Sunday 29 March 2009

Cross Country connections

While the Cross Country rail network does not serve either bank of the Humber region, many local passengers access the network at Doncaster. However Arriva Cross Country, operators of the network wish to divert their Doncaster service via Leeds, isolating Doncaster from the cross country network.

As well as the impact on Doncaster, it would make connections less convienent for passengers from the Humber region. Passengers could still access the network at Sheffield or Leeds (North Bank passengers only). However this would be a significant detour for passengers from the South Bank going North, to York, the North East and Scotland, considering National Express East Coast's patchy Scottish service from Doncaster.

Leeds may need more Cross Country services, but not at the expense of Doncaster.

Friday 27 March 2009

EYMS Invest in new buses

EYMS have bought another 20 new double decker buses, with 10 entering service this weekend. They are Volvo B9TL's with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodywork, and will be used on services from Hull to Hornsea, Withernsea and Brough/Elloughton/Howden/Goole (the 155/156 corridor). Vehicles currently used on these services will be cascaded to shorter journeys within Hull, enabling more services to be operated with low floor vehicles.

Always good to see investment.

Bye Bye Veolia in Hull update

An update to our previous post; EYMS have posted on their website that they are taking over Veolia's Hull bus operation. The full list of affected routes is:

Service 78 7am & 4pm Hull Interchange to Hedon, & 7.35am Hedon to Hull Interchange (Monday to Friday)
Service 124 Driffield – Bridlington via Burton Fleming (Wednesday, Thursday and Saturda)
Service 183 Hessle Town Service (Monday to Saturday)
Service 277 4.35pm Hedon to Hull Interchange (Monday to Friday)
Service 358 Holme on Spalding Moor - Goole via Bubwith and Howden (Tuesdays)
Service 700 Walton Street Park & Ride – Hull City Centre (Monday to Saturday)

EYMS Easter Bus Services

EYMS will operate a Sunday service on Good Friday and Easter Monday, except the Humber Fastcat (350) shall operate a normal service on Good Friday. Moorbus M14 shall run on Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Summer service 120 between Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough operated by EYMS owned Scarborough and District shall start on Saturday 4th April ready for the Easter Holidays.

Hull Service 1C change

From 26th March (yesterday), the 0739 Hull Carr Lane to Sibelius Road journey on EYMS service 1C has started from Kingswood Retail Park at 0710.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

York Pullman

York Pullman, a reincarnation of a previous operator with the name in York, are entering the local bus market, including services into East Yorkshire. They currently operate sightseeing tours and coaches. Their new services replaced previous tendered and commercial First York services, posted as being cancelled earlier in the month.

New service 35, 'The Holme Run', from Holme to York will replace First service 18, with a roughly two hour frequency, supplemented by daytime service 36, 'The Village Link' between Sutton on Derwent and York. As well as the daytime service on route 35, there is a limited Friday and Saturday evening service. EYMS currently operate a Sunday service 18A between Holme and York. It is unknown if this will change.

York Pullman will also take over daily hourly evening journeys on route 10 between Stamford Bridge, York and Poppleton, as well as hourly Saturday morning journeys.

Service 10 timetable -
Service 35/36 timetable -

Day 1 of the Humber Fastcat

Yesterday I used the Humber Fastcat (former 350 service) on it's launch day for the my regular journey from Barton to Hull.

And the brand new MAN/Enviro 300 buses bought by Stagecoach are very nice. Standard blue and orange coroprate interior, but other than that the only other obvious sign they belong to Stagecoach is a small logo on the rear window. This is deliberate and reflects the joint nature of the service with EYMS, who have also repainted a Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse Urban, previously used on the 115, in an almost identical orange livery - the only difference seems to be an advert for their Hull Plus weekly ticket on the back window. Some pictures of EYMS 343 'Kitty':

My journeys yesterday were on Marmalade and Fluffy (22759 and 22760), which both appear to be Stagecoach Hull vehicles. Travelling into Hull on Marmalade, I saw (and had my ticket checked) by the first bus inspector I had seen in years. And he was a bit surprised Stagecoach Hull had workings on the service! Very polite and smartly dressed however, carrying out his job well.

Some more pictures taken in Barton yesterday below, including a new bus stop flag and 'Moggy'.

Friday 20 March 2009

Bye Bye Veolia in Hull

A statement posted on the East Yorkshire Buses Yahoo Group, reported to be from EYMS's Peter Shipp says EYMS will take over Veolia's Hull operation on 29th March. All driving and engineering staff will transfer to EYMS, along with all local bus and school contracts plus nine vehicles.

Can't say I'm surprised. With the proposed withdrawal of the Walton Street Park and Ride, there would be very little work left for the operation. Local bus routes operated as far as I know include the 183 Hessle Town Service, one weekday journey each way on the 78/277 loop between Hull and Hessle, and until Sunday, 2 Sunday journeys on the 350 from Hull to Ashby (Scunthorpe).

The Veolia operation was originally that off Alpha Coaches. It was then purchased by Dunn Line who where then bought by Veolia. Veolia sold their York operation to Transdev last year and have recently announced the closure of their Lincoln operation (originally that was the Appleby's depot, later bought by MASS Transit).

Humber Fastcat - 3 days to go

On Monday the enhanced service 350 will launch under the Humber Fastcat brand. Preparations are under way, including the provision of raised curbs at some bus stops. Was a bit surprised when my bus stop in Barton moved to the other side of the road as part of these works, being carried out by North Lincolnshire Council. However at one bus stop in Barton yesterday, access to these raised kerbs is blocked by residents cars parked at bus stops, making the raised kerb useless.

The timetable leaflet has been published - it's a timetable, with a map and a bit of tourist information. As good as it is, it would have been better with at least a passing reference to connecting services, especially at Barton. Some arrows to show the direction of buses in Barton would have been helpful, and some tourist information about Barton would have been nice. But what has really impressed me is the Stagecoach supervisor at Hull Interchange handing out copies to waiting passengers this week.

I originally wondered about the provision of service for college students at Scunthorpe from Barton, Barrow and East Halton. Going by the new bus stop information in Barton I saw yesterday, the 360 East Halton to Scunthorpe service will remain - and one 350 journey will also serve the Scunthorpe Colleges.

Finally the EYMS press release has announced three Fastcat bus surgeries.

Scunthorpe (High Street), Friday 20 March, 10am until 2pm.
Hull (Queen Victoria Square), Saturday 21 March, 10am until 4pm.
Barton (Tesco), Friday 27 March, 10am until 4pm.

I shall certainly be trying to attend one. While there are a few suggestions I have, such as the comments about the leaflet I made above, and my unhappiness about Stagecoach's recent fare increase, I shall certainly say how impressed I am generally with the relaunch, and the effort that has gone into it.

Friday 13 March 2009

Is the 195 cancelled or not?

Earlier in the month, this appeared on VOSA:

PB0000328/21 - EAST YORKSHIRE MOTOR SERVICES LTD, 252 ANLABY ROAD, HULL, HU3 2RSCancellation Accepted: Operating between Pocklington and York given service number 195 effective from 27-Apr-2009

And today this:

Variation Accepted: Operating between Pocklington and York given service number 195 effective from 27-Apr-2009. To amend Timetable.

So is the 195 cancelled or not? Goes to show that was is posted on the VOSA website should not be taken at face value.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Megabus Plus

Yesterday I reported that a new Megabus Plus service would be launched from Hull to East Midlands Parkway station, for connections to London St Pancras on East Midlands Trains, the rail franchise run by Stagecoach, who also operate the Megabus network.

These new services went on sale today. There are two services a day on three routes, from Hull, Harrogate and Huddersfield to East Midlands Parkway, and Stagecoach's Hull depot will operate all these services, albeit with some coaches spending the night at Stagecoach Yorkshire's Barnsley depot.

The Hull service stops at Scunthorpe Tesco Extra and Doncaster Lakeside - these out of town stops fit the Megabus profile well, though in Hull the Interchange will be used. Departures from Hull are at 0640 and 1250 (0945 and 1610 Sundays) and returns from East Midlands Parkway at 1005 and 1605 (1320 and 2010 Sundays). However passengers can't use the service for either local travel, or just to East Midlands Parkway, which is a shame as some custom could have been picked up for East Midlands Airport.

The online timetable also shows one 'coach only' (as opposed to 'coach and train') service a day through to London St Pancras, not the Megabus terminus at Victoria Coach Station. Mistake maybe?

Overall great to see more innovation from Stagecoach, though one wonders what will happen if/when Stagecoach loose the East Midlands Trains franchise.

350 timetable tweaks

Another post about the 350 (sorry). But it appears that the original version of the new timetable from 23rd March was either wrong, or has already been altered. The 1930 and 2130 departures from Hull have been moved to 1925 and 2125, which will make the connection to the Cleethorpes train at Barton more robust.

The 1815. 1845, 1915 and 2115 departures from Scunthorpe will also operate 5 minutes earlier at 1810, 1840, 1910 and 2110.

Monday 9 March 2009

Coming Soon: Megabus Plus from Hull

Based on posts on both the South Yorkshire Transport Forum, and by the Managing Director of Stagecoach East Midlands on the Stagecoach East Midlands Yahoo Group, a new Megabus Plus service will be announced tomorrow from Hull to East Midlands Parkway Station, for connections onto East Midlands Trains services to London St Pancras. The route shall be operated by Stagecoach Hull and will be part of a wider network of services to East Midlands Parkway, which opened last year and has a bus shuttle link to East Midlands Airport.

South Yorkshire Transport Forum -
Stagecoach East Midlands Yahoo Group -

Thursday 5 March 2009

HM Queen visits Hull

Today HM The Queen visited Hull. She arrived by Royal Train at Hull Station, and unveiled a plaque officially opening the Interchange. Some poor quality pictures from myself ...

The Royal Train was hauled by DB Schenker Class 67's, 67005 and 67006.

Barton Line Early Morning Service this Summer

Regular readers will know my concerns for the Barton Line early morning service this summer during the Scunthorpe to Doncaster rail blockade. While I'm still waiting for a response from TransPennine Express, Northern Rail have replied to my email expressing my concerns - well sort off.

Their response is that they are "unable to confirm any details about replacement service for this route". Northern aren't likely to inform the public of planned arrangements until they are confirmed, but the use of the word replacement indicates the usual early morning train service will not be operated. Needless bus replacement seems the only practical option.

Stagecoach Fare Changes

On Monday Stagecoach are increasing some bus fares. Having seen the posters I decided to contact Stagecoach to ask if service 350 will be affected. It is, but rather than a small 10 or 20p increase, the return fare from Barton to Hull will go from £5.90 to £6.30. This is compared to East Yorkshire's return fare of £5.20. Stagecoach single fares remain at £3.50 (EYMS is £2.90).

So while the 350 will become more frequent, I won't be taking much advantage of that when going to Hull and will be trying to catch the considerably cheaper EYMS service.

Stagecoach are introducing a new 'megarider fastcat' weekly ticket at £25 (initially £22) from 23rd March on the 350. Great if you travel at least 5 days a week. But many weeks I only travel 4 days a week. £25 divided by 4 works out at £6.25 a day, just cheaper than the new Stagecoach return fare. But if I can use EYMS for my outward, ticket buying journey, one day a week, it will be cheaper to be return tickets everyday compared to a megarider. And If I use EYMS once a week then it will be cheaper to try and use them all the time.

This is just giving people more of a reason to use the bus on one hand, then giving them one less reason on the other hand. My response will mean Stagecoach will be getting less revenue from me. Now many passengers are OAPs, and versus the bridge tolls and car parking charges, the bus is still cheaper, but not everyone fits into those categories.

Details of the fare changes are on the local Stagecoach websites. Hull weekly tickets rise from £8 to £8.50. On a personal note I hope EYMS don't use this as a reason to increase the price of their weekly tickets.

Times may be hard, and investment is being made in places, but the weekly tickets Stagecoach are promoting so much are off little use to those who travel 3 or 4 times a week. Those are the ones having to suffer the most from these rises. And yes there is a Flexirider product in places, but not everywhere such as Barton.

Service changes in the North West part of East Yorkshire

The North Western part of East Yorkshire - in otherwords the Pocklington area, will also see it's share of service changes this Spring. All are taken from VOSA

Cancellation Accepted: Operating between Pocklington and York given service number 195 effective from 27-Apr-2009. PB0001747/38 - FIRST YORK LTD, ATTN: K HARRISON, 7 JAMES ST, YORK, YO10 3WW
Cancellation Accepted: Operating between York and Holme On Spalding Moor given service number 18/X18 effective from 26-Apr-2009.

Variation Accepted: Operating between Stamford Bridge, Roman Avenue and Nether Poppleton given service number 10 effective from 26-Apr-2009. To amend Route, Stopping Places and Timetable.

First operate the Monday to Saturday journeys on the 18 between Holme and York, and EYMS the Sunday service (as service 18A), for which no application has been made to VOSA to alter as things stand. The Sunday service is definetly tendered, but I am unsure if the First operated journeys are or not - though whatever their current status I suspect that most if not all current First journeys will be replaced. This is a key service in the part of Yorkshire it serves.

The 195 serves a number of villages around the Pocklington area and is not the main service linking York and Pocklington. First York service 10 is the main link to Stamford Bridge.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Future of the 190

Today, the VOSA website shows a cancellation by Wilfreda Beehive of the 190 from April, which operates three times a day from Wroot in North Lincolnshire to Doncaster via Old Cantley and Armthorpe. It is funded by North Lincolnshire Council and South Yorkshire PTE.

So have Wilfreda lost the contract or is it being axed?

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Another forthcoming service change

Another day, another service change registered with VOSA. In this case it's one of the region's smaller operators, Amvale, and their Saltfleet to Grimsby service.

Variation Accepted: Operating between Saltfleet and Grimsby, Freshney Place given service number E04D effective from 24-Apr-2009. To amend Timetable.

Monday 2 March 2009

More forthcoming service changes

Some more EYMS changes due in April, taken from the VOSA website

Variation Accepted: Operating between Hull, Bond Street and Willerby Square given service number 33/34/44/45/47 effective from 26-Apr-2009. To amend Route and Timetable.
Variation Accepted: Operating between Hull, Bond Street and Cottingham, Castle Hill Top given service number 115 effective from 26-Apr-2009. To amend Route and Timetable.