Until yesterday, Stagecoach operated a service 10 town circular service in Scunthorpe. Odd in that it had the same number clockwise and anti-clockwise, unlike the 31/32 and 33/34, the 10 operated from Scunthorpe Bus Station via Station Road, Rowland Road, Warwick Road, Lilac Avenue, Sandhouse Crescent, Healey Road, Warley Road, Bellingham Road, Lakeside Retail Park, Fulbeck Road, Ashby Broadway, Burringham Road, Manor Farm Road, Bridges Road, Swinburne Road, Bristol Road, Plymouth Road, West Common Lane and Ashby Road back to Scunthorpe Bus Station, and vice versa.
From tomorrow, Monday 3rd April, the 10 will no longer be operating; it had been providing an hourly Monday to Saturday offpeak service in each directon. Revised services 33 and 34 provide a partial replacement. Service 33 had been operating from Scunthorpe Bus Station via Ashby Road, West Common Lane, Plymouth Road, Bristol Road, Swinburne Road, Bridges Road, Manor Farm Road, Willoughby Road, Manby Road, Quebec Road, Moorwell Road, High Leys Road, Willoughby Road, Chancel Road, Cambridge Avenue, Manor Road, Bottesford Lane, Bottesford Road, Ashby Town Centre, Collum Avenue, Alvingham Road, Old Brumby Street and Cemetery Road back to Scunthorpe Bus Station, with service 34 operating in the opposite direction. Both the 33 and 34 each operated hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, including peaks, and combined with service 10 to provide a half hourly off peak service between Scunthorpe Bus Station and Manor Farm Road.
The new 33 only operates between Scunthorpe Bus Station, Ashby Road, West Common Lane, Plymouth Road and Bristol Road before returning back into Scunthorpe via West Common Lane and Ashby Road, providing two service per hour Monday to Saturday off peak, although when combined with revised service 34 a service is provided every 20 minutes.
Revised service 34 follows the service 33 route from Scunthorpe Bus Station to Bristol Road then routes via Swinburne Road, Bridges Road, Manor Farm Road, Willoughby Road, Manby Road, Low Leys Road, Moorwell Road, High Leys Road, Willoughby Road, Chancel Road, Bottesford Road, Ashby Town Centre, Fulbeck Road and Bellingham Road to Lakeside. It operates hourly Monday to Saturday off peak and half hourly at peak times.
These changes create winners and losers. The frequency on the Scunthorpe Bus Station-West Common Lane-Plymouth Road-Bristol Road section increases from half hourly to every 20 minutes off peak, and from hourly to half hourly at peak times. There are new links from many parts of the service 34 route to Lakeside Retail Park. Fulbeck Road and Bellingham Road gain a peak time bus service.
Eastern Scunthorpe fairs badly in these changes. Due to the withdrawal of service 10, Lilac Avenue, Sandhouse Crescent and Healey Road are now unserved; all three roads are close to services 31/32 (within walking distance?) so maybe not a huge issue, however one journey per hour on the 20 minute frequency 31/32 services could have been diverted via Lilac Avenue/Sandhouse Road and another via Healey Road to maintain a service while not significantly reducing frequencies on the parts of Warwick Road and Warley Road that would be missed out. Messy perhaps, but a service could have easily been maintained. Station Road in Scunthorpe is also left with little service, one morning journey on the 350 Humber Fastcat and journeys from Scunthorpe Bus Station on EYMS 360/361. Rowland Road, parts off Warwick Road and Warley Road no longer have a link to Lakeside, and while Bellingham Road and Fulbeck Road retain links to Scunthorpe Bus Station, the new 34 takes a lot longer than the 10 did. Maybe the 4 (not on Saturday's though), or one journey an hour on the 31/32 could serve Fulbeck Road instead?
The changes to services 33 and 34 leave the only Monday to Saturday daytimes service between Scunthorpe and Ashby via Cemetery Road, Old Brumby Street, Alvingham Road and Collum Avenue as Hornsby Travel service 12, operating half hourly on weekdays and hourly on Saturdays. Not that long ago the 12 and 33/34 combined to provide a service every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes. Cemetery Road now has a better Sunday daytime service compared to Saturdays, with services 31A/32A operating half hourly - it is also now has the same frequency on weekday and Sunday daytimes, and is only served by Stagecoach on evenings and Sundays.
In Bottesford, the new 33 simply operates along the whole length of Chancel Road, omitting Bottesford Lane, Manor Road and Cambridge Avenue. Bottesford Lane is also served by the half hourly Hornsby Travel 22 on weekdays, and by the 4 on Saturdays, so perhaps the 33/34 isn't a significant loss, although like Cemetery Road it now has a better Sunday service on the 31A/32A than on Saturdays, and is only served by Stagecoach on evenings and Sundays. Manor Road will now only be served by the evening/Sunday 31A/32A. Cambridge Avenue is also served Monday to Saturday off peak by hourly service 11, but will be left unserved in the morning peak. It too is served by the 31A/32A, so has evening and Sunday services, and a Sunday daytime frequency that is double the Monday to Saturday frequency!
In the Yaddlethorpe and Riddings area the Monday to Saturday off peak frequency into Scunthorpe is effectively halved to hourly; due to their location on the old 33/34 routes a journey into Scunthorpe took about the same time whether travelling via Ashby or via West Common Lane. Again the Sunday daytime frequency on the 31A/32A at half hourly is double the hourly 34, and for travel into Scunthorpe Town Centre, effectively quadrupole the frequency. The 34 will use Low Leys Road instead of Quebec Road, which retains the 31A/32A.
Elsewhere the section of Burringham Road between Messingham Road and Willoughby Road no longer has a Monday to Saturday daytime service after the withdrawal of the 10, but retains the 31A/32A, while Manor Farm Road and Bridges Road go from a half hourly to hourly service off peak, with longer journeys into Ashby following the withdrawal of the 10.
Hopefully I've not missed anything. Once again this underlines what a mess the Scunthorpe Town Network is. The decline of Scunthorpe Town Centre as a shopping destination cannot help - the latest is that Wilkinson's are closing later this year - and the replacement shopping destinations being spread out as opposed to being concentrated on one or two locations, probably doesn't help either. Ashby High Street is nothing new, but there is also the M&S/Debenhams development on the old Trent Valley Garden Centre, a rejuvenated Skippingdale Retail Park and the longer standing Lakeside Retail Park. Plus Brigg not too far away if you want a market town, plus Doncaster Town Centre, Doncaster Lakeside, Meadowhall, Gainsborough Marshalls Yard, Lincoln, Hull ... And while attempts are being made to regenerate Scunthorpe Town Centre, a university technical college and social housing provider head office don't help bus services on Saturdays, and not that much on weekday off peak periods either. While this needs taking into account though, something needs to be done to stop the cuts and decline in Scunthorpe Town Services.
Stagecoach's announcement starts with "Following negotiations with North Lincolnshire Council" - things could have been a lot worse. At one point Traveline East Midlands just showed the 33 every 20 minutes and no 34, which would have left large parts of Riddings and Yaddlethorpe, plus Fulbeck Road and Bellingham Road unserved Monday to Saturday daytimes.
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