Starting on Tuesday (18th April), Stagecoach are revising their Priory Park Park and Ride service.
Instead of operating to Hull Royal Infimary and the City Centre via the A63 and Rawling Way, the service will route via Hessle Road, Askew Avenue, Fiveways, Boothferry Road and Anlaby Road. Stagecoach state that this is due to the numbers of incidents and delays incurred, and future upgrades to the A63 set to potentially cause further disruption while they take place. Using Anlaby Road also allows the service to make use of the bus lanes provided here.
Hessle Road, Askew Avenue and Boothferry Road isn't exactly the most direct route between Priory Park and Anlaby Road however. When the Priory Park service first started the more direct route via Pickering Road was used from Priory Park to Fiveways, and another direct alternative would be to use North Road between Hessle Road and Anlaby Road. However I suspect the volume of park and ride buses may not be popular along residential North Road, and is that the reason why Park and Ride stopped using Pickering Road as well?
The good news for Askew Avenue though is that the Park and Ride service will use stops along here, providing a step change in frequency from the tendered 51 every 90 minutes to a service every 10-15 minutes. Whilst park and ride service need to be fast services to where car users want to go, not offering stops in areas with poor alternatives that are already on the route would be a missed opportunity. There could now be scope to divert the 51 via North Road or Hawthorn Avenue instead, but that would sever the Askew Avenue to Hessle Road link. The Park and Ride service also gains a stop at the KCOM stadium in addition to the existing football and rugby match specials.
The other major change is the city centre route. The service has recently been operating via Ferensway, Spencer Street, Albion Street, Bond Street, Alfred Gelder Street, Wilberforce Drive, George Street, Bond Street, Albion Street, Brook Street and Ferensway. From Tuesday it will operate via Ferensway, Spencer Street, Albion Street, Bond Street, George Street, Wilberforce Drive, Alfred Gelder Street and Carr Lane, reinstating the Park and Ride service to the Princes Quay area. The only loss is the Brook Street stop, and that is only a short walk away from the Ferensway or Albion Street stops. Removing the Brook Street stop may also help traffic flow on Brook Street, a key route for buses in the city centre accessing the Interchange.
The service continues to operate from Hull Royal Infirmary to Ferensway via Anlaby Road, with a stop provided for the station on Anlaby Road. However now Park Street bridge has been upgraded, would it be worth while routing the service through the Interchange instead? It would mean the loss of the Anlaby Road stop, and unless the service turned against the main flow of incoming traffic it could not serve the bays in the Interchange, but it would eliminate 4 to 6 buses per hour from part of Ferensway and route them via the far quieter Park Street.
Stagecoach are also planning to extend the city centre route to operate via the Old Town and Marina during some special events.
There are also some changes to the timetable. While the headline frequencies remain unchanged - every 10 minutes Monday to Friday peaks and Saturday daytimes, every 15 minutes Monday to Friday early evening and Saturday early morning - the weekday every 10 minute morning peak frequency is now provided 0700-0930 from Priory Park instead of 0730-1000, and Saturday services run around 1 hour later, with the last departure from Ferensway at 1911 rather than 1813.
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