Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The 123 - Not exactly as expected - but better?

Predictions on this blog of Stagecoach entering the Hull-Beverley market against EYMS have been proved wrong. Their new service 123 doesn't go into Hull City Centre at all.

The new 123 is instead a new Monday-Saturday shopping link from Beverley, Woodmansey and Dunswell to Kingswood and Bransholme's North Point Shopping Centre, using time where the vehicle from the newly won 242 contract (currently operated by EYMS) would otherwise just be doing nothing in Beverley. It might be a simple idea - but it is just the sort of idea that can improve the network with little effort and Stagecoach should be comended for giving the service a try.

Some may wonder why a Beverley resident would wish to visit North Point in particular when they have a very good selection of shops in their town centre. Well it's nice to have a change and visit somewhere different every now and then. Furthermore by interworking with the 242, the costs incurred by Stagecoach will be lower than for a stand alone service - which should reduce the break even point of the service.

Also of note is that on College Days the service will be extended to Wilberforce College, which should be useful for those students wanting a lie in, or to go home early. Do Stagecoach operate morning/evening services from Beverley to Wilberforce College?

New 123/242 timetable. Starts 6th September.

While Stagecoach don't seem too interested in trunk routes outside of Hull, it's interesting to see them go after 'between school time' contracts such as the 242 in the East Riding. This is the sort of thing Veolia used to do, and should help provide some competition for EYMS for this type of contract. And could it lead to Stagecoach going after other tenders in the East Riding that could viably be worked out of it's Hull depot?

One final note - neither the 242 or the 123 are mentioned in the new Hull Bus Guide. The 242 hardly serves Hull, while the 123 isn't really designed for Hull residents, but I'm surprised they didn't even get a footnote or something similar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stagecoach, or their predecessor KHCT, have never been very successful with commercial services operating outside the city boundary (apart from express services). There was a time when they ran a service 63 from Hull to Beverley via Cottingham as frequently as every 20 minutes. They also tried a 106 from Hull to Cottingham (The Lawns) but couldn't compete with EYMS.

As you say, it is nice to see them being imaginative with new links to use up spare capacity but I doubt if we will ever see major new services out of the city.