Friday 25 September 2009

The return of GNER

One of the first posts ever made on this blog, back in June last year, was titled 'The race to link South Humber with London'. It examined four proposals to link Grimsby, Cleethorpes, and in one case Scunthorpe as well, to London.

Since then the National Express East Coast proposal to provide a single daily return Cleethorpes to London service by extending a Lincoln to London service to start/finish up in North East Lincolnshire has been confirmed - even though by the time it starts National Express will no longer be running the franchise.

Meanwhile nothing has been heard about the other proposals from Humber Coast and City Railway, First Hull Trains and Grand Union. Either these proposals have been dropped, or put on the 'long term' pile. The Humber Coast and City proposal is no longer listed on it's promoters website (Renaissance Trains).

Just reminding you off that Grand Union proposal - it was for a Cleethorpes to Kings Cross service calling at Grimsby Town, Habrough, Scunthorpe, Thorne South and Doncaster. And the Managaing Director of Grand Union at the time was Ian Yeowart.

Now a new company called Alliance Rail Holidays has revealed plans to bring back the Great North Eastern Railways (GNER) name, last used by Sea Containers when they held the East Coast franchise, for a new Cleethorpes to London service, calling at Grimsby Town, Habrough, Scunthorpe, Thorne South, Doncaster ... and Retford. And guess who is a director of Alliance Rail - Ian Yeowart. The proposed service would operate four times a day.

However Mr Yeowart has done more than propose some off what he proposed while at Grand Union - he has unveiled plans for trains from across the North of England to London using the GNER brand on the East Coast, and the GNWR brand on the West Coast. More details are in this article, and map. Plus there is one service proposed that doesn't go to London ...

One of the GNER routes is planned to be a new Hull to Liverpool service calling at Brough, Howden, Selby, Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Rochdale, Manchester Victoria, Eccles, Newton Le Willows and St Helens Junction. The proposed frequency is unknown.

So are these plans a good idea? The Cleethorpes to London service would provide a higher frequency than the new service via Lincoln. It also serves Habrough, Scunthorpe and Thorne South, offering new London links from these stations. Oddly Barnetby is omitted from the proposals. Meanwhile the Hull to Liverpool service, provides new links from East Yorkshire, not just to Liverpool, but to Bradford and Halifax too.

However before you get too excited, the likely timescale for any service to start is 2013, and the plans have yet to be approved, and paths need to be found. There is a lot of competition proposed with franchised operations, so expect stiff objections from them, and from the Department for Transport should be expected.

And personally I doubt the whole proposed network would start at once - probably just one route initially. Trying to launch 3 GNER routes and 3 GNWR routes at once would probably be taking too much on at once. Mr Yeowart should know how hard it can be to launch one route from his time at Grand Central.

Another consideration as well is finance, especially with new trains proposed for the services. The backers of Alliance Rail are currently unknown. They will need deep pockets though to fund what is being proposed.

What is proposed is great, if it happens.

Thursday 24 September 2009

EYMS new 107 announced

EYMS have now officially announced their new 107 service from Hull University to Cottingham, and as expected it is an early Sunday morning (Saturday night) service for clubbers at the uni nightclub going back to university accomodation in Cottingham.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

More Hull to Cottingham evening buses

From Monday 28th September, EYMS are increasing the Monday to Saturday evening frequency of service 105 between Hull City Centre, Hull University, Cottingham and The Lawns Halls of Residence to operate every 20 minutes, matching the daytime frequency. Currently the service operates half hourly in the evening. It seems this increase will apply all year round, not just in university semesters.

More improvements to evening services also coming soon with new route 107.

Sunday 20 September 2009

353 becomes a better 103

The VOSA registration indicated a change of number, and it looks like that will happen. The Lincolnshire County Council journey planner has the new timetable for Stagecoach service 103, from 2nd November.

The 103 is the current 353 service between Scunthorpe, Scotter, Kirton and Lincoln. It's very irregular and a number of journeys are part or wholly funded by either Lincolnshire County Council or North Lincolnshire Council.

The new timetable shows there will be Scunthorpe to Lincoln services every two hours Monday to Saturday with extra short Scunthorpe to Kirton services to give an hourly frequency on this section. No indication is given if the enhancement has received any council financial support.

It is also unclear if the new service will continue to operate via Scotter, or route via the Lakeside Retail Park instead. Scotter is only given as a timing point on Scunthorpe Colleges services, but the Burringham Road timing point given on all journeys may indicate all services will operate via Scotter. Furthermore all the short Scunthorpe to Scotter workings on service 101, designed to give Scunthorpe to Scotter a half hourly service combined with the 100 and 353, are to be withdrawn, meaning just a few Scunthorpe to Gainsborough journeys remain on the 101. This could mean the 103 is the replacement for these short workings, or it could mean Scunthorpe to Scotter is reduced to an hourly service.

Finally, the new timetable does not show the existing Friday and Saturday evening buses between Scunthorpe and Kirton. Have these been withdrawn, or just omitted since they run in North Lincolnshire only and it is a Lincolnshire County Council journey planner?

No doubt the Stagecoach timetable, when released, will reveal all.

Finally this is not the first time an hourly Scunthorpe to Kirton service has been tried. A few years ago Road Car tried an hourly service 358 via the Lakeside Retail Park. It didn't last long. Better luck this time Stagecoach.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

More new low floor double deckers for EYMS

After buying 20 new low floor double deckers this year, EYMS have now ordered another 10 at a cost of £1.75 million to convert all of it's main Hull routes to low floor status. It will mean that around 75% of the EYMS group fleet will be low floor. The new vehicles will be Volvo B9B's with Wight Eclipse Gemini 2 bodywork.

The main services to benefit will be the 151/152 group to Anlaby, Kirk Ella and Willerby (the 153, also part of this group, is usually low floor operated already) and the Hull to Hornsea services, though from what I see off these services, they are sometimes low floor operated currently.

However I see there is no reference to the 60/60A/61/62/64 group of services between Hull, Setting Dyke and Cottingham in the press release. While the 64 went low floor earlier in the year, the other services in this group seem to be anything goes, and some 62's are worked by 'out of town' depots such as Elloughton and Beverley. So will this go low floor as well, or is it not regarded as a main group of services?

Saturday 12 September 2009

909 back to Doncaster

It looks like the new 909 will be more than a local service between Brigg and Scunthorpe, but will also be extending to Doncaster, on a separate VOSA registration:

Registration Accepted
Starting Point: Scunthorpe
Finish Point: Doncaster
Service Number: 909
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 02-NOV-2009
Other Details: Monday to Saturday. Hourly. Hail and ride on sections where traffic and safety conditions allow

Tuesday 8 September 2009

New EYMS Service 107

EYMS have applied to VOSA to start a new service 107 on Sunday mornings. Pure speculation by me, but it could be an early morning services taking clubbers from the University nightclub back to The Lawns halls of residence - the University nightclub is closer to Inglemire Lane than the main University bus stop on Cottingham Road.

Registration Accepted by SN
Starting Point: Hull University
Finish Point: Cottingham (The Lawns Centre)
Via: Inglemire Lane & Cottingham Green
Service Number: 107
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 04-OCT-2009
Other Details: Sunday Morning - 2 Journeys from Hull University to The Lawns

It will be the only bus service down Inglemire Lane.

The 107 route number was last used for a Cottingham to Kingswood Monday to Saturday evening service that ended back in 2003.

Return of the 909

Something very interesting has appeared on VOSA today - the return of Stagecoach 909 from November, but only between Scunthorpe and Brigg:

o Registration Accepted
o Starting Point: Scunthorpe
o Finish Point: Brigg
o Via:
o Service Number: 909
o Service Type: Normal Stopping
o Effective Date: 02-NOV-2009
o Other Details: Monday to Saturday. Hourly. Hail and ride on sections where traffic and safety conditions allow

The previous 909 service ran from Hull and Grimsby to Sheffield via Humberside Airport, Brigg, Scunthorpe and Doncaster and was operated by Stagecoach Hull, Grimsby Cleethorpes and Chesterfield.

In what maybe a related move, the Stagecoach service 365 between Scunthorpe, Ashby, Scawby, Brigg and Wrawby is being cancelled, from 2nd November. The 365 operates roughly every two hours Monday to Saturday, with peak time extra services on weekdays.

Other Stagecoach Scunthorpe area changes due in November according to VOSA, are on service 356 to Crowle/Garthorpe, services 101/601 to Gainsborough, and Scunthorpe town services 33/34, which were reduced in frequency earlier this year.

And finally changes are due to service 103 between Scunthorpe and Lincoln - is the 353 getting renumbered?

Variation Accepted: Operating between Scunthorpe Bus Station and Lincoln given service number 103 effective from 02-Nov-2009. To amend Timetable.
Variation Accepted: Operating between Scunthorpe Bus Station and Hemswell given service number 103 effective from 02-Nov-2009. To amend Timetable.

A few bits and pieces

A few bits and pieces to tie up:

The latest EYMS newsletter says EYMS will no longer operate the Saturday services on routes 174/5 (Withernsea-Hull), as well as on route 173, which it was already known would be pasing to a new operator from this week. That new operator does appear to be Lords Coaches, and not Pearsons Coaches as had previously been mooted.

The new 933 service operated by East Coast Travel in Bridlington is a schools service taken over from EYMS according to a comment.

And in addition to the new 136 service, a new service 134 will operate twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursday from Skerne to Driffield. The operator will be EYMS, and replaces part of service 270. Thanks to a comment poster for this information.

Monday 7 September 2009

An information request

A while ago I saw this on VOSA:

o Registration Accepted by SN
o Starting Point: Bempton
o Finish Point: Bridlington
o Via: Buckton
o Service Number: 933
o Service Type: Normal Stopping
o Effective Date: 08-SEP-2009
o Other Details: Monday to Friday

I've not found this service on the traveline website. Does anyone know anymore about it? Is it a schools service or in competition with EYMS?

If you do have any information I would be grateful if you could post it as a comment on this blog post.

New Service 136: Bridlington-Skipsea-Driffield

Today (Monday 7th) sees a new service numbered 136 start between Bridlington and Driffield via Skipsea, Beeford and North Frodingham, operated by Phoenix Buses. There are 4 Driffield to Bridlington services, and three in the other direction, plus 1 Beeford to Driffield working, and two Bridlington to North Frodingham journeys. All journeys operate Monday to Saturdays and the timetable allows for shopping trips to both Bridlington and Driffield, plus commuting to/from Bridlington.

These links have most recently been provided by services 130 and 270, latterly operated by Manor Travel, and the new 136 service seems to provide a more simplier timetable. The EYMS 130 journeys between Hornsea, Skipsea and Bridlington continue unaltered, as does the remaining EYMS journey on service 270 from Driffield to Beeford at 1710 on weekdays.

I must admit this is not an area I am that familar with so if anyone has any further details or comments about these changes, please leave a comment.

Hessle Town Service Changes

From today (Monday 7th September), the Hessle Town Service, numbered 183 has a new route and timetable. It will now serve the Sainsbury's supermarket at Priory Park and the Acorn Way area of Hessle. The frequency remains half hourly Monday to Saturday mornings and early afternoons.

The 183 is operated by EYMS, and was inherited from Veolia earlier this year, though EYMS had operated it previously. As a side note the EYMS timetable front cover picture could maybe do with changing - the '183 Hessle Square' display looks to have been photoshopped on, and the location of the picture in Hull Cuty Centre isn't served by the 183.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

EYMS loose the Priory Park Park and Ride

The Hull Daily Mail has published an article saying it expects the new contract to operate Hull's Priory Park Park and Ride service (numbered 701) to be awarded to London based social enterprise, Hackney Community Transport, which trades as CT Plus. (This news was also posted on the East Yorkshire Buses Yahoo Group last week).

The Priory Park scheme opened in 2003 and it has been operated by EYMS under tender to Hull City Council since then. Hull City Council also funded the Walton Street scheme in Hull until earlier this year when EYMS took over the operation commercially after the council pulled the funding.

There already seems to be some local anger as to why Hull City Council are not supporting local businesses in the recession, though the council point out the need to balance quality and value for money.

Hackney Community Transport (HCT) operates in London, and also in West Yorkshire where it provides schools and AccessBus services for WYPTE. Their move into Hull gives the city a third operator of sufficient size to provide some serious competition for EYMS and Stagecoach, something lost when Veolia sold their Hull operations to EYMS earlier this year. I would guess HCT will be looking to scale up their Hull operations over time, through either schools, mobility, social services and/or local bus contracts.