Wednesday 21 October 2009

Stagecoach 94/366 changes - details

The expected changes to service 94 and 366 between Scunthorpe, Brigg and Lime Sidings have now been made public by Stagecoach. From 2nd November, the 94 will be split into two services; the 95 between Scunthorpe and Brigg, and the 94 between Brigg and Lime Sidings (Glentham on Saturdays). Though unless it is to avoid confusion for passengers in Scawby, I'm not sure what this acheives.

Anyway the new 95 seems to be largely the current 365 route between Scunthorpe and Brigg, operating via Ashby, Lakeside and Scawby (not sure about Sturton). Currently the 94 operates directly between Scunthorpe and Brigg, via just Lakeside. The remaining 94 between Brigg and Lime Sidings via Scawby, Sturton, Hibaldstow and Redbourne does not appear to have a changed route. Overall this new 95 route maintain links from Scawby to Ashby and from North Greetwell to Ashby and Scunthorpe, as well as providing a direct Scawby to Scunthorpe service (as opposed to the current 94 route via Brigg).

The new timetable for the 94/95 still offers the same number of services from Lime Sidings, Redbourne, Hibalsdstow and Sturton to Scunthorpe, though there is one less service a day to/from Brigg on schooldays.

As for Scawby, there is an extra late afternoon return service (1625 from Brigg/1735 from Scunthorpe) on service 95 only. The 1735 from Scunthorpe provides a peak time link currently provided by service 365. The morning peak service is provided by a diversion to new service 909 that also caters for college students in Scunthorpe. There is also an afternoon return on service 909 for college students, but this runs in college holidays as well as college days.

If you've followed all that well done. Basically Scawby keeps the current basic daytime service on route 94/95, with some new peak time extras on the 95 and 909, and looses the roughly two hourly 365. Overall a big service reduction.

However, to further complicate matters, the above only applies on weekdays. On Saturdays the one journey each way, starting in Glentham rather than Lime Sidings continues, operating as service 94 to Brigg and service 95 between Brigg and Scunthorpe. However the Saturday 95 does not serve Scawby, running direct from Brigg to Lakeside, though additionally operating via Ashby unlike now (the new Saturday 95 route is the same as the new 909 route).

So Scawby passengers either have to go via Brigg on the 94/95, or catch the 366. But the 366 doesn't go via Scawby ... well it will be from November. This Saturday service from Goxhill and Ulceby to Brigg and Scunthorpe currently operates directly via Lakeside between Brigg and Scunthorpe. Though from November it will be diverted via Scawby, Sturton and North Greetwell between Brigg and Lakeside - though unlike the new 95 it will not serve Ashby. The 366 will provide two return journeys to partially replace the 4 services provided by service 365 on Saturdays. The weekday 909 journeys via Scawby also appear to run on Saturdays.

What a complicated mess. Nothing like simple, easy to understand services. And just add extra confusion as yet there is no news item on the Stagecoach website about the 366 change, nor any confirmation of the 365 ending. Only if you search for the timetables do you find out about these.

Monday 19 October 2009

Stagecoach 94/366 Changes

With the introduction of new Stagecoach service 909 next month, and the associated withdrawal of service 365, the villages of Scawby, Sturton and Wrawby loose their main bus service to Scunthorpe. However there are some potentially interesting variations on the VOSA website today for services 94 (Scunthorpe-Brigg-Lime Sidings/Glentham) and 366 (Scunthorpe-Brigg-Ulceby-Goxhill):

Variation Accepted by SN: Operating between Scunthorpe Bus Station and Gainsthorpe given service number 94/95 effective from 02-Nov-2009. To amend Route and Timetable.
Variation Accepted by SN: Operating between Scunthorpe and Goxhill given service number 366 effective from 02-Nov-2009. To amend Route and Timetable.

The changes could be minor, but these two services provide the only other daytime links from Wrawby (366, Saturdays Only), Scawby (94) and Sturton (94) to Scunthorpe. So maybe they will see an enhancement to compensate for the loss of the 365?

Saturday 3 October 2009

X62 October Changes

Following the July changes to Stagecoach service X62 between Hull, Brough, Goole and Leeds, that aimed to provide a better spread of journeys, further changes will occur from Monday 19th October. The Traveline East Midlands website has a new timetable that shows an extra weekday journey, 2 extra Saturday journeys, and timetable changes every day of the week.

Current weekday timetable
Hull D. 0640 0940 1140 1340 1640
Leeds D. 0830 1130 1330 1530 1830
New weekday timetable
Hull D. 0630 0830 1030 1230 1430 1630
Leeds D. 0830 1030 1230 1430 1630 1830

Current Saturday timetable
Hull D. 0640 0940 1140 1340 1540 1740
Leeds D. 0830 1130 1330 1530 1730 1930
New Saturday timetable
Hull D. 0630 0830 0930 1030 1230 1330 1430 1630
Leeds D. 0830 1030 1130 1230 1430 1530 1630 1830

Current Sunday timetable
Hull D. 1020 1445
Leeds D. 1205 1630
New Sunday timetable
Hull D. 1020 1520
Leeds D. 1210 1710

As can be seen the weekday service is now two hourly throughout the day. The Saturday service is the same, but with the addition of two extra round trips for Saturday shoppers. The late Saturday departure from Leeds at 1930 is brought forward an hour, but the early Hull commuter departure in the morning remains, despite the lack of an afternoon peak return service (1630 is early, 1830 is late).

Finally, maybe this timetable change will see the introduction of the coaches announced with the July change?

See also this post on the history off the X62.

The new 909 - Full Details

The timetable for the new Stagecoach service 909 between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Brigg is now on the traveline east midlands website. The basics are an hourly service Monday to Saturday daytimes, with the Scunthorpe-Doncaster part of the route operating until mid-evening (last departure from Doncaster at 2035).

As for the route, the new 909 will operate from Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange via the Lakeside outlet shoping village before going up the M18, and then the A18 from Thorne. It will serve Gunness and Scunthorpe Tesco Extra before arriving in Scunthorpe. Towards Brigg the service will serve Ashby, Scunthorpe's Lakeside Retail Park before operating directly to Brigg via the A18 (except a college service that will serve Scawby).

Therefore Scawby and Sturton will loose their main bus service to Brigg and Scunthorpe. This is the 365 which is
being withdrawn at the same time as the 909 starts in November. The 365 operates roughly two hourly with peak journeys, but Scawby and Sturton will be left with the rather basic service 94 that has no peak time journeys. (They also have a Dents Coaches Friday only service to Lincoln and a PC Coaches service 160 service to Brigg on a Thursday, plus some evening journeys on Hornsby Travel service 4 divert to Scawby and Sturton).

Wrawby also looses out - with the 365 being withdrawn, it only has a Scunthorpe link on a Saturday and college days from November, though the 68 Wolds Villager service plus the Stagecoach 450 retain frequent links into Brigg (plus the three day a week Hornsby Travel 91 service).

But what villages loose out on is Brigg's gain. The new 909 provides a much faster link into Scunthorpe than either the 365 offered, or Hornsby Travel's service 4, which operates via Broughton, offers. And the 909's hourly frequency is much better than the 365 it replaces. Indeed Hornsby will now have some serious competition to contend with.

While the Brigg end of the route looks to be an attempt to replace what was probably a marginal commercial service (the 365) into an attractive 'express' service, the Doncaster part of the route is new. It provides new links from Scunthorpe to Doncaster's Lakeside, while it will also compete with the train between Scunthorpe and Doncaster. Though as has been mentioned on the South Yorkshire Transport Forum, wouldn't the best time to have launched this service have been during the recent rail blockade when the train service between Scunthorpe and Doncaster was bustituted?

And for those wondering why the high route number, 909, well this new service isn't all that new. From 1994 to (i think) 2003, Stagecoach ran a 909 between Hull, Grimsby, Humberside Airport, Brigg, Scunthorpe, Doncaster, Meadowhall and Sheffield. The Hull to Grimsby sections survives, as the Humber Flyer, and now we have the Brigg to Doncaster section restored. However the old 909 didn't serve Ashby and it also used the M180 between Junctions 1 and 2, unlike the new 909 that will use the A18 instead.

If the new 909 is a success, would an extension to Humberside Airport, to link up with the Humber Flyer be out of the question?

And one question this does raise is, with the 909 not serving Kirmington, Melton Ross and Barnetby, will there be a replacement bus from these places to the Scunthorpe Colleges, a link currently provided by the 365?

Unless you live in Scawby, Sturton or Wrawby the new 909 is great news, and it is nice to see Stagecoach trying to provide a new Doncaster link, and a better Brigg service. Though as often can happen with service changes there are losers as well as winners.

New service 103 - more details

As a follow up to this previous post on the new 103 service between Scunthorpe, Kirton and Lincoln, replacing current service 353, the traveline east midlands website now has a map of the new route,which indicates services will operate directly from Messingham to Kirton, avoiding Scotter (apart from a college service). With the withdrawal of many service 101 journeys in November, this means Messingham retains two buses an hour to Scunthorpe (combined with hourly service 100) but Scotter will not.

The traveline east midlands timetable also does not show the current Friday and Saturday evening Scunthorpe to Kirton service, which therefore I guess is withdrawn?

Improved service 356

Details of the new timetable for Stagecoach service 356 between Scunthorpe, Crowle, Luddington and Garthorpe have been released on the traveline east midlands website. The current irregular service has been replaced with a more clockface two hourly service, though with some longer gaps. All journeys, except the Friday/Saturday evening service, now serve Garthorpe (currently many terminate at Luddington). Overall the new timetable seems to be an improvement and will hopefully attract extra passengers to this service.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Increased council subsidy for Normanby Enterprise Park Services

Back in July I posted about the renewal of the de minimis funding by North Lincolnshire Council for certain weekday daytime extensions of Hornsby Travel service 4 between Brigg to Scunthorpe up to the Normaby Enterprise Park. At the time it was noted these services were seeing declining use.

That decline is continuing, meaning falling revenue for Hornsby Travel. In addition they are also facing rising costs and as such have increased the price they will operate the journeys for from £41.55 to £60 a day from November. Hornsby also cite that the extensions prevent the operation of a clockface timetable between Scunthorpe and Brigg at certain times of the day as another reason for the price increase (Hornsby must think this looses them revenue).

Tendering these journeys in the open market has been dismissed by the council as unlikely to cite much operator interest, and the fact they operate through to/from Brigg via Broughton and Ashby and regarded as 'helpful to users'.

With the journeys regarded as important to provide access to jobs, North Lincolnshire Council have decided to accept Hornsby Travel's price increase to £60 a day and agreed to fund the journeys until March 2011, but with a review in March 2010. Extra publicity will also be carried out to try and attract extra users.

Click here to read the full council report.

Low Floor Buses on the 37/38 in Scunthorpe

Like many parts of Scunthorpe, the Foxhills, Berkeley and Crosby areas have seen many changes and reductions to their town services in recent years. Curently Stagecoach provide these areas with roughly hourly Monday to Saturday daytime services on routes 37 and 38, though with some afternoon gaps. These are operated on a commercial basis by Stagecoach, though they are marginal, and therefore operated with high floor double deckers and linked to school and college services that require double deck capacity.

This has led to local residents to call for low floor buses to be used on the services, though Stagecoach have been unable to regularly allocate such a vehicle due to there being no low floor double deckers being based at Scunthorpe, and the services not being able to financially support an investment in such a vehicle.

Now North Lincolnshire Council are to provide Section 106 Grant funding of £7500 to enable low floor operation of most journeys on services 37 and 38 (the exception being two services linked directly to schools/college services). This will involve the replacement of an older double deck bus in the Scunthorpe fleet with an additional low floor vehicle.

A full council report on the situation can be read by clicking here.

Nice to see a sensible solution being found to improve marginal services.

350 Humber Fastcat Qualifying Agreement

Not that it has stopped a co-ordinated timetable and relaunch back in March, but North Lincolnshire Council have agreed to a qualifying agreement which legally allows Stagecoach and EYMS to co-ordinate with each other to timetable their journeys on route 350 (Hull-Barton-Scunthorpe).

One interesting item in the report though is a 30% rise in passenger numbers on the 350 since the March relaunch.