Tuesday, 25 October 2011

350 Humber Fastcat November Changes Update

Last week on bus posters appeared on EYMS 343 'Kitty' advising customers that EYMS would cease to operate the 0620 Hull-Barton and 0653 Barton-Hull from Monday 7th November, and that instead Stagecoach would operate these journeys. Last month I reported that the Stagecoach 0620 Scunthorpe to Barton would extend to Hull, and that the 0707 Barton to Scunthorpe would start from Hull. At the time it appeared these extensions would duplicate EYMS's journeys, but the on bus posters indicate otherwise. So no early morning Fastcat competition. (As a side note, no registration change from EYMS on the VOSA website as off 25/10/11 at 10pm.)

What is interesting, to me anyway, is why these changes are happenning.
1. Did Stagecoach register their extensions without consulting EYMS (they can consult due to a qualifying agreement for the route), and EYMS decide it's not worth trying to defend?
2. Did Stagecoach approach EYMS and EYMS agree?
3. Did EYMS approach Stagecoach to try and 'offload' these journeys?
Guess we will never know the answer!

For passengers there will be winners and losers. As the EYMS poster noted, EYMS discount cards will be unable to be used, and instead full price fares will have to be paid. However connecting passengers from the Humber Flyer will, I presume, not need to buy a separate ticket from Barton to Hull, since both services will now be operated by Stagecoach. And passengers travelling between the North Bank and South Ferriby/Winteringham/Winterton/Roxby and Scunthorpe no longer need to change buses in Barton.

Traveline East Midlands also confirms, as I expected, that the new Monday to Saturday 1825 Hull to Scunthorpe replaces the current 1810 and 1840 departures. Not a huge change in the overall scheme of things, but I remember back in late 2008, having some rather boring walks round St Stephens Tesco Extra while I was waiting for the 1925 departure, having just missed the then 1830. Hopefully not many passengers will be inconvienced, or if many are, then Stagecoach will move the 1825 back to 1840.

Also notable for this is the first cutback to the 350 since the March 2009 relaunch. However Stagecoach and EYMS are to be commended for the stability on the route in the past 2 and a half years. Beyond some very minor 2-3 minute retimings to individual journeys there were no changes at all until September this year, and that was to enhance the evening service. Compare this to the multiple changes some services see.

However one issue that still remains to be cleared up is the lack of a balancing cut to an early evening Scunthorpe to Hull service, as part of the diagram swap that looks set to take place between Scunthorpe and Hull depots, as explained here. With changes less than 2 weeks away, I'd expect an announcement from Stagecoach soon, which should clear this issue up.


CHEF said...

No real mystery here. Stagecoach decided to operate the first journeys from Hull and Scunhorpe commercially. This has enabled North Lincolnshire Council to withdraw its subsidy. It is to do with redrafting the schedules so there is considerable change in which Stagecoach depot operates what.

Humber Transport said...

I'd thought the 350 had been 100% commercial since the 2009 relaunch. North Lincolnshire Council had removed all references to tendered journeys from their timetable.

Anyway, thanks for clearing this up

Anonymous said...

The Humber Flyer still receives subsidy. Yet you would never know looking at the timetable though.

Speaking of the HF, they are trying out some other MAN ALX300's (the ones from Manchester didn't work out apparently!). I think they have been drafted in from Worksop.