A year ago the Stagecoach X62 between Hull, Brough, Goole, Glasshoughton and Leeds was relaunched with 'Love Your X' branding. The number of return journeys was increased from 7 to 9 Monday to Saturdays and from 2 to 4 on Sundays as part of the relaunch. The relaunch came after a period of relative stability for the service, which has been prone to regular timetable changes over the past decade. September saw some minor pruning to the timetable, with a 'bold' attempt at a very early 0450 Hull to Leeds service and 0645 return cancelled, plus some Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday daytime journeys dropped.
On Monday (23rd February) however the X62 timetable is substantially reduced to 3 return journeys on weekdays, 4 on Saturdays and 2 on Sundays. Stagecoach have given up on the Leeds commuter market with remaining weekday departures from Hull at 0910, 1110 and 1510, returning from Leeds at 1130, 1400 and 1730. The weekday journeys also run on Saturdays along with a 1710 Hull to Leeds and 1930 return. Sunday departures from Hull are at 1010 and 1540, returning from Leeds at 1230 and 1800.
It would seem passengers simply didn't Love their X - either that or their 'Love' wasn't enough to generate an acceptable margin for Stagecoach. What was a comprehensive marketing initiative from Stagecoach would appear to be a failure. After seeing the new timetable I have to wonder if last year's Love Your X relaunch was a final attempt by Stagecoach to make the X62 work as an all-day service? The new service level is the lowest I can recall for at least a decade (there is a post I made in 2009 which contains some timetable history from the 00's).
I don't know for sure what is behind the X62's problems, but I would expect the train service between Hull, Brough and Leeds to be a significant factor. It's quicker, more frequent, starts earlier, finishes later, and when (hopefully not if) the route gets electrified, will only get more attractive - maybe even a doubling of frequency to half hourly. The X62 is also probably heavily focused on travel to Leeds and Glasshoughton and not to Hull which could lead to light loadings during the morning to Hull and in the afternoon from Hull.
Hopefully there is a future for the X62. Whatever the future holds though, at least Stagecoach showed the X62 some love last year with their relaunch and improved timetable. Substantial timetable cuts are far more 'acceptable' when the operator has been proactive and tried new ideas out first.
Stagecoach Group - Stagecoach Group plc – Preliminary Results for the year ended 30th April 2017 *Adjusted earnings per share in line with expectations* - Adjusted earning...
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