Sunday, 14 July 2019

A convoluted mess

The 254 Barton Town Bus Service has gone through a few timetable and route changes over the 20 or so years it has operated. Back in September 2002 for example (the earliest timetable I have for the service), the Caistor Road Estate, Bowmandale/Tofts Road, Westfield Road and Dam Road/Far Ings Road all had an hourly service Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings/lunchtime to Barton Market Place and Proudfoots Supermarket (now Tesco). Fast forward to January 2006 and the even interval hourly frequency has gone; I believe to incorporate a driver rest break. In July 2008 the service moved to operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I don't have a timetable for it, but I'm sure at one point a fifth part of Barton was briefly included - East Acridge.

The 254 was revised again on Wednesday 8th May, the first major change for over 10 years to be fair. Until recently Barton's Library has been located in Providence House on Holydyke in the town centre, opposite the Fire Station. North Lincolnshire Council have however moved it to the Baysgarth Leisure Centre, on the edge of the town, on the basis that it can have longer opening times and can be co-located with the swimming pool, leisure centre, and relocated services from the Tofts Road Day Centre (or Community Wellbeing Centre as I think it's been known as for the past few years). There are 'pros' and 'cons' to this move, but it means that it is no longer possible to visit the Library whilst in the town centre.  As a result the Barton Town Service has been revised to include the Leisure Centre.

The end result is sadly a very messy and convoluted timetable, with five different routes for seven journeys. The 254 still operates Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and lunchtimes (now finishes at 1313 rather than 1254). I'm not going to attempt to describe all the details of the changes, but some key points:
  • The Dam Road/Far Ings Road area is no longer served at all (the 260 does serve Victoria House located just off Dam Road on Thursdays)
  • The Westfield Road/West Acridge area goes from two to three journeys, but anyone wanting to travel from Tesco to this area needs to go via the Market Place, Tofts Road, Bowmandale, the Market Place again, the Caistor Road Estate, Baysgarth Leisure Centre and the Market Place for a 3rd time!
  • All journeys from the Tofts Road/Bowmandale area to Tesco involve going through Barton Market Place twice
  • Most journeys from Tesco to the Caistor Road Estate involve two trips via the Market Place and a trip around Tofts Road and Bowmandale
  • Journeys from Baysgarth Leisure Centre to Tofts Road and Meadow Drive involve going via the Market Place, possibly West Acridge, Tesco and the Market Place again
  • All journeys now serve Barton Interchange
I have some sympathy here in that the bus service is having to adapt to serving a new edge of town location within existing resource, whilst still serving the Town Centre and Tesco. However does it need to be quite this complicated? I can think of two alternative options to run the service:
  • Run it as one route: Tesco-West Acrridge-Tofts Road-Leisure Centre-Bowmandale-Market Place-Caistor Road Estate - simple, but doesn't serve the High Street and a long route from the Caistor Road Estate to/from Tesco
  • Run it as two routes: Tesco-High Street-Market Place-Bowmandale-Leisure Centre-Tofts Road, and Tesco-West Acridge-Leisure Centre-Market Place-Caistor Road Estate
The 254 Barton Town Service is operated by Hornsby Travel and funded jointly by Barton Town Council and North Lincolnshire Council.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Brough/Melton/Ferriby Rail Station – Optimisation Study

On Friday (28th June), the Humber LEP's Investment and Regulation Board meets, and agenda item 8 is the following:

Brough/Melton/Ferriby Rail Station – Optimisation Study (Confidential for members of the Board only)

No further details are available due to the confidential nature of the study, but it would seem that a review of the location of Brough and Ferriby stations has taken place, as well as consideration of the possibility of a new or reopened station at Melton, in between Brough and Ferriby.

Both Brough and Ferriby stations are located in residential areas, with Brough Station also close to the BAe site. Residential development is taking place east of the current Brough station. Any new station at Melton would be in a predominately industrial area with easy access to the A63, and be far better located than Brough to act as a regional parkway station; Brough currently 'doubles up' as the local station for Brough and Elloughton and as a parkway station for the wider area.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Interconnect 51 to Mablethorpe

Back on Monday 29th April, Stagecoach extended their Interconnect 51 service from Grimsby to Louth onwards to Mablethorpe, replacing Interconnect service 59 between Louth and Mablethorpe. Interconnect 59 now operates between Skegness and Mablethorpe only as opposed to between Skegness, Mablethorpe and Louth. Good news for anyone travelling 'across Louth', less good news for those wanting to travel 'across' Mablethorpe. In Mablethorpe, both the 51 and 59 will serve the Golden Sands Holiday Park and Seal Sanctuary, as well as the town centre; the 59 previously just served the town centre.

Prior to being linked to the Mablethorpe-Skegness service, the Louth-Mablethorpe service formed part of service 10 from Lincoln to Louth then onwards to Mablethorpe.

The 51 will continue to operate mostly hourly, Monday to Saturday daytimes. The first journey from Grimsby to Louth is now at 0550 rather than 0630, and the last journey from Louth to Grimsby is at 1950 rather than 1930.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Acklams 504A

Acklams Coaches amended interworked Monday to Friday Bridlington services 131 and 504 from Tuesday 7th May.

The biggest change is on service 504 from Bempton into Bridlington, where the 0930 from Bempton and 1200 return from Bridlington Bus Station now operate as service 504A, additionally serving Fortyfoot and St Annes Road in Bridlington. If the map on is correct, the 504A seems to operate down Fortyfoot to St Annes Road and then 'double backs' on itself to resume the main 504 route.

As a result the 1230 Bempton to Bridlington 504 now operates at 1238, and the 1320 131 from Carnaby Industrial Estate to Bridlington and back now operates at 1325.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Extra X21

East Yorkshire's annual 'fast' summer service X21 between Hull, Beverley, Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough has been enhanced for 2019. It is East Yorkshire's only through service from Hull and Beverley to Filey and Scarborough (otherwise connections are available at Bridlington). The rail service from Hull, Beverley and Bridlington to Filey and Scarborough was increased to hourly at the May rail timetable change, and from Hull to Bridlington there is also extra competition from Stagecoach's new 99 this year.

The usual daily 0915 from Hull Paragon Interchange and 1615 return from Scarborough remains, having started on 25th May, although ending on 1st September this year rather than 15th September as in 2018. However for 2019, a second journey each way, leaving both Hull and Scarborough an hour later (at 1015 and 1715), also operates on weekends and during school holidays (including bank holidays); again this runs from 25th May to 1st September.

At least one of the two round trips is being operated by a coach this year.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Every 15 Minutes Barton to Hull

Back on Monday 29th April, Stagecoach made a significant enhancement to the section of the Humber Flyer between Hull, Barton and Humberside Airport, alongside some other changes to the full route between Hull, Barton, Humberside Airport, Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

The Humber Flyer now also has a route number - 250 - to go alongside it's name. Despite the 250 number having previously been used for services between Barton and Grimsby via Barrow, Ulceby and Immingham, there was no re-routing of the service and my speculation in this post was proved incorrect. I presume the number is to bring the service 'in line' with the 350 Humber Fastcat, with which it is now much more co-ordinated with between Hull and Barton, as detailed later on.

Almost all journeys between Hull and Cleethorpes have been retimed, the vast majority to operate 5 minutes later than previously to improve co-ordination with the 350, though some peak journeys have been retimed more substantially. The last three journeys from Hull to North East Lincolnshire now terminate in Grimsby, not Cleethorpes. This means the last service from Hull to Cleethorpes is now at 1555 rather than 1910, and from Grimsby to Cleethorpes via Clee Road is at 1732 rather than 2047. A small but disappointing change to the timetable.

In addition to the hourly Monday to Saturday daytime service between Hull and North East Lincolnshire, Stagecoach have added new Monday to Saturday hourly (with some variations) 'shorts' between Hull, Barton and Humberside Airport. Going by the timetable it would seem these are worked from Hull depot and require two vehicles. The 'shorts' are co-ordinated to give a half hourly service over this section of route, and then further co-ordinated to give an even interval Monday to Saturday daytime service of every 15 minutes between Hull and Barton when combined with the 350 Humber Fastcat. Barton had previously enjoyed three buses an hour to Hull, but they generally departed Barton Interchange at an 'uneven' 03, 10 and 33 minutes past the hour, and Hull Paragon Interchange at 10, 40 and 50 minutes past the hour; now it is 03, 18, 33 and 48 minutes past the hour from Barton Interchange and 10, 25, 40 and 55 minutes past the hour from Paragon Interchange.

Whilst the 'headline' beneficiaries of the enhancement are Barton and Humberside Airport, the improvements also benefit Boothferry Road and Anlaby Road on the North Bank, On the section of Boothferry Road between the Humber Bridge and Darleys Roundabout services have increased from four to five per hour (250, 350 & X55) and between Darleys Roundabout and the Hull City boundary from five to six per hour (155, 250, 350 & X55). Around the Humber Bridge/Boothferry Road roundabout there is significant housing development and the on going development of the Bridgehead Business Park.

Looking in more detail at the new 'shorts', the first additional 'short' of the morning runs between Hull and Barton only, and only on Mondays to Fridays, leaving Hull at 0645 and Barton Interchange at 0728, getting back into Paragon Interchange for 0800, nicely 'filling' the gap between the 0653 and 0743 350 departures from Barton that arrive in Hull at 0725 and 0825 respectively. In Barton this service adopts a one-way 'loop' serving the Market Place before the Interchange, something it would be good for the Saturday late evening 350 Hull to Barton shorts to do, to serve more of the town.

In the afternoon the 1325 'short' from Hull terminates at Barton Market Place on weekdays, and does not serve Barton Interchange. There is no return working so I am not sure why this occurs? On Saturdays the 1325 operates through to Humberside Airport as normal. The following 1425 from Humberside Airport, 1525 from Paragon Interchange and 1625 from Humberside Airport are all Saturday only as well, but the 'cycle' recommences on weekdays with the 1730 from Paragon Interchange to Humberside Airport.

These variations mean that the 250/Humber Flyer now has a different Monday to Friday and Saturday timetable; they were previously identical.

Looking more closely at the 250/350 co-ordination, whilst mostly it is perfect, it is not 100%. Most notably in the evening peak from Barton there are occurances of the 250 & 350 running at identical or near-identical times, each service having journeys leaving Barton Interchange at 1733, 1803 and 1833, followed by 1902 on the 350 and 1903 on the 250. In the morning from Hull, services leave at 0620, 0645, 0655, 0715, 0725, 0755 and 0825 before the even interval service starts. In the evening peak services depart at 1610, 1630, 1640 and 1700, and then after going 'even interval' again, depart at 1745, 1810, 1825 and 1910.

Stagecoach have supported these enhancements with a 'bespoke' timetable leaflet delivered to homes in Barton that shows a consolidated timetable for all services (250 & 350) between Humberside Airport, Barton and Hull, plus times for Cleethorpes and Grimsby on the 250. The leaflet also includes a brief selection of tickets (duo, dayout and Humber Megarider). Both the Humber Flyer and Fastcat leaflets also include a slightly different consolidated timetable, just covering Barton to Hull - the Humber Fastcat timetable having been reissued just to include this as the 350 timetable itself has not been amended.

As a Bartonian, these improvements are a 'step change' in buses to and from Hull, at least during Monday to Saturday daytimes. I very much applaud how Stagecoach have developed services, it is worth noting that until March 23rd 2009 (when the 350 gained Humber Fastcat branding and went from hourly to half hourly), the Barton to Hull frequency was just hourly. Services have been quadrupled in just over ten years. I really hope these latest improvements are a success. However there are unfortunately three not so positive points that come to mind.

Firstly the fares; Stagecoach are charging £5 Barton to Hull single and £9 return. Sadly this just isn't competitive with the car for 'one-off' journeys. On Friday I went into Hull for the morning and used Park and Ride - £2.70 both ways bridge toll with a tag, £3 Park and Ride fare and a bit of petrol/car wear & tear - it's about two thirds of the price of a return from Barton to Hull, and I don't have to walk 15 minute between my house and the nearest bus stop on the 250/350 route in Barton. It maybe that the high return fares are helping drive profits and helping to make the business case for investment, but they do make the bus uncompetitive with the car for trips like mine. The Humber megarider at £27 remains an attractively priced weekly ticket however - £5.40 per day if used 5 days a week, and £6.75 if used 4 days a week.

Secondly the doubling between Barton and Humberside Airport is a bit surprising to me. The section of route has no intermediate stops apart from at Barnetby Top and features seven miles of non-stop dual carriageway running from Barton to Barnetby Top followed by another two or three miles non-stop to the airport. Even allowing for the on-site business park, the airport sadly isn't that big and I would have thought the existing hourly service would suffice. There are no earlier journeys possible with the airport 'shorts', and the only later journey offered is at 1840 rather than 1810 from the airport to Hull.

An alternative option maybe to send the 'shorts' to the village of Barrrow, population 3022 in 2011, instead - and maybe even beyond to other neighbouring villages. However, in what I guess is a good example of how bus planning is not always straightforward, there are a few potential issues. An extension to Barrow, and possibly beyond, would add at least one extra route number to the Hull-Barton corridor, and in Barton to retain a consistent route for all Hull services in the town would require a convoluted route - from Whitecross Street, through the Market Place, Brigg Road, Preston Lane and back to Whitecross Street. If just extended to Barrow, the viability of the Stagecoach operated 260 and 450 tendered services maybe seriously impacted, which could be another factor to consider.

Finally, the Stagecoach website. The Humber Flyer improvements were logically posted on the Hull and Grimsby Service Updates pages. Put Barton in as your location and you are directed to the Scunthorpe information which didn't mention the changes. Logical if the Scunthorpe information is meant to be for Scunthorpe only, but not when it is also meant to include Barton. I'm sure I have mentioned this before, but either Barton needs it's own bespoke information, or the Hull, Grimsby or Scunthorpe information needs to include all Barton services. A similar occurrence happens for Barrow, which directs to Grimsby information, but the 260 is run by Scunthorpe depot so never gets mentioned; at Christmas the service updates for Grimsby therefore never included the 260 operating to a normal weekday timetable between Christmas and New Year rather than Stagecoach's standard Saturday operation.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Service 16 slightly reduced

As part of Stagecoach's service changes in April, service 16 in Hull was slightly cutback on college days from Monday 29th April, but largely 'mitigated' in the form of service 86. The 16 runs hourly (with longer gaps at peak times) Monday to Saturday between Paragon Interchange, Victoria Dock and the Preston Road Estate, whilst the 86 is a college day service between the Bricknell Estate, Paragon Interchange, Victoria Dock, the Preston Road Estate and Wilberforce College.

In the morning the 0840 service 16 departure from Paragon Interchange no longer runs on College Days, leaving a gap between 0720 and 0940. As a partial alternative, service 86 departs Paragon Interchange at 0755 serving Victoria Dock, Ellis Street, Newbridge Road, Southcoates Lane, Bilsdale Grove and St John's Grove from the service 16 route before routing to Wilberforce College via Marfleet Lane and Staveley Road. The only parts of the 16 route not served by the 86 are the Siemens Factory and part of Preston Road that is also covered by frequent service 3.

In the afternoon the College Day 1540 service 16 from Paragon Interchange to the Preston Road Estate is directly replaced by a 1540 service 86 from Paragon Interchange to Wilberforce College, whilst the 1609 return from Archbishop Sentamu Academy on Preston Road is replaced by the 1620 86 from Wilberforce College. This 86 journey also provides a useful later last service from Paragon Interchange to the Bricknell Estate, leaving the Interchange at 1702; the last weekday service otherwise being the 1545 3b.

The 86 is also an interesting route in that it runs from the Bricknell Estate, home of one of Hull's two specialist sixth form colleges, Wyke, to Hull's other specialist sixth form college, Wilberforce. I wonder how many students Wilberforce can attract from 'in front' of Wyke's 'front door'?

Sunday, 19 May 2019

u5 cutback

Back on Sunday 28th April, Stagecoach made some revisions to service 5 and associated Monday to Saturday evening only variation u5 between Hull City Centre, Orchard Park and Kingswood. Mostly these were fairly small timing changes, but the evening service Monday to Saturday has seen bigger changes.

The u5 has been cutback in two ways; firstly the extensions to/from Hull Old Town (Market Place) are withdrawn (although the solitary service 5 that starts from the Market Place at 2320 remains), with the u5 using Paragon Interchange as it's City Centre starting point and terminus instead. Secondly the Saturday late evening service has been withdrawn, and therefore as on weekdays the u5 only operates in the early evening. The 5 and u5 have 'swapped' departure times from Kingswood Monday to Saturday, meaning the u5 now operates between 1830 and 2030 from Kingswood Retail Park and from Paragon Interchange between 1910 and 2040. As a result of the late evening u5 withdrawal, the Saturday 5/u5 combined frequency drops from every 15 minutes to half hourly from 2045 leaving Kingswood Retail Park and from 2055 leaving Paragon Interchange. Following the 5/u5 swapping departure times the last service 5 from Kingswood Retail Park is now at 2315 rather than 2300 Monday to Friday, but on Saturdays is now at 2315 rather than 2330.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Evolving in Kingswood

Stagecoach are making changes to their services in the growing Kingswood estate in North Hull from next Sunday, 28th April.

Monday to Saturday daytimes the main services to the residential parts of Kingswood are currently the 6 and 9/9a, which operate as 'cross Kingswood' circulars. Each service operates half hourly. The 6 operates a direct service from Paragon Interchange via Beverley Road and Kingswood Leisure and Retail Parks to Kingswood Health Centre, whilst the 9/9a runs from Paragon Interchange via Garden Village, Leads Road, Bransholme North Point Shopping Centre, Honiton Road, Wawne Road and Kingsbury Way to Kingswood Health Centre.

With the revised network, the 6 continues to operate half hourly as a 'cross Kingswood' circular, but now 'partnered' with service 7 instead. The 6 continues to operate to Kingswood Health Centre then picks up the current 9/9a route via Grosvenor Road and Richmond Lane before using the new Pioneer Way to Wawne Road, which becomes the official terminus for service 6. Half hourly service 7 currently operates between Paragon Interchange and Kingswood Retail Park via Beverley Road, Sutton Park, North Point, Bude Road and Bodmin Road, but after Bodmin Road with the network revision will instead run to Wawne Road/Pioneer Way via Pennine Way in North Bransholme; it continues to operate every half hour. This provides new links from North Bransholme to Kingswood and Beverley Road, but does extend journey times between Sutton Park and Kingswood Retail Park (Bodmin Road has the 11 for direct journeys).

Service 9/9a becomes a 'stand-alone' service (from a customer point of view at least). It will no longer serve Grosvenor Road - replaced by the 6 and saving a minute of journey time - and extends from Kingswood Health Centre to Kingswood Retail Park covering the loss of the through link currently provided by operating as a circular with service 6. Otherwise it remains half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes. This change removes two buses an hour from Kingsbury Way to Hull City Centre, and the links to both Kingswood Leisure Park and Beverley Road that are provided by the 'circular' working with service 6. However overall the changes provide an extra two services per hour from Runnymede Way, Runnymede Lane (both between Kingswood Retail Park and Health Centre), Kingswood Health Centre and Richmond Lane to both Hull City Centre and North Point, in addition to providing services along the new Pioneer Way whilst still serving Kingsbury Way.

Evenings and Sundays, service 8a currently serves most residential areas of Kingswood. It operates from Paragon Interchange via Beverley Road, Sutton Park, North Point, Honiton Road, Wawne Road, Kingsbury Way, Richmond Lane, Grosvenor Road and Kingswood Health Centre to Kingswood Retail Park; the frequency is half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, reducing to hourly on Sunday evenings.

Service 7a takes over most of this function from Sunday, operating at the same frequency as the 8a, and following the entirety of the main service 7 route from Paragon Interchange to Wawne Road/Pioneer Way before routing via the service 6 route to terminate at Kingwood Retail Park. I'm not sure why the 'a' suffix is needed for a route extension (as opposed to an en-route variation)? Compared to the 8a, Honiton Road and the section of Wawne Road between Honiton Road and the northern end of Noddle Hill Way become unserved evening and Sundays, as the 7a will be following the main service 7 route via Bodmin Road (though the 7a, unlike the 7, has no Bodmin Road timing point). The 7a will also omit Kingsbury Way in order to serve Pioneer Way, but this will be covered by the 10a instead. One advantage of the 7a over the 8a is the provision of evening and Sunday links from North Bransholme to Beverley Road.

Service 10a presently operates evenings and Sundays as a minor diversion to the main service 10 route between Paragon Interchange, North Point, Bodmin Road, North Bransholme and on some journeys Wawne Village, to serve Kingswood Retail Park. However from Sunday the 10a variation will run between Kingswood Retail Park and North Bransholme via Runnymede Way, Runnymede Lane, Richmond Lane (but not Kingswood Health Centre) and Kingsbury Way. The frequency between Paragon Interchange and North Bransholme remains half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, reducing to hourly on Sunday evenings; Sunday daytimes hourly services extend to Wawne, as do daily late evening services. The 10a's route change doubles evening and Sunday provision for Runnymede Lane and Richmond Lane.

On the main service 10, weekday peak frequencies reduce inbound to Hull City Centre on weekday mornings from 'frequent intervals' to every 15 minutes, and outbound late afternoon from every 12 to every 15 minutes. The first two Saturday morning departures from North Bransholme gain the weekday early morning diversion via Hull Royal Infirmary and Smith & Nephew.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Replacing the 13

On Sunday 28th April, Stagecoach are revising many of their Hull services, and the changes include the withdrawal of service 13 between Hull Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road, Saltshouse Road, Spring Cottage, Bransholme North Point Shopping Centre, Sutton Park and Orchard Park. The service operates daily daytimes half hourly between Paragon Interchange and North Point, extending to Orchard Park Monday to Friday only. Monday to Saturday hourly off peak services operate as service 13a, serving the eastern part of Howdale Road as opposed to Dunvegan Road on the main 13 route in Spring Cottage, and also Kestrel Avenue and Noddle Hill Way instead off the westernmost part of Howdale Road. 

Monday to Saturday at least though withdrawal is only technically true. Between Paragon Interchange and North Point the 13 and 13a are replaced by the 8 and 8a, and between North Point and Orchard Park service 3 provides a replacement, but with reduced operating hours.

Service 8 currently principally operates between Paragon Interchange and North Point via Beverley Road and Sutton Park half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, serving as 'short' workings of the 7 between Paragon Interchange and Kingswood Retail Park. Occasional journeys from North Point start on Wawne Road or in Kingswood, and these extensions will be covered by service 7 from next Sunday. Revised service 8 continues to operate half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes between Paragon Interchange, Beverley Road, Sutton Park and North Point, and continues to provides a 15 minute frequency over this section along with service 7. The morning peak variation 8x continues as well, via Clough Road and Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, as does the diversion of the first four weekday inbound services from North Point (0455, 0525, 0555 and 0625 departures) via Hull Royal Infirmary and Smith & Nephew - this is now extended to cover the first two Saturday inbound services as well (0555 and 0625 from North Point).

The major change to the 8 however is that it will operate as a circular - at North Point most services will continue to or start from Paragon Interchange via the old service 13 route, creating through links between Beverley Road and Spring Cottage, Saltshouse Road and Holderness Road, as well as new Saturday through services from Sutton Park to these areas. The 'a' variation remains in East Hull, but between Kestrel Avenue and North Point will now route via Biggin Avenue, currently unserved, rather than the section of Wawne Road between the southern end of Noddle Hill Way and Barnstaple Road, which now becomes unserved Monday to Saturday daytime. The first departure from North Point via Salthouse Road Monday to Friday will be at 0707 compared to 0732 on the 13, but the last departure at 1737 as opposed to 1800. The last 'a' variation departure from Paragon Interchange will be at 1400 Monday to Saturday as opposed to 1455 on the 13a, and from North Point at 1437 as opposed to 1530 Monday to Friday with the 13a. On college days one morning service from North Point to Paragon Interchange via Saltshouse Road is dropped, as is one afternoon complete anti-clockwise circular from Paragon Interchange via Saltshouse Road and North Point, but these are largely covered by Wilberforce College service 83.

On service 3, which Monday to Friday daytimes operates every 10 minutes between Greatfield, Paragon Interchange and Orchard Park, two services per hour will omit Orchard Park Tesco in order to extend to North Point via the service 13 route along Ellerburn Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, Sutton Road, Sutton Park and Cheltenham Avenue. This change removes the link from North Point and Sutton Park to Orchard Park Tesco, which the 13 currently uses as it’s Orchard Park terminus, and also the through link from Orchard Park to Spring Cottage and Saltshouse Road. At present departures from North Point to Orchard Park on the 13 are provided between 0747 and 1751, and from Orchard Park to North Point between 0710 and 1738, but on service 3 this will be limited to departures from North Point between 1015 and 1515, and from Orchard Park at 0709 and then between 0939 and 1439, a significant reduction in service. Alternatives involve changing either at Kingswood Retail Park or on Beverley Road.

Elsewhere on service 3 there are Monday to Friday early morning enhancements with a new 0430 from Greatfield to Paragon Interchange, first service currently 0500, and a new 0645 from Paragon Interchange to Orchard Park and North Point, filling a gap in departures from Paragon Interchange to Orchard Park between 0630 and 0700. There is a new 1830 from Greatfield to Paragon Interchange Monday to Saturday, filling a gap between 1815 and 1845. Evening variation 3a now starts with the 1830 rather than 1800 from Orchard Park Monday to Saturday, which is logical as the 1800 largely duplicated the penultimate departure from Paragon Interchange on service 14, which the 3a variation otherwise replaces in the evening.

Returning to replacing service 13, and the Sunday replacement is a diversion to service 11 between Paragon Interchange, North Point and Kingswood, the new 11a. At present the Sunday daytime 13 combines with the 11 to provide four services per hour, fairly well spaced, between Paragon Interchange, Spring Cottage and North Point. This is reduced to just the 11a every half hour with this service revision, which sees a diversion away from the eastern part of Bellfield Avenue to cover Saltshouse Road, and then serve otherwise unserved Middlesex Road. The positive from the 11a is that it will also operate daily evenings, providing a new evening service for Salthouse Road and Middlesex Road.

The only other notable change to service 11 are that like the 8, the first two inbound Saturday services from North Point will follow the diversion via Hull Royal Infirmary and Smith & Nephew. Compared to the old service 11 evening provision, the Monday to Friday 11a will have an extra departure from Kingswood at 2305, whilst the penultimate Monday to Saturday departure from Paragon Interchange at 11a will not serve Lowgate in Hull Old Town as the 11 2300 does, but the 2330 departure will continue to do so.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Hawthorn Avenue in Hull regains a bus service

From Tuesday 23rd April, East Yorkshire service 51 in West Hull, which routes between the Paragon Interchange in Hull City Centre and Sibelius Road, will have a route and timetable change. The 51 is operated under contract to Hull City Council, and operates every 90 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime.

Between Hessle Road and Fiveways the 51 is being re-routed via Hawthorn Avenue and Boothferry Road, as opposed to Askew Avenue. Askew Avenue is also served by the Priory Park Park and Ride operating limited stop into Hull City Centre every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, reducing to half hourly in the peaks. Since the re-routing of the Park and Ride via Askew Avenue in 2017, the 51 hasn't been needed for travel from Askew Avenue into Hull City Centre or to Hull Royal Infirmary. On the other hand Hawthorn Avenue has been without a service since the 1D was withdrawn in October 2016, so the 51 is a welcome reinstatement of bus services for the road.

The timetable change are fairly minor, partially reflecting the new route is slightly longer and also revising the peak-time timetable. Most notably the Monday to Friday morning peak service from Sibelius Road will depart at 0755 rather than 0805, and the last bus Monday to Saturday from Paragon Interchange will be at 1750 rather than 1735

Friday, 12 April 2019

Route Change in Beverley's Swinemoor Estate

After Easter there will be changes to the route of East Yorkshire's Beverley Town Services 520 and 521 in the Swinemoor Estate. From Tuesday 23rd April between Burden Road and Sigston Road the services will use Springfield Drive rather than Wickwane Road. As a result less of Burden Road and more of Sigston Road will be served. The 520 and 521 are hourly Monday to Saturday one way circular services, combining to operate half hourly over part of their routes, including this section.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Stagecoach 99 Hull to Bridlington

As expected, Stagecoach have won the Bridlington Park and Ride contract; they have a five year deal (2019 to 2023 inclusive) with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to provide the service, which operates for 2019 between 6th April and 3rd November.

At the same time, Stagecoach are introducing service 99 between Hull and Bridlington. The service operates direct between Hull Paragon Interchange and Bridlington via the A165, serving stops along Holderness Road, and in the villages of Skirlaugh and Beeford en-route. In Bridlington the Park and Ride site is served before most services run into Bridlington Bus Station. The 99 operates on the same dates as the Bridlington Park and Ride and has between three and five journeys each way, leaving Hull Interchange at 0745, 0815 (certain dates only) 0945, 1045 and 1645 (certain dates only), and returning from Bridlington at 1315, 1715 and 1845 from the Bus Station, plus 1825 and 2110 from the Park and Ride site on certain dates only.

The 99 would appear to be vehicle and driver positioning/changeover journeys run in service, with a little bit of extra mileage to serve Paragon Interchange and Bridlington Bus Station than would otherwise be needed if run out of service, or in service by the most direct route possible. However despite the apparent reason for it's existence being 'logistical', the 99 may still be off use to Bridlington daytrippers and for that reason it makes sense for Stagecoach to try what they are doing with the 99. It will provide some competition for East Yorkshire's 121 between Hull and Bridlington, although both services use entirely different routes between Paragon Interchange and Bridlington, and also for East Yorkshire's tendered 136 between Beeford and Bridlington.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Humber Flyer/250

I don't post many VOSA registrations these days, but here is a rare exception - a variation to the HF2, the section of Stagecoach's Humber Flyer between Hull, Barton and Humberside Airport:

Registration number: PB0001484/262                                
Licence Number: PB0001484                                
Variation number: 9                                
Status: Registered                                
Service number: HU_HF2, 250                                
Service type: Normal Stopping                                
Start point: Hull Interchange                                
Finish point: Humberside Airport                                
Date received: 16 Mar 2019                                
Effective date: 28 Apr 2019                                
End date:
Supported by subsidies?: No                                
Local authorities covered by route: East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Kingston upon Hull, North Lincolnshire Council                                
TAOs covered by route: North East of England

Note the service number now includes the 250. The 250 hasn't run for a few years, but was used for much of the 2000's and early 2010's for Barton to Grimsby services via Barrow, Thornton Curtis, Wootton, Ulceby and Immingham. Currently the 'corridor' is served by the subsidised 450 between Barton and Immingham. Last year North Lincolnshire Council wanted to divert the Humber Flyer to include Barrow, Thornton Curtis, Wootton and Ulceby. Then more recently North Lincolnshire Council have proposed cutting the service to Thornton Curtis, Wootton and Ulceby to two days a week.

Maybe I'm putting two and two together and getting five, but is there going to be some sort of integration between the Humber Flyer and the Barton to Ulceby 'corridor'? There doesn't seem to be a long term future for the 450 between Barton and Immingham at the moment, in it's current form at least.

Monday, 11 March 2019

East Yorkshire

Back in June EYMS was sold to Go Ahead and last week announced branding changes, including a new livery, as well as it's fleet investment plans. As part of the branding change, EYMS will be known instead simply as 'East Yorkshire'.

Going forward the label used on this blog will therefore be 'East Yorkshire (Buses)' rather than 'EYMS'. I've added (Buses) on the end to help avoid confusion with the county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, which is sometimes referred to as East Yorkshire.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Goole Town Service Changes

The EYMS operated off peak Goole Town Services 1, 2 and 3 are revised from Monday 4th March to serve the town's Lidl store. The 1, 2 and 3 operate Monday to Saturday under contract to East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Only service 3 will serve Lidl, but the 1, 2 and 3 operate as three interworked services to permit through travel to different parts of the town, for example from Old Goole to the Hospital, or the Fairfield Estate to Lidl, and to accommodate the change all three services drop from every 40 minutes to every 45 minutes.

Service 3 - a clockwise loop around the west and north of Goole - currently splits after leaving Goole Town Centre, with half of journeys operating via Dunhill Road, Grange Road, Kent Road, Newport Street and Clifton Gardens to Oxford Street, while the other half operate via the majority of Boothferry Road, Grosvenor Avenue and Centenary Road to Oxford Road. From Oxford Road all services route via Ilkeston Avenue, Woodfield Road, Goole Hospital, Newclose Lane, Thorntree Lane, Ivy Park Road, Thorntree Lane, Buttermere Road and Pasture Road back into Goole Town Centre.

With next month's changes, all journeys on service 3 will operate via Dunhill Road and Grange Road before routing to Lidl via Anderson Road and then serving Rawcliffe Road. Here a small divergence between alternate journeys remains, will some serving a small part of Boothferry Road and Clifton Gardens, and others Grosvenor Avenue and Centenary Road. The remainder of the route from Oxford Road back into Goole Town Centre is unchanged. Newport Street and part of Kent Road are left unserved, but are fairly close to Boothferry Road, Dunhill Road and Grange Road.

The Monday to Friday peaktime Goole Town Services 4 and 5 are unaffected.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Stagecoach win Bridlington Park and Ride?

Going by the below two VOSA registrations, it would appear that Stagecoach have won the Bridlington Park and Ride contract, and will also be starting a Hull to Bridlington service.

PB0001484/398 Registered
Route: Hull Interchange to Bridlington Park and Ride
Service number: HU_99 (99)
Service type: Normal Stopping
Effective date: 06 Apr 2019

PB0001484/397 Registered


Route: Bridlington Park and Ride to Bridlington Park and Ride
Service number: HU_88 (88, 99)
Service type: Normal Stopping
Effective date: 06 Apr 2019

Yesterday, EYMS deregistered their Bridlington Park and Ride service

PB0000328/526 Cancelled
Route: Bridlington Park and Ride Site to Town Centre via East Riding Leisure
Service number: BPR (BPR)
Service type: Normal Stopping
Effective date: 06 Apr 2019

Sunday, 17 February 2019

North Lincolnshire Council looking to cutback 260 and 450 services

This week Barton Town Council published minutes of it's January 2nd meeting, which contained the following disappointing and concerning item under the heading "correspondence received since issue of the agenda":

"Information from North Lincolnshire Council Public Transport about making savings on the 450 bus service by making changes to the 450 service and looking to incorporating the 260 to help serve some of the villages. The 450 would operate from Barrow to Barton and Brigg via the Low Villages. The 260 at present operates 4 days to Goxhill and New Holland and 1 day to East Halton. They are looking at changing this to 3 days operating to Goxhill and New Holland and 2 days serving Thornton Curtis, Wootton and Ulceby and also East Halton and South Killingholme. A proposed timetable has been forwarded. Any suggestions are welcomed by early in the New Year. "

To expand on and slightly correct the current arrangements stated above, service 260 'The Villager' links the villages of Goxhill, New Holland and Barrow with Barton, as well as East Halton on a Thursday only; the Thursday timetable also includes a service from Victoria House in Barton to the town's Tesco supermarket. Monday to Friday the service is operated by Stagecoach, operating off peak approximately every 60-90 minutes using one vehicle, and is interworked with a schools service from the Caistor Road Estate in Barton to St Peter's Primary School. On Saturday's a single 'timetabled' journey in each direction is provided between Goxhill and Barton by the CallConnect bus.

Service 450 operates between Immingham County Hotel, South Killingholme, Ulceby, Wootton, Thornton Curtis, Barrow, Barton, South Ferriby, Horkstow, Saxby, Bonby, Worlaby, Elsham, Wrawby and Brigg. The route is operated by Stagecoach with four journeys in each direction, albeit on schooldays one service from Brigg terminates at Barton and another is diverted after Barrow to Goxhill. The service requires two vehicles, and I think is interworked with the 552 South Killingholme to Barton Baysgarth School schools service. The 450 itself provides a schools service to Brigg for out of catchment area students.

The exact proposed new timetable has not been included in the Barton Town Council minutes, but would clearly involve cutbacks overall, with the possible exception of East Halton and North Killingholme (located between East Halton and South Killingholme and currently only served by the 552 and CallConnect). It would seem no community will be left unserved however. I presume the intention would be to reduce from a requirement for three vehicles on weekdays to two, at least in school holidays. Unless operated as circular, serving Wootton/Ulceby on one hand, and East Halton on the other, would not be possible without a trip via some very minor roads, but serving all four communities could be done by operating between Barrow and South Killingholme via Wootton/Ulceby in one direction and East Halton in the other.

It's not clear what is proposed for Saturdays. The minutes refer to serving some communities three days a week and others two, implying five day a week services, yet every village east of Barton apart from East Halton and North Killingholme currently has a Saturday bus service. It maybe that the Saturday 260 service isn't being considered as it's operated as part of the CallConnect contract, but that doesn't explain if the plan is to replace/continue the Saturday 450, or not.

In response, Barton Town Council resolved "that a letter be sent to North Lincolnshire Council with the town council’s concerns that the local bus services are to be reduced. As the town council currently support the town bus and it was noted that better information needs to be sought regarding the Call Connect service, the Clerk to invite the Public Transport Development Officer to a forthcoming meeting of the town council to further explain the service".

It is good to see Barton Town Council agree to respond with their concerns to North Lincolnshire Council. Barton Town Council currently contribute towards the 254 Barton Town Service and also fund a schools service within the town from the Caistor Road Estate to Castledyke Primary School. The remainder of the funding for the 254 comes from North Lincolnshire Council but there is no indication that is under threat. Older Barton Town Council minutes indicate that changes may be made to the 254 when Barton Library and Local Link relocates from the town centre to the Baysgarth Leisure Centre later this year.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Some Improvement for South Killingholme

Tomorrow - Monday 21st January - a new 'fixed'/timetabled CallConnect service is being introduced between South Killingholme and Immingham County Hotel, operating Monday to Friday peaktimes. CallConnect is operated by Hornsby Travel on behalf of North Lincolnshire Council. South Killingholme was served by Stagecoach service 5 Monday to Saturday daytimes until earlier this month, providing a service every 20 minutes to Immingham and Grimsby, the places residents of South Killingholme tend to 'look towards' for shops and services. Since then it has been left with the 450 - which doesn't serve Immingham Town Centre or Grimsby - and demand responsive CallConnect services.

On the new timetabled CallConnect service there will be one departure each way, leaving South Killinghome at 0715, arriving at County Hotel at 0725 to connect onto the 0737 service 5 into Grimsby which arrives at 0814, and a return from County Hotel at 1800 which connects out of the 1710 service 5 from Grimsby to County Hotel (arrives at 1745). This reinstates a timetabled service for South Killingholme to Grimsby commuters and students, albeit with a change en-route at County Hotel; the evening service may also be off use for afternoon Grimsby shoppers who can travel into Grimsby using a combination of the 450 and 5 services earlier in the day.

As a quick way to improve the situation for South Killingholme, this new timetabled service is logical. However it does mean the demand responsive CallConnect bus will not be available when it is needed on this fixed service, which isn't ideal. In addition there is still no timetabled link from South Killingholme to Immingham Town Centre - as I posted a couple of weeks ago the 450 could be amended to provide this - and no South Killingholme to Grimsby through service. Arguably more still to be done to replace the 5 in South Killingholme.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Stagecoach 5 and 6 Changes

Today, Sunday 6th January, Stagecoach have revised services 5 and 6 in North East Lincolnshire. Service 5 provides the link between Grimsby and Immingham, whilst service 6 is the main bus into Grimsby from the Wybers Wood Estate.

Until yesterday service 5 routed out of Grimsby via Cromwell Road, Yarborough Road and the full length of Great Coates Road, before serving the edges of Healing and Stallingborough villages on the B1210 prior to arriving in Immingham. In Immingham most Monday to Saturday early morning and daytime journeys had extended to South Killingholme via the oil refineries, with some journeys serving Kiln Lane Industrial Estate, Immingham MIC Plant and the Western Entrance to Immingham Docks at peak times. One peak time journey started in, and two finished in, Habrough village. Monday to Saturday daytimes service 5 operated every 20 minutes, increasing to every 15 minutes at peak times; the first three early morning journeys started in Humberston, operating via Cleethorpes Pier and Riby Square to pick up the main route in Grimsby. Sunday daytimes saw an hourly service between Cleethorpes Pier, Grimsby and Immingham, routing via Grimsby Auditorium/Leisure Centre and The Willows Estate, but not the 'loop' part of Cromwell Road that service 6 uses on The Willows, as opposed than Yarborough Road and the western part of Great Coates Road. Finally the hourly daily evening service followed the same route as on Sunday daytimes, but starting at North Sea Lane terminus, and also serving Wybers Wood Top.

With today's service change, almost all journeys on service 5 will route via The Willows, instead of Yarborough Road and the western part of Great Coates Road. Yarborough Road is also served by service 4, while the western part of Great Coates Road is partly bordered by Grimsby Golf Course and a nature reserve. Routing via The Willows provides Monday to Saturday daytime access to Grimsby Auditorium/Leisure Centre from the service 5 route. All early morning/daytime journeys will serve the Cromwell Road 'loop' within The Willows, with evening services continuing to omit it.

The other big change is that apart from on weekday peaktimes, the 5 will no longer extend past Immingham County Hotel terminus, and the oil refineries, South Killingholme and Habrough are no longer served by service 5. This removes the bus as a commuting option from Grimsby to the oil refineries, and leaves Habrough with the train for public transport (which does include peak time services to Grimsby, replacing what the 5 offered).

Perhaps the most significant loss however is for South Killingholme. South Killingholme maybe in North Lincolnshire, but looks towards Immingham and Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire for shops/services etc. It's not left isolated as the 450 continues to provide a limited Monday to Saturday bus service, but the 450 isn't ideal - it's geared towards travel to Barton, and if you don't mind a journey of over an hour, also serves Brigg. The 450 does run to Immingham too, but only to County Hotel, not the town centre, and has a first arrival at County Hotel off 1100, with a last departure at 1340. Connections to Grimsby on the 5 exist, but offer little time in the town. South Killingholme is also covered by the demand responsive CallConnect, which I think does offer travel to Immingham.

A seemingly easy option to partially address this would be to re-route the 450 via Habrough Church and Immingham Town Centre between South Killingholme and County Hotel. If necessary the 450 could be amended in Barton to save time, and only serve the Market Place once in each direction as opposed to twice in each direction in the current timetable - a legacy from when Barton-Brigg and Barton-Immingham-Grimsby used to be separate services. South Killingholme doesn't need a service every 20 minutes, and probably has only had one because of it's proximity to employment and potential (Able UK) employment sites, it may not even need an hourly service, but I don't think the 450 with it's current timetable and route is sufficient.

The 5m variation to Kiln Lane/MIC Plant as service 5m continues Monday to Friday, but not on Saturdays. Four morning and five afternoon services are provided from Grimsby, with three morning and six afternoon returns from Kiln Lane/MIC Plant - this compares to six morning and two afternoon journeys previously being provided from Grimsby, along with three afternoon returns.

The 'core' Monday to Saturday daytime frequency remains every 20 minutes, including at peak times where a 15 minute frequency had previously been provided. Early morning journeys from Humberston remain, at 0435 (0440 Sat), 0540 and 0640 compared to 0445, 0515 and 0545 previously. The first service from Immingham is now at 0550 rather than 0620, and the first three morning services from Immingham operate via Wybers Wood Estate as service 5w, covering for service 6 now starting later. Early morning services from Grimsby continue to operate via Yarborough Road, as service 5 or 5m, and so do two further morning journeys from Grimsby, and two mid afternoon journeys from Immingham as service 5s - going by the 's' suffix and the times, I presume this is linked to Healing School traffic. Evening and Sundays remain hourly, starting at North Sea Lane in the evening, and at Cleethorpes Pier on Sunday daytimes.

Service 6 continues to link the Wybers Wood Estate and Grimsby Town Centre via The Willows, but has two main changes. The 6 no longer continues beyond Riverhead Exchange to Asda, and the Monday to Saturday daytime service is cut from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes. Co-ordination with the re-routed service 5 however provides an improved service to The Willows of every 10 minutes. The hourly Sunday daytime service 6 remains, with fairly good co-ordination with service 5 into Grimsby in the morning, and returning in the afternoon, but with abysmal co-ordination for the probably less used morning service from Grimsby and afternoon service from Wybers Wood. From Wybers Wood Top on Sunday afternoons there is a 3 minute gap followed by a 57 minute gap. This timetabling is what happens when trying to co-ordinate an Immingham to Cleethorpes and Wybers Wood to Grimsby service without having lots of driver layover time - and I guess it maybe this arrangement or the Sunday 6 becomes unviable?

Overall a rather mixed picture, and the negatives I'm sure not helped by the decline in Grimsby Town Centre and lack of progress with the Able UK development in Killingholme.