This morning I travelled to Hull on the 0807 Humber Flyer from Barton Market Place to Hull. What struck me was how quiet it was, considering it was the main peak time service from Grimsby to Hull. There was around 30 passengers travelling over the Humber Bridge, of which around a third boarded in Barton and could have used the Humber Fastcat instead. Indeed from a couple of glimpses of the 0815 Humber Fastcat from Barton Market Place to Hull that I saw, it wasn't busy either.
Now this was just one day, but surely a Thursday in late September should be rather typical of loadings (not being school holidays)? Assuming they were typical it raises two points:
1. It's not surprising the Humber Flyer has struggled in recent years if a key peak journey isn't very full
2. Are Stagecoach risking loosing Barton-Hull passengers on the Humber Fastcat in order to improve the viability of the politically sensitive Humber Flyer? I have expressed concerns over Humber Fastcat passenger figures before. While I am very happy to see 3 Barton-hull buses an hour, an unsustainable frequency isn't going to be good news long term. My fear is that the current frequency is unsustainable unless a marketing effort is made to attract car users.
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