Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Humber Fastcat November Changes get interesting

Traveline East Midlands has the new timetable up for the 350 Humber Fastcat from 7th November. Some of the changes are minor retimings, but some potentially interesting early morning changes.

The Stagecoach 0620 Scunthorpe to Barton is now extended to Hull and the 0707 Barton to Scunthorpe starts at Hull. Between Barton and Hull these services operate at the exact same times as the 0620 Hull-Barton and 0653 return EYMS journeys. However the EYMS journeys are not shown as cancelled. Stagecoach's early morning services are now shown as operating on Saturdays as well as weekdays. Saturday early morning services between Barton and Hull were withdrawn in 2006 North Lincolnshire Council cut backs.

These changes indicate that Stagecoach's Scunthorpe and Hull depots maybe 'swapping diagrams'. Hull depot would take over the current Scunthorpe diagram including the 0815 from Scunthorpe. This currently includes the 1840 from Hull to Scunthorpe. However Traveline East Midlands shows a new 1825 departure from Hull. My guess is that this replaces the current 1810 departure and the 1840 is cancelled. This would ensure the diagram starts in Hull (at 0620) and finishes in Hull.

Scunthorpe depot would operate the current Hull diagram starting with the 0805 from Hull (after a 45 minute layover in Hull). However there is no new evening journey from Hull to Scunthorpe shown on Traveline East Midlands, while the 1840 Scunthorpe to Hull, currently the last journey on this diagram is still shown as operating. So the diagram starts in Scunthorpe (at 0620) and finishes in Hull (at 1952). Unless Stagecoach plan to run out of service back to Scunthorpe, this does not add up.

So certainly more to come here. The early morning changes are very interesting though. I'd guess that EYMS get quite a few people buying weekly and return tickets on the 0653 from Barton. Are Stagecoach deliberately trying to snatch this revenue and weaken EYMS's position on the service. Or is it a 'side effect' from swapping diagrams and potentially altering (reducing?) evening services? Do EYMS not make as much as I think from the 0653 and are planning to give it up?

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