Sunday 29 August 2010

Trentside Traveller

To find out about wider Stagecoach East Midlands September changes, and indeed to keep up to date with the latest developments in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, please check out the Trentside Traveller Blog.

Off interest to this area maybe a discussion about services between Brigg and Lincoln.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Service 909 to Doncaster no more

As expected, Stagecoach are revising their 909/910 (Brigg-Scunthorpe-Crowle-Garthorpe) services from 6th September, with the Scunthorpe-Doncaster part of service 909 withdrawn. This was introduced as an hourly service last November before being cut back to 3 return daytime journeys in April. An attempt to restore bus links that clearly didn't work, though at least Stagecoach gave it ago. There continues to be two Scunthorpe-Doncaster train services an hour - which is probably a large part of the reason for Stagecoach's failure.

Other changes include the withdrawal of the Saturday Scawby diversion to service 909 - New timetable. Service 101 (Scunthorpe-Gainsborough) also sees a minor change.

The withdrawal of the remaining 909 Doncaster, plus the loss of tenders to Hornsby, is going to affect Scunthorpe depot's workload. The 94/95 tender required one bus all day, while the loss of the service 16 tender, plus the 909 cutbacks, will reduce utilisation of the fleet in between school/college services. This isn't too significant, but neither is it great news for a depot that seems largely starved of investment. The Scunthorpe town service network has seen gradual cutbacks over the past few years, and 4 new MAN/Enviro 300's for the Humber Fastcat 350 aside, the depot has not seen any vehicles delivered since Road Car days. With large scale fleet renewal going to be needed in the next few years to meet Disability Discrimination Act deadlines can Scunthorpe depot justify the investment, even if cascaded vehicles are used? While I'm certainly not trying to concern or worry anyone, a look at fleet types and ages at Scunthorpe compared to other Stagecoach East Midlands depots and it's easy to see how the depot's fleet is not as modern as elsehwere.

(As a side note are Scunthorpe depot's Spryte's and Solo's DDA compliant?)

Stagecoach enter Beverley-Hull market

Probably just positioning and schools journeys, but some very limited competition for EYMS anyway

Registration Accepted by SN
Starting Point: Beverley Bus Station
Finish Point: Hull - Wilberforce College
Service Number: 123
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 06-SEP-2010
Other Details: Monday to Saturday up to three journeys per day. Extended to Wilberforce College on School Days only."

Tuesday 24 August 2010

EYMS Extra Saturday buses to York

EYMS are adding extra journeys on two routes into York on Saturdays from 5th September

Service 196
0900 Bubwith to York
1305 Bubwith to York
1130 York to Bubwith
1600 York to Bubwith

Service 747
0730 Pocklington to York
1710 York to Pocklington

From the same date there are also minor changes to services 33/34/44, 62, 152 and 154 in the Hull area.

Stagecoach to Beverley and Hedon!

The VOSA website reveals that Stagecoach Hull are to operate a service between Hedon and Beverley - their only public (as opposed to schools) service to either Hedon or Beverley, and their only public service not to at least operate partially within the Hull City boundary.

Registration Accepted by SN
Starting Point: Hedon
Finish Point: Beverley
Service Number: 242
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 06-SEP-2010
Other Details: Monday to Saturday - Two journeys per day."

The 242 is currently an East Yorkshire Council tendered service operated once each way between Hedon and Beverley Monday to Saturday daytimes.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

109 Deja vu?

Not exactly the same as the old 109, but similar...

VOSA - Bus Registration Search Results: "PB0000328/366 - EAST YORKSHIRE MOTOR SERVICES LTD, 252 ANLABY ROAD, HULL, HU3 2RS
Registration Accepted by SN
Starting Point: Cottingham Railway Station
Finish Point: Cottingham Railway Station
Via: Cottingham, Castle Hill, Bricknell Avenue
Service Number: 109C
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 06-SEP-2010
Other Details: Monday to Saturday Hourly between 09:25 and 17:15"

The old 109 operated between August 2009 and February 2010, linking the Bricknell Estate, Cottingham Centre, St Margaret's Avenue and Castle Hill Hospital hourly in the mornings and early afternoons. Changes to service 110 operated by Stagecoach replaced the 109 in February.

More details when available, plus what if any implication this has for the 110.

Sunday 15 August 2010

260 Villager service, and an idea

A rather interesting article has appeared over the future of the 260 Villager service. Running on weekdays it primarily links Goxhill, New Holland and Barrow to Barton, and on Thursdays it also links East Halton to Barton and the Victoria House area of Barton to the Tesco supermarket. A Barton schools service is also interworked with the 260.

The article is essentially a loose it or use plea. The councillor in charge of buses says "the overriding message to everybody is if you don't want to loose it, then use it". However a council spokesperson says the service is not under threat. Might be rather confusing to the casual reader.

Currently the service is funded by the Rural Bus Grant so as long as that remains there is no risk. However the council expect the government may withdraw it as part of spending cuts, which would mean if the service was to continue, the council would have to fund it directly. Services that cost more than £3 per passenger would be at risk and apparently the 260 is "close to the top of the list of routes at risk". So clearly the service is at risk, just not before the government spending review.

The article also reveals that North Lincolnshire Council wish to end direct council operation next January and seek a private operator to run the service.

However in all of this, it would be very unlikely the 260 would ever get withdrawn without replacement. While Goxhill and New Holland do have the train, the train station isn't easily located for everyone in those villages, and beyond the 260 they have few other bus services. Barrow, while not having the train, does at least have the 250 bus service. East Halton also has the 150 to Immingham and Grimsby 5 days a week, though the last time the East Halton-Barton was withdrawn it was quickly reinstated, indicating local demand for it.

So even if the 260 was withdrawn I would suggest at least a once daily weekday Goxhill-Barton 'shoppers' service would be needed, operating via New Holland and Barrow. This may also need to serve East Halton once a week. Additionally the current schools service operated the 260 vehicle would still need to be provided. The scope for cutting costs would be limited. Mileage could be reduced, but not so much the need for a vehicle and driver.

One possible idea would be to integrate the 260 with the 254 Barton Town Service, currently operating 3 days a week. The Barton Town Service currently has 4 main routes; Meadow Drive/Eastfield Road, Bowmandale/Tofts Road, Westfield Road and Far Ings Road/Dam Road (close to Victoria House). Meadow Drive could be served as a diversion to the 260, while the latter two routes could perhaps be reduced to twice a week operation. This could lead to a pattern like this:

Barton St Peters School Service
Barton-Goxhill direct service, omitting New Holland
Goxhill-Barton via New Holland, Barrow and Meadow Drive
Barton Town Service to Bowmandale 3xWeek, Westfield Road 2xWeek
Barton-Goxhill via Meadow Drive, Barrow and New Holland

In reality it wouldn't be that simple, especially if East Halton was to be served. However I'm sure it would be possible to work something out, saving a 3 day a week contract in the process. One issue maybe that the Barton Town Service runs on opposite days to the Brigg Town Service, allowing the same vehicle to be used on both. However any cost increase on the Brigg Town Service would hopefully be covered by the savings from the 254/260.

Just an idea, and all such ideas may need to be considered in order to safeguard as much of the subsidised bus network in the months ahead.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Hornsby Travel have won tendered services 16, 94 and 95

The Traveline East Midlands website confirms that Hornsby Travel will take over North Lincolnshire Council tendered services 16, 94 and 95 from 31st August, as had been expected. Current operator Stagecoach has also today cancelled their registrations for these services with VOSA.

While the Traveline East Midlands timetables aren't the most descriptive, it appears the 16 (a Scunthorpe Town Service) has a revised timetable and route, no longer operating as a circular and not serving Priory Lane or Glanville Avenue (areas also served by Hornsby service 22). Priory Lane and Glanville Avenue were introduced onto the route after being left unserved following RoadCar service changes a few years ago. Hornsby later added their own replacement service 22, a route Stagecoach also served for a time.

The 'new' 16 appears to operate from Parklands Caravan site via John Leggott and North Lindsey Colleges plus Brumby Wood Lane into Scunthorpe Town Centre, with departures from Parklands at 0940 and 1215, and from Scunthorpe Bus Station at 1200. The service continues to operate Tuesday and Thursday only.

The 94 has some minor changes. The Traveline East Midlands website shows that on weekdays some journeys will run slightly earlier or later, while the schools service will no longer serve Lime Sidings. Similar retimings will affect the 95 which will no longer serve Ashby High Street. There is also a new 1605 Redbourne-Brigg service on route 94 and a new 1805 Brigg-Lakeside service on route 95. However the school holidays 1521 Brigg-Lime Sidings service on route 94 appears withdrawn.

On Saturdays the route followed by service 95 will now match the weekday service, serving Scawby and Sturton but not Ashby High Street. As a result there are some slight timing changes to both services 94 and 95.

Service 450 Changes

Service 450 between Barton and Brigg, currently operated by Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes, is to be altered from 31st August according to the VOSA website. No other details currently available. The service is operated under contract to North Lincolnshire Council and was last revised in April after Stagecoach handed back their previous contract for the service, before winning a replacement emergency tender.

Friday 6 August 2010

Grimsby-Immingham Corridor Changes

It appears that September's change to Stagecoach's 45 group of services (Grimsby-Immingham corridor) this year is rather minor. The 0820 45M and 0840 45 from Immingham County Hotel shall be merged into a single 0830 45M according to the traveline east midlands website starting 6th September. The 45M starts 10 minutes earlier at the Millenium Inorganic Chemicals site 10 minutes earlier.

Humber Flyer September Changes

From 6th September, the Stagecoach Humber Flyer service between Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Humberside Airport, Barton and Hull will be revised, as noted last month. From the Traveline East Midlands website it appears the service shall now terminate at Sea Road in Cleethorpes, not Pleasure Island. Times will also be revised between Cleethorpes and Humberside Airport.

Also services from Cleethorpes shall run slightly earlier and services from Humberside Airport shall run slightly later. This shall mean that services will have increased waiting time at Humberside Airport. Services from Cleethorpes shall wait for 6 minutes rather than the current 1 minute, while services from Hull shall wait for 8 rather than 1 minute. I presume this is to aid punctuality?