Saturday, 26 December 2009

Review 2009: Hull Park and Ride

During 2009, Hull's two park and ride schemes have been one of the biggest news transport stories in the region.

At the start of the year it was Hull's original Walton Street scheme. The Walton Street site is unusual for a park and ride scheme as it is rather close to the city centre. In January Hull City Council announced plans to close the scheme as part of cost cutting measures. The service was operated by Veolia. In April, shortly after EYMS took over Veolia's Hull operation they stepped in to take over the service commercially for a trial period. As of December EYMS continue operation of the service; I would expect the trial peiod to be over by now so hopefully it is performing well for them and it's longer term future is secure.

Later in the year the newer Priory Park scheme, with purpose built facilities, made the news. Since it opened in 2003 it had been operated by EYMS under contract to Hull City Council. However in September it emerged that following a tender process the contract has been awarded to CT Plus, part of London based Hackney Community Transport. They are a new operator to East Yorkshire, though do have operations in West Yorkshire.

This decision caused a lot of local outrage. In times of recession especially, some could not understand why the contract was awarded to an 'outside' operation as opposed to a local company. The decision came under review and scruitiny but it appears that the decision stands and a VOSA entry indicates an early February operator changeover.

So EYMS started the year with the Priory Park scheme and ended the year with the Walton Street scheme. Hopefully with the Walton Street scheme being operated commercially for a while now, and the new Priory Park scheme contract seemingly having been finalised, Hull's Park and Ride schemes will enjoy a less newsworthy year.

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