As part of the April 2nd changes in Hull by Stagecoach, services 30, 31 and 32 will see alterations, and service 38 will return.
Starting with the 30 between Hull, North Point and North Bransholme the main change sees new variant 30A introduced, which will operate via Leads Road and Midmere Avenue, rather than the part of Holwell Road via Hull Bowl, replacing the 31 which is axed in it's current form. I'm sure a previous version of the 31 (there has been a few I think) operated the same route as the 30A.
The combined 30/30A retains the curent service 30 frequency of every 10 minutes on weekday daytimes, with peak extras, every 15 minutes on Saturday daytimes and half hourly on Sunday daytimes. Generally speaking the 30A variant will be alternate journeys. This means an increase along Leads Road from every 30 minutes on the current 31 to every 20 minutes on the new 30A on weekdays and a new hourly Sunday service (the Saturday frequency on the 30A, half hourly, matches that of the current 31).
Another key change, already noted, is that weekday peak time 30W Wawne extensions reduce from half hourly to hourly. The daily daytime service remains hourly.
In the early evening (pre-2130), Monday to Saturday hourly journeys operate as a 30A via Leads Road, providing a new evening service compared to the current 31; an hourly 30 also remains. Late evening (post-2130) the current half hourly 30 frequency reduces to hourly. Sunday evenings remain an hourly 30. Daily, only one rather than the current two late evening journeys will extend to Wawne. The last service from Hull is 10 minutes earlier than at present (2310 compared to 2320).
The 32 between Hull and North Point via Holderness Road, Sutton and Noddle Hill Way remains every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and half hourly on Sunday daytimes. Peak time services on weekdays are cut from every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes, and the last bus from Hull daily moves from 2330 to 2308. There are also various minor timing changes throughout the day. KC Stadium service 32F is cancelled in favour of a new 31F.
As mentioned earlier, the 31 in it's current form is now axed. Currently it links Hull City Centre and Kingswood Retail Park via Garden Village, Leads Road, Barnstaple Road and Noddle Hill Way every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes. Weekday peaktime variant 31A also serves Kingsbury Way and Kesteven Way.
As already mentioned Leads Road sees a replacement in the form of the 30A. However the main replacement for the 31 is the return of the 38 between Hull and North Point. It will operate via Garden Village, but unlike in the past not then Leads Road, but instead Holwell Road. Peaktime extension 38A to Kesteven Way also returns. The frequency of the 38 is hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, lower than the current 31, but what it was when the 38 last operated in early September 2011. Links to Kingswood are not replaced, and Noddle Hill Way has the 32, plus the new 31. Garden Village also has the 53.
Now for the new 31, which is an combination of part of the 30, and part of the 32. It will operate from Hull City Centre via the Witham and then follow the 32 route via Holderness Road, Summergangs Road and Gillshill Road before turning onto Sutton Road, currently unserved, and then joining Holwell Road. Just before North Point the new 31 will join Barnstaple Road and follow the current 31 route to Noddle Hill Way, which it will serve alongside the 32 before terminating in North Bransholme.
The most interesting thing here is when the service will operate. A limited weekday peaktime service operates, which should compensate for the 32 frequency reduction. A Saturday and Sunday shopping service also operates, with half hourly services into Hull in the morning/lunchtime, and half hourly afternoon returns from Hull. A daily hourly evening service will operate, to compensate for the Monday to Saturday frequency reductions on the 30 and 32, though it provides additional services on a Sunday service. Finally certain journeys will extend to the KC Stadium as service 31F, replacing the current 32F.
The replacement of the N32 will new N31 will be covered in a separate post about the Nightbus network.
An interesting set of changes here. The 31 in it's 'old' form serving Kingswood clearly hasn't been successful, and easy connections are available at North Point. The 30A and 38 provide replacements for the unique sections of route, and indeed the 30A is a welcome increase for Leads Road. It could be argued it complicates the '30' corrdior especially as it already has 30X and 30W variations, but it is an efficient way to provide Leads Road with a higher frequency service.
Ideally the new 31 wouldn't be needed. The evening/weekday peaktime cuts on the 30/32 wouldn't happen, and the extra weekend capacity would be provided on these routes rather than the 31. But that would take extra resources and fuel. The new 31 is an attempt to cut evening/peak resources, and use the least possible resources to improve parts of the weekend service. Efficient, yes. Complicated, yes. The question is will passengers use the 31, or stick with their 'known' 30's and 32's.
Overall notice the theme - efficiency rather than simplicity. A sign of the times.
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