Saturday 11 May 2024

All journeys to Kingswood

The history of Stagecoach service 5 in Hull includes changes between operating all services as full route journeys from Paragon Interchange to Kingswood, or operating some journeys as 'shorts' from the Interchange to Orchard Park only, using either the Medical Centre or Tesco as a terminus. 

Another change was added to the history book on Sunday 31st March; since September 2023 the Monday to Friday daytime service had operated every 10 minutes between Paragon Interchange and Orchard Park Tesco (every 9-11 minutes in the opposite direction), extending to/from Kingswood every 20 minutes. Now, however all journeys operate full route to Kingswood every 10 or 15 minutes Monday to Friday daytime. That frequency varies throughout the day, but thankfully the route is frequent enough that the regular 'flip-flopping' between intervals doesn't matter so much; to give an idea, here is one row of departure times from the Interchange copied from Stagecoach's pdf timetable:
1000 1010 1020 1035 1050 1105 1115 1125 1135 1150 1205 1215 1225 1235 1250 1305 1320 1335 1345 1355 1405 1415

Overall fewer buses between Hull City Centre and Orchard Park, but more to Kingswood and it's Retail Park.

Monday 6 May 2024

Frequency Increase to the Boothferry Estate

Interworked Stagecoach services 1 and 2 in Hull - from Paragon Interchange to the Boothferry Estate - gained a welcome frequency increase as part of Stagecoach's 31st March service changes. Monday to Saturday daytime services have increased from every 20 minutes on each route to every 15 minutes. Also, most inbound journeys to the Interchange on service 2 will now use the City Centre Loop, other than between 1400 and 1800 Monday to Saturday.

In detail, there are also some early morning enhancements. The first Monday to Friday service 1 from Paragon Interchange to the Boothferry Estate is now at 0437 rather than 0511. Meanwhile on Saturdays the first Saturday service 2 from Paragon Interchange is at 0608 rather than 0631, leading to the first service 1 from the Boothferry Estate operating earlier at 0631 rather than 0656. 

Sunday 5 May 2024

Greater Frequency for Greatfield

As part of Stagecoach's Hull changes on 31st March (Easter Sunday), service 13 between Hull Paragon Interchange and Bilton Grange via Holderness Road Shops, Preston Road and Greatfield gained an increased Monday to Saturday daytime frequency, going from every 20 minutes to every 15 minutes. This is a very welcome increase for a key route. Also off note are two later Saturday journeys from Bilton Grange at 2302 and 2332 (last service previously 2232).

Unfortunately it is not all good news for Greatfield, as service 14 between Paragon Interchange and Greatfield via Holderness Road and Portobello Street has been reduced from every 20 minutes to half hourly on Saturday daytimes. The same reduction has also been made to the Monday to Friday afternoon peak service, with the 20 minute frequency going to half hourly intervals after 1620.

Overall though, a greater number of services for Greatfield than before the changes.

Monday 22 April 2024

New Spurn Explorer

A new Summer Saturday link from Hull to Spurn Point commenced on 23rd March - the East Yorkshire operated Spurn Explorer. It is numbered as either service 71 or service 71E depending on where you look. I suspect the 'E' maybe an internal East Yorkshire suffix to differentiate from the main service 71 between Withernsea and Easington? The Spurn Explorer has been funded from East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding allocation. It is due to operate until 3rd November.

The new Spurn Explorer operates from Hull to Patrington largely via the service 75 route - including the Burstwick diversion - with the intriguing exception that it uses Preston Road and Marfleet Lane rather than Southcoates Lane. Logical, as it serves more residential areas, but intriguing as the southern section of Marfleet Lane is otherwise unserved, except for school/college buses.

After Patrington, the Spurn Explorer follows the main 71 route to Easington Village and Caravan Park before extending to Kilnsea Village and the Spurn Discovery Centre.

The Spurn Explorer timetable only has one full route journey from Hull to Spurn, leaving Hull at 0825, returning from Spurn at 1625. Otherwise there are two Patrington to Spurn 'shorts', designed to connect with either service X7 or 75 from Hull at Patrington. Finally at lunchtime there is a Spurn-Patrington-Withernsea and return service - that is also timed for Hull connections at Patrington - presumably to allow the driver to take a break at Withernsea?

Co-ordination with the main service 71 between Withernsea, Patrington and Easington isn't fantastic, but the timetable seems to be designed around Hull connections, which is understandable as the intent is to serve visitors to Spurn rather than local demand.

The following Sunday - 24th March - saw the commencement of the expected seasonal extension of the main service 71 between Withernsea and Easington to Spurn on Sundays and Bank Holidays only.

There are a couple of interesting articles about the Spurn Explorer - and the attraction of Spurn Point - on the East Yorkshire website here and here.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Bridlington Park and Ride passes to East Yorkshire

East Yorkshire Buses have taken over operation of the tendered Summer Only Bridlington Park and Ride this year, with the season having commenced on Saturday 23rd March. Previously operated by Stagecoach as their service 88, it is now numbered 520. 

Presumably this will mean no Stagecoach 99 from Hull to Bridlington this year; the route commenced when they won the Park and Ride contract as a 'positioning' service, albeit with some journeys at useful times for a daytrip to Bridlington.

Monday 1 April 2024

New Wolds Explorer

The service 4 extension to Normanby Hall wasn't the only seasonal leisure service to start on Easter Saturday (30th March). The East Yorkshire operated service 200 'Wolds Explorer' also commenced. The 200 operates between Pocklington, Millington, Huggate, Fridaythorpe and Thixendale every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday until the end of September. It is funded from East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus allocation.

The Saturday timetable has departures from Pocklington at 1010, 1330 and 1530, returning from Thixendale at 1105, 1430 and 1630. On Sundays and Bank Holidays the 200 departs Pocklington at 1120 and 1520, returning from Thixendale at 1215 and 1615.

One interesting feature of the 200 is that customers with a ticket for the X46/X47 between Hull, Pocklington and York can travel for free on the 200.

Whilst the 200 is intended to serve visitors to the Yorkshire Wolds - including walkers - it may also have some use for villagers travelling into Pocklington. Millington and Thixendale are otherwise unserved by bus services. Huggate has the 199 into Pocklington, but only on a Tuesday, whilst Fridaythorpe has the Tuesday and Thursday 535 to Driffield, but no other weekend or Pocklington services.

Finally, if this service sounds vaguely familiar - it is. My August 2002 East Riding timetable book includes a Summer service W1 between Pocklington and Thixendale, but also extending to Sledmere and Wharram Percy. It operated on Sundays and Bank Holidays from late March until the end of September and Tuesdays in the North Yorkshire School Summer Holidays. The W1 was operated by EYMS, the brand used by East Yorkshire at the time.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Normanby Hall Regains Service 4

Using Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding, Hornsby service 4 between Brigg and Scunthorpe regained a Normanby Hall Country Park extension yesterday - Saturday 30th March. In the 00's it was the Sunday service that extended to the Country Park north of Scunthorpe, but this time it is the Saturday service. The extended journeys are the 0840, 1040, 1240 and 1440 from Brigg to Scunthorpe, with the 1245, 1445 and 1645 from Scunthorpe starting back at Normanby Hall 20 minutes earlier. Overall this gives good flexibility as to the length of a day out. The Normanby Hall extensions will operate until 26th October.

Otherwise bus access to Normanby Hall is via service 60 between Scunthorpe and Whitton (or the Just Go demand responsive service). However most journeys on service 60 only serve the side entrance by Normanby Village, so the new extended service 4 to the main entrance will be a big improvement from Scunthorpe, as well as providing through journeys from Brigg, Broughton and Ashby.

Saturday 30 March 2024

260 extended to Immingham

The 260 Barton Villager has been one of those services which rarely changes since it was first introduced around 20 years ago. Whilst a Saturday service came and went, and the operator changed from North Lincolnshire Council to Stagecoach, it had always been a Monday to Friday daytime Barton-Barrow-Goxhill-New Holland-Barrow-Barton circular, operating hourly with some longer gaps. A long standing exception had been a Thursday only extension to East Halton as well as a internal Barton Town Service from Tesco to Victoria Drive. Overall this had meant seven circular trips Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and six on Thursdays, two of which served East Halton.

That all changed on Monday 19th February. The 260 now operates between Barton and Immingham via Barrow, New Holland, Goxhill, East Halton, North Killingholme and South Killingholme, with the Civic Centre being served into Immingham en-route to the County Hotel. There are two full route services in each direction as well as two Barton to Goxhill and return extras on schooldays and three during School Holidays. St Chad in Barrow is now unserved, as is Victoria Drive in Barton. The service remains a Monday to Friday only route (for now).

The change is Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funded, though I'm not sure why - resource has been taken away from the Barton to Goxhill section to provide the Immingham extension.

The intent here is good. North and South Killingholme were without a scheduled bus service, and East Halton only had one on Thursdays (college service excepted). Plus to be fair the 260 was never a busy service in recent years from my limited observations - one of those routes that usually had at least someone on, but never many. The Barrow to Barton section also received a significant boost in recent years when the four times a day service 450 was replaced by the hourly (with gaps) 250, supplanting the 260 as the primary bus service between the two settlements. In theory at least there is logic behind reducing the Goxhill to Barton service in order to address no/limited bus services elsewhere.

That being said, the new timetable isn't perfect. Anyone from Goxhill or New Holland who would like or needs a morning in Barton by bus now has only one service to choose from - the 0919 from Goxhill, arrives Barton Market Place 0950 - and can't return home until the 1245 from Barton Tesco. East Halton residents don't really have a usable service to Barton anymore - first arrival at Barton Market Place is at 1150, last departure 1252. 

In terms of co-ordination with the 250 between Barrow and Barton it is a mixed picture - see the updated Summary Timetable here. The 0942 260 from Barrow Market Place fits it well between the 0902 and 1002 250's, but the 1142 260 is just 10 minutes after a 250. In the afternoon the 1427 260 slots is nicely between the 1332 and 1502 250's; so does the school holiday 1535 260 in between the 1502 and 1602 250's, and finally the 1642 260 in between the 1602 and 1722 250's. From Barton Market Place the 0900 260 runs ahead of the 0922 250, then the 1007 260 is 15 minutes ahead of the 1022 250. Very unfortunately there are both 250's and 260's leaving Barton Market Place at 1252 and 1452 (school holidays), but the final 1557 260 fits in better between 250's at 1452 and 1622.

Friday 29 March 2024

Isle of Axholme Service 97 revised

North Lincolnshire Council directly operated service 97 in the Isle of Axholme was revised on 29th January. The 97 was launched last May, operating between Garthorpe, Crowle, Epworth, Sandtoft and Wroot Monday to Friday. There were two full route journeys from Garthorpe, three from Wroot plus a Garthorpe to Epworth 'short' in each direction. It was reported last September that some changes may need to be made in response to early passenger numbers; those changes came in January.

The route is unchanged between Garthorpe and Epworth but now operates to Sandtoft via Low Burnham, Haxey, Westwoodside and Wroot. Haxey and Westwoodside already have Epworth links on the 399. The timetable has also been reduced, to two journeys in each direction - albeit not quite that simple. There is a morning Sandtoft-Garthorpe-Sandtoft round trip, then in the afternoon the route operates Epworth-Sandtoft-Garthorpe-Epworth.

There are now new Humber Transport Summary Timetables available for Belton to Epworth and Epworth to Haxey and Westwoodside, including the revised 97. 

Reviewing co-ordination with other services in detail and from Epworth to Haxey and Westwoodside, the 1141 from Epworth fits almost perfectly into a four hour gap on service 399. The 1315 from Epworth leaves just 21 minutes before a 399 however. From Westwoodside, the 0952 is just 12 minutes after a 399, but the 1412 fits in better between the 1323 and 1623 service 399's.

From Belton to Epworth the 1133 follows two minutes behind a service 399, but the 1548 fits in better between the 1331 and 1651 399's. Departing Epworth to Belton, the 1006 duplicates the 1007 399, with the 1426 fitting in a little better between the 1350 and 1650 399's.

Turning to North Axholme, and from Ealand into Crowle, the 1026 97 fits in nicely between the 0957 361 and the 1055 service 90. The 1446 97 runs 9 minutes ahead of a service 90, so not so good. Returning from Crowle, the 1118 97 follows after the 1114 90, whilst the 1533 97 is just a minute in front of a service 90.

Finally departing Garthorpe for Crowle, the 1100 97 slots in almost perfectly between the 0956 and 1156 service 361's, and the 1515 97 in between the 1356 and 1556 361's. From Crowle co-ordination is not as good, but not awful; the 1031 97 fits in between 1004 and 1204 service 361's, and the 1451 97 follows on from the 1404 service 361, to provide the last service of the day north from Crowle (except for a college day service 90 to Eastoft).

Overall co-ordination with other services can be described as mixed, but not an easy job to fit around multiple different other services.

Sunday 17 March 2024

Mostly Positive Changes in Bridlington

Last September, East Yorkshire made some retrograde changes to their Bridlington town services - reduced frequencies, non-clockface timetables and increasing differences between weekdays and Saturdays. It appeared to be an attempt to improve reliability without any extra resource. On Monday 29th January, East Yorkshire changed approach and made some clear improvements, "after carefully listening to your feedback".

On service 2 to the south of Bridlington, times have been aligned Monday to Saturday for those journeys that operate six days a week, as opposed to most weekday services running 5 minutes earlier than on Saturdays. For service 3 to the West Hill Estate, intermediate times have been aligned Monday to Saturday, so that the only Saturday difference is one extra journey.

Service 4 and 4A to the New Pasture Lane Estate go from a messy every 20-45 minutes combined to every hour each, on a standardised 20-40 minute interval; prior to last September they were every hour each with a combined half hourly service. 

In last September's timetable, the 5 and 5A to the north of Bridlington had retained some semblance of a clockface timetable, at least in the morning and early afternoon period, with each service operating every hour for a combined half hourly frequency. Since late January the 5A variant via Kirkgate has been withdrawn, with Kirkgate still served by the 4/4A. The 5 continues hourly, with a new Monday to Friday 0826 from Bempton Lane into Bridlington added; previous first service 0921, but the last service cutback from 1735 to 1705. 

Together with the 4 and 4A, the 5 now provides a service every 20 minutes from central Bridlington along Quay Road where the three routes diverge - hence the 20-40 minute interval on the 4/4A. It would appear that the 5A has been sacrificed to increase the 4/4A.

Somewhat 'softening the blow' for the Bempton Lane area of Bridlington, service 12 from Scarborough now diverts via the area on a small number of journeys. The Monday to Friday 0710 from Scarborough to Bridlington serves Bempton Lane at 0812, whilst the Monday to Friday 1525 from Bridlington is also diverted via Bempton Lane to fill a 2 hour gap in the weekday service 5. Finally on Sundays three 12's in each direction divert via Bempton Lane so that residents can travel into Bridlington Town Centre during the daytime.

Service 6 to the north of Bridlington now has alignment of Monday to Friday and Saturday timetables with the exception of one Saturday only service.

Finally, Bridlington gained a new Friday and Saturday evening town service from 2nd February. The 513 - a number rather out of place for the modern day town network in Bridlington - is funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding allocation and operated by East Yorkshire. It operates an hourly circular from Bridlington Bus Station from 1830 to 2230 via Hilderthorpe Road, the West Hill Estate, the New Pasture Lane Estate and Westgate in the Old Town, covering parts of the daytime service 3 and 4 routes. Creating a bespoke evening service isn't ideal, but one bus couldn't provide an even interval hourly service on routes 3 and 4, so a bespoke service is perhaps appropriate in this instance. 

Saturday 16 March 2024

Big boost for Bempton and Buckton

Another recipient of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding was the East Yorkshire operated service 504 between Bridlington and Bempton, a village to the north of the town. The 504 was previously a Monday to Friday only service, interworked with the 131 Carnaby Industrial Estate workers service. As such, the 504 offered three journeys from Bempton and two from Bridlington, timed to operate immediately post morning peak, at lunchtime and again mid-afternoon. The 504 operates via Queensgate, St Aidan Road, Bempton Lane and Darwin Road in Bridlington on all journeys, providing a town service function as well as also serving the village of Buckton. Additionally one service in each direction also serves Fortyfoot and St Anne's Road.

That previous service remains unchanged, but has now been added too. On Saturdays and Sundays a two hourly daytime service is now provided, with five journeys from Bempton and four from Bridlington, all operating via the main route (i.e. omitting Fortyfoot and St Anne's Road). As such the weekend daytime service is more frequent than the weekday service. 

In addition a limited Friday and Saturday evening service has been provided to support nights out in Bridlington. There is a new 1900 from Bempton to Bridlington and 2310 return (both omitting Fortyfoot and St Anne's Road), with the 2310 also extending beyond Bempton to Flamborough, Thornwick Bay and North Landing. This is a logical extension as Flamborough lacks a late evening service on it's service 14 route from Bridlington.

Certainly not the only route with this sort of anomaly, but there is a very large gap in departures from Bridlington between 1530 and 2310 on Fridays and from 1640 to 2310 on Saturdays. An evening peak service would be ideal, but if not an 1825-ish departure from Bridlington which then forms the new 1900 from Bempton could make a useful difference at potentially marginal cost.

Friday 15 March 2024

Service 121 Increased

With financial support from East Riding of Yorkshire's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding, East Yorkshire increased the Saturday daytime frequency of service 121 between Hull, Beverley, Driffield and Bridlington from hourly to approximately half hourly between Beverley and Bridlington on Saturday 3rd February. The service otherwise operates hourly daily daytimes with a reduced evening service; as such the Saturday daytime frequency is now double the remainder of the week.

There are new 'shorts' from Bridlington to Beverley at 0950, 1040, 1150, 1240 and 1450, along with a new 1350 Bridlington to Hull; the '50' minute past the hour additions fit in perfectly for an even interval half hourly service. In the opposite direction, extra service operate from Beverley at 1130, 1340, 1440, 1545 and 1640, and from Hull at 1148 and 1702. Some fit in perfectly for an even interval half hourly service, others don't; though it's worth noting that from Hull to Beverley the two extra journeys need to avoid duplicating the 1155 and 1655 service 23's.

It's an interesting increase, with lots of open countryside between Beverley and Bridlington, only one intermediate town and not many large villages. That being said, this increase is very much 'baby steps'. If it's a success and that leads to a 6/7 day a week half hourly service, then the extra journeys could be combined with the existing hourly 23 between Hull, Beverley and Molescroft to offer a half hourly Hull to Bridlington provision.

Elsewhere, with effect from 28th January, East Yorkshire made some other small but notable changes to the 121. The 0644 (Mon-Fri)/0657 (Sat) Nafferton to Hull now starts back in Bridlington at 0621 (Mon-Fri)/0635 (Sat), providing a 59 minutes earlier Mon-Fri/50 minute Sat earlier first departure from Bridlington. To balance this out, the 1840 Monday to Friday Bridlington to Hull service is split at Beverley, with a new Monday to Friday 1940 Beverley to Bridlington added, providing a later last service from Beverley to Bridlington by 1 hour 16 minutes. On Saturdays the previous last 1825 service 121 departure from Bridlington now operates at 1850, which it appears is worked 'off' the previously mentioned 1702 from Hull. 

Overall it looks like 1 Monday to Friday 'board' has moved from Hull to Bridlington depot. On Saturdays the equivalent 'board;' also appears to have moved depot, but Hull are picking up some of the new Saturday extra journeys instead. 

Saturday 9 March 2024

New Evening Services in the Beverley area

On Friday 2nd February, East Riding of Yorkshire Council started contracting East Yorkshire to provide one vehicle's worth of evening services in the Beverley area every Friday and Saturday, funded by Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding. Three routes have gained a new evening service - the 142, 180 and 525 - albeit in each case on a part route basis only.

Before I review each route, here is the 'diagram':

  • 1900 Service 180 Skidby-Beverley
  • 1930 Service 142 Beverley-Cherry Burton
  • 1940 Service 142 Cherry Burton-Beverley
  • 2000 Service 525 Beverley-Beverley Town Service
  • [46 minute break]
  • 2100 Service 525 Beverley-Beverley Town Service
  • [46 minute break]
  • 2200 Service 525 Beverley-Beverley Town Service
  • 2230 Service 180 Beverley-Skidby
  • [position out of service]
  • 2315 Service 142 Beverley-Cherry Burton
Service 180 is otherwise operated by Stagecoach between Cottingham, Skidby and Beverley. Prior to the 1900, the last Stagecoach operated departure from Skidby to Beverley is at 1637. From Beverley, the last Stagecoach 180 is at 1715.

The new evening 180 could have even more purpose by serving Cottingham as per the daytime route. Cottingham lost it's evening service to/from Beverley last Spring when the X47 was routed away, whilst the last daytime service from Cottingham to Beverley is at 1817 Fri/1809 Sat on service 25 and from Beverley to Cottingham at 1715 Fri/1820 Sat. 

I've looked on to see if a Cottingham extension would be possible for the inbound service to Beverley. On Friday 8th March, bus 0769 arrived in Hessle on the 25 at 1821 before running 'dead' to Skidby for the 1900. Today (Saturday 9th March), bus 0362 arrived in Beverley on the 25 at 1835 before running 'dead' to Skidby for the 1900. In the Friday example a Cottingham start seems easy enough - superficially at least; on Saturday's probably not possible without changing the interworking. An extension of the 2230 to Cottingham would require the 2315 service 142 to be retimed slightly later. 

With Cottingham also having bars and restaurants itself - plus visiting at Castle Hill Hospital - it does strike me that the new evening 180 has potential for a more extensive timetable. 

Moving onto the 142, for the which the limited Monday to Saturday daytime service operates an extended route beyond Cherry Burton to Middleton and Bainton. The Friday timetable in particular now is rather unusual - 1150, 1350, 1930 and 2315 from Beverley and 1007, 1307 and 1940 from Cherry Burton. Saturdays also have a 1600 from Beverley and 1657 from Cherry Burton. Clearly the new evening 142's serve a clear purpose, to give Molescroft and Cherry Burton residents the option for an evening out in Beverley. However it is perhaps a legitimate question to ask whether the funding being used would be better spent funding a late afternoon weekday service instead?

Finally, the 525; the main daytime service serves the Swinemoor Estate as well as Holme Church Lane and Flemingate, whereas the new evening jouneys omit the Swinemoor Estate and instead operate direct from Beverley Station to Holme Church Lane via Grovehill Road. I presume this is related to anti-social behaviour issues on the Swinemoor Estate? Timetable wise it's another odd one - 0930, hourly to 1530, 1600 then 2000, 2100 and 2200. A four hour gap and no early evening service into Beverley. It feels like the new evening 525's are a way to 'pass time' before taking the village passengers back home again. Plus once again, if there is money to spend on improving the 525, a later daytime service Monday to Saturday feels like a better option.

Overall the intent is good - encourage people to spend an evening in Beverley by bus. However the 'execution' doesn't feel quite right and there are arguably bigger priorities in the Beverley bus network during the late afternoon period.

Sunday 3 March 2024

New Sunday Service on the 136

Five weeks ago on Sunday 28th January, East Yorkshire operated service 136 between Driffield, Skipsea and Bridlington gained a Sunday service, to add to it's approximately every 3 hours Monday to Saturday daytime service. The new Sunday service is funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding allocation, with 0915, 1415 and 1655 departures from Bridlington, and 1025, 1530 and 1805 departures from Driffield. 

The new service is welcome, and provides the only Sunday bus service for Wansford, North Frodingham and Beeford, as well as new Sunday links to Driffield from Barmston, Lissett, Ulrome and Skipsea.

Between Bridlington and Skipsea the route is also served by daily Bridlington to Hornsea service 130, and unfortunately coordination between the 130 and 136 on a Sunday is poor, just like it already is Monday to Saturday. The Humber Transport Summary Timetables page now has a combined timetable, but as the main example, on a Sunday afternoon there are services from Bridlington to Skipsea at 1415, 1445, 1655 and 1715. To be fair, the Sunday morning timetable is better co-ordinated, and passengers may not be evenly spread across the day, but even still, a 30 minute gap followed by a 130 minute gap followed by a 20 minute gap is poor. 

On paper, with the 130 and 136 both having a similar end to end journey time, Bridlington to Skipsea could have a daily service every 90 minutes combined, without increasing the vehicle requirement. In the real world, it wouldn't be that perfect - the need to accommodate schools interworking on the 130 for example - but surely it must be possible to improve on the current situation? 

Saturday 2 March 2024

Pocklington to Driffield Reinstated

Returning now to East Yorkshire's recent changes, and the Pocklington to Driffield link was reinstated - in a very limited way - on Thursday 1st February with new service 544. The 544 operates Thursdays only between the two towns via Warter, North Dalton, Bainton (Wolds Village stop on the outskirts only), Tibthorpe and Kirkburn. There are 0930 and 1240 departures from Pocklington and 1015 and 1325 departures from Driffield, giving passengers either 3 hours 15 minutes in Driffield on market day, or 1 hour 45 minutes in Pocklington.

The 544 has been attributed to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding, but from the wording in their press release, it would seem that is only for the 0930 and 1325 Driffield market day links; the 1015 and 1240 may well be commercially operated, which if so would be a good use of otherwise 'dead' time.

New Thursday off-peak shopping service to Driffield. Departing Pocklington 0930, Warter 0942, North Dalton 0949, Tibthorpe 0955, arriving in Driffield at 1010. Returning at 1325 from Driffield. 
In addition East Yorkshire buses will run a service from Driffield to Pocklington. Departing Driffield 1015, Tibthorpe 1030, North Dalton 1036, Warter 1043, arriving in Pocklington at 1055. Returning at 1240 from Pocklington

North Dalton, Bainton and Kirkburn have a regular Monday to Saturday off peak link to Driffield on service 145, so it seems like the main purpose is to link Pocklington, Warter and Tibthorpe to Driffield. Warter is otherwise only served by the Tuesday only 199, whilst the 544 is Tibthorpe's only bus service.

Friday 1 March 2024

Extra Sunday Services on the 350

When does an enhancement leave you wanting more? When the vehicle requirement of a route increases for just one extra journey each way, on a service that could do with more additions than just that.

On Sunday 18th February, Stagecoach added a new 0755 Sunday service 350 from Ashby to Hull via Scunthorpe and Barton, offering an 0925 first arrival into Hull. The new journey is supported by North Lincolnshire's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding allocation. Stagecoach have then added a new 0930 Hull to Ashby. These additions are very welcome, particularly the earlier first arrival into Hull. Overall there are now seven services each way on a Sunday, on a very unbalanced timetable with three hour gaps at certain times of the day - 0755, 0855, 0955, 1255, 1455, 1755 and 1955 from Ashby; 0830, 0930, 1030, 1330, 1530, 1830 and 1930 from Hull.

These extra journeys now increase the Sunday vehicle requirement of the 350 to 3 - 1 from East Yorkshire (unchanged) and 2 from Stagecoach's Scunthorpe depot. However the notional 2nd Stagecoach vehicle finishes it's day at 1051. It is a bit disappointing that the opportunity hasn't been taken to do more with it. On a Sunday, three vehicles could provide an hourly all day service. Even if there was no desire to go that far, the current three hour gaps in the Sunday timetable could have been reduced. 

My frustration aside, I did take a trip on the first run of the new 0755. It's obviously unknown how representative this will turn out to be, but for the record, I and one other boarded at Barton Market Place, 1 got off and 10 were already on board. At Barton Interchange a further three boarded for a total of 15 heading across the Humber Bridge. Briefly observing the 0830 from Hull at Barton Interchange, it only looked to have two or three on board. 

Once over the bridge, one got off at Wingfield Farm on Boothferry Road, 1 on at Fiveways, 1 off at the North Road stop on Boothferry Road, 1 on at the Wheeler Street stop on Anlaby Road, 2 off and 1 on at Wenlock Barracks, 1 off and 2 on at the MKM Stadium and finally 2 on at Hull Royal Infirmary. On arrival at Paragon Interchange in Hull there looked to be 5 waiting for the 0930. Overall quite encouraging for an inaugural run on a damp February Sunday. There looked to be 2 people in Tesco uniform so potentially some commuter travel as part of the passenger mix.

Not wanting to wait until the 1330 to go home, that meant returning on the 1030. The inbound arrival at Paragon Interchange I counted 36 passengers get off. 16 boarded the 1030 at Paragon Interchange and 1 more at the first stop on Anlaby Road after turning off Park Street. 1 got off at Hull Royal Infirmary, 1 boarded opposite the East Yorkshire depot, 2 boarded at the Anlaby Road Sandringham Street stop and 3 at the Anlaby Road Wheeler Street stop. Once turning onto Boothferry Road, 3 got off at Wistow Grove, 1 off at Fiveways, 1 on at Costello Stadium, 1 on at Darleys Roundabout and 1 off at Wingfield Farm. In Barton there was 1 off and 1 on at the Ferriby Road Forkedale stop, 5 off and 3 on at the Interchange and then me off on Butts Road. Again encouraging numbers for the time of day and direction of travel.

For the record, as part of the same change to the 350, Stagecoach no longer divert via Wren Kitchens in Barton on Saturdays. Rather than reduce journey times on the affected journeys, buses wait time in Barton to avoid deviation from the Monday to Friday timetable.

Saturday 24 February 2024

More enhancements coming to North Lincolnshire's bus network

I'm taking a brief break from reviewing East Yorkshire's January changes this weekend, to cover a couple of other things.

This batch of improvements might not be fully implemented yet, but more enhancements are coming to the North Lincolnshire bus network. The minutes of the North Lincolnshire Enhanced Bus Partnership on 17th January contains the following:

New Proposals 

AB ran through the new BSIP+ funding proposals to be agreed by the Board. Discussions took place and the following proposals were fully supported. 

Additional Journeys on Service 350 New timetable for evening services from Scunthorpe Bus Station to Hull hourly commencing at 17:45. Last return journey from Hull at 23:00. Service will run Monday to Saturday. 

Board agreed that there may be the need for an additional evening journey on service 350 in the future to run at 21:30 from Hull and return at 23:00 from Scunthorpe, Monday to Saturday. 

Addition evening journeys on Service 103 Additional teatime service Monday to Saturday on 103 to Kirton in Lindsey at 18:00 and return at 18:30. Extra Friday and Saturday services to Kirton between 19:10 and 21:50. 

Additional teatime journey on Service 57 from Doncaster Teatime service from Doncaster to Isle of Axholme. This will extend the 17:39 from Doncaster to Epworth via the same route as the morning service. 

Provision of Service 6 on Sundays To run service 6 on Sundays hourly between Scunthorpe bus station and Ashby. To commence at 09:00 from Scunthorpe bus station and return. Last bus from Scunthorpe bus station at 17:00. 

Provision of Service 260 on Saturdays Run the 260 service between Immingham and Barton on Saturdays. This will be the same timetable as Monday to Friday.

Extension of Service 4 on Saturdays To include Normanby Hall into service 4 from Easter until 31st October. Discussion took place around the price of parking at Normanby Hall and consideration to be given to possibly running promotions with Normanby Hall in the future. 

Provision of Services 7 and 8 on Sundays To run services 7 and 8 on Sundays between Scunthorpe bus station and Skippingdale retail park on a Sunday.

Proposals Deferred until next meeting 

Sunday service to Normanby Hall Discussion took place around whether a service was required on a Sunday. AB told the meeting that the footfall for Normanby Hall on a Sunday was a lot higher than that of a Saturday. KRob believed that by running the bus service on a Saturday the footfall would increase. This is something that could be monitored via operator information. Operators to work out the costs for running a Sunday service and revisit at the next meeting. 

Additional journeys on Service 35 To run two extra journeys to Amcotts on a Saturday. One at 08:00 and one at 17:30 from Scunthorpe Bus Station and return. Currently the first bus is 09:00 and the last bus 15:00. Current 35 tender to be renewed 1 April 2024. There is currently no 360 service on a Saturday. Discussion took place around options for the proposal. One option is for NLC to contact East Riding Council to see if they would be willing to price for a Saturday 360 service to be funded from BSIP+ funding for at least a year. The other option is for operators to tender for service 35 and run the current timetable or include the extra runs on a Saturday. Deferred until next meeting.  

I should point out that at a subsequent meeting on 15th February, it was agreed to use up to 10% of BSIP+ funding to maintain existing services. That may mean some of the above proposals don't get implemented. However from this weeks updates to the Vehicle Operating Licensing database, enhancements to the 103 and 350 are coming at Easter - maybe other routes too, but it's not always clear from the summary of change provided. The evening peak Doncaster to Epworth service was also included in First's recent consultation for their proposed April service changes.

(There are also a lot of interesting changes to the Stagecoach network in Hull due at Easter).

Saturday 17 February 2024

Return of the 144

Some of you may recall former EYMS service 144. It started in December 2008 as a Tuesday and Friday 'shopper' service from North Ferriby to Beverley via Swanland, Kirk Ella, Willerby and Cottingham. In February 2012 it was extended to start in Elloughton, also serving Brough, Welton and Melton before picking up the existing route at North Ferriby; a Thursday journey was also added. The route ended in July 2013 though when service 180, operating between Hessle and Beverley at the time, was extended to become a Swanland to Beverley via Hessle service.

Fast forward 10 and a half years, and the 144 is back, in a slightly different form. The route recommenced on Tuesday 30th January, operated by East Yorkshire and funded from East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus allocation.

This time the 144 starts in South Cave (West End) before serving Elloughton, Brough, Welton, Melton, North Ferriby (including the Station area) and Swanland. From Swanland the 144 then routes to Beverley direct, serving only the Skidby Roundabout and Bentley Lane End stops in between. Willerby and Cottingham are presumably omitted to avoid extracting revenue from the commercial service 25. The new 144 departs South Cave at 0930, arriving into Beverley at 1030, with the return leaving Beverley at 1300. It operates Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

The 144 restores the link from Swanland to Beverley, last provided by the 180 in May 2018 (albeit arguably only usable for such a journey on Saturdays). South Cave, Elloughton, Brough, Welton, Melton and North Ferriby are already linked to Beverley on service 143, albeit on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays only. The 144's return now gives them a five day a week Beverley link.

Tuesday 13 February 2024

150 goes 5 Days a Week

Another beneficiary of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding has been service 150, operated by East Yorkshire. The 150 is a morning and early afternoon local service from Hessle Sainsburys to Hessle Square, from where it then operates a large clockwise 'rectangle' via North Ferriby, Swanland and Anlaby back to Hessle Square and Sainsburys. As well as being a shopping service to Hessle and Sainsburys, it also serves a GP Practice in Anlaby used by North Ferriby and Swanland residents. Previously the 150 operated Tuesday and Thursday only, but since Monday 29th January, has become a Monday to Friday service.

Sunday 11 February 2024

Sunday Buses Return to Easington

Since Sunday 28th January, service 71 between Withernsea and Easington has gained a Sunday service. The route is operated by East Yorkshire with financial support from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and the new Sunday journeys are funded from the council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding.

There are four daytime journeys in each direction on a two hourly frequency. All Sunday journeys operate via Holmpton, unlike Monday to Saturdays where some serve Patrington instead. There is a lot of layover in the new Sunday timetable, 30 minutes in Withernsea and 34 minutes in Easington, although the service is due to be extended (presumably on a seasonal basis) to Kilnsea and The Spurn Discovery Centre from Easter.

Going through my timetable collection, this is the first Sunday service to Easington since some time between 2003 and 2006. In the early 00's, service 71 had three Sunday journeys year round between Withernsea and Easington, supplemented by Summer service 73 from Withernsea to Kilnsea and Spurn via Patrington and Easington.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Better Evening buses between Hull and Withernsea

East Yorkshire's service 75 between Hull, Hedon and Withernsea has had an improved evening timetable since Monday 29th January, thanks to East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding.

The 1847 Withernsea to Hull and 2010 Hull to Withernsea now operate Monday to Saturday rather than Friday and Saturday only; this fills a two hour gap in the Monday to Thursday evening service. Meanwhile there are new 2047 Withernsea to Hull and 2210 Hull to Withernsea services Monday to Saturday, filling another two hour gap from Withernsea and a 1 hour 50 minute gap in departures from Hull. Overall the Monday to Saturday evening service is now hourly, with Sunday evenings remaining two hourly.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Hull Services 56 and 57 Frequency Increase

East Yorkshire revised service 56 and 57 on Sunday 28th January, primarily to increase their frequency. Both services run a common route from Bilton Asda via Longhill, Holderness Road and Hull Paragon Interchange to Hull Royal Infirmary, were they split; the 56 extends via Albert Avenue to Wymersley Road, whilst the 57 runs via Hessle Road and Summergroves Way to Hessle Square.

Both services had been running every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes for a combined frequency of every 15 minutes, albeit with some 35 minute gaps on Saturdays (20 minute gaps on the combined section). Now both services are increased to every 20 minutes, with an every 10 minute frequency on the joint route; a couple of 25 minute gaps do exist on Saturday afternoons. Overall this is a significant increase, and a welcome one as the Holderness Road and Hessle Road corridors, especialy the latter, have felt underserved over the past year or two, whilst every 20 minutes provides much more flexibility for Wymersley Road area passengers.

Monday 29 January 2024

Service 66 Frequency Increase

East Yorkshire introduced changes across many routes in their network yesterday - Sunday 28th January. Overall these are a mix of East Riding of Yorkshire Council Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funded enhancements, and commercially driven alterations. It is with a commercial change that I will begin.

Service 66 between Hull Paragon Interchange and Hessle Square via Hull Royal Infirmary, Fiveways and the Boothferry Estate has been increased to operate every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, up from every 20 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes and a horrible every 20-25 minutes on Saturday daytimes. Evenings and Sundays remain hourly. 

This isn't a return to the pre-COVID service level, but it's much better than this time last week!

Monday 25 December 2023

What Could Be Coming to the North Lincolnshire Bus Network in 2024

Last week, North Lincolnshire Council published the North Lincolnshire Enhanced Bus Partnership Plan and Scheme on their website, along with a fairly vague press release about the improvements to come. The associated decision report contains the most detail however:

2.4 A number of measures have been identified as part of the delivery of the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme: 

• Additional bus services 

• Review ongoing maintenance, repair and servicing of bus infrastructure 

• Section 22 Community Transport in North Lincolnshire 

• Bus disruption survey 

• Extensions to existing services 

-Villages South and East of Brigg including Humberside Airport. 

-Scunthorpe to Barton and Hull 

-Main residential corridors in Scunthorpe 

• Reduced fares for young people 

2.5 Based on the above measures identified in the Enhanced Partnership Scheme, the following proposals related to bus services have been approved at the Enhanced Partnership Board pending final sign-off. 

• Improved Maintenance of Bus Infrastructure – ongoing development of improved maintenance scheme. 

• Additional services on service 4 Sundays and Bank Holidays - 9.00am service from Scunthorpe to Brigg and return journey. Extend the 17.45 service to Brigg which currently terminates at 18.02 at Morrisons. Return journey from Brigg at 18.30. 

• Revision of service 10 timetable – Additional services from Burringham Monday to Friday. 9.30am from Burringham to Scunthorpe. 12.00 return from Scunthorpe to Burringham. 12.30 from Burringham to Scunthorpe. 

• Additional evening services on service 90 – Additional 7pm evening service Monday to Saturday from Scunthorpe to Crowle and return. Additional 9.30pm Friday and Saturday service from Scunthorpe to Crowle and return. 

• New Saturday Service for South and East of Brigg – The new Saturday service c4 will link into Brigg giving the same frequency of buses in the area on Monday to Friday. 

• Ferry Ward – Additional Bus Services – Service 260 Extend service 260 to Immingham incorporating South Killingholme, North Killingholme and East Halton. 

• Section 22 Community Transport in North Lincolnshire - Route 96 is between Barton and Brigg. Route 97 on the Isle of Axholme between Garthorpe and Wroot. Monday to Friday.

• Additional Sunday service provision on service 350 - A new 7.55am Scunthorpe to Hull service to alleviate the pressure of the 10am service. 

• Bus Disruption Survey – To be carried out by NLC staff in conjunction with operators and drivers. Working group to be set up.

It should be noted the c4 was introduced earlier this month. I cannot find timelines for the other proposed measures to commence. 

I presume the above is an updated version of these ideas from the September Enhanced Bus Partnership meeting. Early evening improvements to the 350 are no longer mentioned, whilst mention of the devolution of bus infrastructure to town and parish councils has morphed into 'improved maintenance'. New are the potential improvements to services 4, 10 and 90.

Sunday 24 December 2023

New Summary Timetables

I have added a new summary timetables page to the blog, with an initial 8 timetables summarising bus services on the following corridors:

  • Althorpe, Gunness and Keadby to Scunthorpe
  • Amcotts to Scunthorpe
  • Barrow to Barton
  • Crowle and Ealand to Scunthorpe
  • Crowle to Ealand
  • Crowle to Eastoft, Luddington and Garthorpe
  • Eastoft to Scunthorpe
  • Grimsby to Laceby
Feedback welcome, please post a comment. More will follow as and when I have time.

Monday 18 December 2023

Christmas and New Year Bus Services 2023/2024

Here is my annual summary of Christmas and New Year bus services across the Humber Region. It covers the following operators, but not their services outside the region:

  • Arriva Yorkshire
  • CallConnect
  • East Yorkshire (excluding JustGo)
  • First South Yorkshire (Doncaster Area)
  • First York
  • Grayscroft Coaches
  • Hornsby Travel
  • PC Coaches
  • Stagecoach
  • York Pullman
Please check exact details before travelling as I have only summarised here, or for any occasions were publicity is incorrect (it's happened before!). If you have any information for other operators, or to correct any details listed below, please post a comment.

Christmas Eve:
Normal Sunday service with an early finish between approximately 1700 and 2000. 

Christmas Day:
No services.

Boxing Day:
No services. Which deserves a comment as previously East Yorkshire had provided Boxing Day daytime buses on main routes around Hull as well as from Beverley and Withernsea; going back to 2021 the network had extended to Bridlington and York. This follows Stagecoach ceasing Boxing Day buses in Hull from 2021 onwards.

Wednesday 27th December:
Predominantly a Saturday service, with the following exceptions:
  • Hornsby Travel and PC Coaches will operate a normal Wednesday service.
  • East Yorkshire services 131 (Bridlington-Carnaby Industrial Estate), 142 (Beverley-Middleton), 145 (Market Weighton/Lund-Driffield-Bridlington), 360/361 (Goole-Scunthorpe), 504 (Bempton-Bridlington) and G1-5 (Goole Town Services) will operate as normal.
  • Stagecoach services 35 (Amcotts-Scunthorpe), 60 (Whitton-Scunthorpe), 79 (Hull-Hedon), 90 (Crowle-Scunthorpe), 260 (Barton Villager) and 277 (Hedon-Hull) will operate as normal.
  • Stagecoach service 255 (North Bransholme-Barton Wren Kitchens) will operate two journeys only, at 0700 from North Bransholme and at 1710 from Barton Wren Kitchens. (The 255 would not normally operate on Saturdays).
  • East Yorkshire service 196 (Allerthorpe-York) will not operate as per East Yorkshire's timetable page (wouldn't usually operate on a Wednesday).
  • East Yorkshire services 18/25/54/55/63/75/121/747/X47 Friday and Saturday only evening journeys will not operate (normal Wednesday evening journeys on the 54/55/63/75/121/X47 will however).
  • East Yorkshire services 57/66/104 Saturday only nightbus journeys post midnight will not operate.
  • Stagecoach services 5/6/8/13 in Hull Saturday only nightbus journeys post-midnight will not operate.
As has become annual in recent years, the usually Saturday only Stagecoach 173 between Withernsea and Hull will be operated Wednesday to Saturday for one week only.

Stagecoach operating their morning journeys on service 79 between Hull and Hedon makes sense, as their is no equivalent in the Saturday timetable provided by the main operator of the route, East Yorkshire. However the afternoon service operating is odd. Stagecoach's tendered 1600 service 79 from Hull to Hedon is to cover for the East Yorkshire 1550 service 79 being Saturday only. However as East Yorkshire are operating a Saturday service, the 1550 will operate today, and on the 28th and 29th, in addition to the 1600. Likewise with the 277, Stagecoach's tendered Monday to Friday 1644 from Hedon to Hull is to cover for the East Yorkshire 1629 operating in the Saturday timetable only.

South of the Humber and if you take the publicity at face value, Hornsby are operating a full Monday to Friday service 399 between Scunthorpe and Doncaster, and Stagecoach a full Saturday service. Stagecoach's Saturday service operates all day to cover for no Hornsby 399 on Saturdays. So as per publicity, that means both operators will have an all day service 399 on the 27th, 28th and 29th. Presumably Stagecoach will actually operate their Monday to Friday timetable on the 399 on these three days, with just an evening peak service after the Hornsby service finishes for the day.

Finally, I do wonder if Stagecoach would be better off just running a normal weekday service in Scunthorpe between Christmas and New Year? Their commercial services are almost identical Monday to Friday and Saturday, whilst their North Lincolnshire Council tenders all seem to specify Monday to Friday service. It would be easier to communicate service levels to the general public at least.

Thursday 28th December:
Predominantly a Saturday service, with the following exceptions:
  • Hornsby Travel and PC Coaches will operate a normal Thursday service.
  • East Yorkshire services 131 (Bridlington-Carnaby Industrial Estate), 142 (Beverley-Middleton), 145 (Market Weighton/Lund-Driffield-Bridlington), 150 (Swanland-Hessle), 360/361 (Goole-Scunthorpe), 504 (Bempton-Bridlington) and G1-5 (Goole Town Services) will operate as normal.
  • Stagecoach services 10 (Ashby Parklands-Ashby), 35 (Amcotts-Scunthorpe), 60 (Whitton-Scunthorpe), 79 (Hull-Hedon), 90 (Crowle-Scunthorpe), 260 (Barton Villager) and 277 (Hedon-Hull) will operate as normal.
  • Stagecoach service 255 (North Bransholme-Barton Wren Kitchens) will operate two journeys only, at 0700 from North Bransholme and at 1710 from Barton Wren Kitchens.
  • East Yorkshire service 143 (North Ferriby-Beverley) will not operate (wouldn't usually operate on a Thursday).
  • East Yorkshire services 18/25/54/55/63/75/121/747/X47 Friday and Saturday only evening journeys will not operate (normal Thursday evening journeys on the 54/55/63/75/121/X47 will however).
  • East Yorkshire services 57/66/104 Saturday only nightbus journeys post midnight will not operate.
  • Stagecoach services 5/6/8/13 in Hull Saturday only nightbus journeys post-midnight will not operate.
Friday 29th December:
Predominantly a Saturday service, with the following exceptions:
  • Hornsby Travel and PC Coaches will operate a normal Friday service.
  • East Yorkshire services 1 (Holme-Selby), 131 (Bridlington-Carnaby Industrial Estate), 142 (Beverley-Middleton), 145 (Market Weighton/Lund-Driffield-Bridlington), 183 (Hessle Town Service),  197 (Pocklington Town Service), 360/361 (Goole-Scunthorpe), 504 (Bempton-Bridlington) and G1-5 (Goole Town Services) will operate as normal.
  • Stagecoach services 10 (Burringham-Scunthorpe), 25 (Market Rasen-Grimsby), 35 (Amcotts-Scunthorpe), 60 (Whitton-Scunthorpe), 79 (Hull-Hedon), 90 (Crowle-Scunthorpe), 260 (Barton Villager) and 277 (Hedon-Hull) will operate as normal.
  • Stagecoach service 255 (North Bransholme-Barton Wren Kitchens) will operate two journeys only, at 0700 from North Bransholme and at 1710 from Barton Wren Kitchens.
  • East Yorkshire service 143 (North Ferriby-Beverley) will not operate. Not stated on their festive services page, but as per East Yorkshire's timetable page, neither will service 196 (Allerthorpe-York). Neither route would normally operate on a Friday.
  • East Yorkshire services 57/66/104 Saturday only nightbus journeys post midnight (early hours Sunday morning) will not operate.
  • Stagecoach services 5/6/8/13 in Hull Saturday (early hours Sunday morning) only nightbus journeys post-midnight will not operate.

Saturday 30th December:
Normal Saturday service.

New Years Eve:
Normal Sunday service with an early finish between approximately 1700 and 2000. 

New Years Day:
No services (train services will be operating however, in many instances to a normal Monday timetable apart from early morning services and engineering works related disruption).

Tuesday 2nd January:
Services return to normal, albeit with a mix of School Day and School Holiday variations.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Nightbuses return to Hull (for at least 3 months)

Hull City Council are focusing some of their Bus Service Improvement Plan funding on the pre-Christmas period. There are Thursday evening and Sunday daytime park and ride journeys being added to the Priory Park and Ride, along with a £1 fare offer. What is most interesting to me though is the return of Nightbuses to Hull, and not just for December.

From Saturday 2nd December - or technically the early hours of Sunday 3rd December - seven routes will gain a nightbus service until Saturday 24th February as per Hull City Council, or for an initial three months as per Stagecoach. The latter would seem to suggest there is a possibility of them continuing beyond February, but Hull City Council seemingly aren't making any commitments at this stage.

The lucky routes are:

  • Stagecoach Service 5: Hull City Centre to Kingswood Retail Park via the Avenues and Orchard Park
  • Stagecoach Service 6: Hull City Centre to North Bransholme via Beverley Road and Kingswood
  • Stagecoach Service 8: Hull City Centre to Bransholme North Point via Holderness Road, Ings Estate and Spring Cottage
  • Stagecoach Service 13: Hull City Centre to Bilton Grange via Greatfield
  • East Yorkshire 57: Hull City Centre to Asda Bilton via Longhill
  • East Yorkshire 66: Hull City Centre to Hessle via Anlaby Road, Boothferry Road and the Boothferry Estate
  • East Yorkshire 104: Hull City Centre to Cottingham via the Avenues
All services will operate from Hull City Centre only, departing at 0010 and 0110. This standardisation does mean the 5 and 104 will be following each other along the Avenues, and so will the 8 and 57 along Holderness Road. Depending on the service, routes will either start at Hull Truck Theatre or at Alfred Gelder Street.

The return of nightbuses is very welcome, and pretty good coverage of Hull - and some adjoining areas of the East Riding of Yorkshire - has been achieved. There are certainly gaps, but it's an excellent start. Hopefully they are well used and can extend beyond February.

One oddity, service 8 doesn't have a full evening service in East Hull - service 11 operating instead - so will be in the unusual situation of having a gap in City Centre departures between 2020 and 0010.

Saturday 25 November 2023

Return of the C4

What I think is the first service enhancement from North Lincolnshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding begins next Saturday - 2nd December. Hornsby Travel service C4 in the Brigg area recommences for the first time in just over three years.

First a brief history. The C4 was introduced on the 7th July 2018 as a Saturday only service in the Brigg area, linking Kirmington, Humberside Airport, Barnetby and Wrawby to Brigg with four services in each direction, and also Redbourne, Hibaldstow and Scawby to Brigg with two journeys in each direction. Some 'counter flow' services omitted certain intermediate villages. This continued until COVID-19 and after being suspended in March 2020. the route briefly returned in Summer 2020 but omitting Kirmington and Humberside Airport. The C4 was withdrawn at the end of August 2020 however, with no replacement.

The 'new' C4 is an improved version. It still operates between Kirmington, Brigg and Redbourne, but now with an additional extension to Kirton in Lindsey plus additional journeys. Between Kirmington and Brigg the 'new' C4 has five journeys in each direction, every two hours and matching the times of the weekday service 4 over this section of route. Between Brigg and Hibaldstow there are four journeys in each direction, with a 'perfect' two hourly service from Brigg; two in each direction extend to/from Kirton in Lindsey.

Overall this is an excellent reinstatement and enhancement. Kirmington, Humberside Airport, Barnetby, Wrawby, Scawby, Hibaldstow and Redbourne regain Saturday bus services, and Kirton in Lindsey gains a limited but usable Saturday service to Brigg. Brigg is a popular shopping destination for many surrounding villages and has a monthly Farmers Market on a Saturday.

Interestingly the C4 uses the exact same number of vehicles as the service 4 extension from Brigg to Kirmington and the 94 between Brigg and Kirton in Lindsey combined require Monday to Friday - one. It is a shame that the weekday pattern hasn't simply been extended to Saturdays, which would also allow through journeys to Scunthorpe to be made from all the villages served. I guess the reason why not maybe driver related? 

If the weekday pattern isn't to be operated on Saturdays, then personally I would have used the 94 service number rather than C4 - the C4 uses the same route as the 94 between Kirton in Lindsey and Brigg, just extended beyond Brigg to Kirmington. However this is a rather minor point - the good news is the C4's return.

Going by, the limited Monday to Friday Hornsby X4 at 0800 from Scunthorpe to Brigg via Lakeside and Scawby, and at 1745 from Brigg to Lakeside via Scawby, will also operate on Saturdays from 2nd December.

Monday 20 November 2023

Where might North Lincolnshire's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding be spent?

North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) is publishing Enhanced Bus Partnership (EP) meeting notes on it's website. The 14th September notes have caught my attention, with a long list of ideas for how to spend Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) Plus funding.

Firstly the attendance list, to explain some of the abbreviations:

Cllr Tim Mitchell(TM) - North Lincolnshire Council (Chair) 
Cllr Carol Ross (CR) - North Lincolnshire Council (Deputy) 
Kate Robinson (KR) - North Lincolnshire Council 
Heather Barratt (HB) - North Lincolnshire Council 
Dave Skepper (DS) - Stagecoach 
Karl Robinson (KRob) - Hornsbys 
Abigail Burridge (AB) - North Lincolnshire Council

Below are the ideas, published in full. The Saturday services in the Brigg area are happening, more in a future blog post. Otherwise the status of the other proposals are unknown. Two things have struck me here. Firstly the operators are focused on their existing services and are concerned about what happens when Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding runs out. From their perspective that is understandable. Secondly there are no improvements to local services in Scunthorpe suggested. 

1. Bus Disruption Survey. The proposal is for funding for NLC to undertake an in house disruption survey to identify congestion issues. NLC Highways team would also design the work to be carried out. This would lead to junction improvements and would benefit NLC and Operators. DS asked that the proposal be amended to state that operators and drivers would contribute their time as part of the process. The officers and operators would work together to identify hotspots and then commission the work. 
Board Comments – Fully supported to be included in the Scheme. Upper limit £40,000. 
Action – NLC to amend proposal. 
2. New Saturday Service for South and East of Brigg. To implement a bus service to the villages South & East of Brigg on a Saturday. The service is an extension to the existing Monday to Friday route. 
Board Comments - Proposal could be paid by de minimis. Fully supported to be included in the Scheme. 
3. Devolution of Bus Infrastructure.  North Lincolnshire Council currently maintains 761 bus stops and 205 bus shelters across the authority. The purpose of this project is to support town and parish councils with the devolution/transfer of the following types of assets: bus shelters, poles, flags, timetable cases and timetables. 
Board Comments – Fully supported to be included in the Scheme. Upper limit £10,000. NLC inhouse staff to undertake a full survey of assets before transfer to Parish Councils. 
4. Additional Evening Journeys on Service 350. To extend service 350 by adding additional evening journeys. This could potentially see the current 30 minute headway maintained until 20:30 hours from Hull and around 20:00 hours from Scunthorpe. 
Board Comments - To ask operator to provide more information including timetables and costs. 
Action – NLC to ask operator for further information. Updated proposal to be discussed at EP Traffic Working Group. 
5. NLC - Ferry Ward – Additional Bus Services To extend Service 260 to Immingham incorporating South Killingholme, North Killingholme and East Halton and therefore provide residents in the villages with increased choice in Public Transport. DS expressed concerns that the route was unlikely to become a commercial route and would probably not continue without funding once BSIP+ money has ceased. DS and KRob agreed it was better not to promise passengers a service which could not be continued. DS believed that raising the frequency on existing routes would be better use of the funding. TM believed that the route was socially necessary but acknowledged operator’s comments. 
Board Comments - Happy to be included in Scheme with further discussions to take place. 
6. Section 22 Community Transport in North Lincolnshire – 96 and 97 services. The purpose of this project is to continue to provide Section 22 Community Transport on two registered bus routes in North Lincolnshire which operate Monday-Friday. This will require the continued hire of two 16-seater minibuses to provide the current bus services and the maintenance of two ticket machines in order to take payments. The routes are registered with the Traffic Commissioner and are an open service so any member of public can use the services. Board agreed that the modal for rural transport is never going to be commercially viable. More marketing needed around route 97 running to isolated villages whilst not having impact on commercial services. TM confirmed that North and East of Isle need to connect to 399 to Doncaster and more work around the timetable is needed. KRob worried about what would happen when the services are taken off but happy to progress. 
Board Comments - Happy to be included in Scheme. 
7. Procurement of New Back Office System for DRT. The aim of the project is to apply for a funding for the feasibility study and procurement of a back office system to manage the DRT service in North Lincolnshire. The current software isn’t offering alternative journeys, availability and advance booking and is in need of new software. DS told the Board that other authorities usually tender for the whole service and not a separate service for back office systems with a number of different suppliers available. Some bus operators have commercial agreements with app providers, which can offer a better overall price for DRT tender submissions to local authorities. 
Board Comments – Agreed not to implement the proposal into the Scheme 
Action - Consider further at EP Traffic Working Group. 
8. Extension of 350 service to Hull. 3 x bus services an hour run in and out of Barton Monday to Saturdays, 2 x 350 and 1 x 250 with extra 255 services at Wren Kitchens shift changes running Monday to Friday. The issue is on a Sunday. With the first bus to Hull at 10am this service can be full of passengers having to wait an hour for the 11am service. The next one after that is 2pm. The proposal is to provide an extension to the timetable on a Sunday with an 8:10am Scunthorpe to Hull service to alleviate the pressure of the 10am service. CR showed concerns over why a service would be needed so early. DS told the Board that practical issues are contributing to the oversubscribed routes i.e. £2 fare, busy bank holidays. Colder weather may see a decline in passengers but overall the journeys should bring good value for money. 
Board Comments – Happy to be added to the Scheme with further discussions to take place. 
9. Reduced Fares for Young People. The proposal is to enhance the provision of reduced fares for the youth market (aged 16 - 24) by introducing a “Scunthorpe Card” – Weekly and day travel within the Scunthorpe Town Area and a “NLC plus Card” – Weekly and day travel around the wider area of North Lincolnshire. Operators gave an overview of the current concessions available to Young people in North Lincolnshire. They agreed a Scunthorpe Card would be preferred to the NLC Plus Card. Actual concept was considered a good idea, flip side is it will use up quite a lot of funding. More work was needed on the level of discount or price of ticket and how the operator would claim the difference. Concerns were raised around when funding started to run out. DS spoke about the scheme currently running in Hull. 
Board Comments – Agreed to include in the Scheme but required further discussions. 

The 350 changes suggested would potentially lead to wider changes. A round trip takes approximately three hours, so an extension of the half hourly frequency for approximately two hours extra in the evening will probably require additions or reductions in the morning, and/or some later evening services. Likewise on Sundays an 0810 from Scunthorpe to Hull would probably lead to an additional Hull to Scunthorpe service, and if an extra vehicle is used for that, maybe it would do more than one extra round trip?

Friday 17 November 2023

243 goes twice a week

Concluding my look at the first batch of Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funded service enhancements in the East Riding of Yorkshire - there are more due starting in January, including in Beverley and Bridlington - and reference was made in the associated press release to "an additional weekday service 143 between Withernsea and Beverley". Those familiar with the local bus network will know that the 143 operates between North Ferriby and Beverley, and there has been no change to that service. 

However the 243 between Withernsea and Beverley does seem to have gained a Thursday service is addition to it's existing Tuesday service, as per There was a change to the 243 registered in September, for which I couldn't find details off at the time, so I presume that is when the Thursday service started. The 243 is operated by Holderness Area Rural Transport (HART) and provides passengers from Withernsea, Roos, Burton Pidsea, Sproatley, New Ellerby and Skirlaugh with three hours in Beverley. Sproatley and Skiralugh are also served by the 242 Beverley 'shoppers service' Monday to Saturday.

Monday 13 November 2023

Old Goole Service 1 gains Evening and Sunday Journeys

One of the Goole Town Services - the 1 to Old Goole - gained a limited Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday daytime service from 5th November, as part of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding enhancements. The new journeys appear to be interworked with service 55. The 1 is operated by East Yorkshire Buses.

On Friday and Saturday evenings the 1 has two circular trips from Goole North Street at 1925 and 2130. On Saturdays due to no evening peak Goole Town Service being provided, there is a gap in departures from Goole North Street to Old Goole Cottingham Street between 1600 and 1925, and from Old Goole Cottingham Street between 1525 and 1940. 

On Sundays three circular roundtrips are provided from Goole North Street at 1115, 1315 and 1515.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Service 55 Improved

It's fair to say that bus services from Hull to Brough and destinations east have taken a bit of a battering in the past couple of years. Various attempts at a second hourly service between Hull and Brough have been abandoned, while late evening and Sunday services were withdrawn. All journeys between Elloughton and Goole are now subsidised I believe. 

There was some good news though last week, when on Sunday 5th November a revised timetable was introduced on East Yorkshire service 55 between Hull, Brough, Elloughton, South Cave, Gilberdyke, Howden and Goole. The service operates approximately hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes and early evenings between Hull and Elloughton, with hourly extensions to Gilberdyke off peak, and further extensions to Goole four times a day.

Focusing first on the 'core' Monday to Saturday service and the 1720 from Hull to Elloughton now extends to South Cave. This is a small but notable enhancement, as the last service from Hull to South Cave was previously at 1410. There is no morning peak journey into Hull, but the 1720 provides more options for shopping and/or other leisure related trips.

Now to the headline enhancements, as part of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funded improvements - new Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday daytime journeys. For both the evening and Sunday enhancements they operate as two separate services, one at the Hull end of the route and one at the Goole end.

Starting with Friday and Saturday evenings; at the Hull end of the route a 2145 Elloughton to Hull and 2300 Hull to South Cave have been added; last journeys previously 1930 Elloughton to Hull and 2025 Hull to Elloughton. Not a huge volume of extra journeys, but enough to facilitate an evening out. A very welcome improvement. South Cave is in the unusual situation of going from a last bus from Hull at 1410 to a last bus at 2300.

Meanwhile at the other end of the route, there are now Friday and Saturday journeys at 1845 from Gilberdyke to Goole, 2025 and 2225 from Howden to Goole, 2000 and 2200 from Goole to Howden and 2300 from Goole to Gilberdyke. Again here very much facilitating evenings out, and a welcome addition to the network. It is interesting to note that there is no evening peak service between Gilberdyke, Howden and Goole, so there are approximately four hour gaps between the end of the off peak service and the start of the evening service.

Looking at the timetables and it is a shame that the 1720 from Hull to South Cave does not run through to Goole on Fridays and Saturdays - incorporating the 1845 from Gilberdyke to Goole. This would provide a later last bus service from Hull to North Cave, Newport, Gilberdyke, Eastrington and Howden for marginal extra mileage. Alternatively the 1840 Elloughton to Hull could start back at South Cave. Also could the 2300 from Goole extend beyond Gilberdyke, even if just to Newport? It presumably is heading 'dead' back to Elloughton depot.

Moving onto Sundays, there are new journeys at 0930, 1230 and 1530 from Gilberdyke to Hull, returning at 1100, 1400 and 1700. From Gilberdyke to Goole there are departures at 1030, 1230 and 1430, returning at 1145, 1345 and 1545. Overall these journeys provide basic Sunday shopping and leisure links and again are very welcome. Plus once again, it's a shame the first service into Goole and the last return don't serve Newport at least en-route from/to Elloughton depot.

Monday 30 October 2023

Sunday Services Return between Goole and Selby

Arriva service 401 between Goole and Selby is revised from today - Monday 30th October. The Monday to Friday changes relate to extra school and college journeys, otherwise the Monday to Saturday service remains hourly daytimes.

The big development is a new two hourly Sunday service being introduced, leaving Goole at 0900, 1100, 1300 and 1500, returning from Selby at 0955, 1155, 1355 and 1555. This will be the first Sunday service between Goole and Selby - and the first Sunday bus service for Rawcliffe, East Cowick, West Cowick, Snaith, Carlton and Camblesforth - since the 400/401 tendered service was cut during East Riding of Yorkshire Council budget reductions in Spring 2017. It's good to see it return.

The new Sunday service has 21 minute layover at Goole, so it's a shame that Airmyn village and Goole Hospital haven't been included on the new route, unlike the old Sunday 400 - or maybe an extension to the Fairfield Estate in Goole. Possibly something for the future?

I can't find any mention of this to confirm in either the Arriva announcement or East Riding of Yorkshire Council Press Release, but presumably the new Sunday 401 is being funded by the Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding as the date coincides with other new Sunday services.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Goole to Scunthorpe gains a Sunday Service

Goole is not currently served by any local bus services on a Sunday, but from next week - 5th November - it will have four Sunday bus routes, thanks to East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding. In this post I take a look at one of those routes, the 361 to Scunthorpe.

The 361, a tendered service operated by East Yorkshire, links Goole and various East Riding villages on the south side of the River Ouse and west side of the River Trent with North Lincolnshire, where it diverts inland to operate via the small town of Crowle en-route to Scunthorpe. Associated service 360 operates a shorter route in North Lincolnshire by the banks of the River Trent serving Amcotts instead off Crowle. Monday to Friday there is an approximately two hourly service between the 360 and 361, with the 360 operating most peak journeys and the 361 mostly off-peak. On Saturdays the 361 operates approximately every three hours.

As off the 5th November, Sundays also gain a three hourly daytime service 361, with three departures from Goole at 0935, 1235 and 1535, returning from Scunthorpe at 1100, 1400 and 1700. For various villages - plus Crowle - this opens up the opportunity to visit Scunthorpe or Goole on a Sunday by bus for the first time in years. Passengers can spend either 6 hours 10 minutes or 3 hours 10 minutes in Scunthorpe, or 3 hours 21 minutes in Goole.

By way of historical context, my July 1980 'Lincolnshire' bus company South Humberside timetable book showed two Sunday Scunthorpe to Goole journeys plus various 'shorts' between Scunthorpe and Crowle that appeared linked to steelworks shift times. By 1982 this was three Goole journeys plus Crowle shorts. All these had gone though by the time my 1989 Humberside County Council Scunthorpe to Goole pamphlet was published. The Goole to Swinefleet section did regain a Sunday daytime service for many years in the 2000's and 2010's, interworked with other routes, latterly the Goole to Selby service, but not the bulk of the route between Swinefleet and Scunthorpe.

What is also notable here is that there is a significant benefit to North Lincolnshire. The villages of Gunness, Althorpe, Ealand, Eastoft, Luddington and Garthorpe all gain a Sunday service along with Crowle; some Keadby residents are also within walking distance of the Althorpe Station stops. There is no acknowledgement of funding from North Lincolnshire Council that I can find, so it seems the East Riding maybe paying the full cost. Scunthorpe is an important regional centre for Goole and the Ouse & Trent villages and operating the longer 361 route via Crowle - instead of the quicker 360 via Amcotts - will likely provide more passengers. As such East Riding of Yorkshire Council's decisions can be understood, although somewhat contrasting to the Monday to Saturday 88 from Goole terminating at the county boundary at Rawcliffe Bridge, as opposed to extending to Thorne or Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

The Sunday 361 means a 33% increase in the number of Sunday North Lincolnshire bus routes (the others being the 1A, 4 and 350) and will be the only Sunday bus service in North Lincolnshire to operate west of Scunthorpe.

At the same time there are minor timing changes to the Saturday 361 timetable. Whilst the Sunday service can keep perfect three hour intervals between journeys, Saturdays cannot. What was 0820. 1120, 1430 and 1735 from Goole becomes 0820, 1110, 1430 and 1745, whilst from Scunthorpe the 1015, 1315 and 1620 become 1025, 1310 and 1630 departures. Not perfect before, even less perfect from next month.

Saturday 28 October 2023

747 goes 7 days a week

Starting on Sunday 5th November, the East Yorkshire operated tendered service 747 between Pocklington, Stamford Bridge and York gains services on Sunday daytimes plus Friday and Saturday evenings, thanks to East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding. 

The 747 currently provides three services into York Monday to Saturday daytimes and four from York, providing commuting links into York, shopping links into Pocklington and York as well as access to Full Sutton Prison during early afternoons, presumably for visitors. The 747's route includes the villages of Bolton, Fangfoss, Full Sutton and Murton on all current journeys, plus Meltonby, Bishop Wilton and Yapham on off peak journeys. 

The new Friday and Saturday evening journeys comprise an 1830 from Pocklington to York, serving all the villages on the off peak route except for Murton. There is then a 2000 from York to Pocklington via the peak time route and also excluding Murton. Finally there is an 'unbalanced' 2245 from York to Pocklington via the off peak route but again excluding Murton. Overall this provides a basic 'evening out in York' service and the 2000 from York may attract those wanting to visit York for the day/afternoon then have a meal or drink before returning home. 

On Sunday daytimes there is a more straight forward timetable of three services in each direction - operating every three hours - all via the Monday to Saturday offpeak route, but excluding Murton. 

This is a fantastic development for the villages served only by the 747, and hopefully their residents take advantage. It's a shame the Monday to Saturday timetable is so messy though. Ignoring the Prison diversion, and the morning peak variation within York City Centre, there are four different variations:

  • Via all villages (Monday to Saturday off peak)
  • Via all villages except Murton (Friday and Saturday 1830 from Pocklington and 2245 from York, plus Sundays)
  • Via all villages except Meltonby, Bishop Wilton and Yapham (Monday to Saturday peak)
  • Via all villages except Meltonby, Bishop Wilton, Yapham and Murton (Friday and Saturday 2000 from York)
The omission of Murton on the new journeys is odd. Yes the village comes under the City of York, not the East Riding of Yorkshire, but as I will cover soon, another East Riding enhancement will not be taking the direct route within another authority (the new Sunday Goole to Scunthorpe service operating as a 361 via Crowle in North Lincolnshire rather than a shorter 360 via Amcotts), so omitting a minor diversion via Murton on the 747, which has plenty of layover, seems odd.

To end, some trivia. Meltonby, Bishop Wilton and Yapham will have a better Sunday service than Monday to Thursday. Monday to Thursday the villages have three services to Pocklington and two from York, whereas Sundays will be three in each direction.

Monday 23 October 2023

New Saturday Service on the 196

From Saturday 11th November, the previously Thursday only service 196 'shopper' bus from Allerthorpe to York will also gain a Saturday service. Saturday journeys will operate at the same time as Thursday services, departing Allerthorpe at 0910, returning from York at 1337. This provides a new Saturday bus for the villages of Allerthorpe, Melbourne, Aughton, Ellerton, East Cottingwith, Storwood and Newton upon Derwent. The 196 also serves Sutton upon Derwent and Elvington, which also enjoy a Saturday service into York every two hours on York Pullman route 36.

Service 196 is operated by East Yorkshire under contract to East Riding of Yorkshire Council. The new Saturday service is linked to the council's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding.

Sunday 22 October 2023

124 and 135 to East Hull Community Transport

To update this post, an anonymous commentor has posted that the tendered 124 and 135 in the East Riding of Yorkshire haven't been cancelled, but have instead passed from East Yorkshire Buses to East Hull Community Transport. The 124 runs from Ruston Parva to Bridlington on Wednesdays and from Boynton to Driffield on Fridays, with one journey in each direction. The 135 operates two circular round trips from Driffield to Sledmere and back every Tuesday and Thursday.

Sunday 1 October 2023

Changed and Cancelled on the Quiet?

As far as I can tell, three tendered bus services in the East Riding of Yorkshire - all operated by East Yorkshire Buses since last year - ceased in early September:

  • 5: Beverley Town Service - 3 circular round trips Monday to Saturday, interworked with unaffected service 142
  • 124: Driffield to Bridlington - 1 return service from Ruston Parva to Bridlington on Wednesdays, 1 return service from Boynton to Driffield on Fridays
  • 135: Driffield to Sledmere - 2 circular round trips Tuesday and Thursday
All three were cancelled by East Yorkshire, see here, here and here although never publically announced by the operator; they just 'disappeared' from it's website. Subsequent internet searches have failed to find mention of any replacement services for the 124 and 135, so I can only assume there was no replacement. Anyone able to definitely confirm please? Assuming these services were cancelled without replacement, various villages north of Driffield are now without a timetabled bus service.

In the case of service 5, it seems that existing town service 526 from Beverley Bus Station to Copandale Road has been extended to cover the service 5 route, still with three circular round trips Monday to Saturday. Again though this was done without any announcement. Likewise the 527 town service from Beverley Bus Station to Morrisons also seems to have been diverted via Armstrong Way (for Flemingate) at the same time without any publicity. This lack of announcement in particular seems very odd as it's actually a useful enhancement.

Saturday 30 September 2023

North Lincolnshire Services 96 and 97 Update

Earlier this year I covered the launch of two new bus services in North Lincolnshire; the 96 from Barton to Brigg and the 97 from Garthorpe to Wroot via Crowle and Epworth. In both cases I suspected the provision could be over ambitious. The Local Democracy Reporting Service recently reported the following after speaking to the North Lincolnshire Council Cabinet Member for Connectivity:

Cllr Mitchell indicated the Brigg to Barton bus route through the low villages had been successful with passenger numbers. However, the piloted Isle of Axholme service, that ran east to west across the Isle, had not had as many passengers yet, 

"We just need to do a bit of tweaking to the route and timetable," he said. But he urged people to use the route to ensure it continued."We have just got to think very carefully how we spend taxpayers' money on this. But also in recognition that some of these routes have huge social and economic value. We can't really put a price on tackling social exclusion."

Sunday 24 September 2023

Saturday Improvements in the Isle of Axholme

The Stagecoach operated Saturday tendered services in the Southern Isle of Axholme are revised from Saturday 7th October.

Presently there is the 291 from Owston Ferry to Doncaster via Epworth and Westwoodside with two daytime journeys each way, and the 399 from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside via Epworth and Owston Ferry with four journeys each way. From next month the 399 will have six journeys each way between Scunthorpe and Westwoodside, with two extended to Doncaster, presumably replacing the 291. Two morning journeys from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside will run 'fast' omitting West Butterwick and Owston Ferry, which is reasonable enough at 0645, and at 0915 when there is a 0900 service as well (the 0900 goes to Doncaster, whereas the 0915 is a 'positioning' service for the 1000 Westwoodside to Scunthorpe).

With the exception of the small village of Low Burnham served by the 291, this is excellent news. There are two more journeys overall between Scunthorpe and Westwoodside, and in terms of 'useful' journeys - as opposed to 'in service positioning journeys' - there will be three useful departures from Scunthorpe back to the Isle of Axholme at 1300, 1620 and 1735, as opposed to two at 1320 and 1735 presently.

In addition there will be greater consistency between the Monday to Friday and Saturday services. Most Monday to Friday services are run by Hornsby on what I think is a part commercial/part council funded basis. Currently the only consistency is the final 399 round trip from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside (run by Stagecoach 6 days a week). From next month the 0645, 0900, 1300, 1620 and 1735 from Scunthorpe will be consistent Monday to Saturday (during college holidays at least), as will the 0728, 1725 and 1845 from Westwoodside and 1245 and 1545 from Doncaster. 

Saturday 2 September 2023

East Yorkshire Bridlington Changes

East Yorkshire are amending their local services in Bridlington from tomorrow - Sunday 3rd September. The changes are to make services "more reliable", which should happen as running times are slightly increased. However it seems little or no extra resource is being added to the network, so out goes clockface timetables largely consistent between weekdays and Saturdays, and in comes harder to remember times and notable differences on a Saturday. I understand that extra resource for clockface timetables and consistency probably can't be justified, but the new timetables aren't very user friendly. 

On service 2 to the south of Bridlington, the 1420 and 1530 circulars from Bridlington Bus Station no longer operate Monday to Friday during school holidays. Most Saturday journeys operate 5 minutes later than Monday to Friday.

For service 3 to the West Hill Estate, the 1515 from Bridlington Bus Station no longer operates Monday to Friday during school holidays. The service remains mostly hourly, but journey times are slightly extended, and vary from journey to journey, and between weekdays and Saturdays.

The 4 and 4A to New Pasture Lane Estate are amended from operating hourly each for a combined half hourly frequency to a combined frequency of between every 20 and 45 minutes Monday to Saturday mornings and early afternoons. School Holiday weekdays are reduced to hourly, as already occurs on schooldays, though clockface half hourly departures return from Bridlington Bus Station on Saturday afternoons.

The 5 and 5A to the north of Bridlington retain some semblance of a clockface timetable from Bridlington Bus Station in the morning and early afternoon at least, running hourly each for a combined half hourly frequency. However the first service of the day at 0800 from Bridlington Bus Station is cancelled, as is the 1200 leaving an hours gap. Following that the 1230 is a 5A Monday to Friday but a 5 on Saturdays, the 1300 a 5 Monday to Friday but a 5A on Saturdays and there is then a 1325 5A Monday to Friday and a 1330 5 on Saturdays. The late afternoon service gains a 100 minute gap Monday to Friday from Bridlington Bus Station, previously just a 60 minute gap schooldays only.

On Service 6 to the North of Bridlington, the 1445 circular from Bridlington Bus Station is withdrawn Monday to Friday, leaving a 130 minute gap. Otherwise an hourly service remains (with two 65 minute gaps on Saturdays), but again with slightly extended journey times, times varying slightly from journey to journey, and between weekdays and Saturdays.

Finally service 14 from Bridlington to Flamborough is also slightly revised with extended running times and slight variations at timing points depending on the day of the week - for example 1430 from Flamborough to Bridlington Monday to Friday, 1433 Saturday and 1431 Sunday.