Stagecoach made some major changes to their West Hull services on Sunday 3rd November.
Services 1 and 2 link Paragon Interchange in the City Centre with the Boothferry Estate, the 1 operating via the Thornton Estate and Hessle Road, the 2 operating via Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road and Anlaby Park Road North. The two services operate as 'through' services across the Boothferry Estate, making journeys such as Anlaby Park Road North to Hessle Road possible without a change. Services 1 and 2 had been operating every 10 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 15 minutes on Saturday daytimes, however this has now been reduced to every 15 minutes Monday to Friday and every 20 minutes on Saturdays. The first Monday to Friday departure on service 1 from Paragon Interchange is now at 0435 rather than 0505, and on service 2 at 0430 rather than 0515.
However at the same time as cutting the 1 and 2's frequencies, new service 2s has been started, operating the same route as service 2 between Paragon Interchange and the Boothferry Estate, before continuing the short distance to Hessle Sainsbury's. The 2s operates every 15 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes (with some longer gaps on schooldays afternoons) and every 20 minutes on a Saturday daytime. Combined the 2 and 2s now operate every 7-8 minutes Monday to Friday daytime and every 10 minutes on a Saturday daytime, an extra two services per hour compared to the previous service 2 timetable. The remaining 'through' service 1 and 2's are probably still frequent enough for any 'through' traffic.
Also impacted by the changes was Priory Park Park and Ride service 20. Apart from some 20x peaktime journeys via the A63, the Park and Ride service had routed from Priory Park via Hessle Road as far as Gipsyville, then via Askew Avenue, Fiveways, Boothferry Road, Anlaby Road and Hull Royal Infirmary into Hull City Centre. Now service 20 has been rerouted between Gipsyville and Hull Royal Infirmary via the main Hessle Road Shopping Area and Rawling Way. The Park and Ride continues to operate every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime, and the re-routing provides an increase in services along the main Hessle Road Shopping Area, even after allowing for the cutback to service 1; Monday to Friday there are now eight Stagecoach services an hour in each direction, and on Saturday seven.
The changes to the 1 and 20 aren't quite as positive as the 2 and 2s. The Thornton Estate does not get any new services to supplement the reduction in frequency on service 1, and there is no replacement for service 20 on Boothferry Road between Fiveways and Anlaby Road, not that this section is lacking in buses - services 66, 155, X55, 250 & 350 also operate along here. Most notable however is the impact on Askew Avenue. Technically it's not totally 'bus-less'; in addition to some schools and college services, the 1800 to 1930 inclusive Park and Ride departures from Priory Park operate via the 'old' service 20 route as new service number 22, I presume to serve evening football and rugby matches at the KCom Stadium without the need to amend service 20. However a one-way early evening service isn't much of a service for Askew Avenue. I had wondered if Hull City Council would re-route the tendered 51 via Askew Avenue again, but so far they haven't. The northern and southern parts of Askew Avenue are within walking distance of Boothferry Road and Hessle Road respectively where alternative services are available.
Without a doubt some positives here, but a couple of negatives too.
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