Monday, 17 September 2018

Stagecoach May Changes in Grimsby and Cleethorpes

From Sunday 13th May, Stagecoach made some changes to local services around Grimsby and Cleethorpes. The main change saw the interworked 3 and 4 services between Cleethorpes, Grimsby and Laceby Road Morrisons reduced on weekday daytimes from an every 10 minute frequency to an every 12 minute frequency. Not a huge change, but not good news either.

Evenings see a variety of changes on services 3 and 4. Starting with service 3, the weekday 1755 Cleethorpes to Morrisons terminates at Grimsby Riverhead Exchange, but there is a new weekday 1830 Cleethorpes to Grimsby 'short', filling a gap between 'full route' departures at 1815 and 1845. The Monday to Saturday 2045 Cleethorpes to Morrisons also terminates at Riverhead Exchange, but the Monday to Saturday 2145 departure from Cleethorpes is replaced by 2115 and 2215 departures. On Sundays the 1845 from Cleethorpes to Morrisons terminates at Grimsby Riverhead Exchange, with the 1945/2045/2145/2245 operating half an hour earlier. Daily there is also a new 2315 Cleethorpes to Grimsby short; the previous last service had been at 2245 (the 2245 remains Monday to Saturday).

In the opposite direction, on Saturdays the 1755 from Morrisons terminates at Grimsby Riverhead Exchange rather than running through to Cleethorpes. Monday to Saturday the 2035 Morrisons to Cleethorpes terminates at Grimsby Riverhead Exchange, but the 2135 and 2235 departures are replaced by 2105, 2205 and 2255 departures. On Sundays the 1804 Morrisons to Grimsby Riverhead Exchange is now a 1805 Morrisons to Cleethorpes, the 1834 Morrisons to Cleethorpes is withdrawn and the 1934/2034/2134/2234 Morrisons to Cleethorpes services now operate at 1905/2005/2105/2205 along with a new 2255 Morrisons to Cleethorpes.

On service 4 the Monday to Saturday 2115 and 2215 departures from Cleethorpes move to 2145 and 2245, with the 2315 Cleethorpes to Grimsby short withdrawn. On Sundays the 1815 from Cleethorpes to Morrisons terminates at Grimsby Riverhead Exchange, there is a new 1845 Cleethorpes to Morrisons, with the 1915/2015/2115/2215 retimed to 1945/2045/2145/2245 and the 2315 Cleethorpes to Grimsby short withdrawn.

From Morrisons on service 4, the Monday to Saturday 2055 to Cleethorpes terminates at Grimsby Riverhead Exchange, with the 2155 and 2255 to Cleethorpes retimed earlier to 2125 and 2225 and a new 2325 Morrisons to Grimsby Riverhead Exchange added. The last service from Riverhead Exchange to Cleethorpes is now at 2245 rather than 2315. On Sundays the 1827 Morrisons to Grimsby Riverhead Exchange becomes a 1825 Morrisons to Cleethorpes, the 1855/1955/2055/2155/2255 become 1925/2025/2125/2225 departures along with a 2325 Morrisons to Grimsby Riverhead Exchange short.

There were also minor retimings to some journeys on routes 1/2/20 between Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Europarc and Wybers Wood.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Tried and Failed: The N125

Catching up on the last of Stagecoach's April changes in Hull, and this time it's a total withdrawal, of the N125 nightbus from Hull to Beverley via the Avenues, Dunswell and Woodmansey. The N125 had only begun in September 2017, offering three services from Hull Monument Bridge at 2320, 2350 and 0050 on Saturday nights/Sunday morning, as well as a single 0015 departure from Beverley. These ran for the last time on Saturday 28th April.

There is a 2320 service 5 from Hull Old Town up to the Avenues area and the top end of Beverley Road, but nothing later. EYMS's 106 nightbus does briefly 'intersect' with the N125's old route on Cottingham Road. In terms of services from Hull to Dunswell, Woodmansey and Beverley, the last service reverts to being EYMS's 2300 service 246 departure from Paragon Interchange. The single departure from Beverley is not such a loss however, as EYMS have a 0025 service 121 departure from Beverley to Hull.

It is disappointing the N125 was withdrawn, the Avenues are a key part of Hull's evening/night economy as well as the City Centre. However all other post 2330 departures from Paragon Interchange were withdrawn at the same time indicating the nightbus network just wasn't working out for Stagecoach in Hull. In addition Stagecoach have a very minimal presence in Dunswell, Woodmansey and Beverley which may have impacted on awareness of the N125. Stagecoach deserve credit for trying out a new service at least.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Priory Park Park and Ride April Changes

Back on Monday 30th April, Stagecoach made changes to the Hull Priory Park Park and Ride service. The weekday peak and Saturday daytime services were reduced from every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes, leaving a 15 minute frequency service peak and off peak Monday to Saturday, and an identical weekday and Saturday timetable. Express buses via Clive Sullivan Way remain at peak times, operating every half hour (i.e. every other service), and now operating on Saturdays as well, as part of the new standard six day a week timetable.

Finally the main 'non-express' journeys now stop along Boothferry Road between Fiveways and Anlaby Road; combined with the 350 Humber Fastcat and Humber Flyer, Stagecoach now have six to seven buses an hour Monday to Saturday daytime between this section of Boothferry Road and Hull City Centre, compared to EYMS's seven to nine an hour across routes 66, 155, 350 and X55. Stagecoach haven't, as far as I'm aware, done any publicity for this change, just quietly introduced it, presumably trying to pick up the odd extra passenger without antagonising EYMS.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

When Three become Two

From Monday 30th April, Stagecoach consolidated evening services on the 3 and 4, along with most evening services on the 14, into two routes, the 3a and 4a.

Service 3 runs from Orchard Park Tesco via Hall Road, Bricknell Avenue, Chanterlands Avenue, Hull City Centre, Holderness Road, Preston Road and Annandale Road to Grange Road Roundabout in Greatfield. The 4 also runs between Orchard Park Tesco and Grange Road Roundabout, but via Ellerburn Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, Beverley Road, Hull City Centre, Holderness Road, Marfleet Lane, Staveley Road, Barham Road and Amethyst Road. Most 3's continue as service 4's, and vice versa, at both Orchard Park and Grange Road. Service 14 links Hull Paragon Interchange with Greatfield Falkland Road via Holderness Road, Portobello Street, Wingfield Road and Annandale Road.

The revised evening 3a follows the 3 route from Orchard Park to Annandale Road before diverting via Wingfield Road, to cover part of the 14, and Hopewell Road, otherwise unserved, to Amethyst Road which becomes the changeover point to/from service 4a. Of the service 3 route only Grange Road is unserved.

Service 4a however has two changes from it's daytime counterpart. From Orchard Park Tesco the 4a operates direct to Beverley Road, omitting Ellerburn Avenue and Greenwood Avenue which are left with the half hourly service 5 in the evening - a fairly significant drop from the 10 services an hour provided on Monday to Saturday daytimes (services 4 and 5, service 13 also provides an extra two services an hour on weekdays but not direct into Hull City Centre). Between Holderness Road and Staveley Road the 4a routes via Portobello Street to replace the 14 rather than Marfleet Lane on the service 4 route, which is left without an evening service.

Between them the 3a and 4a cover all of the 14 route apart from Falkland Road which is also left without a service for the vast majority of the evening. So very little left unserved/almost unserved in the evening with these arrangements, and probably some notable savings for Stagecoach, but not an ideal evening network either. It's not just three roads unserved, but it's further complexity in the 'simplibus' network. Frequency on the 3a and 4a is half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and hourly on Sunday evenings, the same as what was previously provided on the 3, 4 and 14. The 3a from Paragon Interchange starts at 1830 Monday to Saturday despite there being a 1840 service 14.

At the end of the evening, the N4 provides a 2330 departure daily from Paragon Interchange to Holderness Road, Diadem Grove, Staveley Road, Amethyst Road, Grange Road, Annandale Road and Preston Road. The N4 had been running Monday to Saturday only, but now also runs on Sundays replacing the 2300 4 from Orchard Park (last 4a from Orchard Park now 2205). On Monday to Saturdays the 14 retains a 2330 departure from Paragon Interchange despite having no service for the rest of the evening. Other than to maintain a late evening departure to Falkland Road, Grange Road and the section of Holderness Road between Bellfield Avenue and Diadem Grove, offering the N4 and 14 at 2330 seems unnecessarily complicated, especially with a 2330 departure on service 3a Monday to Saturday from Paragon Interchange as well. Running the N4 as a 4a, extended from Amethyst Road to Falkland Road via Grange Road, and not having the 2330 14 would tie in better with the rest of the evening network, and perhaps the 'spare' bus from the 14 could run a late departure on another route. Talking of the Holderness Road, maybe on service 56 to Longhill - EYMS's last departure is at 2300, though Stagecoach did have a 2330 departure on this route some years ago before withdrawing it.

As with all other Stagecoach nightbuses, the Saturday night/Sunday morning 0000, 0030 and 0100 departures on service N4 from Hull Truck Theatre were withdrawn, leaving the 2330 N4 from Paragon Interchange as the last service.

The other 'headline' change is the halving of the Sunday daytime frequency of service 3 from every 15 minutes to every half hour. Stagecoach pointed out in their announcement at the time that the 3, 4 and 14 provide a combined service to Greatfield every 10 minutes, but the only common section of route is Annandale Road.

Other changes include slight retimings to various journeys, and an additional weekday morning service 3 from Orchard Park to Paragon Interchange at 0650. 

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Service 12a

Stagecoach replaced the evening and Sunday service on route 12 between Hull Paragon Interchange and North Point Shopping Centre in Bransholme with new variant 12a from Monday 30th April, continuing to operate every half hour Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, reducing to hourly Sunday evenings. Service 12a follows the main service 12 route from Paragon Interchange via Holderness Road, Summergangs Road, Gillshill Road and Sutton Village before deviating to serve Midmere Avenue and Barnstaple Road (on the very edge of the North Point site) instead of operating direct to Noddle Hill Way. The 12a then rejoins the 12 route along Noddle Hill Way before extending to Kingswood Retail Park to terminate as opposed to operating to North Point via Wawne Road as the 12 does (the latter partially covered by the 8a evenings and Sundays).

I guess the aim of the 12a is to provide links to Kingswood Retail Park whilst just about still serving North Point. It's a shame there does not appear to be enough time to extend to Kingswood Leisure Park too, as in the evening I would have thought that would have been a more popular destination than the Retail Park. The Leisure Park is walkable for the able bodied from the Retail Park however. The Monday to Saturday evening timetable also only allows a maximum of three hours (and four minutes) at Kingswood, which may restrict it's use for evenings out unless passengers are prepared to change en-route for one leg of their journey.

Service 12 continues to operate Monday to Saturday daytimes every 15 minutes.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Stagecoach 11 and N11

Service 11 between Hull Paragon Interchange, North Point and Kingswood Retail Park was included in Stagecoach's changes in Hull from 30th April. Various journeys were retimed, especially on Sundays, but there were three main changes, and sadly all of them were minor cutbacks.

On Saturday's the first three morning departures from North Point into Hull City Centre no longer serve Hull Royal Infirmary or Smith and Nephew, instead routing direct to Paragon Interchange (this early morning route diversion remains on weekdays). On Sunday evenings the frequency was reduced from half hourly to hourly.

The Saturday nightbus service N11 was also withdrawn. The N11 comprised journeys at 0000 and 0100 in the early hours of Sunday morning from Hull Truck Theatre that served Holderness Road then Summergangs Road and Gillshill Road from route 12, Ings Road from route 9, Savoy Road, Bellfield Avenue and Spring Cottage from route 11, Wawne Road and the residential areas of Kingswood before terminating at Kingswood Retail Park. Last departures from Hull City Centre are now at 2330 from Paragon Interchange.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Kingswood and other North Hull Changes

Stagecoach made major changes to services 6 and 9 in Hull from Monday 30th April, that were part of a wider package of revisions that also included services 7, 8, 10 and 13.

Service 6 and Service 9, which previously only 'interacted' in Hull City Centre, now form a circular. Service 6 is the least changed route, continuing to run from Hull Paragon Interchange to Kingswood direct via Beverley Road. Apart from morning peak services into Hull, the 6 now starts/finishes at Kingswood Health Centre, not Kingsbury Way, however the circular formed with route 9 maintains the link to/from Kingsbury Way. Service 6 continues to operate every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes, the only notable change to the times being the withdrawal of two Saturday only journeys at 1900 from Kingsbury Way, and the 2330 from Paragon Interchange. These were the only evening journeys on route 6, and everywhere served by route 6 has alternative evening services.

Service 9, and it's 9a variant, however see far bigger changes. What is arguably the 'core' part of the 9/9a, between Hull Paragon Interchange, Garden Village, Ings Road (9)/Lambwath Road (9a), Leads Road and North Point remains, and at it's frequency of half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes with peak times all operating as service 9 and off peak alternating between the 9 and 9a. Saturday morning services into Hull now begin at the same time as weekdays - 0621 from the Leads Road timing point as opposed to 0803 previously.

The 9a's diversion between Leads Road and North Point via Robson Way, Howdale Road, Kestrel Avenue, the southern part of Noddle Hill Way and Wawne Road was withdrawn and transferred to new service 13 variant 13a, reducing journey times on service 9a. Service 13 operates every half hour daily daytimes between Hull Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road, Salthouse Road, Dunvegan Road, part of Howdale Road, Midmere Avenue and North Point, extending via Sutton Park to Orchard Park on weekdays only. The new 13a variant is provided hourly off peak Monday to Saturday, with one service 13 an hour operating via the eastern part of Howdale Road that the 9a had previously covered, instead of Dunvegan Road, then missing out the western part of Howdale Road and Midmere Avenue in order to serve Kestrel Avenue, the southern part of Noddle Hill Way and Wawne Road. The last 13a from Paragon Interchange is at 1455 rather than 1620 on the 9a.

The 13a appears to be a good way to cover the eastern section of Howdale Road and Kestrel Avenue as the parts of the main 13 route omitted are covered by the 11 every 15 minutes, and still keep the 13 once an hour - the time when the 13 remaining half hourly along Dunvegan Road and the western part of Howdale Road matters most is on Sunday daytimes, when the 11 is only every half hour and the 13 is needed to provide four fairly well spaced services a hour.

Also withdrawn from the 13 was the morning peak variation that saw services into Hull start from Noddle Hill Way and operate via Barnstaple Road to Midmere Avenue, rather than starting from North Point. Service 12 continues to link Noddle Hill Way into Hull City Centre at these times.

Finally the extension of service 9 into West Hull, between Paragon Interchange, Princes Avenue, Newland Avenue, Cranbrook Avenue, Inglemire Lane, Hall Road, Endyke Lane, Cottingham Green, St Margaret's Avenue and Castle Hill Hospital was also withdrawn. This section of route had been reduced last year to near enough operate Monday to Saturday off peak only, with departures hourly from Paragon Interchange between 0805 (0910 Sat) and 1510, and from Castle Hill between 0900 and 1600. This removed it's use for commuting and any early or late hospital appointments, at least in both directions. The only unique parts where along St Margaret's Avenue in Cottingham, and as the only daytime service along Inglemire Avenue, which retains the evening U5 and 107 nightbus. The ability to use a Stagecoach ticket to reach Cottingham and Castle Hill Hospital has also been lost.

All these withdrawals of bits of the 9 and 9a have allowed it's extension from North Point via Honiton Road, Wawne Road, Kingsbury Way and Grosvenor Road (on the newest part of Kingswood) to Kingswood Health Centre. Most journeys start as/continue as service 6 to/from Hull Interchange via Kingswood Retail Park, and those that don't extend to/from Kingswood Retail Park.

The final bit of the Monday to Saturday daytime 'jigsaw' for Kingswood is the withdrawal of half hourly service 7's one way loop around the residential parts of Kingswood. From North Point it had operated via Bodmin Road, Kingsbury Way, Kingswood Health Centre, Kingswood Retail Park and Bodmin Road back to North Point, but now operates direct between North Point, Bodmin Road and Kingswood Retail Park in both directions as part of it's Hull Paragon Interchange-Sutton Park-North Point-Kingswood Retail Park route. Service 9 provides the replacement link between North Point and the residential areas of Kingswood.

This new network comes with some significant advantages. The 7's old loop led to long journey times from Kingsbury Way to North Point, and from parts of Bude Road to Kingswood Retail Park, but services now operate direct in both directions on routes 9 and 7 respectively. Also previously both of the routes from Kingswood's residential areas operated into Hull City Centre via Beverley Road, but now one - the 9 - operates via parts of West Hull, providing more options for passengers. Passengers on the 9 and 9a route, for example in Garden Village, also now have services to Kingswood Retail Park and Kingswood Leisure Park via the through service with route 6.

Elsewhere on the 7 and associated 8 services, five late afternoon journeys on service 8 from North Point into Hull start at Kingswood Health Centre in leiu of service 9, which reduces to hourly inbound to Hull City Centre in the late afternoon; service 8 otherwise largely operates only as a Hull-Sutton Park-North Point 'service 7 short' every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes.

The 'one way' loop arrangement around Kingswood on service 7 had also applied in the evenings and on Sundays, but has been replaced with service 8a operating Hull Paragon Interchange-Beverley Road-Sutton Park-North Point-Honiton Road-Wawne Road-Kingsbury Way-Grosvenor Road-Kingswood Health Centre-Kingswood Retail Park. Frequency remains every half hour Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, dropping to hourly on Sunday evenings. Other than the Kingswood Retail Park extension, and no timing point at North Point Wilko's, I can't see how the 8a differs from the later afternoon 8's that serve Kingswood, and hence can't really see why the 'a' suffix is needed. Anyway, a better service than the old loop arrangement for Kingswood.

Bodmin Road and Bude Road have lost their evening and Sunday links to Beverley Road with the 7's replacement by the 8a. Service 10, which also covers Bodmin Road, now operates as service 10a Monday to Saturday evenings and Sundays, with a small diversion to include Kingswood Retail Park. This covers the link from the Bude Road to Kingswood Retail Park and also provides new links from North Bransholme and Wawne to Kingswood Retail Park - or rather partially restores them as the old 20 and K1 used to offers such links. The 10a operates every half hour Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, and hourly on Sunday evenings.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Stagecoach Hull 3b

Continuing the catchup with Stagecoach's April changes in Hull, from Monday 30th April their service 3b between the Bricknell Estate and Hull Paragon Interchange was revised and slightly cutback. The service remains hourly Monday to Saturday morning peak and daytimes, but with all journeys having revised times and almost every Saturday journey running five minutes later than the weekday equivalent. The service also now finishes earlier, with the last service leaving the Bricknell Estate at 1602 weekdays compared to 1657 previously (Sat last departure now 1707) and Paragon Interchange at 1545 weekdays and 1650 Saturdays compared to 1740 previously.

The 1740 had operated as a 3a, following the 3b route from Paragon Interchange to the Bricknell Estate then extending to Orchard Park Tesco. This particular version of the 3a no longer operates at all now, with the suffix being reused for an evening variation to the main service 3 - more in a future blog post.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Saturday Cutbacks and a Weekday Addition

Back on Monday 30th April, Stagecoach revised services 1 and 2 in West Hull, with the main change being a disappointing reduction in the Saturday daytime frequency from every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes. Service 5 between Hull and Orchard Park is now the only Stagecoach service in Hull to have a Saturday daytime frequency of every 10 minutes. On the one hand not a drastic change, and still 'turn up and go', to me at least, but not a positive change.

The Saturday N62 service over the 2 route from Hull City Centre to Boothferry Estate, then extended to Hessle, North Ferriby and Brough was withdrawn at the same time. It had comprised departures from Hull Paragon Interchange at 2330, and from Hull Truck Theatre at 0000 and 0100. In it's place is the return of the N2, but not as a 'traditional' midnight onwards nightbus service. Instead the N2 provides just a 2330 departure from Hull Paragon Interchange, but now operating Monday to Saturday, including extending to Brough six days a week. On weekdays this is a welcome development as the last EYMS buses are at 2255 to North Ferriby and Brough (service 153) and 2305 to Hessle (service 57). However on a Saturday it means the last service from Hull City Centre is now 90 minutes earlier than previously, and for the Hull to Hessle section there have been buses after midnight on a Saturday night/Sunday morning since at least 2004 (maybe longer, I'm just going by my memory and timetable collection). Stagecoach withdrew all post 2330 departures in their April changes, leaving EYMS 106 and 107 as the only remaining nightbuses in Hull.

Monday to Friday as a result of the new N2, which replaces the previous 2330 service 2 from Paragon Interchange, the 2352 service 1 from Boothferry Estate is withdrawn, with the last departure now at 2330.

Times for various other journeys on the 1 and 2 were slightly revised at the same time, including a rather odd 40 minutes gap in the otherwise half hourly weekday evening service, between 1925 and 2005 from Hull Interchange on service 2, and between 1950 and 2030 from Boothferry Estate on service 1.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Tried and Failed: Weekday late evening Humber Fastcat services

Catching up on Stagecoach's April changes in Hull now, starting with the 350 Humber Fastcat. At the start of 2017, Stagecoach introduced new Monday to Saturday 2220 and 2330 Hull to Barton services, plus a 2255 Barton to Hull. This was a very welcome addition, no doubt in a large part due to City of Culture, but also useful for other reasons, such as train connections from Hull, evening matches at the KC Stadium or attending an evening event in Barton, for example at the Ropewalk.

However the Monday to Friday services were withdrawn from Monday 30th April. At least Stagecoach tried, and gave the journeys 16 months (14-15 months until their withdrawal was registered with VOSA). They weren't withdrawn in haste before they had been given chance to develop custom, although maybe the 'execution' wasn't perfect? Maybe six days a week was too ambitious? Friday and Saturday, or Thursday, Friday and Saturday could have been a better way to start. Maybe they could have been promoted better? Maybe they would have done better if they also served Barton Market Place, Pasture Road and Butts Road? Could the dead running from Barton to Hull just after midnight (I presume Hull depot worked the journeys) have been run in service and picked up the odd passenger? The last Hull to Barton service on weekdays is now at 2120, and from Barton Interchange to Hull at 2052.

The improvement hasn't been an entire failure though, as the late evening journeys continue to run on Saturdays. Hopefully these are doing well and can have a long term future.

Service 18

EYMS operated their mostly commercial 'version' of service 18 between Market Weighton, Holme On Spalding Moor, Bubwith, North Duffield, Wheldrake, York Designer Outlet, Fulford and York for the last time on Saturday 5th May. They had taken the previously tendered service on in April 2014, and provided a Monday to Saturday daytime service every two hours (occasionally more frequent) along with a limited Friday and Saturday evening service. EYMS extended service 46 between York and Market Weighton to Holme On Spalding Moor as a partial replacement.

It has been left to local council's to step in to replace the rest of the 18 - though in fairness to EYMS the 18 had been a fully subsidised route until they took on some of the commercial risk four years ago. East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC), North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council have funded a far more limited service than what was previously provided, still operated by EYMS. There are journeys Monday to Saturday from Holme on Spalding Moor into York at 0705 (0710 Sat), from North Duffield into York at 0945 and 1120, from Wheldrake into York at 1321, and Bubwith into York at 1645. In the reverse direction departures from York operate at 0900 and 1035 to North Duffield, at 1235 to Wheldrake, at 1540 to Bubwith and at 1745 to Holme On Spalding Moor. This is a very basic service, and apart from at peak times, avoids any overlap with the 46, quite sensibly in some ways with one bus trying to cover what two (I think) did before. Unfortunately Bubwith doesn't have a convenient shopping link in this timetable.

It's not quite as limited as this though. Monday to Friday ERYC have also been directly operating some connecting services into EYMS's 18; 0924 and 1059 from Holme On Spalding Moor to North Duffield, returning at 0945 and 1120, and then 1224 from Holme On Spalding Moor to Wheldrake, returning at 1300.

As well as this shuttle, a Friday and Saturday evening service is also provided, operated by EYMS, departing Holme On Spalding Moor for York at 1855, and returning from York at 2300 - I believe this is funded by parish council's. Average loading information published for the 18's previous timetable by City of York Council indicates the evening service loads quite well.

Going by some of the village facebook groups it seems that there will soon be a new  slightly improved 18 timetable, minus the ERYC shuttle bus and with more through service to/from Holme On Spalding Moor. Evening services look set to remain dependent on parish council contributions again.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

The Slightly Improved 45 and 46

Back on Tuesday 8th May, EYMS amended their 45/46 services between York, Pocklington, Market Weighton, Driffield and Bridlington.

Whilst retimed significantly - by up to half an hour - between York and Pocklington, the two services continue to provide a combined hourly Monday to Saturday daytime service on this section, along with a limited evening service. On this section the only other notable change seems to be that there are now some morning services from York, and afternoon services into York, running via the University.

Between Pocklington and Market Weighton the services become hourly combined all day, apart from a couple of two hour gaps departing Market Weighton. This is an improvement from the previous timetable that was hourly late morning/early afternoon but then had only a limited service for the remainder of the day. Combined with the X46, the 45 and 46 offer two well spaced services an hour Monday to Saturday daytime between York, Pocklington and Market Weighton.

The majority of service 46's now extend beyond Market Weighton to Holme on Spalding Moor, acting as a partial replacement for EYMS's previously mostly commercial 18 between Market Weighton, Holme on Spalding Moor and York. EYMS withdrew this at the same time as making these changes to the 46, with the 46 replacing the Market Weighton to Holme on Spalding Moor section, as well as maintaining a commercial Holme on Spalding Moor to York connection, albeit via a longer route. The 46 provides 5 services a day to/from Holme on Spalding Moor including a peak time service, whereas the mostly commercial Monday to Saturday 18 had provided 6-7 Market Weighton to Holme on Spalding Moor services a day and 8-10 Holme on Spalding Moor to York services a day. It should be noted that the replacement tendered 18 still provides some Holme on Spalding Moor to York services.

Service 45 continues beyond Market Weighton to Driffield and Bridlington. Between Market Weighton and Driffield there is simplification with all services, apart from a single afternoon York to Driffield working that has no 'balancing' departure from Driffield (maybe works a schools service on schooldays?), now serving North Dalton and Bainton en-route. Previously most 45's omitted Bainton and some omitted North Dalton.

The 45A variation remains, using the more 'traditional' and quicker route between Pocklington and Driffield via Warter (and omitting Bainton). The 1350 from York 45A has been replaced by 1320 and 1420 45's, so the only 45A's through to/from York are the morning peak Bridlington to York service and early evening return. There is an additional 45A in each direction between Pocklington and Bridlington however, departing Pocklington at 0830, 125 minutes before the previous first 45 departure from Pocklington to Driffield and Bridlington, and leaving Bridlington at 1850, two hours after the last 45 departure. The main purpose of these new journeys would appear to be to transfer one 'diagram' from Bridlington to Pocklington depot, but they may be useful to some travellers, and with a 23 minute wait in Pocklington, a York connection is available in the evening (a morning connection is available as well, but with an 82 minute wait on weekdays and 52 minutes on Saturdays).

Overall the 45/46 came out of these changes with some small improvements.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Stagecoach register Driffield School service

I don't normally cover VOSA registrations these days, nor dedicated schools services, but this registration today stood out to me for the amount of 'dead' mileage involved - Hull to Sledmere is around 28 miles, and if the vehicle returns to Hull during the day, Driffield to Hull is 23 miles.

PB0001484/386 Registered
Route: Sledmere to Driffield School
Service number: HU_7DR (7DR)
Service type: Normal Stopping
Effective date: 04 Sep 2018

Sunday, 22 July 2018

The residual 504, and the end of the 502

EYMS operated their service 504 for the last time on Saturday 5th May. Under EYMS operation the service routed from the village of Bempton, north of Bridlington, via Buckton, the Hawthorns Holiday Park, Bempton Lane, Marton Road, Marton Gate, Sandsacre Road and Limekiln Lane before operating a 'loop' via the Health Centre and Bridlington Bus Station back to Limekiln Lane and as per the inbound route. The service operated hourly Monday to Saturday off peak, with some schoolday afternoon gaps.

From Tuesday 8th May EYMS had new service 5 operating half hourly along Bempton Lane, services 12 and 13 operating every 30/60 minutes along Marton Road, service 6 every hour along Marton Gate and service 14 every hour along Limekiln Lane. However their new network did not include Bempton or Buckton, nor Sandsacre Road.

As far as I can tell Sandsacre Road has no replacement service, but for Bempton and Buckton, East Riding of Yorkshire Council (EYRC) have stepped in, with a limited replacement. From Wednesday 9th May, ERYC introduced a directly operated 504 between Bempton and Bridlington, albeit with a different route. The 504 still serves Buckton and The Hawthorns Holiday Park but then serves Darwin Road as a service 503 replacement and St Aidan Road as a service 510 replacement before running to the Health Centre and Bridlington Bus Station. Like the 504, the 503 and 510 had both operated hourly Monday to Saturday, the 510 at peak times as well. EYRC's 504 started with two journeys in each direction on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, departing Bempton at 0930 and 1130, and Bridlington Bus Station at 1100 and 1300. Tomorrow, Monday 23rd July, sees a 1330 departure from Bempton and 1545 service from Bridlington Bus Station added to the timetable.

This is huge cut for Bempton, Buckton, Darwin Road and St Aidan Road. In addition, for Bempton and Buckton it came at the same time as the loss of their other service, the ERYC funded, EYMS operated 502 which provided a weekday evening peak and Monday to Saturday evening service between Bridlington Bus Station, Kirkgate, Sewerby Road, Viking Road (evening)/Sewerby Hall (peak), Flamborough, Bempton and Buckton. 

The following quote is from the Bempton Parish Council website (note the route in the evenings on service 502 was not the same as the 504):
"Service 502 operates Monday to Saturday along the same route in the evenings.  This service is currently subsidised by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.  However, given EYMS’s decision to terminate the daytime services, the Council has decided to cease providing subsidy for the evening service and transfer this subsidy in order to maintain a daytime connection to Bridlington for residents of Buckton and Bempton.  The council feels that maintaining a link to health facilities, shopping and other key facilities during the day for residents is the best way to use the resources currently available to it for the purpose of supporting a bus service for the two villages.  "

In this context the withdrawal of the 502's subsidy is understandable, even if it is regrettable. It should be noted Bempton has also a rail station on the Hull-Bridlington-Scarborough line.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Flamborough 510 becomes 14

EYMS replaced their main Bridlington to Flamborough service 510 with new route 14 on Tuesday 8th May, as part of wider changes to their Bridlington Town Bus Network. The service remains hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes (including peak time).

The difference comes from a revised, more direct route in Bridlington. The 510 had operated in from Flamborough via Sewerby Road, St Aidan Road and then a one way loop via Queensgate, Quay Road (Health Centre), Bridlington Bus Station, Flamborough Road and a different part of Queensgate back to St Aidan Road, Sewerby Road and Flamborough.

New service 14 simply routes via Limekiln Lane, Eighth Avenue and Flamborough Road to/from Bridlington Bus Station, a far more direct route, especially inbound, however with the loss of access from Flamborough and Sewerby to the Health Centre and East Riding College (close to Queensgate). The 14 replaces the 512 and 513 along Limekiln Lane and Eighth Avenue which had operated every 45 minutes, and also the hourly 504.

Most of Sewerby Road is now covered by hourly service 6, whilst hourly service 5 covers part of Queensgate. However St Aidan Road has been left with a very limited three day a week service on revised route 504, now operated directly by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The 14 takes 25 minutes from Flamborough North Landing to Bridlington Bus Station, as opposed to 30 minutes on the 510, whilst in the opposite direction the 14 takes 29 minutes compared to 23 minutes on the 510 (4 of these extra minutes are between Sewerby and North Landing where there has been no change of route). EYMS noted in their announcement of the 14 that " The new shorter route should also help buses keep to time better", indicating punctuality may have been an issue.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

EYMS Bridlington Town Service 6

On Tuesday 8th May, EYMS introduced new Bridlington Town Service 6, replacing parts of previous services 503, 510, 512 and 513 that operated for the last time on Saturday 5th May; a small part of EYMS's 504 is also covered by the new 6, with the 504 continuing to a revised route operated 'directly' by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, of which more in a future post.

The new 6 covers the north eastern part of Bridlington operating hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes from Bridlington Bus Station via Flamborough Road, Queensgate, Hustler Road, Sewerby Road and Viking Road before looping via Marton Gate, West Crayke and The Crayke back to Viking Road and as per the outbound route back into the town centre.

The eastern part of Queensgate and Hustler Road had previously been served by hourly service 503, and the new service 6 with nine journeys a day is a slight improvement on the 503's seven weekday and eight Saturday services. The section of Sewerby Road served was previously covered by the hourly 510, though the 6 is a slight downgrade as unlike the 510, the 6 does not operate at peak times (first departure 0845 from Bridlington Bus Station, last departure 1655).

The rest of the route primarily replaces parts of the 512 and 513 circulars, that had each operated every 45 minutes including at peak times. In east Bridlington they operated from the Bus Station via Eighth Avenue and Limekiln Lane, now covered by the new 14, then via Viking Road and The Crayke 'area' before running via Marton Road and Trentham Drive en-route to/from Bridlington Bus Station. (See service 5 for replacing the rest of the 512/513). The 512 operated anti-clockwise, covering Moordacks Road, Keppel Drive, Thorntondale Drive and Wharfedale Drive in The Crayke 'area' - none of which are now served - and the 513 operated clockwise, serving West Crayke and The Crayke. Whilst the 6 brings simplification to these areas, it also brings a reduced service and loss of peaktime buses, as well as a service to the health centre.

Finally the 6 also acts as a replacement for the hourly 504 along Marton Gate.

Friday, 13 July 2018

EYMS Bridlington Town Service 5

Just over two months ago, on Tuesday 8th May, EYMS revamped their Bridlington Town Bus Network. Routes 503, 507, 510, 512, 513 and 517 all operated for the last time on Saturday 5th May, and route 504 for the last time with EYMS, and were partially replaced by new route 5, amongst other routes.

The 5 routes from Bridlington Bus Station via Quay Road, Queensgate, St Mary's Walk, Jubilee Avenue and Watsons Avenue before performing a loop via Harewood Avenue, Trentham Drive, Bempton Lane and a small part of Marton Road back to Watsons Avenue and as per the outbound route back to Bridlington Bus Station. It operates every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes with an hour's gap on weekday mornings and an hour's gap on schoolday afternoons.

Queensgate, St Mary's Walk and Jubilee Avenue had been served by the 507 and 513. The 507 had provide an hourly service, direct inbound to Bridlington Town Centre but via the Old Town and New Pasture Lane outbound, whilst the 513 had provided a service every 45 minutes, direct outbound from Bridlington Town Centre but via Trentham Drive, West Crayke, Viking Road and Limekiln Lane inbound. The section of Queensgate covered by service 5 also had service 510 inbound to Bridlington.

Watsons Avenue was covered by the 507 and 513, but also by their 'opposites' on services 517 and 512 respectively that routed via St John's Street and Kirkgate instead off Queensgate, St Mary's Walk and Jubilee Avenue. Like the 507 and 513, the 517 and 512 operated hourly and every 45 minutes respectively. Harewood Avenue and Trentham Drive had been covered by the 512 and 513 giving two services every 45 minutes, whilst Bempton Lane had the 512 and 513 plus the hourly 503 and 504.

In terms of frequency changes the 5 is a mixed picture, and in some places it rather depends on how much the indirect routings on the old network are considered. It is certainly a major simplification though. Having your direct service every hour in one direction and every 45 minutes in another was bizarre for example.

Not that things stay quite so simple for long. In the changes, the 512 and 517 along St John's Street and Kirkgate were not replaced, leaving these roads unserved. From Monday 23rd July alternate 5's become 5A's routing via St John's Street and Kirkgate instead of Queensgate, St Mary's Walk and Jubilee Avenue. Slightly less simplicity, but for a good reason.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

EYMS Bridlington Town Service 4

Back on Tuesday 8th May, EYMS replaced their 507/517 Bridlington Town Services to the Old Town and New Pasture Lane areas with new service 4.

The 507 and 517 had each operated hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, with some schoolday gaps, combining to give a half hourly frequency between Bridlington Bus Station, Quay Road and the New Pasture Lane area. Between Quay Road and New Pasture Lane the 507 routed via Brett Street, Brookland Road, South Back Lane, Leys Road, Westgate and Market Place (Old Town) to the New Pasture Lane area before returning via Marton Road, Watsons Avenue, Jubilee Avenue, St Mary's Walk (East Riding College) and Queensgate to Quay Road and Bridlington Bus Station. The 517 operated from Quay Road via St Johns Street, Kirkgate and Sewerby Road to Watsons Avenue and then the reverse of the 507 route via the New Pasture Lane area back into Bridlington Town Centre.

New service 4 is much simpler, operating from Bridlington Bus Station to the New Pasture Lane area via Quay Road, Brett Street, Brookland Road, South Back Lane, Leys Road, Westgate and Market Place (Old Town), and then returning via the same route. The frequency is every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes with some schoolday gaps. Hopefully this simplicity with drive growth, and for the likes of Brett Street and Brookland Road the number of direct services into Bridlington Town Centre is doubled (previously they had two services an hour, but one was via the New Pasture Lane area).

However what about those areas that the 4 doesn't cover? New service 5, of which more later, covers Queensgate, St Mary's Walk, Jubilee Avenue and Watsons Avenue, with Marton Road served by the 12 and 13 between Bridlington and Scarborough. This leaves St Johns Street, Kirkgate and parts of Sewerby Road from service 517 unserved.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

EYMS Bridlington Town Service 3

Last month EYMS halved their service to the West Hill Estate in Bridlington. Until Saturday 5th May, routes 505 and 506 had each provided an hourly Monday to Saturday daytime service to the estate and back again from Bridlington Bus Station, together providing a half hourly service, although with a 22-38 minute interval at their West Hill timing point. The 505 operated via the Health Centre whereas the 506 took the more direct Hilderthorpe Road route; around West Hill the 505 operated anti-clockwise and the 506 clockwise. Both routes also included Bridlington Hospital.

Since Tuesday 8th May EYMS's only West Hill service has been on new hourly Monday to Saturday daytime route 3, operating from Bridlington Bus Station via the Health Centre then clockwise around West Hill to Bridlington Hospital and back to the Bus Station via the Health Centre. Hilderthorpe Road remains served by out of town services 45/45A/121/130/136, with the 45/45A/121 also covering Bessingby Road/Bridlington Hospital.

Another consequence of the change is that the first service from West Hill to Bridlington is now at 0919 rather than 0847, and the last departure from Bridlington Bus Station is at 1715 rather than 1735.

With EYMS seemingly struggling in West Hill, would it be worthwhile diverting either the 45/45A or the 121 via the estate to supplement the 3 without needing any extra resource? The journey time penalty would be small if it was instead off rather than as well as Bridlington Hospital - and that is why I say one route or the other to keep a Driffield-Bridlington Hospital service. As well providing an extra link between West Hill and Bridlington Town Centre, it would also provide West Hill with access to Driffield and either Hull/Beverley or York, and potentially some earlier/later and Sunday services.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

EYMS Bridlington Town Service 2

EYMS revised and simplified their Bridlington Town Bus network from Tuesday 8th May. One of the least impacted areas was south Bridlington. Here the 503 had been the main service until Saturday 5th May, routing from Bridlington Promenade via the Health Centre/Rail Station and Cardigan Road to Belvedere Parade before returning via Avocet Way, Kingsgate (A165), George Street, the northern part of Cardigan Road and the Health Centre/Rail Station to Bridlington Bus Station.

With the new network this part of Bridlington is now served by new service 2. It starts as well as finishes at Bridlington Bus Station, and from comparing maps seems to omit George Street and part of Cardigan Road inbound in favour of serving more of Kingsgate. Otherwise it's the same route as the 503 in south Bridlington.

The timetable is fairly similar as well. The 503 departed Bridlington Promenade hourly between 0925 and 1525 Monday to Friday and between 0825 and 1525 Saturdays. The 2 departs Bridlington Bus Station hourly between 0920 and 1420 Monday to Saturday, then 1530 and 1630, albeit with the 1420 and 1530 not running on schooldays.

Kingsgate is also served by EYMS service 130 between Hornsea and Bridlington and Busking's 136 between Driffield and Bridlington. The 136 also serves Avocet Way on it's 1700 and 1815 departures from Bridlington Bus Station.

The 503 also served parts of north Bridlington. I will cover these routes in more detail in future posts, but the 6 now covers the 503 along Queensgate and Hustler Road, the 12 and 13 along parts of Marton Road, the 5 along Bempton Lane and revised service 504 replaces the 503 around Darwin Road.

Friday, 22 June 2018

240 and 246 Changes

EYMS revised their two main Hornsea to Hull services on Sunday 6th May. The 240 is the direct service via Skirlaugh, whilst the 246 takes the longer route via Beverley.

For service 240 the main change is that all services now include Brandesburton, which the 240 previously just served on the journeys that included Hymers College, and in the evening. Otherwise the service remains hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, along with a limited evening service into Hull and a reduced Sunday service of three return journeys, down from four previously. A previous two hour gap from Hornsea to Hull on Saturday afternoons between 1510 and 1710 is filled.

Service 246 has been increased from hourly to half hourly between Beverley and Hull Monday to Saturday daytimes. There is an extra service from Hornsea to Beverley in the evening peak Monday to Saturday, with previous 1630 and 1915 departures replaced by 1700 (1655 Sat), 1755 and 1855 services. A limited evening service from Hull to Hornsea remains Monday to Saturday, as does the 2300 Hull to Beverley on Sunday.

However service 246 has lost it's Sunday and Bank Holiday service between Hornsea and Beverley. Four return journeys were provided, three of which received financial support from East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) until the end of March. Interestingly EYMS pulled the interworked Sunday 220 service immediately, but these 246 journeys 'hung on' for a further five Sundays, plus Easter Monday. The combined Sunday and Bank Holiday 220/246 carried an average 7 passengers per journey, 4313 passengers a year, at a subsidy of £1.84 per passenger journey, according to ERYC's 2016  'Review of Bus Services in the East Riding'. With the Sunday 240 continuing and now serving Brandesburton, only Routh and Tickton have lost their Sunday services entirely.

Both services have a revised route in Brandesburton, now using New Road rather than Main Street due to 'badly parked cars'. It is also worth noting that almost all journeys on both services have new times.

So apart from Brandesburton, between Beverley and Hull, and on Sundays, not much change, which in the context of Hornsea depot closing is surprising. On weekdays there are seven pre 9am departures from Hornsea, but only one arrival. On Saturdays there are five pre 9am departures but no arrivals. In the evening Monday to Saturday Hornsea has six arrivals but only three departures. The residual Sunday 240 service starts and finishes in Hornsea. When EYMS's Hornsea depot was open this made sense, but there seems to be six 'out of service' buses running from Beverley and/or Hull to Hornsea on a weekday morning, and five on a Saturday. Likewise there appears to be a number of evening 'dead runs', and one each way on a Sunday.

This amount of dead running, to an outsider like me, seems to be very costly. Could some or all of it be run 'in service' - if necessary these journeys could runs direct between Sigglesthorne and Skirlaugh on the 240 and omitting Brandesburton and Leven on the 246? Even if only one or two passengers were carried it would be better than none.

Monday, 18 June 2018

EYMS Sold to Go Ahead

EYMS Press Release:
Hull-headquartered East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS), including Scarborough and District Motor Services, have been acquired by award-winning bus operator Go North East, part of the international transport organisation Go-Ahead Group Plc.

Established in 1926 and owned and operated for the last three decades by the Shipp family, EYMS transports over 17 million passengers annually, has a workforce of 700 staff and runs over 300 buses and coaches throughout Hull, East Riding and the North Yorkshire Coast.

For over 100 years, Go North East has run bus services connecting the region's towns and villages with the cities of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland. Currently operating across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and into Tees Valley, it is one of 10 regional subsidiary bus companies within the Go-Ahead Group.

“We are excited to welcome the EYMS team into the Go-Ahead family,” says David Brown, Group Chief Executive of Go-Ahead. “Like Go North East, the company is well established in the local communities it serves and shares the same values of excellent customer service and strong employee engagement.

“Bringing companies like EYMS into the Group draws us ever-closer to our vision of a world where every journey is taken care of, while meeting our strategic objective of building a sustainable business that meets the needs of our customers and communities.”

Peter Shipp, Owner and Chairman of EYMS who has been with the company for 38 years, commented: “At the age of 74 and after 56 years in the bus industry I think it is time for me to handover the business and I am delighted to be doing so to an organisation with such a strong reputation caring for its people, customers and communities. It has the scale required to invest in the assets, both people and buses, to take EYMS forward in a healthy and successful way.”

EYMS will operate as a stand-alone company within Go North East, overseen by the Go North East executive director team.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

EYMS end 220/221, but not quite the end of the 220

EYMS operated service 220 between Hornsea, Aldbrough and Hull for the final time on Saturday 5th May, with service 221 between Aldbrough and Hull having operated for the final time the day before. Service 220 operated via Mappleton between Hornsea and Aldbrough, and after Aldbrough served Flinton, Humbleton Moor Corner, Sproatley and Bilton en-route into Hull. Service 221 followed the same route except for serving Garton rather than Flinton and having a different route in Humbleton.

The weekday frequency was one morning peak 220 from Hornsea into Hull, two daytime Aldbrough to Hull services in each direction, plus two evening peak 220's from Hull back to Hornsea. The daytime Aldbrough to Hull services operated as 220's for all journeys on Tuesday and Thursday but on Monday, Wednesday and Friday one service operated as a 221 in each direction to give Garton a link to Hull and Asda at Bilton. Saturday's followed the Tuesday and Thursday pattern but with a daytime journey starting/finishing in Hornsea in each direction.

I believe that since the Sunday and Bank Holiday service was withdrawn on Good Friday, the 220 has been entirely commercial. The 221 diversion via Garton however had received East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) funding; ERYC's Review of Bus Services report in 2016 reported an average zero passengers per journey/97 passengers per year at a cost of £8.79 per passenger journey. Somewhat staggeringly after consultation the 221's funding was retained, and still for a three day a week service.

I guess the closure of Hornsea depot ultimately sealed the 220/221's fate with EYMS, but looking at the populations of some of the villages served, I can see why the 220 may have been struggling:
Mappleton Parish - 342
Aldbrough Parish - 1269
Humbleton Parish (includes Flinton) - 208
Sproately Parish - 1350
Bilton Parish - 2220
The above doesn't take into account how likely residents may or may not be to use a bus service, nor does it factor in visitors. However it does show the 220/221 served some small communities. I've ignored Hornsea as it's main Hull service is on route 240, and also any local traffic within Hull as EYMS cover that via the 56/57/240/277.

In addition, Sproatley and Bilton also have the 277 into Hull and Hedon Monday to Saturday plus the 242 Monday to Saturday and 243 Monday to Friday to Beverley. Humbleton has the 243 into Beverley Monday to Friday while Mappleton, Aldbrough and Garton are served by the 129 Monday to Saturday plus Summer Sundays between Hornsea and Withernsea. Apart from Flinton all communities served have alternative services at least for shopping, even if they aren't all to Hull or Asda Bilton; the 220/221 didn't have the 'bus market' to itself in these villages.

Despite my 'understanding' of why the 220/221 may have been pulled by EYMS it is still disappointing to see this withdrawal happen. It's not the end of the 220 altogether though. ERYC have funded a weekday peak service between Hornsea and Bilton, operated by Acklams Coaches, for connections into the 277 for Hull City Centre, and the BC4 Bishop Burton College service.

In addition Aldbrough Parish Council have arranged a five week trial Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday service between the village and Asda Bilton via Flinton and Sproatley, operated by Pearsons Coaches. The service departs Aldbrough at 0930, returning from Asda at 1400 Tuesday and Thursday and 1530 Saturday, giving plenty of time to go into Hull via services 56, 57 or 277. Funding comes from Aldbrough Charity Shop and Withernwick Wind Farm.

Hopefully the peak 220 and the Aldbrough Council service can be maintained as they do help fill some of the biggest gaps left behind by the EYMS 220.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Service 230 Ends

Service 230 between Hornsea and Hull operated for the last time on Saturday 5th May. It had been operated by EYMS on behalf of East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, providing a shopping link into Hull, with one journey in each direction. The main Hornsea to Hull link is provided by route 240, whilst there is also the 246 which takes the longer route via Beverley. I presume EYMS handed back the tender with the closure of their Hornsea depot.

The route incorporated Hatfield, Withernwick, Rise, Skirlaugh, New Ellerby, Old Ellerby and Coniston, plus Swine on Tuesday and Thursday only. The service had an unusual 'quirk' in that on Tuesday and Thursday the inbound service to Hull only operated as far as Ganstead where passengers needed to change to service 240, however the return started at Hull Interchange.

The only replacement ERYC have arranged is for the Holderness MiBus on Tuesday and Saturday to also incorporate New Ellerby, Old Ellerby and Swine, providing a link to Beverley if pre-booked by 1600 the day prior. MiBus also covers Withernwick and Skirlaugh, and I guess Hatfield and Rise as well? Skirlaugh and Coniston aren't a concern however as they are on the main 240 Hornsea to Hull route served seven days a week, and also have the 242/243 into Beverley six and five days a week respectively. It is Hatfield, Withernwick, Rise, New Ellerby, Old Ellerby and Swine that become unserved by 'traditional' services. For Witherwick, Hatfield and Rise the 230 ending follows the 2017 loss of service 241.

The 230 had got through the 2016 ERYC Review of Bus Services, the documentation for which reveals an average 9 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £3.04 per passenger journey. It hasn't survived ERYC needing to cover withdrawn commercial services and handed back tenders however. Would a reduction in the number of days have saved the 230 though, maybe with a route change to go Aldbrough-Witherwick-Hatfield-Rise then as before, helping to mitigate the loss of the 220/221? Hornsea was almost certainly just on the route for convenience.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

York Pullman take on Tuesday Pocklington Services

East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) tendered service 195 between Allerthorpe and Pocklington passed from EYMS to York Pullman from Tuesday 8th May. En-route it serves the villages of Thornton, Bielby, Everingham, Seaton Ross, Melbourne, Sutton on Derwent and Newton on Derwent.

The 195 had operated on Tuesdays and Thursdays until this point, with one journey in each direction providing a shopping link into Pocklington, and on Thursdays a connection into the 196 at Sutton on Derwent or Newton on Derwent, for travel into York. However with the change of operator the Thursday service is cancelled. The Tuesday service is retimed to leave Allerthorpe at 1015, rather than 0930, returning from Pocklington at 1315 rather than 1235.

I guess the Thursday service was ended to fund replacements for commercial services given up by EYMS, and to cover any higher costs on retender for subsidised services. No community is left unserved by this change either. In addition to the 195, Sutton on Derwent has 'all day' services into York six days a week on the 36/X36/196, Newton on Derwent has a 'shopper' service into York on the Thursday 196, as does Melbourne on a Saturday with the 36. Whilst not much use for shopping, Bielby, Everingham, Seaton Ross and Melbourne also have the weekday peak X36 into York.

However this is still a disappointing change, especially when compared to the pre-April 2017 service that provided most of the villages with 'shopper' services to York and/or Pocklington 4 days a week. It is also perhaps worth questioning why the service runs Allerthorpe-Newton on Derwent-Pocklington as opposed to Newton on Derwent-Allerthorpe-Pocklington, now that York connections are not a consideration. Allerthorpe to Pocklington direct used to take 9 minutes, the current route takes 70 minutes. Whilst journey times from Newton on Derwent, Sutton on Derwent and Melbourne would be increased if the route was revised in this way, the increase would be nowhere near as drastic, and these are the three villages with alternative 'shopping' services.

At the same time Tuesday only ERYC tendered service 199 from Huggate to Pocklington via Warter Nunburnholme, Burnby and Hayton also passed from EYMS to York Pullman. One journey continues to operate each way, but retimed to leave Huggate at 0930 rather than 0920, and Pocklington at 1145 rather than 1125. The 195 and 199 can now be operated by the same vehicle.

Monday, 28 May 2018

196 passes to York Pullman

On Thursday 10th May, York Pullman took over operation of East Riding of Yorkshire Council tendered service 196 from EYMS. The 196 operates on Thursdays between Aughton and York via Sutton on Derwent, Newton on Derwent and Elvington, with one journey in each direction. The morning journey continues to depart Aughton at 0930 but the return now operates slightly later at 1337 from York Station Road, as opposed to 1320 previously.

Given cuts to the 18 and 195, off which more in a future post, it seems a shame the service hasn't been extended to start at Bubwith or be diverted to include Melbourne and/or Seaton Ross, but I guess schools services, the 0930 concessionary pass use start time and a desire to provide a good amount of time in York prevents this. However maybe a little time could be saved by operating between Newton upon Derwent and York via the A1079, as opposed to 'doubling back' to route via Elvington which has the 36 into York?

Sunday, 27 May 2018

EYMS 277 May Changes

Last April EYMS revised their 277 service between Hull City Centre, Holderness Road, Bilton, Sproatley, Preston (Main Street and Station Road) and Hedon to also include Weghill Road in Preston, Burstwick and Thorngumbald. As part of this change the service operated as a circular between Preston Main Street, Preston Station Road, Hedon, Thorngumbald, Burstwick, Preston Weghill Road and Preston Main Street on most journeys.

On Tuesday 8th May, EYMS reversed this routing change. This provides more direct journeys in each direction between Holderness Road/Bilton,/Sproatley/Preston Main Street and Hedon, and meant that Station Road in Preston regained services in each direction all day, important for local travel to/from Hedon and for quicker journeys into Hull. On the other hand Weghill Road and parts of Burstwick are left with just the Saturday only 173 service (i.e. the pre-April 2017 arrangement). Thorngumbald and other parts of Burstwick remain served by the main Hull-Hedon-Withernsea services, some of which also serve the southern part of Holderness Road.

At the same time, EYMS have also reduced the number of journeys. From Preston to Hull 8 journeys on weekdays and 6 on Saturdays had been provided, but that is now 6 Monday to Saturday. From Hull Paragon Interchange 6 weekday and 5 Saturday departures become 5 weekday and 4 Saturday departures. The last two journeys from Hedon start in Hull as a service 79.

For Bilton and Sproatley the reduction is more significant as EYMS also withdrew their 220/221 services at the same time. I will cover these routes more in a separate post, but from these two villages the 220/221 had provided an extra 3 services into Hull and 4 services from Hull.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Service 134 Ends

Tuesday and Thursday service 134 between the village of Skerne and Driffield operated for the last time on Thursday 3rd May. EYMS had been the operator on behalf of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, with two service each way, leaving Driffield at 1010 and 1240 and Skerne at 1020 and 1250 - giving Skerne residents two hours 10 minutes in Driffield.

Comments on this post about associated service 135 indicate the 134 was little used. As a replacement, East Riding of Yorkshire Council have arranged for the Tuesday Driffield MiBus to include Skerne. Pre-Booking is required.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The 135 goes 'in house'

EYMS operated East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) tendered service 135 between Driffield and various villages to the west of the town for the last time on Friday 4th May. Most journeys operated via Little Driffield and Garton before performing a clockwise loop via Wetwang, Fridaythorpe, Fimber and Sledmere back to Garton, Little Driffield and into Driffield. One service operated the 'other way' around the 'loop'.

Following the bank holiday, ERYC have taken over the service themselves since Tuesday 8th May, but with some changes. The Tuesday and Thursday 'shopper' journeys from Driffield at 0910 and 1140 continue unaltered, giving travellers 99 minutes in the town. However the two Monday to Friday peak journeys have been cut back, and slightly retimed, to operate between Driffield, Little Driffield, Garton and Wetwang only, leaving Fridaythorpe, Fimber and Sledmere with just the two day a week shopper service.

I'm not too surprised EYMS are no longer operating the service; it may have been a logical tender for them when they had Driffield depot, but the 'dead mileage' will have become significant since then, I presume from either Beverley or Bridlington.

According to ERYC's 2016 Review of Bus Services the 135 and associated 134 (which I will cover separately) carried an average 6 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £6.39 per passenger journey. Annual passengers were 4099.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Now just the 63 (and the 63C)

Until Saturday (5th May), EYMS services on the 'Priory Road' corridor in West Hull comprised the 60, 60A, 61, 61C, 62, 64 and 64C. Monday to Saturday daytimes they ran as follows:

62 - 3 buses every two hours between Hull City Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Priory Road and the Setting Dyke Estate
64 - Hourly between Hull City Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Priory Road, Cottingham and Castle Hill Hospital
61 - Every two hours between Hull City Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Priory Road, Cottingham, Skidby, Little Weighton, Walkington and Beverley
60 -  Every two hours between Hull City Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Priory Road, New Village Road, Cottingham and Cottingham Parkway
60A - Every two hours between Hull City Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Priory Road, Beck Bank, Hallgate, Cottingham and Cottingham Parkway

Together these services provided a bus every 15 minutes from Hull City Centre to Priory Road as far as Ledbury Road, and two to three buses an hour through to Cottingham. The 61C was one morning 61 that also served Castle Hill Hospital whilst the 64C was for evening extensions beyond Castle Hill Hospital to Willerby.

Since yesterday, Sunday 6th May, the above has been much simplified, with inevitable winners and losers. The main Monday to Saturday daytime service is now known as service 63 and comprises:
  • A half hourly service between Hull City Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Priory Road and Setting Dyke (Ledbury Road) - i.e. the old 62 route, and personally I might have kept that number for these journeys since the other journeys don't divert off Priory Road to Ledbury Road
  • A half hourly service between Hull City Centre, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Priory Road, Cottingham, Eppleworth Road, Green Lane and Castle Hill Hospital - i.e. the old 64 route
  • An hourly extension from Castle Hill Hospital to Beverley via Skidby, Little Weighton and Walkington, covering not only the 61 but also replacing the 180 via these villages
In terms of positives the service to Ledbury Road increases by an extra bus every two hours, whilst Eppleworth Road, Green Lane and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham are doubled from hourly to half hourly (Eppleworth Road did lose the hourly Stagecoach 9 in late April however). Skidby, Little Weighton and Walkington trade access to Willerby, Anlaby and Hessle on the 180 for an increased hourly service to Hull, Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital - personally I regard that as a worthwhile trade off. Beverley also gets an improved hourly frequency to Hull Royal Infirmary. It is also a far easier to understand service with less variations and everything on a standard hourly rather than two hourly pattern.

However there are negatives. Services to central Cottingham are reduced by one bus every two hours, but with a half hourly service remaining and options on other routes to both Hull City Centre (103, 105, 115) and Hull Royal Infirmary (115/154 via Castle Hill) I don't see this being a big issue. In Cottingham, New Village Road, Beck Bank/Hallgate and the southern end of The Parkway/Ganton Avenue are now unserved. Apologies if I am incorrect but the southern of The Parkway and Ganton Avenue look to be within walking distance of the 115 on Burton Road and the northern end of The Parkway. Similarly Beck Bank is close by to Thwaite Street, and Hallgate to the stops in Central Cottingham - both are also close to Cottingham Station. New Village Road however isn't close by to any alternatives.

Sunday daytimes see the hourly 64 replaced by an hourly 63 over the same route between Hull City Centre and Castle Hill Hospital. The daily evening 64C's to Willerby remain, renumbered as 63C, the only suffixed variation to remain.

Looking in detail at the timetable, there is now a 60 minute weekday morning gap from Hull Interchange after the 0615 to Castle Hill, as the 0635 60A is not replaced. The final service from Hull Interchange to Skidby/Little Weighton/Walkington is now five minutes earlier at 1708 rather than 1713, and from Beverley is 10 minutes earlier at 1700 rather than 1710.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

198 now needs pre-booking

EYMS Market Weighton area service 198 operated for the final time on Friday 4th May, due to the operator giving up this East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) contracted service. Service 198 was introduced last year to replace the previous S1/S2/S3 services. It had operated on Fridays and provided a shopping service from North Cliffe, South Cliffe, Hotham, South Newbald, North Newbald, Sancton, Londesborough and Goodmanham into Market Weighton.

A replacement has been arranged by ERYC, and will be operated by Goole Go Far on Friday's, but with pre-booking required by 1600 on a Thursday. I cannot access the press release anymore, but I am sure ERYC put the lack of a 'like for like' replacement down to financial pressures - they have had to fund replacements for some previously commercial services and it maybe that when EYMS have handed back other tendered services that are continuing with new operators, they are now costing more.

Hotham, South Newbald and North Newbald still have service 143 with one journey into Beverley on Mondays and two on both Wednesday and Saturdays, but the other villages are now devoid of a 'traditional' bus service.

124 passes from EYMS to HART

From Wednesday 9th May, operation of East Riding of Yorkshire Council tendered service 124 passes from EYMS to North Holderness Community Transport (HART), with no changes to the timetable. The route provides a Wednesday shopping service into Bridlington, and a Thursday shopping service into Driffield, from various villages north of Driffield and west of Bridlington, including Burton Fleming.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Service 121 split, plus 120 and X20 replaced by new 13

From Sunday 6th May, EYMS is splitting one of it's main interurban services into two. Service 121 currently links Hull, Beverley, Driffield, Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough, but from next Sunday only the Hull to Bridlington section remains as service 121, with the Bridlington to Scarborough section becoming new service 12.

EYMS say this change is due to the length of the route and that "it can get delayed by busy traffic, accidents and roadworks, especially in the busy summer months". It certainly is a long route passing through six towns or cities en-route as well as busy tourist areas. EYMS state that the new shorter 121 and 12 routes should be more reliable and less likely to be delayed - delays in Hull shouldn't affect a Filey to Scarborough passenger for example.

However for anyone travelling across Bridlington a change is now required unless the Summer Only X21 or the train is suitable for your journey, and whilst connections will be available between the 121 and 12, they won't be guaranteed.  Connection times northbound vary between 1 and 28 minutes and southbound between 5 and 20 minutes. There are also some slight 'misconnects', such as the Monday to Saturday 0726 service 12 arrival into Bridlington missing the 0720 service 121 departure and the 1924 weekday arrival into Bridlington on the 121 missing the 1920 service 12 to Scarborough (on the weekends the 1924 arrives at 1919 giving a one minute connection that is probably not best to rely on).

Looking in more detail at the new timetables, both the cutback 121 and new 12 remain hourly daily. Focusing on the 121, the Monday to Saturday 0635 from Bridlington to Hull now starts in Driffield at 0653 (0703 Sat), removing the only pre-9am bus arrival into Hull from Bridlington and the villages en-route to Driffield. The vehicle for this service must work 'dead' to Driffield as there is no corresponding arrival into the town. There are however new Monday to Saturday 0720 and 0825 departures from Bridlington whereas in the current timetable after the 0635 there is no southbound 121 from Bridlington until 0925. Also on Monday to Saturday mornings 0620 Hull to Nafferton (north east of Driffield) and 0635 Hull to Scarborough are consolidated into a 0630 Hull to Bridlington. On Sundays the 1000 from Driffield to Hull starts back in Bridlington at 0925, providing an hour earlier first departure from the seaside town.

In the evening the 1835 from Hull to Beverley is extended to Nafferton, filling a two hour gap on the Beverley to Nafferton section of route, and also runs on Sundays, but the 1930 Bridlington to Hull now starts in Nafferton, meaning the last southbound 121 from Bridllington is at 1830 (with a 45A following 20 minutes later Monday to Saturday).

Turning to the 12, which falls under EYMS's Scarborough and District brand, and the 0535 Monday to Saturday service 121 departure from Scarborough is not replaced on the new 12, meaning the first service is now 0630. The 0720 from Scarborough on Sundays is also withdrawn, with the first service now at 0905 on the 12, though for (presumably) eight months of the year new service 13 has earlier departures at 0750, 0820 and 0845 (the later just to Filey). In the opposite direction the current gaps between 0815 and 1000 in Monday to Saturday departures from Bridlington reduces to 0835 to 0925, whilst on Sunday mornings the first departure from Bridlington is at 0925 rather than 1000. Strictly speaking outside of the remit of the blog, but from Hunmanby (south of Filey) into Scarborough, Sunday morning departures generally operate about half an hour earlier, starting at 0754 rather than 0826.

In the evening there is a new 1945 service 12 from Scarborough, 85 minutes later than the current last 121 at 1820, and a new 2020 Bridlington to Scarborough, 60-65 minutes later than the current last 121.

At the same time as converting the northern part of the 121 into the 12, EYMS (under their Scarborough and District brand) have consolidated their Summer 120 and X20 services into new route 13. I say Summer but the 120/X20 have usually operated for 8 months of the year between early March and early November, neither of which can be called Summer! The 120 runs between Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough via various holiday camps hourly daytimes and the X20 are Filey to Scarborough shorts again operating hourly daytimes.

Whilst the 120 and X20 have been well co-ordinated - every half hour from Scarborough and every 20-40 minutes from Filey back into Scarborough, and the 120 and X20 provided a half hourly northbound service from Bridlington and an almost every twenty minute frequency from Filey into Scarborough, leaving Scarborough the 120 and 121 have been just ten minutes apart.

With the new 13 - that still provides an hourly Scarborough to Bridlington service and hourly Scarborough to Filey short - southbound co-ordination is much improved. The 12 and 13 combine to provide a services every twenty minutes from Scarborough to Filey, and although the Scarborough to Bridlington service isn't every half hour, every 20-40 minutes is better than every 10-50 minutes. From Bridlington northbound remains half hourly, every 20 minutes from Filey.

There is a new 0820 service 13 from Scarborough, but the 1805 Scarborough to Reighton Sands Holiday Village and 1920 Scarborough to Bridlington 120 journeys are combined into a 1845 Scarborough to Bridlington 13.

Interestingly the 12 and 13 appear to have some 'interworking', which may mean some changes to the 12 are needed in November when the 13 will presumably end for the year as it's predecessors the 120 and X20 did. The 0750 13 from Scarborough seems to form the 0925 12 from Bridlington. The 1845 13 Scarborough to Bridlington seems to return as a service 12 at 2020 from Bridlington, and the 1945 12 from Scarborough to Bridlington seems to return as a service 13 at 2050 from Bridlington.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

EYMS 78/79 Minor Improvements

EYMS Services 78 and 79 between Hull and Hedon will serve the bus stop at the Siemens Factory in East Hull from Tuesday 8th May as part of their route through Victoria Dock - I'm not sure of the specifics of the road layout but they had been going close to the factory already. Together the services provide one bus an hour Monday to Saturday daytimes (not quite hourly due to the different routes used by the 78 and 79). The Siemens Factory is also served by Stagecoach's 16.

A new 1618 service from Hedon Imans Estate into Hull on service 79 is also introduced on weekdays at the same time, filling a gap in departures from the Inmans Estate on services 78/79 between 1527 and 1755, a gap in departures from Hedon to Paull village between 1334 and 1802 (times at Hedon Thorn Road Corner) and an hour's gap in the overall Hedon to Hull service between 1554 and 1654 (times from Thorn Road Corner).

A Loss and An Addition in Beverley

From Tuesday 8th May there are two changes to EYMS's 520/521 Beverley Town Services.

The Monday to Saturday 0725 520 from Beverley Bus Station will no longer operate, with the first service now an hour later at 0825. The 0725 had been subsidised by East Riding of Yorkshire Council as part of a contract that also included a morning service on route 122, but the funding was withdrawn at the end of March.

More positively the current Saturday only 1455 521 from Beverley Bus Station will now also operate on weekdays, filling a two hour gap in the 521 timetable and an hour's gap in the combined 520/521 service.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

EYMS new 80

EYMS's long standing service 180 between Beverley, Cottingham, Willerby, Anlaby, Hessle, North Ferriby and Swanland comes to an end after operation on Saturday 5th May, as does it's more recent 'sister' route the X80 between Beverley and Hessle. Both services operate every two hours Monday to Saturday, with some peak time extras.

The main replacement is new Monday to Saturday hourly service 80 between Beverley and Hessle, which will mostly use the route of service X80, operating direct between Beverley and Cottingham via the A164, before serving Castle Hill Hospital, Willerby Shopping Park, Willerby Square, Anlaby, First Lane and Hessle. Looking at the new timetable it seems Flemingate in Beverley will be served both inbound and outbound as opposed to the current 'loop' arrangement which sees buses serve Flemingate outbound only, but with inbound passengers able to stay onboard at Beverley Bus Station.

Looking in more detail at the timetable there is a two hour 10 minute gap on weekday afternoons from Beverley between 1355 and 1605 and a two hour 15 minute gap from Hessle between 1405 and 1620. The last weekday departure from Beverley is 35 minutes earlier at 1705 compared to 1740 on the X80, whilst from Hessle the last departure is 20 minutes earlier at 1720 compared to 1740 on the 180. On Saturdays the last departure from Hessle is 35 minutes earlier at 1705 rather than 1740 on the 180. If the service is to be worked from Beverley depot there appears to be 'dead running' for one vehicle to Hessle in the morning and for one vehicle back to Beverley in the evening. It is a shame these couldn't be run in 'service' given the 80's fairly direct route.

For those destinations served by the 80, this is a significant improvement. I can see Cottingham to Beverley fast being a good market; Cottingham is a very large village and is also home to one of the regions main hospitals - Castle Hill. In addition a limited evening and Sunday fast service between central Cottingham and Beverley is available on service X47. For the Cottingham to Hessle section what is currently two buses every two hours now becomes a standard hourly service.

The three villages between Beverley and Cottingham served by the 180 but not the X80 or the new 80 - Walkington, Little Weighton and Skidby - become served by the new 63 every hour. The new 63 maintains hourly links to Beverley, Castle Hill Hospital and Cottingham Village Centre currently provided by the 61 and 180, and increases the link to Hull City Centre and Hull Royal Infirmary currently provided the 61 every two hours, to every hour. The trade off is the loss of a service to Willerby, Anlaby and Hessle; to me at least that is a trade off worth making.

For the other areas served by the 180 but not the new 80, there is either no, or only a partial replacement. Between Cottingham and Hessle the only difference is that the Willerby Parkway area is no longer served. This area won't be 'bus less' as the 35 and 44A provide a link into Hull every 90 minutes, but links to Beverley, Cottingham, Castle Hill Hospital, Anlaby and Hessle are gone without a long walk to catch the 80 (Kingston Road does have the 154 to Castle Hill Hospital).

The section of the 180 between Hessle, North Ferriby and Swanland is cancelled almost without replacement. The 153 continues to link North Ferriby and Swanland, and the two villages to Anlaby, but Swanland and North Ferriby no longer have links to Hessle, Willerby, Castle Hill Hospital or Cottingham, and neither does Swanland to Beverley. It is worth noting a passenger from Swanland could only spend 45 minutes in Beverley on weekdays with the current 180 timetable. If the Hessle Town Service was still around it could have been an option to reduce the frequency to incorporate North Ferriby and Swanland, but sadly it's not, and no easy replacement options exist.

The one replacement introduced for this section is the extension of service 143 to North Ferriby. Service 143 provides one Monday and two Wednesday and Saturday round trips between Melton, Brough, South Cave and Beverley and will now start/finish in North Ferriby, maintaining a North Ferriby to Beverley link.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Hornsea Town Service Reductions

From Tuesday 8th May, the EYMS operated Monday to Saturday service 550 Hornsea Town Service will have a reduced timetable; while the timetable remains mostly hourly during the daytime there are cutbacks at the start/end of the day and in the middle of the day. I presume this is to allow one vehicle and driver to operate the service all day?

In the morning the 0740 from Hornsea EYMS Depot to Hornsea Freeport no longer runs, with the first journey in this direction becoming the 0819 from Hornsea Caravan Park (0820 at the EYMS Depot). In the middle of the day the 1130 from Hornsea Freeport and 1200 return from Hornsea Caravan Park cease, leaving a two hour gap in the timetable. Then in the afternoon the 1630 Hornsea Freeport to Hornsea Caravan Park, 1700 return and 1730 Hornsea Freeport to Hornsea EYMS Depot end - the last departure from Hornsea Freeport will now be at 1530 and from Hornsea Caravan Park at 1600.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Hull to Beverley gains an extra hourly frequency

EYMS are making widespread changes to their services from Sunday 6th May. While there are service withdrawals and reductions, there are also some positives, including between Hull and Beverley.

Currently Monday to Saturday daytimes the frequency is every 15 minutes (excluding the longer 61, to become 63, via Cottingham), with three services an hour via Dunswell and Woodmansey (routes 121, 122 and 246), and one via the A1079 (route X46). Of the three Dunswell routes, a half hourly service operates into Beverley via Swinemoor Lane and Hull Bridge Road (routes 121 and 122) and an hourly service via Flemingate (route 246).

From Tuesday 8th May the 246 is doubled to half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes between Hull and Beverley, improving access to the relatively new Flemingate shopping and leisure complex, which is also home to East Riding College. Combined with the 121 and 122 this will provide the Hull-Dunswell-Woodmansey-Beverley corridor with a service every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes (due to the different routes in Beverley, intermediate points going into Hull don't quite have an even interval service). The X46 moves 'outside' this 'every 15 minute daytime pattern' but combined with the 121/122/246 means the Hull to Beverley direct frequency becomes five buses an hour.

This is a significant and welcome improvement, especially for Dunswell and Woodmansey. It was only in May 2015 that the 122 was introduced, taking the Hull to Beverley corridor from three buses an hour to four, and the Dunswell route from half hourly to three buses per hour. Now just under three years later further increases are being made. Both Hull and Beverley City/Town Centres seem to be doing well, and the route via Dunswell and Woodmansey benefits from travelling through virtually no open countryside. When you then add in the 121, 122, one 246 per hour, and the X46 extending beyond Beverley Bus Station to serve other destinations, and hence not reliant just on Hull to Beverley inclusive passengers, there would appear to be the 'ingredients' for success.

I will review the 121 and 246 full route timetables in more detail later, but off note on service 246 between Beverley and Hull on weekdays is a new 1750 from Beverley, 30 minutes later than the previous last 246 and a new 1850 from Hull, filling the half hour gap between the 1835 121 and 1905 X46. On Saturdays there is a new 0605 service 121 from Beverley to Hull, an hour earlier than the current first service.

The 122, which after linking Hull and Beverley Sow Hill Bus Station operates as a Beverley Town Service and extends through Molescroft to Butterfly Meadows, has it's first weekday departure move 10 minutes earlier, at 0741 rather than 0751 from Butterfly Meadows. The weekday only 0800 from Sow Hill Bus Station to Butterfly Meadows and back is withdrawn - this was East Riding of Yorkshire Council subsidised until the end of March and was an extra service over and above the main hourly frequency. In the 2016 Review of Bus Services this journey and an associated extra service 520 journey was recorded as carrying an average four passengers per journey at a subsidy of £5.87 per passenger journey.

The X46 between Hull, Beverley and York is retimed, now leaving Hull Monday to Saturday daytimes at half past rather than ten minutes past the hour, and York Station at 47 rather than 17 minutes past the hour. The first departure from Hull at 0605 now operates ten minutes later on weekdays and half an hour later on Saturdays. The first departure from York is now half an hour later on Saturdays as well, at 0705 rather than 0635. There is a new 0720 from Beverley into Hull Monday to Saturday, though on Saturdays this replaces the 0750. Weekdays now have a 90 minute gap on the Pocklington to Hull section between 0805 and 0935 but on Saturdays the morning Beverley to Hull service remains a consistent hourly frequency.

In the evenings Monday to Saturday the 1810 from Hull to York terminates at Beverley, with the last Hull to York service now at 1730 Monday to Thursday; the 1910 Hull to Pocklington remains, as does the Friday and Saturday 2005 from X47 from Hull to York. Departures from York across the X46/X47 drop from 14 (Mon-Thu)/15 (Fri+Sat) to 13/14, with the last service slightly earlier at 1947 rather than 2008 Monday to Thursday and 2205 rather than 2223 Friday and Saturday.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

North Lincolnshire Bus Changes

North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) are planning to make some significant changes to subsidised bus services "at the earliest practicable opportunity". The approach to bus services is summarised as:
  • "Utilise CallConnect where passenger numbers are currently low and the current service is infrequent;
  • Introduce fixed routes with CallConnect where there is sufficient demand;
  • Work to Total Transport principles of integration with school and college transport where possible;
  • Invest in concessionary fares at an annual cost of circa £1.8m;
  • Review existing networks to encourage strategic direct routes supported by CallConnect; and
  • Aim to increase the number of commercial routes operating across North Lincolnshire."
In terms of impacts on fixed/traditional services, the NLC documentation goes into some detail as to what is planned, although there are still plenty of unknowns.

Kirmington/Humberside Airport to Brigg and Scunthorpe

A new two hourly X4 services is proposed between "Kirmington/Humberside Airport" and Scunthorpe, which will operate in addition to service 4 between Brigg and Scunthorpe but via a "quicker and more direct route" - this would probably mean omitting Broughton and/or routing via Brigg Road rather than Ashby between Brigg and Scunthorpe. It is noted that a "key aim is to make the service more attractive for young people, thereby encouraging them to make greater use of the service and improving their opportunity to be both economically and socially active".

The new X4 will replace "the need to operate the [subsidised Saturday] service 366 (Goxhill to Scunthorpe via Brigg)". Subsidy will be available initially for the X4 to "encourage new passengers" and hopefully enable full commercial operation in the future. Apparently these changes also enable a "reconfiguration of the Brigg town services" 

I can only presume that the intended operator is Hornsby Travel, who operate the 4. A faster service between Brigg and Scunthorpe should have potential as journey times are currently not competitive with the car; this does however come at the cost of omitting significant en-route destinations, Broughton and/or Ashby. New links from Humberside Airport to Scunthorpe, and a much improved service from Humberside Airport to Brigg and from Kirmington to Brigg and Scunthorpe are also very much welcome. Furthermore if the X4 can eventually become fully commercial that would be some positive news for rural buses.

The villages of Wrawby, Barnetby New Barnetby and Melton Ross, between Brigg and Kirmington are not mentioned. Wrawby will almost certainly be served by the X4, and if the X4 is to serve as a 366 replacement and have a chance of being commercially viable in the future then surely Barnetby will be as well?

The 68 Wolds Villager between Brigg and Kirmington/Ulceby isn't mentioned either. The 68 provides 7 weekday journeys from Barnetby into Brigg, and 6 in the other direction, with some also serving New Barnetby, Melton Ross, Humberside Airport and Kirmington, plus Wootton and Ulceby on Tuesday and Thursdays. The new X4 could replace a large part of the what the 68 currently does if it serves Barnetby, albeit at a slightly lower daytime frequency.

Something else which isn't clear is if the X4 will serve Goxhill, New Holland, Barrow, Thornton Curtis, Wootton and Ulceby on Saturdays as the 366 does. Neither is it explained how these changes will allow the Brigg Town Services to be "reconfigured".

Humber Flyer/450

NLC propose that the Humber Flyer between Hull, Barton, Humberside Airport, Grimsby and Cleethorpes is rerouted away from the A15 to include Ulceby, Wootton, Thornton Curtis and Barrow. The press release makes this appear definite, but the NLC report states that discussions with Stagecoach are ongoing; I'm not sure if the Humber Flyer is fully commercial these days or if it still receives contributions from the various local councils it serves, but either way it's not NLC's route to just alter as it wishes.

On the one hand rerouting the Humber Flyer away from the A15 to serve four additional villages will hopefully generate additional custom, but with a longer journey time. For Ulceby, Wootton, Thornton Curtis and Barrow this will be a significant improvement, should it happen. The current 450 provides two to four services a day Monday to Saturday between Barton, these villages and Immingham, with the last bus from Barton to Thornton Curtis, Wootton and Ulceby on schooldays at 1215; connections to Grimsby are available at Immingham but they give a maximum 85 minutes in Grimsby. The Humber Flyer would provide a far superior hourly Monday to Saturday service, including commuting options, to Barton, to Grimsby without a change, and new links to Hull and Cleethorpes.

This change to the Humber Flyer would enable the 450 Immingham-Barton-Brigg service to be enhanced between Barton and Brigg, where four services a day are currently provided. My experience from ten years ago was that the non-schools services didn't get a huge amount of use on this section, but whether that is still the case or not I don't know.

The future of the Immingham to Barton section is unclear; NLC's report states "the intention, subject to the above is to then enhance Service 450 in its current form with an improved service running between Barton and Brigg"; current form to means me not cancelling half the route between Immingham and Barton, but with a diverted Humber Flyer would it be needed? NLC note that service 5 will continue to serve South Killingholme so the only unserved location would be Ulceby Skitter which has the train (and CallConnect). The current 450 is very poor for access to Immingham anyway as it doesn't serve the town centre. The through links across Barton would be lost but operational convenience probably plays a large part in them existing anyway.

Kirton Klipper/94/95

NLC propose to incorporate the Kirton Klipper (354) town service in Kirton in Lindsey into the 94 between Kirton and Brigg. The 94 would serve an "additional loop of Kirton in Lindsey" rather than Gainsthorpe/Lime Sidings, which apparently "seldom has any passengers". The Kirton Klipper currently operates 3 days a week but the 94 will operate 5 days a week "peak and off peak" and provide access to Brigg. It will also probably save a vehicle. Frequencies within Kirton will however be lower at every two hours and exact route details are not provided.

It is reported that Kirton in Lindsey Town Council supports the proposal, and overall it could be a good decision. Saving a bus, providing a five day a week service and new links to Brigg are probably worth the frequency reductions three days a week and the loss of reportedly little used Gainsthorpe services.

NLC also plan to alter the 94/95 route between Scawby, Brigg and Scunthorpe. Currently the 94 operates into Brigg via Scawby then operates to Scunthorpe as a 95 via Scawby. This means say a Hibaldstow to Scunthorpe passenger would travel via Scawby twice. The change will see "residents from Scawby travelling to Scunthorpe will catch service 94 to Brigg and then onto Scunthorpe. As such, they will no longer have the inconvenience of having to change buses in Brigg." This presumably returns to the old arrangement of running the Brigg to Scunthorpe section direct, providing a further additional fast buses between the towns in addition to the X4 noted above. Quite how the majority of Scawby residents who currently have the 95 into Scunthorpe without going via Brigg will benefit though I don't know, and I thought the 94/95 required no change of bus in Brigg? 

The withdrawal of the Saturday 366 noted earlier will reduce the bus service to Scawby unless the Saturday 94/95 is enhanced.

Service 55

Service 55 currently links Normanby, Burton upon Stather and Thealby to Winterton on weekdays then continuing to Scunthorpe via Appleby and Santon. It's not intended to be the main service from Normanby, Burton Upon Stather and Thealby to Scunthorpe - that's the 60 - but seems to fulfil three 'markets'
  • Normanby, Burton Upon Stather and Thelaby to Winterton
  • Appleby to Winterton
  • Appleby and Santon to Scunthorpe
NLC state the 55 has "few passengers" "between Appleby and Scunthorpe", not mentioning the rest of the route, and is to be replaced by 'flexible' CallConnect and a fixed CallConnect service on Fridays between Appleby and Scunthorpe that will also include Dragonby. A drastic cut in traditional/fixed bus provision, but with no data provided on passenger numbers it isn't clear if it is a justifiable cut or not. It is a shame that the local links into Winterton, also useful for Humber Fastcat connections, will be left entirely to flexible CallConnect, and that a fixed CallConnect service can't be provided for these, but again no passenger number data is provided to review how justified this decision is.

I'm not a huge fan of flexible CallConnect replacing existing services - you can't just go to a bus stop and catch a bus unlike traditional bus services or indeed fixed CallConnect services (a traditional bus service using a CallConnect bus). I would rather CallConnect is kept just for gaps in the public transport network that could never be realistically filled by traditional bus services. However if services really are very little used then maybe flexible CallConnect is the way to go.

Isle Shopper

The 58 Isle Shopper that currently operates on Wednesdays and Fridays into Epworth from Wroot and Sandtoft, and which also provides an Epworth Town Service, is to be replaced with a Friday only fixed CallConnect service, with no details on the exact route provided. It is disappointing to see the fixed service being cut back to once a week, but at least a fixed service remains and I'm sure there will be a cost saving.

The documentation from NLC also reveals that CallConnect in North Lincolnshire had 3091 registered users in October 2017, with 2510 journeys. Usage "continued to grow", and "was increasing month on month in the Brigg, Caistor, Ridge, and the Barton and Ferry CallConnect areas".