Back on 20th November last year, Stagecoach amended most of their city services in Hull, shortly after the conclusion of strike action that took place in October and early November. The changes were significant, most notably:
- Frequency reductions on the highest frequency routes Monday to Saturday daytimes
- The end of most cross-city links
- Some 'erosion' of the Simplibus numbering scheme for city services
Service 1 between Hull Paragon Interchange and the Boothferry Estate via Hessle Road was reduced from every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes pre-strike to every 20 minutes post-strike, with evening and Sunday frequencies unchanged. The first bus from the Boothferry Estate is now at 0533 rather than 0433 pre-strike. As a comparison, immediately pre-COVID the 1 operated every 15 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 20 minutes Saturday daytimes, supplemented by the 20 along Hessle Road (including the main shopping area) every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes for a total of 7-8 buses per hour. Until November 2019 - perhaps a fairer comparison given that the November 2019 changes had little time to 'settle-in' - the 1 had operated every 10 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 15 minutes Saturday daytimes.
Service 2 between Wawne/North Bransholme and the Boothferry Estate via the City Centre and Hull Royal Infirmary has been split in the City Centre, severing a through connection introduced in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personally the old 10 route from North Bransholme seemed an odd choice for a through link to Hull Royal Infirmary, given it spends quite a lot of time travelling through an industrial area - the 12 might have been a better choice? Now though the 2 returns to operating just between Paragon Interchange and the Boothferry Estate with the 10 returning between Paragon Interchange and North Bransholme/Wawne.
The 2 is cut down from every 15 minutes pre-strike to every 20 minutes post-strike Monday to Saturday daytimes, with evening and Sunday frequencies unaltered. Compared to pre-COVID, the 2 is reduced from every 7-8 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 10 minutes Saturday daytimes when including the short-lived 2S between Paragon Interchange, the Boothferry Estate and Sainsbury's. Until November 2019 the 2 had operated every 10 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 15 minutes Saturday daytimes.
The 10 is also reduced from every 15 minutes pre-strike - and also pre-COVID - Monday to Saturday daytimes between Paragon Interchange and North Bransholme to every 20 minutes post-strike, with hourly extensions remaining to Wawne. Again evening and Sunday frequencies are unchanged compared to pre-strike, though the Sutton Park route variations are withdrawn, partially replaced by a new one-direction only hourly Monday to Saturday evening service on route 8 from Paragon Interchange to North Point via Sutton Park.
Service 3 between Orchard Park, the City Centre, Greatfield and Bilton Grange was also split in the City Centre, with the 3 now operating just between Orchard Park and Paragon Interchange and new service 13 picking up the Paragon Interchange to Bilton Grange section. The new 3 and 13 each operate every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, down from every 10 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and every 15 minutes Saturday daytimes both pre-strike and pre-COVID. The Monday to Saturday evening frequency on the 3 but not the 13 is reduced from half hourly pre-strike to hourly, with Sundays unchanged on both routes.
Another split service is the 4 between Orchard Park, the City Centre and Bilton Grange. The Orchard Park to Paragon Interchange section remains as the 4, with the Paragon Interchange to Bilton Grange section becoming the 4B - a very curious choice of number compared to how the eastern part of the 3 became the 13. I know that the number 14 is already taken, but 15 for example is available.
Pre-strike the 4 had operated every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and every half hour Sunday daytimes (plus a 2330 from Paragon Interchange to Bilton Grange Monday to Saturday). These daytime frequencies also matched the pre-COVID provision, Now the 4 and 4B both operate every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and remain every half hour Sunday daytimes. The 4 has however gained an hourly Monday to Saturday evening service compared to pre-strike, but the 2330 from Paragon Interchange to Bilton Grange hasn't survived - there are alternative journeys at 2330 on service 11 for Holderness Road and service 13 for Bilton Grange.
Service 5 which had operated a circular from Paragon Interchange via Orchard Park, Kingswood, North Point, Spring Cottage and Ings Estate was split at Kingswood, with the Orchard Park section remaining as the 5 and the eastern half of the route returning to operate as service 11.
The new service 5 operates every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, half hourly Sunday daytimes and hourly daily evenings between Paragon Interchange and Kingswood, with peaktime extras Monday to Saturday between Paragon Interchange, Orchard Park and Mizzen Road. Pre-strike the 5 had operated every 15 minutes between Paragon Interchange and Orchard Park Monday to Saturday daytimes and every half hour to Kingswood, with Mizzen Road served by some peaktime Orchard Park 'shorts'. Monday to Saturday evenings were half hourly Paragon Interchange to Orchard Park and hourly to Kingswood, whilst Sundays were half hourly daytimes and hourly evenings between Hull and Kingswood.
Pre-COVID the 5 had operated every 7-8 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes between Paragon Interchange and Orchard Park, and every 15 minutes to Kingswood. Evenings were half hourly to Kingswood and every 15 minutes to Orchard Park when accounting for the u5 variant (reducing to half hourly in the late evening Monday to Thursday). Sundays were half hourly all day between Hull and Kingswood with extra daytime journeys between Hull and Orchard Park for a 15 minute frequency. Until November 2019 the 5 was every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes between Hull and Orchard Park and every 20 minutes to Kingswood. It should also be noted when comparing the pre-COVID offering to now, that the 4 now serves Cranbrook Avenue, somewhat compensating for reductions to the 5 over this particular section of route.
Turning to service 11 and it operates every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes and every hour evenings and Sundays, broadly in line with the pre-strike provision on the 5 in East Hull. This is down though from every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and every half hour evenings and Sundays pre-COVID, although the re-routing of the 8 via Bellfield Avenue partially mitigates on the Ings Estate, and the 8, which serves much of the same route as the 11 between North Point and Paragon Interchange has also gained an hourly Sunday service since the start of the COVID pandemic.
Both the 12 from North Point to Paragon Interchange via Noddle Hill and Sutton and the 14 from Greatfield to Paragon Interchange are reduced from every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes both pre-strike and pre-COVID to every 20 minutes post-strike, with evening and Sundays retaining their pre-strike frequencies. On service 12, the half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime 12A variant via Garden Village is no longer operating and replaced by all 12's operating the main route via Summergangs Road along with new service 33 in Garden Village (see below). The first service 12 from North Point Monday to Saturday is now at 0550 rather than 0445 pre-strike.
Finally there were some major changes to lower frequency services in East Hull. The hourly Monday to Saturday daytime 16 between Paragon Interchange, Victoria Dock, Newbridge Road, Morrisons, Ings Road, Leads Road, Sutton, Howdale Road, Kestrel Avenue, Biggin Avenue and North Point was truncated to operate between Paragon Interchange and Morrisons only, but is now interworked with the 40 and 41 local services. The hourly Monday to Saturday daytime 40 from Morrisons to the main Holderness Road shopping area, Garden Village, Lambwath Road, Ings Road and back to Morrisons is revised so that all journeys operate clockwise, rather than the previous mix of clockwise and anti-clockwise journeys; on arrival at Morrisons the 41 then continues as an advertised through service on route 16 to the City Centre.
The section of the 16 between Ings Road and North Point is now covered by new service 33 between Paragon Interchange, Garden Village, Ings Road and North Point. Sounds somewhat familiar? It has similarities to the old service 9 which used the same route between Paragon Interchange and Leads Road pre-COVID, so I'm surprised that the number 9 hasn't been reused, especially as the number 33 doesn't 'fit in' with any other Stagecoach services in Hull. The 33 operates hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, matching the 16's old frequency, with a 12 minute journey time reduction from North Point to Paragon Interchange; for Garden Village though it's a drop from half hourly on the old 12A.
(Any services not mentioned were either unaffected or just had minor time changes).