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I believe that since the Sunday and Bank Holiday service was withdrawn on Good Friday, the 220 has been entirely commercial.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.

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