Thursday, 27 January 2011

Bye Bye 909, and Crowle Bus Wars?

The 909 (and the 910) are going again, replaced from Monday 31st January by new service 90. The 909 was restarted in November 2009 as an hourly Brigg-Scunthorpe-Doncaster service. April 2010 saw the Doncaster section reduced to 3 return journeys a day, while new service 910 saw some Brigg to Scunthorpe journeys extended to Garthorpe via Crowle, approximately every 2 hours. Then last September the remaining Doncaster journeys were withdrawn.

Now more changes, but largely positive. The 909 and 910 have gone, replaced by an hourly Brigg-Scunthorpe-Crowle service Monday to Saturday daytimes. The Brigg section retains it's hourly frequency while Scunthorpe to Crowle increases from 2 hourly to hourly. However Eastoft, Luddington and Garthorpe loose their Stagecoach service. The Scawby diversions on the 909 are retained on service 90. Hopefully Stagecoach have now found a suitable service pattern for the corridor and some stability can be provided.

The college service 556 from Garthorpe and Crowle to Scunthorpe is also being withdrawn, replaced by service 590 from Eastoft and Crowle only (so Eastoft retains a limited Stagecoach service on college days only). Garthorpe and Luddington have Sweyne Coaches services to the Scunthorpe Colleges.

New service 90 timetable
New service 590 timetable

However also from Monday Sweyne Coaches are making changes to their Scunthorpe-Goole service (new timetable in a user unfriendly format on traveline east midlands). On weekdays most services currently operate via Amcotts, apart from one service operating via Crowle to provide a shopping link into Goole. All journeys serve Luddington and Garthorpe. Presumably in response to the Stagecoach changes, Sweyne are switching most weekday journeys to operate via Crowle instead. This maintains weekday service to Eastoft, and from Garthorpe and Luddington into Crowle.

Additionally though it means that as well as a doubling of it's Stagecoach service, Crowle sees a roughly 2 hourly daytime service from Sweyne on weekdays. Sweyne services appear to depart Crowle 12 minutes before Stagecoach, and from Scunthorpe 25 minutes after Stagecoach. The question here is, are Sweyne going after the Scunthorpe-Crowle market, or is it just a side effect of replacing Stagecoach in Eastoft? I suspect the latter, with no attempt to serve the Scunthorpe-Crowle market at peak times by Sweyne. However it does mean a substantial increase in services between Scunthorpe and Crowle, more than a doubling of it's current service provision. Too much too quick? Service enhancements are to be supported, but they need to be sustainable.

Finally a quick note about Sweyne Coaches Scunthorpe to Goole Saturday service, all of which operate via Crowle. Traveline East Midlands shows it finishes at the end of March, and information posted on a yahoo group indicate another operator has won the tender for it. As far as I am aware the Saturday service was a commercial operation from Sweyne, but it was notable how it was not enhanced along with the weekday service last year, so maybe it has been struggling and at some point Sweyne have had to give up operating it commercially. Not the only interesting tender in East Yorkshire either apparently.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff - and precisely why I keep an eye on your blog a couple of times a week. If you don't mind, it would be interesting to hear why you consider the timetable format for these services on Traveline East Midlands to be user-unfriendly.
Personally, I find it far better than the Traveline Yorkshire format for these services, which only allows you to see a few journeys at a time - but I accept that its probably a matter of taste.

Humber Transport said...

Thanks for your comment

Traveline East Midlands is certainbly far better than Traveline Yorkshire, but I was comparing it to operator timetables. Traveline East Midlands often puts variations to a service in a separate timetable making it hard to monitor changes sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - I know what you mean. In fact, following your previous post about Sweyne's Scunthorpe-Goole services in November I looked them up on Traveline East Midlands and, as you say, found them extremely hard to follow - with separate tables for 357, 360 and 361 which individually didn't give any idea of the overall service. As a result, I used the TEM 'Contact Us' facility to suggest 357/360/361 be combined on the same table - which they now have been. As the same table shows both current and future journeys it is easy at the moment to see how the timetable changes from the 31st January, although the current times will presumably disappear some time next week.

I raised a similar suggestion about the 45/46 group a while ago when they were all shown as separate services on TEM. That was also taken up - so they seem to be fairly responsive to feedback on this sort of issue.