Saturday, 26 December 2009

Review 2009: Humber Flyer

Yet again the Hull to North East Lincolnshire bus service made the news in 2009. At the start of the year it operated from Hull to New Waltham via Humberside Airport, Laceby, Grimsby and Cleethorpes as service X1.

In April the service was relaunched as the Humber Flyer. It no longer operated beyond Cleethropes, and had a new route via Hainton Avenue and Weelsby Road in Grimsby before extending to Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes. Also the route in Hull was changed to operate down Boothferry and Anlaby Roads in Hull rather than the Clive Sullivan Way. The service was also 'technically' split into two at Humberside Airport, but in reality remained the previous through service.

Overall the relaunch was a positive move, with a new brand, and newly refreshed Volvo B10B/Wright buses transferred onto the route. There was a even a new mini website launched to promote the route.

However in November the troubles of the past resurfaced again and the threat of withdrawal has resurfaced. Buses over the Humber Bridge receive subsidies to partially cover the cost of bridge tolls, but the subsidies for the Humber Flyer are in doubt after the 4 contributors - Hull City Council, Humberside Airport and North and North East Lincolnshire Council's have not provided funding for 2009/10. Without this subsidy, Stagecoach claim the service is not viable due to it's high mileage and the fact that even with subsidy, the bridge tolls remain high. The comments on the original blog on this topic add extra information to the original post.

Some hope has been provided after North East Lincolnshire councillors passed a motion for their council to commit to it's share of the subsidy for the next three years. This is an encouraging step to save this very important, and politically sensitive, local link.

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