Details are starting to be announced about EYMS's new X55 Gilberdyke to Hull service that starts on April 26th. It will be called the Petuaria Express. While the EYMS announcement says times will be released next week, they are available on their website now.
The timetable shows the service will operate Monday to Friday only with an hourly frequency in the daytime, increased at peak times. The vehicle requirement would appear to be for 2 buses. Timing points are given at Gilberdyke, Newport, Elloughton EYMS Depot, Brough Memorial, Hull Royal Infirmary and Hull Interchange. This would seem to imply use of the A63 for large parts of the route though it is not clear if the service will use the Clive Sullivan Way or Boothferry Road/Anlaby Road into Hull City Centre. Peak time services will operate via Wilberforce Drive in Hull - I think the only other service to serve Wilberforce Drive is the 1C. This will be useful for Hull College students as well as commuters.
Journey times are, as would be expected, are quicker than the 155 which provides the current main link between Hull, Brough and Gilberdyke. Daytime X55 journeys from Hull to Brough take 32 minutes compared to 48 minutes on the 155 via Ferriby, Melton and Welton. The time savings are more significant to Gilberdyke; 51 minutes on the X55 compared to 80 minutes on the 155 via South and North Cave. Though of course the train is quicker than the X55 to both Brough and Gilberdyke (and to Brough is more frequent than the 155 and X55 combined).
From Hull the 155 leaves at 35 minutes past the hour and the X55 on the hour during the day, so good co-ordination. Though that difference is just 9 minutes by the time the two services reach Brough, and the X55 arrives 4 minutes ahead off the 155 in Gilberdyke despite leaving Hull 25 minutes later. In the reverse direction the X55 leaves Gilberdyke 15 minutes ahead off the 155 in the daytime, and leaves Brough 28 minutes ahead of the 155, so again good co-ordination here.
From the above, it would seem that very few passengers will end up still using the 155 for full length journey's between Hull and Newport/Gilberdyke when the Petuaria Express starts. However as the 155 continues as the 156 to Howden and Goole it shouldn't be empty after North Cave. And no doubt the business case for introducing the X55 has factored this in. The Petuaria Express also creates a roughly half hourly Brough to Hull frequency which is an effective doubling of the service (excluding Stagecoach's X62 which is primarily meant for travel to/from Leeds), and unlike Gilberdyke and Newport, it should complement the 155 rather than take passengers from it.
The new X55 has the potential to increase bus use on the busy A63 commuter corridor, and the initative is to be welcomed. Though what, if any, impact will this have on the train services between Hull, Brough and Gilberdyke? Any local knowledge would be appreciated. Just leave your thoughts a comment on this blog post.
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