As a follow up to Monday's post, the BBC confirm EYMS routes 41 and 1C will be axed from February. The reasons given are the loss of the Priory Park Park and Ride contract, plus the concessionary fare scheme. The two services are loss making and have been 'cross subsidised' from profits on other routes - probably including the lost profitable park and ride contract.
The loss of the 41 is less severe than the loss of the 1C. The 41 operated from Hull to Greatfield and Bilton Grange every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, competing with Stagecoach's more frequent services such as the 43 and 54. The only part of the 41 route unserved by Stagecoach is the Newbridge Road area - they withdrew their service 40 back in July.
The 41's withdrawal will no doubt please Stagecoach, who partly justified their July changes as an attempt to combat falling usage of bus services in the area. However the loss of competition may not be well received, and residents of Newbridge Road will not welcome the news either. The people of East Hull are very passionate about their bus services, as shown by their anger at October's Hull Bus Forum, and it wouldn't surprise me if there is 'loud' opposition to the 41's withdrawal. Bilton Grange and Greatfield seem to be very 'difficult' teritory for bus operators, in sharp contrast to many other parts of Hull.
As for the 1C, a number of areas will be left unserved. The service currently operates hourly from Sibeluis Road via Pickering Road, Fiveways, Askew Avenue, Hessle Road, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull City Centre, Wincolmlee, Beverley Road and Compass Road to Kingswood. It is the only service serving Pickering Road, Askew Avenue, Wincolmlee and Compass Road, while Sibeluis Road only has the infrequent remains of the 1A as an alternative.
The 1C was started by EYMS earlier this decade after Amvale withdrew from bus operations in Hull, and prior to the 2008 cuts to bus service in Hull, the western section of the 1C was supplemented by hourly service 1A to give a half hourly frequency. Now the frequency could be nothing at all.
I say could be, because there maybe significant pressure on Hull City Council to fund some form of replacement. The service carries a lot of OAP's, and even for those with good mobility, some parts of the route such as Wincolmlee are a long distance from alternative services. However at the last Hull Bus Forum (before this week's news), the Hull City Council representative said cuts to the supported bus service budget will happen next year, meaning some very hard decisions could have to be made.
The withdrawal of the 1C and 41 will also mean that EYMS no longer have any commercially operated services that operate entirely within the Hull City boundary.
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