After operation on Saturday 3rd February, EYMS service 88 between Goole and Thorne will cease in it's current form. The route currently provides a Monday to Saturday daytime link between the two towns, via Rawcliffe, Rawcliffe Bridge and Moorends. The service operates every 90 minutes on weekdays and every 80 minutes on Saturdays, apart from a 2 hour 10 minute lunchtime gap. EYMS state the withdrawal is because "since taking over the service a couple of years ago after another operator withdrew from the route, there have not been enough people travelling to cover the costs of running the bus".
EYMS started the 88 in September 2015 when First truncated their Doncaster to Goole service at Moorends. In May last year the first and last round trips were withdrawn, before being partially reinstated on a trial basis in September.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council are stepping in to fund a limited replacement. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays one journey will operate from Rawcliffe Bridge to Goole at 0930, returning at 1230. EYMS will remain as the operator, and this ensures that Rawcliffe Bridge retains a bus service. If this revised 88 continues long term, maybe the route could be diverted via Airmyn and Hook which have limited bus services, or provide journeys to these villages in between Rawcliffe Bridge journeys?
As already mentioned, there is only one place on the 88 route that does not have an alternative service, Rawcliffe Bridge, population at the 2011 census: 837. Rawcliffe is served by Arriva's hourly Monday to Saturday daytime 400/401 route between Goole, Snaith and Selby (plus Thornes 488 into Goole on a Wednesday), whilst Moorends has frequent services into Thorne provided by First. In addition there is a hourly rail service between Goole and Thorne North station on the outskirts of Thorne. Put this together, and as disappointing as this change is, it starts to become a bit more understandable.
The uneven interval timetable probably didn't help either, especially on Saturdays. However in some ways it is a potential 'catch 22' situation. A 90 minutes frequency on Saturdays would need an extra driver, an hourly frequency any day of the week would need an extra vehicle and drivers on what is already a commercially challenging route, whilst an even interval two hourly frequency would have meant less journeys.
There is another factor potentially involved here. Until last April, East Riding of Yorkshire Council made a small 'de minimis' contribution to the 88 off 7p per passenger journey. (The consultation documents on the cuts gave an annual passenger figure of 45630 for the 88 and an average of 10 passengers per journey).
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