Tuesday 30 March 2010

Hutchinsons takeover 488 to Goole

I'm sure everyone has heard of the saying about waiting for a bus and two turn up at once. Well we wait for a Hutchinson's service into East Yorkshire, and two come at once. In addition to the new 133, Hutchinson's have registered a Wednesdays only service 488 from Hut Green to Goole with VOSA, operating Wednesdays only from week commencing 18th April.

The 488 is currently operated by Shaws Coaches, and provides a shopping link from villages including Hensall and Gowdall to Goole, via Snaith.

New Driffield to Malton Summer Service

A registration is now showing on the VOSA website for a new service 133 between Driffield and Malton, to be operated by North Yorkshire independent Hutchinsons. The service will operate at weekends and Bank Holidays. Confusingly the effective date is 22nd May but the other details section says it will operate from Easter Saturday until 26th September.

Sunday 28 March 2010

184 Swanland to Hessle: Further Information

Further to my earlier post about a new EYMS Swanland to Hessle service a commenter has directed me to the Swanland Village website which contains further information about it.

The service is being funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council following representations by both North Ferriby and Swanland Parish Councils. Starting on 10th May it will be reviewed after six months. There is one departure each way; from Swanland at 0930 and Hessle at 1200. Journey time is 25 minutes operating via North Ferriby.

The Swanland Village website also reveals unhappiness about retimings to service 153 made last month.

Friday 26 March 2010

Hull City Circle (Service 10) May Changes

The VOSA website todays has details that from Tuesday 4th May Stagecoach's Hull City Circular, service 10, will have a new route and timetable. The route was originally cancelled from next Monday, but has been reregistered and will continue to the current route and timetable until the change in May.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Service 910 to Garthorpe

Earlier this month I posted that the 909 was being reduced to three journeys only to/from Doncaster with a new service 910 maintaining a roughly hourly Brigg to Scunthorpe services. Now Stagecoach have released their timetable showing that service 910 will extend to Crowle and Garthorpe, incorporating service 356. This will retain the current roughly two hourly service between Scunthorpe, Crowle and Garthorpe and along with the 909 maintain an hourly Stagecoach service between Brigg, Scunthorpe, Gunness and Althorpe.

Who would have thought you could travel between Brigg and Garthorpe on the same service! Seriously while it is a shame to see the 909 reduced, at least Stagecoach have taken the opportunity to create some new through links.

Grimsby services 13/14 notes

To update this earlier post, from the 5th April Stagecoach services 13/14 in Grimsby and Cleethorpes will remain every 10 minutes on weekday daytimes. The frequency reduction to every 15 minutes on Saturdays still appears to be happenning however. Also daily daytime services will now Cleethorpes Sea Road again.

The 45B and 45H aren't quite dead yet!

Following on from my post last week about the new arrangement for the 45 group of services, the new Stagecoach timetable reveals some corrections.

The new core half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime Grimsby to South Killingholme service will be numbered as service 45, not 45K. However the 45B and 45H are not dead yet. The 45H remains a weekday peak time service from Habrough, and also Ulceby, to Grimsby. The peak time link from Habrough has existed for a number of years, though the extension to Ulceby is new. The 45B must have developed some commuter traffic from Ulceby in the past few months.

While the 45H makes sense, the remaining 45B is more curious. There will be one departure at 1740 on weekdays. However there is no morning inbound service for commuters on either the 45B or 250. So unless the plan is to take home some late Grimsby shoppers this journey seems rather strange.

New Sunday service to Grange Estate, Grimsby

From Sunday 5th April Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes will introduce a new hourly Sunday daytime service to the Grange Estate in Grimsby on service 7. The rest off route 7 between Grimsby and North Sea Lane remains Monday to Saturday only.

The Humber Flyer via Barton

From Tuesday 6th April, Stagecoach's Humber Flyer (recently saved again) between Hull, Humberside Airport, Grimsby and Cleethorpes will be diverted via Barton. This gives Barton a 3rd hourly bus to Hull (it was just 1 bus an hour until a year ago), retains the hourly link to Grimsby lost when the 45B is axed, and creates new bus links to Humberside Airport, Grimsby College and Cleethorpes.

As a Bartonian who travels to Hull a lot by bus, and who sometimes visits Humberside Airport (don't forget www.freewebs.com/airhumberside ) I should be happy about this. But it appears a very curious change to the Humber Flyer.

On one hand it could add extra passengers to what it obviously a struggling route. The section between Melton Ross and the Humber Bridge is a long one with no bus stops, and now the Humber Flyer has the chance to pick up custom in Barton, including the few passengers who may have used the 45B from Barton to Grimsby. Some new custom could also be attracted. And by serving another town, politically the route becomes even more important.

However my fears are twofold. Firstly the diversion into Barton does slightly increase the journey time - it's almost two hours from Hull to Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes. This could put some people off. Not those that need to travel, possibly to work, but say a family with young children wanting to go to Pleasure Island. A two hour bus journey is far from ideal. The service has had to become a partly local service to try and make it more financially viable, but the balance away from being an express service could swing too far.

And is the diversion into Barton worth it? Interestingly the Stagecoach announcement makes no mention that the diversion will provide extra links between Barton and Hull, just the links to the airport and North East Lincolnshire. Now there will probably be some limited passengers on these flows, such as maybe a few Grimsby College students, or OAP's who can't travel free on the train. But are these flows enough to make the diversion worthwhile, or will the diversion have to rely on Hull travellers?

This leads onto my second concern. I am concerned about the effect on the Humber Fastcat (350). Since it's relaunch and frequency increase almost a year ago, passenger levels do seem to have increased. However while some services are almost full, others are rather empty. While a quiet late afternoon service into Hull is to be expected, overall it does mean the average loads across the bridge don't seem spectacular from my observations. So adding a third hourly service between Hull and Barton could only serve to reduce average loads on the Fastcat and potentially threaten the viability of the current half hourly frequency.

Having said that the Humber Flyer is quite well timed to compliment the Humber Fastcat in both directions apart from at peak times (there are now two buses from Hull to Barton at 0725, and two from Barton to Hull at 1730 and 1830). The Humber Flyer also appears not to serve Barton Market Place, and uses a stand some distance away from the Fastcat stand in Hull Interchange. This will partially mitigate the effect on the Humber Fastcat. Though if these measures do that and the Barton diversion has to rely on North East Lincolnshire traffic, is it worth doing, as discussed above?

The best thing to do will be to see what happens next month. If the Barton diversion is well customised by passengers to Grimsby and Cleethorpes and/or helps grow the market to Hull, then great. But if not then I hope Stagecoach will remove the diversion quickly to ensure the Humber Fastcat remains viable.

Finally a couple of side notes - I guess the service 1 registered between Grimsby and Keelby will be cancelled? And the first morning bus from Grimsby to Hull will not serve Barton - yet on Saturdays at least if it did it could restore the early morning bus to Hull axed in 2006.

The new 250 timetable

The drip feed of information with regards to the Stagecoach April service changes on the South Bank continues. Now the new service 250 timetable between Barton, Immingham and Grimsby is available on the Traveline East Midlands website. The 250 will be reintroduced to replace the 45B, which had replaced the 250 last September. The new timetable will commence on Tuesday 6th April.

The new 250 timetable provides three service a day between Barton and Grimsby Monday to Saturday, along with 1 short journey from Barton to Ulceby, and 2 short journeys from Ulceby to Barton. The services are well spread out to maintain basic links for shopping etc in Barton and Grimsby, and a basic peak service to /from Barton remains. Although the peak service appears not to serve Barrow Haven, New Holland and Goxhill as it currently does. If this is the case, the last bus from Barton to New Holland and Goxhill will be just after 4pm (though there is also the train).

The service appears to be interworked with service 450 between Barton and Brigg. This was once common place but under the 45B was limited to just one weekday service each way, with a change of bus being required at all other times.

While the new 250 timetable appears to be adequate, it is the worst service between Barton and Grimsby via Ulceby for a number of years. The hourly 45B seems to have been too much and before it was introduced last year the 250 ran every two hours or so. Going to be before the 2006 cutbacks the 150 and 250 combined operated hourly between Barton and Grimsby; the 250 via Ulceby being the route taken by most services. Prior to that I seem to recall there was the 21 and 250, which I think was about every two hours.

And what must have been at least 10 years ago, the X21 used to provide a service every two hours or so on the corridor, but starting in Hull and extending through to Cleethorpes. Plus the 21 providing a few extra journeys.

Villager Changes in May

From 17th May, the 260 'Villager' service between Barton, Barrow, New Holland and Goxhill will be revised on Thursdays and Fridays according to a timetable on the Traveline East Midlands website. The service is operated directly by North Lincolnshire Council.

The Friday service appears to revert to the Monday to Wednesday timetable (which is unaltered), with the extensions to Victoria House in Barton dropped. These were introduced before the Barton Town Service was converted to low floor operation, and as I think the town service serves Victoria House, the extensions to the Villager would appear to be no longer required.

However the Thursday morning service is revised to include East Halton, which would appear to be the replacement for service 253 between East Halton and Barton. There is an overall reduction of one round trip on Thursday mornings, and the timetable is different to the rest of the week, but it does replace the 253 without needing extra resources. And at a time with pressure on the North Lincolnshire Council bus budget, such measures need to be taken.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Stagecoach Scunthorpe Area Easter 2010

In the Scunthorpe area, Stagecoach will operate services as follows this Easter:

Good Friday - normal Friday service
Easter Saturday/Sunday - normal services
Easter Monday - Sunday service

Stagecoach Hull Service Changes March 2010

From 29th March 2010, Stagecoach Hull will make minor alterations to services 38 and 38A between Hull, Garden Village and Bransholme. Service 38, and service 38A towards Hull will now stop at Foredyke Pub rather than the Shopping Centre at North Point in Bransholme. Also the 1715 departure from Hull on service 38A appears to be dropped on a Saturday.

Positive changes in East Hull as the 41/42 to Greatfield will be operated by low floor buses (displaced Dennis Dart SLF/ALX 200 from the 1/2?) while the Friday and Saturday evening service 52C to Salthouse Road will be replaced by an hourly Friday and Saturday evening service on routes 52 and 53, which will also gain a Sunday daytime service.

Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes Easter 2010

Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes services will operate as follows this Easter:

Good Friday - Sunday service except on services 3, 25, 51, 150 and Humber Flyer which will operate a normal Friday service. On the Grimsby-Immingham-Barton corridor a Saturday service will operate on service 45B alongside a Sunday service on route 46.
Easter Saturday - normal service
Easter Sunday - normal service
Easter Monday - normal service to the new timetables being introduced this weekend

Stagecoach Hull Easter 2010

This is nice and simple!

Good Friday - Sunday service except the Humber Fastcat (350) and Humber Flyer which will operate a normal Friday service
Easter Saturday and Sunday - normal services
Easter Monday - Sunday service on all routes

Friday 19 March 2010

Johnsons Service 253 - East Halton to Barton

NL Johnson have registerted with VOSA to cancel the Thursdays only East Halton to Barton service 253 from 13th May. I am unsure if this is a tendered service or commercial operation.

The 253 was introduced a short while after the 2006 cutbacks by North Lincolnshire Council to tendered bus services. Until September 2006 the 150 ran between Barton, East Halton and Grimsby 6 days a week, however it was then cut back to link East Halton and Grimsby only, removing the link from East Halton to Barton. A few months later (late 2006, early 2007?) the current 253 was started to restore link for East Halton shoppers to Barton once a week.

Is this related to East Halton's enhanced service to Grimsby from April, or unconnected? And will the 253 continue?

Enhanced 150 from April

It would appear that there are winners as well as losers in the April service changes as service 150 from East Halton to Grimsby changes from a mostly Wednesday and Friday only service to operate Monday to Friday with a new timetable. I am guessing the main reason for this enhancement is to replace the 45H to Habrough. Currently Habrough has an hourly service (with some gaps on weekday afternoons) Monday to Saturday to Immingham and Grimsby.

(Source, Traveline East Midlands website)

Thursday 18 March 2010

Stagecoach South Bank April Service Changes update

A few further updates:
  • The new timetable for the 450 Barton to Brigg is now on the Traveline East Midlands site. The service has been retimed to irregular intervals but with the exception of the weekday evening peak service all current journeys remain. Curiously the VOSA registration shows the 450 as operating through to Ulceby but the Traveline site doesn't show this.
  • The 10, 150 and 327 has also been reregistered by VOSA. Along with the 450 their future had been at risk until earlier this month
  • Looks like the 250 between Grimsby and Barton will return acording to the VOSA website. The would fit in with the 45 group of services appearing to no longer operate beyond South Killingholme as posted earlier in the week
  • The 30 in Scunthorpe is axed - introduced last year it operates from the colleges in Scunthorpe to Scunthorpe Bus Station in the afternoon

EYMS Easter Bus Services

This Easter EYMS will run it's services as follows:

Good Friday service operate to a Sunday timetable except the 350 Humber Fastcat and Goole Town Services which will run to a weekday timetable.

Normal services Easter Saturday and Sunday with Sunday services on Easter Monday

(Please note some Scarborough and District Services are different)

Wednesday 17 March 2010

New Swanland to Hessle service

A new registration has appared on the VOSA website from EYMS for a new Monday to Saturday service 184 between Swanland Main Street and Hessle Square from 10th May. It will be a normal stopping service.

I wonder if this is another new shopping service, like the Ferriby-Beverley and Hedon-Beverley services introduced last year?

(I would copy and paste the registration but for some reason my computer won't let me do it today).

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Orange Stagecoach Volvo's

From my personal sightings and information on the Stagecoach East Midlands Yahoo group three Volvo's at Stagecoach's Scunthorpe depot, two Paladin bodied examples and 1 Volvo B10M/Alexander (20414) have been repainted in allover orange - the same orange as used on the Humber Fastcat Livery. One of the Paladin's was in use on the 350 Humber Fastcat yesterday, and 20414 has been in use on the route today. Also a Dennis Dart SLF/East Lancs Spryte has been in use on the 350 both yesterday and today.

So this raises two questions - why has only one out of the four Scunthorpe Depot MAN/Enviro 300's bought to operate the 350 been in use on the service so far this week? And why do Scunthorpe depot now have three step entrance Volvo's in orange livery?

As a side note worth pointing out that Hull's 2 MAN/Enviro 300's are operating as normal on the 350 this week, and that Hull will be seeing a lot more MAN/Enviro's soon as new examples takeover the 1/2 Boothferry Estate routes.

Monday 15 March 2010

Stagecoach April Changes - Grimsby Area and 909

Some of the Stagecoach changes in the Grimsby area from April 5th/6th (Easter weekend) are now showing on the traveline east midlands site. Not all changes appear to be loaded onto the site yet so probably best not to draw any conclusions until the full details are released though at this stage it would seem many of the changes are cutbacks.

A new service 1 will operate generally hourly between Grimsby, Laceby and Keelby and Monday to Saturday daytimes.

There appear to be some changes to intermdiate times on services 9 and 9A between Cleethorpes and Waltham, while evening journeys will operate slightly later and the Sunday daytime service switches from service 9 via Freeman Street to operate as a service 9A via Tesco on Victoria Street and the Stagecoach depot instead.

Services 13 and 14 between Bradley CrossRoads, Grimsby and Cleethorpes will be reduced from every 10 minutes in the daytime to every 12 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on Saturdays.

Service 16 between Wybers Wood and Grimsby appears to have it's weekday frequency reduced from every 12 to every 15 minutes.

The 45 group of services is showing as being principally a half hourly 45K between Grimsby, Immingham and South Killingholme, supplemented by some 45M's and 46's which appear largely unchanged. 45B's to Barton and 45H's to Habrough are showing as cancelled at the moment.

The 150 and 450 are showing as cancelled in their entireity still, despite last week's news, which makes me think further updates will be made to the information on the Traveline East Midlands site. Also despite the new service 1 showing, the Humber Flyer appears unchanged as off the time off writing.

Also showing are major changes the 909. The Scunthorpe to Doncaster part of the service appears to be reduced to just three journeys a day from the current hourly frequency. On the Brigg end roughly hourly services appear to continue, though some services are showing as new service 910. (The 910 sort off isn't new, as it operated between Hull and Grimsby in the old 909 days, and remained for a while after as a Summer Sunday Hull to Cleethorpes service. However it never served Scunthorpe or Brigg).

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Praise for EYMS Staff

EYMS have published some comments from customers about their staff on their website.

Monday 8 March 2010

North Lincolnshire Bus Cuts not hapenning

More good news, the potential threat to 4 bus services operated by Stagecoach under contract to North Lincolnshire Council has been lifted after a solution was agreed - sadly the online article on this does not elaborate further. Stagecoach had been unhappy about planned reduction in reimbursement levels for concessionary fares.

The services under threat were:
10 - a Scunthorpe Town Service
150 - East Halton to Grimsby
327 - Dragonby to Scunthorpe
450 - Barton to Brigg

There has also been reports that the issue of concessionary fares may also lead to the cutting of the largely commercially operated 45B and 45H from Barton and Habrough to Grimsby. The Scunthorpe Telegraph article linked to above does not refer to the 45B or 45H but incorrectly reports the 450 as running between Grimsby, Barton and Brigg. So does this mean the 45B/H are safe or not?

UPDATE Tuesday - a comment (see below) advises that a full retendering will take place in September and that timetable changes will be made in April

Saturday 6 March 2010

Scunthorpe Hospital Shuttle becomes commercial operation

A little less pressure on council bus subsidies for once; Hornsby Travel have agreed to takeover operation off the service 9 between Scunthorpe's Bus Station and Hospital on a commercial basis. Until recently they operated the service with subsidy of £10,900 per year from North Lincolnshire Council and the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Humber Flyer saved

Late last year threats around the future operation of the Humber Flyer between Hull and North East Lincolnshire were raised again due no funding being available from local councils and Humberside Airport. Now North East Lincolnshire Council have said they will continue their annual £10,000 subsidy for the next three years which seems to have saved the service for now. However talks with the other funders will take place soon to find an extra £20,000 off subsidy to meet the levels of financial support Stagecoach say they need to continue operation of the vital service.