On Monday 1st June, Stagecoach are amending the times of the first three Monday to Saturday journeys on the 350 Humber Fastcat between Scunthorpe, Barton and Hull, in order to improve reliability.
The current 0620 Scunthorpe to Hull service, omitting Winteringham (the only journey to do so), departing Barton Interchange 0653 and arriving at Hull Interchange at 0720 will instead leave Scunthorpe Bus Station at 0605, serve Winteringham, depart Barton Interchange at 0650 and arrive at Hull Interchange at 0717. The addition of Winteringham to this journey is good news for the village.
This journey currently connects with both the 0555 Grimsby to Barton Humber Flyer which arrives at Barton Interchange at 0640, and the 0600 Cleethorpes to Barton train service, which arrives at Barton Interchange at 0648. While the Humber Flyer connection will be retained, the train to bus connection becomes just 2 minutes which is very tight, probably too tight. The alternative connection for train passengers to Hull is the 0740 Barton to Hull Humber Fastcat, which gives an hour later arrival in Hull than at present. While I presume Stagecoach are anxious to provide an early arrival time into Hull, the journey times between Barton and Hull are not extended with the new timetable (remains 27 minutes), just between Scunthorpe and Barton. So why couldn't the first Humber Fastcat not wait an additional three minutes at Barton Interchange, leave at 0653 and arrive in Hull at it's current 0720 arrival time? As far as I can tell the vehicle and driver will still have a break at Hull Interchange until 0805 so I don't think interworking with other services is the issue. Maybe no-one uses this particular train to bus connection so Stagecoach aren't bothered about it, but it's sad to see it lost for the sake of 3 minutes extra waiting that would not appear to require any extra resources or impact on the rest of the timetable. Plus, while the train may compete with Stagecoach's Humber Flyer from Grimsby, it doesn't from many other places like Habrough, Goxhill and New Holland, so I can't see competition being a reason for dropping the connection.
The following two departures from Scunthorpe at 0705 and 0735, which depart Barton Interchange a 0750 and 0820 will operate 10 minutes earlier at 0655 and 0725 from Scunthorpe leaving Barton Interchange at 0740 and 0810. The arrival time into Hull Interchange is only 5 minutes earlier though with journey times between Hull Royal Infirmary and Hull Interchange on these two journeys increased from 12 to 17 minutes. It's probably quicker to walk, and on Saturdays I'm sure that will be overly generous. However it does provide some "padding" for any rush hour delays and gives commuters a realistic arrival time into Hull City Centre. If anything it's the Hull Royal Infirmary times which may be unrealistic, but if the service ran early that is the last place you would want to wait until your scheduled departure time.
The new 0810 departure time from Barton Interchange also has two other little benefits. The connection from 0700 Cleethorpes to Barton train which arrives at 0748 is currently advertised as the 0820 Humber Flyer from Barton Interchange (incorrectly shown as 0817 in the Northern Rail timetable), arrives Hull 0847, but this will now become a 0810 Humber Fastcat departure from Barton Interchange, arrival into Hull at 0847. This means 10 minutes less waiting at Barton Interchange and on Saturday's at least almost certainly an earlier arrival into Hull. Secondly with the (long term) temporary Humber Flyer timetable, both it and the Humber Fastcat currently have 0820 journeys from Barton Interchange to Hull, but the Humber Fastcat now becomes an 0810 departure, providing an improved spread of peak time departure times. (However if the previous permanent Humber Flyer timetable is restored then the Barton Interchange departure time becomes 0810...)
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