Friday 22 January 2010

Some other EYMS Hull service changes

Overshadowed by other changes, services 56/57 (Longhill-Hull-Hessle), 66 (Hull-Hessle), 105 (Hull-Cottingham) and 151/2/3 (Hull-Anlaby-Willerby/North Ferriby) shall see revised timetables from 7th February. There will be extra daytime journeys between Longhill and Hull City Centre.

Introducing Twenty-Ten

Last month I posted about EYMS service changes in the Willerby and Cottingham area. Timetables have been released, with no major differences to my original post.

Worth noting is that the 64 shall continue to extend from Castle Hill Hospital to Willerby in the evenings (daily) to maintain evening Willerby to Cottingham links not provided by the 115/154. The Willerby services shall be numbered 64C, and continue to operate back into Hull via WIllerby Road, as at present, though as a 44C rather than the current 47. A sensible arrangement for relatively quiet time off day.

Also two morning peak journeys on service 44 from Hull to Willerby shall operate as service 44A via Willerby Parkway; the 35 will not serve Willerby Parkway at these times.

The new network has been branded Twenty-Ten. This is based around the core services in the network operating every 20 minutes, Monday to Saturday daytimes. For key places, such as Cottingham and Willerby, two services combine to offer a 10 minute frequency into Hull City Centre. A nice piece of marketing in my opinion.

EYMS Twenty-Ten guide.

Who will takeover the 41 and 109?

As previously reported, Hull City Council has agreed to continue to fund operation of services 1C and 41. Service 1C (Sibelius Road-Hull-Kingswood) will continue to be operated by EYMS, but not the 41 (Hull-Greatfield-Bilton Grange) from 7th February onwards. Sadly from a passenger perspective they do not say who the new operator will be. The same also applies to East Riding of Yorkshire Council contracted route 109 (Bricknell Estate-Cottingham), which will continue to operate, despite also being under threat.

So if anyone knows the new operators, please leave a comment. Stagecoach maybe? But nothing on their website as off 11.30 on Friday 22nd. CT Plus? But would anyone award them a contract after the park and ride debacle? Or an independent - Lords Coaches? Ellie Rose? Jim Bell?

EYMS will cease to operate Priory Park Park and Ride from 1st February

As also mentioned in a comment, EYMS have now confirmed from Monday 1st February they will no longer operate the Priory Park Park and Ride. CT Plus are the new operator ... if they are ready. If they are not, then who knows?

Tuesday 19 January 2010

The Priory Park Park and Ride Saga

After the controversial award of the Priory Park Park and Ride Contract to CT Plus, they may now be unable to takeover the contract on the 1st of February as scheduled, and EYMS may have to continue operation until CT Plus are ready to takeover.

The reason for this - potential late delivery of CT Plus's new buses for the operation. But surely CT Plus could rent in some vehicles temporarily? Is there another reason for the possible delay?

Saturday 16 January 2010

Hull City Council to save 1C and 41

A small piece in today's Hull Daily Mail says Hull City Council will step into fund EYMS commercially operated services 1C and 41, due for withdrawal next month. Though where the money will come from remains to be seen. More information as and when known.

Friday 15 January 2010

New Year, New Services Under Threat

Happy New Year ... or maybe not so happy as the issue of concessionary travel hits the news again, with four Stagecoach operated services in North Lincolnshire under threat from 29th March after plans from North Lincolnshire Council to cut reimbursement rates for operators. The four services are operated under contract to North Lincolnshire Council and Stagecoach claims they will loose £75,000 compared to last year if it continued operation with the proposed new reimbursement rates.

The services affected are the:
10: Scunthorpe local service, hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes
150: East Halton-North Killingholme-Immingham-Grimsby, two return journeys Wednesday and Friday, plus a one-way service from East Halton 5 days a week
327: Scunthorpe to Dragonby, Fridays only
450: Barton to Brigg, 5 weekday services and 3 on Saturdays

North Lincolnshire Council will either have to increase it's proposed reimbursement rate or retender the services. However any retender would likely result in a higher cost than at present considering the new reimbursement rate. Therefore unless any extra funding is found, some cutbacks have to be considered.

Cutbacks will mean hard decisions, particularly as these are the only bus services for various villages and some parts of Scunthorpe. The 10 uniquely serves Lilac Avenue, Sandhouse Crescent, Harley Road, Bellingham Road Dudley Road and Fulbeck Road in Frodingham and Ashby. Some of these areas have other services nearby, but some do not. One option could be a reduced frequency and an attempted interworking with other low frequency services in Scunthorpe such as the 11, 16 or 17, but without knowing the current diagrams it's impossible to say how practical this idea would be.

The 150 is the only fixed bus service for North Killingholme; East Halton also has a Thursday service to Barton (253). The 150 also serves South Killingholme and Habrough but both of these benefited from the service 45 changes last year. Maybe a reduction in operating days to one day a week, and/or reduction to a single return journey could be an option to reduce costs. Habrough could possibly be omitted now it has the hourly 45H, and maybe a diversion via bus-less Stallingborough Village introduced?

The 327 is also the only bus service for the village it serves; Dragonby. Residents can walk to the A1077 and catch the 350 Humber Fastcat as an alternative, but for OAP's this maybe easier said than done.

The 450 is potentially the biggest issue here; it carries a large number of school students, mainly from Barton, to school and sixth form in Brigg - there is a reason why a double decker is used on the service. However the rest of the day, and on Saturdays and School Holidays, it is rather empty. The 450 is also the only bus service for the 'low villages' of Horkstow, Saxby, Bonby and Worlaby (except for the 640 to Scunthorpe Colleges and a Tesco free bus).

Personally I would question the need for a six day a week service considering the low usage. So maybe a potential cutback possible here. Would it be cheaper to split the schools service from the rest of the service, which could then possibly be reduced to provide a shopping link to Brigg say 2 or 3 days a week, and a similar link to Barton 1 or 2 days a week? It's been over 18 months since I regularly used this service, but based on usage at the time, such a proposal would be better suited to demand.

The schools element is one of the most concerning here since it could force some students to have to change schools. However Barton, Barrow, Goxhill and South Ferriby are out of catchment for the Brigg schools and North Lincolnshire Council have no obligation to provide transport. Hopefully if the council withdrew the schools service, another operator would consider providing a commercial service.

I've posted some ideas of how costs could be cut without totally cancelling services, but it will be for North Lincolnshire Council to take some big and hard decisions in the coming weeks.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Review 2009: The Year's Other Big News

I've already looked back at the year for bus services in Barton and Immingham, Hull's Park and Ride Services and the Humber Flyer, plus Veolia leaving Hull and the summer Scunthorpe to Doncaster rail blockade. To finish up here is a look back at some of 2009's other big transport news in the region.

Stagecoach's X62 (Hull to Leeds) saw two timetable changes during 2009. It started the year with a timetable mainly designed for shoppers, but in July went to a largely two hourly pattern throughout the day. Then in October the three-hour long gaps were filled, and extra Saturday services added. The service is now also regularly low floor operated after the transfer of three Volvo B7TL double decker's from Lincoln.

The Spring saw Stagecoach launch Megabus Plus, a coach service from Hull and Scunthorpe to East Midlands Parkway for train connections to London St Pancras. Meanwhile in March, HM The Queen officially opened Paragon Interchange.

In April Stagecoach cut Saturday frequencies in Hull, cut the City Circle frequency in half and ended it's all-night Friday and Saturday night services, but did double frequency on East Hull routes 52 and 53. Over in Grimsby, the 16 went Lo-Zone and routes 2 and 12 were brought back as part of wider service changes and in some parts, cuts.

July service changes by Stagecoach Hull in Greatfield and Bilton Grange were designed to simplify the network and combat falling usage. But at October's Hull Bus Forum those that 'lost out' made their anger very clear.

July also brought good news after the government decided to reject the Humber Bridge Board's application to raise tolls. As welcome as it was, the decision seems like a one-off, and doesn't solve any long term issues - so something to watch in the next few years.

Even more developments in July saw Market Weighton have it's bus service to York doubled to operate half hourly.

November saw Stagecoach reintroduce part of the 909 service between Brigg, Scunthorpe and Doncaster. Running hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes it was great news for many, but for Wrawby, Scawby and Sturton not so after the 365 service to these villages was axed. Also notable in the package of service changes was the relaunch of the 353 from Scunthorpe to Lincoln as the 103, with a much improved two hourly frequency with extra short journeys to give Kirton an hourly Scunthorpe link.

The year also saw Lords Coaches take on local service work; the subsidised Saturday journeys on the 173-175 group of services between Hull and Withernsea.

On the rails, some Class 170 turbostars started being used by TransPennine Express to Cleethorpes in September, while in December the Hull to Scarborough route saw improved Sunday and evening peak services.

A very busy year indeed!