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!

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