Monday's changes (4th September) by Stagecoach to their Hull network included 'cross city' service 3 and 4, and new services 3a, 3b and N4. The 3 and 4 link Orchard Park, Hull City Centre and Greatfield/Bilton Grange, but via different routes between the three locations, and operate as a circular at both ends of the route.
On service 4 there are two new weekday journeys from Paragon Interchange to Bilton Grange at 0430 and 0500, current first service at 0530, and four new weekday journeys from Paragon Interchange to Orchard Park at 0440, 0510, 0540 and 0610, current first journey at 0625. As a result the first two weekday service 3's from Greatfield no longer start back at Marfleet Lane and the first four weekday service 3's no long start back at Greenwood Avenue - service 4 now covers these extensions. Other early morning improvements see the first four weekday service 3's from Orchard Park now operating through to Greatfield. This means the first departure for Greatfield from Paragon Interchange is now at 0537 rather than 0657. Additionally the 0600 service 3 from Greatfield to Paragon Interchange on weekdays now extends to Orchard Park, providing a 30 minute earlier first service from central Hull.
On Saturday's the first three departures from Greatfield on service 3 also no longer start back on Marfleet Lane but only the latter of these services seems to be covered by a slightly retimed first service 4 of the day. The first three Greatfield departures on service 3 do now however operate through to Orchard Park on Saturdays now, rather than a connection being required for cross city travel at Paragon Interchange.
Both service 3 and 4 have timing changes throughout the day. The last service 3 from Greatfield to Orchard Park is now split at Paragon Interchange so that it continues to depart to West Hull at 2330. On service 4 the 2300 from Bilton Grange to Orchard Park now only operates between Paragon Interchange and Orchard Park on weekdays, last Bilton Grange departure becomes 2230.
The other big change is very late evening, with new service N4 introduced from Hull City Centre via Holderness Road to Diadem Grove (so omitting Marfleet Lane as served by service 4) then around Bilton Grange and extending into Greatfield and onto Preston Road. There will be a 2330 departure from Hull Interchange Monday to Saturday and then extra journeys at 0000, 0030 and 0100 on Saturday night/Sunday morning from Hull Truck Theatre. These journeys replace the previous service 3 departures from Hull Truck Theatre to Greatfield and onto Bilton Grange and Marfleet Lane at 0000 and 0100 on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
The N4 seems to be in part about covering the diversion of the 11's nightbus journeys away from parts of Holderness Road as otherwise it would make more sense to use the route of service 3's previous nightbuses and provide a quick journey to Preston Road/Greatfield without compromising travel time to Bilton Grange too much. The end result is a slight increase in the nightbus provision however which is welcome to see.
Finally to the 3a and 3b, which replace the 9a in providing a service to Bricknell Avenue Estate - the 9a will no longer operate in West Hull. Back in April the Bricknell Avenue Estate saw service 9 replaced with a longer routing into Hull City Centre on service 9a. Now the direct route into Hull City Centre via Chanterlands Avenue that service 9 used to use, is brought back - service 3b will provide a simple Paragon Interchange-Chanterlands Avenue-Bricknell Avenue-Burnsiton Road-Grammar School Road-Bricknell Avenue-Chanterlands Avenue-Paragon Interchange loop every hour Monday to Saturday daytimes (with one two hour gap on weekday mornings). A single service 3a operates from Paragon Interchange in the evening peak, extending to Orchard Park after serving the Bricknell Avenue estate. The change does mean Fairfax Avenue becomes unserved again but otherwise it seems like a far better service than what the 9a was providing.
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