Sunday 2nd April sees EYMS introduce some major changes to services between Hull, Hedon and Withernsea.
Currently EYMS operate a half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime service between Hull, Hedon and Withernsea, routes 76/77, supplemented by an extra service every 1-2 hours between Hull and Hedon via Victoria Dock and Paull, also serving the Inmans Estate in Hedon, route 78, and a service every 2 hours between Hull and Hedon via Bilton, Sproatley and Preston, route 277. From April the network is being revised to, amongst other things, provide an even interval service between Hull and Hedon every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes across routes 76, 77, 78 and 79.
Focusing on the Withernsea services first, the impact of optimising the Hull to Hedon service is that the nice half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime frequency becomes 2 buses per hour, departing Waxholme Road in Withernsea at 2 minutes and 26 minutes past the hour, and Hull at 10 minutes and 30 minutes past the hour. Otherwise there does not seem to be much change to the structure of the timetable, the main daytime service still alternates between routes 76 and 77, each operating every hour, with service 75 operating some peak time services, in the evenings and on Sundays. The Saturday afternoon Hull to Keyingham 'short' now runs through to Withernsea, ending a one hour gap in the timetable for passengers beyond Keyingham, but with the return Keyingham to Hull short withdrawn.
On Sundays between Hull and Withernsea, all journeys continue to serve Burstwick despite East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) removing subsidy for two daytime journeys each way to run via the village. The 75 operates hourly to a standard interval 'pattern' on Sunday daytimes so quite why ERYC were spending £2.34 per passenger journey, average one passenger per journey to get on or off in Burstwick, in the first place is an interesting question.
Service 78 currently operates every 1-2 hours between Hull and Hedon serving Hull Marina, The Deep, Victoria Dock and Paull, as well as the Inmans Estate in Hedon. Many journeys start as/continue as service 277. The journey time between Hull Interchange and Thorn Road Corner in Hedon is 45 minutes, compared to 26 minutes on service 77 and 31 minutes on service 76. Supplementing the 78 are occasional service 79's omitting Hull Marina, The Deep and Paull, and occasional weekday morning service 80 between Hull and Hedon via Victoria Dock, Paull on some journeys, and the Westlands Estate in Hedon.
The service changes do simplify the 78/79/80, with an increased hourly service being provided Monday to Saturday daytimes across routes 78 and 79 combined; to quicken the routes service 78 will no longer serve Paull, routing Hull-Hull Marina-The Deep-Victoria Dock-Hedon-Inmans Estate, while the 79 will start serving Paull, routing Hull-Victoria Dock-Paull-Hedon-Inmans Estate. Most journeys will operate as route 78. Journey time from Hull Interchange to Thorn Road Corner is 35 minutes on service 78 and 33 minutes on service 79. For Hull to Hedon travellers the changes are positive, with three fairly similar length journeys per hour on an even 20 minute frequency, while Victoria Dock now gets an EYMS service every hour (not quite even interval hourly).
The 0725 service 79 from Hedon to Hull on Saturday mornings, due to have it's ERYC subsidy removed, is retained, operating at 0740 instead - together with an associated service 277 journey that is being withdrawn it has been attracting an average 8 passengers at a subsidy of £6.01 per passenger journey.
It's not all good though. Service 80 via the Westlands Estate goes entirely. The June 2016 ERYC 'Review of Bus Services' documents quotes an average 19 passengers per journey and a subsidy of 68p per passenger. I'm not sure if the local CB3 operated by HART Community Transport could be revised to provide an alternative link from the Westlands Estate into Hedon Town Centre? I can't see how the Westlands Estate could easily be included in EYMS's revised service pattern, although the Saturday 173 could maybe be diverted to provide a basic shopping link into Hull?
The village of Paull is left with a substantially worse service - it goes from a service every one to two hours, to having a less frequent service that is optimised only for travel into Hull and is very poor for access into Hedon. Currently it enjoys journeys into Hedon at 0727 (weekday only), 0857, 1057, 1127 (weekday only), 1257, 1457, 1627 (weekday only) and 1737, plus later Stagecoach operated journeys, with returns at 0835 (weekday only) 0845 (Sat), 0915 (Sat), 0932 (weekday only), 1010, 1110, 1310, 1510 and 1725, plus later Stagecoach operated journeys. From next week journeys from Paull into Hedon leave at 0725, 0840, 1015, 1315, 1625 and 1835, returning at 0748, 0934, 1334 and 1802.
Services via Paull have been a mixture of commercially operated, and ERYC subsidised, and ERYC are withdrawing subsidies for most Paull diversions, which is no doubt part of the reason for reducing services to the village. However by moving about which journeys run as 78's and which run as 79's, improvements could be made for Paull to Hedon customers, although the impact on users to Hull Marina and The Deep would need to considered, as would the requirements that come with the Hull City Council subsidy to serve these areas. Diversions via Paull in the 1010 and 1310 from Hedon attract an average 1 passenger per journey at a subsidy of £12.81 per passenger journey. Diversions via Paull in the 0835 and 1510 attract an average 1 passenger per journey at a subsidy of £5.22 per passenger journey.
Paull is also impacted by the withdrawal entirely of service 78 on Sundays, when three EYMS daytime journeys operated each way between Hull and Hedon, and of most service 78 Monday to Saturday evening journeys, currently operated by Stagecoach; the 1810 from Hull has been retained however and passes to EYMS as service 79. Again these cuts are due to ERYC subsidy reductions; together with associated service 277 journeys, Sunday services attracted an average 19 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £1.56 per passenger journey, while evening services, including the retained journey, attracted an average 10 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £2.30 per passenger journey. In ERYC's scorecard, the evening service was one 'point' away from having survived being cut for another year. As well as Paull being cut off from the bus network evenings and Sundays, the Victoria Dock estate in Hull and Hedon's Inmans Estate are also impacted.
Service 277 sees substantial change as well; the through journeys with service 78/79 are largely withdrawn, and it will also serve Thorngumbald and Burstwick with a new route that provides new regular bus services to parts of Burstwick and Preston. Most journeys will operate an anti-clockwise loop; after routing from Hull Interchange via Holderness Road, Bilton and Sproately to Preston they will then route via Hedon, Thorngumbald and Burstwick back to Preston and into Hull again. This does increase journey times for return journeys from Hedon to Sproately and Bilton.
The timetable is also reduced. Weekday services currently depart Hull Interchange at 0620, 0735, 0915, 1015 , 1215, 1415 and 1630, plus later Stagecoach journeys and on Saturdays at 0640, 0750, 0915, 1015, 1215, 1415 and 1630 plus later Stagecoach services, but this reduces to 0735, 0920, 1020. 1220, 1420 (via Burstwick and Thorngumbald) and 1735 on weekdays, and 0920, 1020, 1220, 1520 (via Burstwick and Thorngumbald) and 1735 on Saturdays. Note the new evening peak journey though at 1735, which terminates in Burstwick and does not serve Hedon.
In the return direction services currently leave Hedon at 0706, 0916, 1116, 1316, 1516, 1646 and 1756 on weekdays, with all journeys except the 1646 also running on Saturdays. This changes on weekdays to 0705 from Burstwick (not serving Hedon), 0819, 1004, 1104 and 1304 from Hedon via Burstwick, 1517 from Hedon serving Burstwick on the inbound journey and 1642 and 1852 from Hedon as a through journey from service 79. On Saturdays there will be an 0835 from Burstwick followed by 1004, 1104 and 1304 from Hedon via Burstwick, 1642 from Hedon serving Burstwick on the inbound journey and 1852 from Hedon as a through journey from service 79.
The 277 will also see it's EYMS operated Sunday service of three journeys each way and most Stagecoach operated Monday to Saturday evening services withdrawn, with only the 1850 from Hedon surviving, passing to EYMS as the 1852 service.
Some positives for sure in these changes, such as for Hull to Hedon travellers, and things could have turned out slightly worse with the ERYC bus subsidy cuts, but definitely not all good news.
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