward connections and would these be jeopardised if the bus ran even 5 minutes later? Are these passengers more numerous than those who would use the rail-bus connection at Barton? In the evening it might be easier to wait the bus at Barton Interchange, but it may result in a disjointed evening bus timetable with standardised mid evening departure times each hour lost.

Another factor to consider is that in December Northern Rail increased journey times between Barrow Haven and Barton from 5 to 8 minutes, seemingly to ensure on time arrivals. However those 3 minutes are all the difference between a good and a bad train-bus connection in the early morning, and on a Saturday mid-evening.

From Hull to Cleethorpes, Monday to Saturday
0658 train departure from Barton, no bus connection from Hull anymore
0738 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 0756
0923 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 0950 (I'm sure the 0953 bus into Barton will arrive before this, but this is not shown in the Stagecoach timetable)
1123 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 1150
1323 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 1350
1523 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 1550
1723 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 1755
1908 or 1956 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 1959
2151 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 2200

Nothing short of appalling connections apart from to the last train of the day.

I've not got this year's Summer Sunday train timetable yet, but based on last year's:

From Cleethorpes to Hull:
1047 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1108
1344 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1358
1548 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1608
1846 train arrival, bus connection leaves Barton 1858

From Hull to Cleethorpes:
0906 bus arrival (the 1102 arrival probably arrives earlier and may connect, but not shown in Stagecoach timetable), train connection leaves Barton 1102
1102 bus arrival (the 1403 may arrive earlier), train connection leaves Barton 1359
1607 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 1615
1856 bus arrival, train connection leaves Barton 1911

Until this year's timetable is published it's too early to pass judgement, but if it is the same as last year the Hull to Cleethorpes connections for the first two trains of the day will be appalling. Stagecoach, EYMS, Northern and other relevant parties really need to get together and see what can be done improve things. There are constraints for bus and rail operators, but surely things could be better?

Finally, if, and at the moment it is an if, the Sunday connections are appalling, then why does the Sunday bus timetable remain structured around a 4 month a year rail service that it doesn't even properly connect into? The Sunday bus timetable has no bus from Barton to Hull between 1108 and 1358, no bus from Barton to Scunthorpe between 1102 and 1403, restricting options for Sunday shopping. There is no arrival into Hull before 1022 and no departure between 1530 and 1825 which makes commuting for Sunday shop workers impossible or very inconvenient. 6 journeys each way isn't bad, but it's the times they run that could be improved. A standard pattern 2 hourly service would be ideal, although that would require layovers of around an hour in either Hull or Ashby.

New 350 timetable

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Selby Area Changes

Monday (10th April) sees changes to Selby area services operated under contract to North Yorkshire County Council, which also impact services into the East Riding of Yorkshire; it's these particular changes which are covered below.

The weekday 0730 Bubwith to Selby via Hemingbrough and 1625 Selby to Hemingbrough via Bubwith journeys on Thornes Independent service 1 will be replaced by new service 4A between Hemingbrough and Selby, not serving Bubwith and the East Riding of Yorkshire. Monday and Friday only shopping journeys on service 1 remain.

The Monday and Friday 486/487 services pass from Utopia Coaches to Thornes Independent with a reduced timetable. Currently the 486 provides departures from Selby Bus Station at 0930 and 1300 operating an anti-clockwise circular via Hensall, Great Heck, Pollington, Gowdall and Snaith back to Selby, while the 487 provides a single clockwise journey around the same loop, departing Selby Bus Station at 1045.

Under the new timetable the Snaith part of the route is no longer served and the 487 is dropped. Instead one journey will depart Great Heck for Selby at 0956, operating via Pollington, Gowdall and Hensall. A return journey leaves Selby at 1255 for Hensall, Great Heck, Pollington, Gowdall and Hensall (again). The reduced timetable maintains connectivity into Selby for those places without any other option, but removes the option to make a brief morning trip to/from the small town of Snaith.

Wednesday service 488 also passes from Utopia Coaches to Thornes Independent. This service currently operates from Selby at 0930 via Hensall, Great Heck, Pollington, Gowdall and Snaith into Goole, returning at 1300, but will change to operate between Great Heck and Goole only; Brayton, Burn, Chapel Haddlesey and Hensall will no longer have a service to Goole.

The 486 and 488 receive a contribution from East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC), which was under threat when their original proposals for cuts to bus subsidies were published last Summer. These contributions were saved last December when revised proposals were published, thanks to a "cost reduction", presumably these changes. ERYC documents state an average 20 passengers per journey on service 486, at a subsidy of 43p per passenger journey; service 488 has an average 17 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £2.47 per passenger journey. With healthy usage figures it is good to see the main parts of services 486 and 488 continue.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Stagecoach Scunthorpe 10/33/34

Until yesterday, Stagecoach operated a service 10 town circular service in Scunthorpe. Odd in that it had the same number clockwise and anti-clockwise, unlike the 31/32 and 33/34, the 10 operated from Scunthorpe Bus Station via Station Road, Rowland Road, Warwick Road, Lilac Avenue, Sandhouse Crescent, Healey Road, Warley Road, Bellingham Road, Lakeside Retail Park, Fulbeck Road, Ashby Broadway, Burringham Road, Manor Farm Road, Bridges Road, Swinburne Road, Bristol Road, Plymouth Road, West Common Lane and Ashby Road back to Scunthorpe Bus Station, and vice versa.

From tomorrow, Monday 3rd April, the 10 will no longer be operating; it had been providing an hourly Monday to Saturday offpeak service in each directon. Revised services 33 and 34 provide a partial replacement. Service 33 had been operating from Scunthorpe Bus Station via Ashby Road, West Common Lane,  Plymouth Road, Bristol Road, Swinburne Road, Bridges Road, Manor Farm Road, Willoughby Road, Manby Road, Quebec Road, Moorwell Road, High Leys Road, Willoughby Road, Chancel Road, Cambridge Avenue, Manor Road, Bottesford Lane, Bottesford Road, Ashby Town Centre, Collum Avenue, Alvingham Road, Old Brumby Street and Cemetery Road back to Scunthorpe Bus Station, with service 34 operating in the opposite direction. Both the 33 and 34 each operated hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, including peaks, and combined with service 10 to provide a half hourly off peak service between Scunthorpe Bus Station and Manor Farm Road.

The new 33 only operates between Scunthorpe Bus Station, Ashby Road, West Common Lane, Plymouth Road and Bristol Road before returning back into Scunthorpe via West Common Lane and Ashby Road, providing two service per hour Monday to Saturday off peak, although when combined with revised service 34 a service is provided every 20 minutes.

Revised service 34 follows the service 33 route from Scunthorpe Bus Station to Bristol Road then routes via Swinburne Road, Bridges Road, Manor Farm Road, Willoughby Road, Manby Road, Low Leys Road, Moorwell Road, High Leys Road, Willoughby Road, Chancel Road, Bottesford Road, Ashby Town Centre, Fulbeck Road and Bellingham Road to Lakeside. It operates hourly Monday to Saturday off peak and half hourly at peak times.

These changes create winners and losers. The frequency on the Scunthorpe Bus Station-West Common Lane-Plymouth Road-Bristol Road section increases from half hourly to every 20 minutes off peak, and from hourly to half hourly at peak times. There are new links from many parts of the service 34 route to Lakeside Retail Park. Fulbeck Road and Bellingham Road gain a peak time bus service.

Eastern Scunthorpe fairs badly in these changes. Due to the withdrawal of service 10,  Lilac Avenue, Sandhouse Crescent and Healey Road are now unserved; all three roads are close to services 31/32 (within walking distance?) so maybe not a huge issue, however one journey per hour on the 20 minute frequency 31/32 services could have been diverted via Lilac Avenue/Sandhouse Road and another via Healey Road to maintain a service while not significantly reducing frequencies on the parts of Warwick Road and Warley Road that would be missed out. Messy perhaps, but a service could have easily been maintained. Station Road in Scunthorpe is also left with little service, one morning journey on the 350 Humber Fastcat and journeys from Scunthorpe Bus Station on EYMS 360/361. Rowland Road, parts off Warwick Road and Warley Road no longer have a link to Lakeside, and while Bellingham Road and Fulbeck Road retain links to Scunthorpe Bus Station, the new 34 takes a lot longer than the 10 did. Maybe the 4 (not on Saturday's though), or one journey an hour on the 31/32 could serve Fulbeck Road instead?

The changes to services 33 and 34 leave the only Monday to Saturday daytimes service between Scunthorpe and Ashby via Cemetery Road, Old Brumby Street, Alvingham Road and Collum Avenue as Hornsby Travel service 12, operating half hourly on weekdays and hourly on Saturdays. Not that long ago the 12 and 33/34 combined to provide a service every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes. Cemetery Road now has a better Sunday daytime service compared to Saturdays, with services 31A/32A operating half hourly - it is also now has the same frequency on weekday and Sunday daytimes, and is only served by Stagecoach on evenings and Sundays.

In Bottesford, the new 33 simply operates along the whole length of Chancel Road, omitting Bottesford Lane, Manor Road and Cambridge Avenue. Bottesford Lane is also served by the half hourly Hornsby Travel 22 on weekdays, and by the 4 on Saturdays, so perhaps the 33/34 isn't a significant loss, although like Cemetery Road it now has a better Sunday service on the 31A/32A than on Saturdays, and is only served by Stagecoach on evenings and Sundays. Manor Road will now only be served by the evening/Sunday 31A/32A. Cambridge Avenue is also served Monday to Saturday off peak by hourly service 11, but will be left unserved in the morning peak. It too is served by the 31A/32A, so has evening and Sunday services, and a Sunday daytime frequency that is double the Monday to Saturday frequency!

In the Yaddlethorpe and Riddings area the Monday to Saturday off peak frequency into Scunthorpe is effectively halved to hourly; due to their location on the old 33/34 routes a journey into Scunthorpe took about the same time whether travelling via Ashby or via West Common Lane. Again the Sunday daytime frequency on the 31A/32A at half hourly is double the hourly 34, and for travel into Scunthorpe Town Centre, effectively quadrupole the frequency. The 34 will use Low Leys Road instead of Quebec Road, which retains the 31A/32A.

Elsewhere the section of Burringham Road between Messingham Road and Willoughby Road no longer has a Monday to Saturday daytime service after the withdrawal of the 10, but retains the 31A/32A, while Manor Farm Road and Bridges Road go from a half hourly to hourly service off peak, with longer journeys into Ashby following the withdrawal of the 10.

Hopefully I've not missed anything. Once again this underlines what a mess the Scunthorpe Town Network is. The decline of Scunthorpe Town Centre as a shopping destination cannot help - the latest is that Wilkinson's are closing later this year - and the replacement shopping destinations being spread out as opposed to being concentrated on one or two locations, probably doesn't help either. Ashby High Street is nothing new, but there is also the M&S/Debenhams development on the old Trent Valley Garden Centre, a rejuvenated Skippingdale Retail Park and the longer standing Lakeside Retail Park. Plus Brigg not too far away if you want a market town, plus Doncaster Town Centre, Doncaster Lakeside, Meadowhall, Gainsborough Marshalls Yard, Lincoln, Hull ... And while attempts are being made to regenerate Scunthorpe Town Centre, a university technical college and social housing provider head office don't help bus services on Saturdays, and not that much on weekday off peak periods either. While this needs taking into account though, something needs to be done to stop the cuts and decline in Scunthorpe Town Services.

Stagecoach's announcement starts with "Following negotiations with North Lincolnshire Council" - things could have been a lot worse. At one point Traveline East Midlands just showed the 33 every 20 minutes and no 34, which would have left large parts of Riddings and Yaddlethorpe, plus Fulbeck Road and Bellingham Road unserved Monday to Saturday daytimes.