Friday, 28 August 2009

Major Changes to Grimsby-Immingham/Barton services

From Monday 7th September, Stagecoach are making some very big changes to services between Grimsby, Immingham and Barton. There are big improvements for some, and reductions for others. But first it's probably best to describe the current services.

The main Grimsby to Immingham service is the 45, which operates every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes. Most services start from Victoria Street Tesco in Grimsby, and some early morning services also serve Cleethorpes. There is a peak time service from Habrough and South Killingholme and a college day variant, the 45C that operates via Franklin College. Evening and Sunday services are provided by hourly route 46 from Immingham to Cleethorpes via the Willows Estate and Grimsby Town Centre, which seems to be unchanged in these changes.

Grimsby to Barton flows are handled by the 250 which operates every two hours or so Monday to Saturday via Immingham, South Killingholme, Ulceby and Barrow. This service is interworked with the 450 between Barton and Brigg, and is a former RoadCar route. The 250, combined with the 45 gives Immingham up to 4 buses an hour to Grimsby.

The changes from Stagecoach merge the 250 into the 45 service, which reduces from every 20 minutes to half hourly - almost halfing the number of buses between Grimby and Immingham. The 45 will no longer serve Victoria Street Tesco, but most journeys will extend to South Killingholme, increasing it's services from every 2 hours to half hourly.

From South Killingholme there are two variants - the 45b hourly to Barton, doubling the service frequency here, and the 45h to Habrough, giving it an hourly bus link to Grimsby, and a vast improvement from it's only current daytime bus service on route 150.

There is also a further variant however, the 45m. This does not serve South Killingholme, but instead serves Stallingborough MIC Plant, and the Queens Road area of Immingham, near to the former Loco Shed. However it does not go onto the dock estate, meaning the end of buses onto the docks, afacility the current 45 provides at peak times. The 45m generally only operates at weekday peak times, and some early morning journeys start back in Cleethorpes. Also the 45C College Service still operates, and there are occasional Grimsby to Immingham journeys numbered plain simple 45.

All sounds rather complicated, but the main Grimsby-Immingham-South Killingholme service is generally clockface, as are the Habrough and Barton services. The use of letter suffixes will also help identify where each service goes, though it makes the timetable very confusing to look at.

So is it a good move - if you live in Barton, Barrow, Thornton Curtis, Wootton, Ulceby, South Killingholme or Habrough, then yes. The new 45b Barton service for example enables the bus to be used for commuting to//from Grimsby, something not possible with the 250. But passengers in Immingham, Stallingborough and Healing will regretably see a major reduction in services.

Service 150 between Grimsby, Immingham, Habrough and East Halton will continue with two return journeys Wednesday and Friday plus an odd one way East Halton to Grimsby journey five days a week. However I wonder if the Habrough diversion is needed now with the new 45h?

Finally the 45b looks to be interowking still with the 450 on weekdays, and the new Stagecoach timetable lists connections onto this, and the 350 Humber Fastcat service at Barton. Well done to Stagecoach for doing this and trying to promote connections.

1 comment:

Smudge said...

it took longer than I thought for this to occur. No point duplicating services between Grimsby and Immingham. What I didn't realise was how badly it would be done.

Barton-Killingholme sees a 100% increase in frequency, while the historic and long-established Grimsby-Immingham section sees a 33% reduction?

They're not right in the head. I'll give it til January before it's altered.

I calculate 1 bus is saved too. That speaks volumes. No more Immingham Docks? Almost a century of history just wiped out....

Stagecoach have made far better service decisions it must be said.

Clockface timetables mean nothing unless the services run at a frequency and to destinations that fit the model. At least withing NEL the Barton train's patronage is sure to increase.