From Monday 1st October, Hornsby are enhancing their service 4 between Brigg, Broughton, Ashby and Scunthorpe. Currently on Monday to Saturday daytimes the service runs hourly. The new timetable is available on the Traveline East Midlands website.
On weekdays the frequency increases from hourly, to 'hourly with a few extra journeys'; at 0935, 1135 and 1350 from Scunthorpe and 1025, 1225 and 1445 from Brigg. These journeys are co-ordinated with the existing timetable so some hours the frequency is half hourly as shown below (this is not the all day timetable):
Scunthorpe D. 0905 0935 1005 1105 1135 1205 1305 1350 1423
Brigg D. 0900 0955 1025 1055 1155 1225 1245 1355 1445 1510
Of course being half hourly some hours is not a memorable full half hourly frequency. In fairness the tendered 95 from Brigg to Scunthorpe via Scawby does fill some of the hour long gaps (e.g. there is a 1235 from Scunthorpe), but not all.
On Saturdays Hornsby are delivering a slightly more marketable frequency improvement - from hourly to every 45 minutes during the morning. From the timetable it appears that this can be acheived using 2 vehicles, the same as at present.
Maybe these improvements are due to extra demand at certain times of day after the end of the Stagecoach 90? Maybe this an attempt to 'test the water' for a full half hourly service? If so is it a sensible test to avoid committing too many resources at first, or is it a half-hearted attempt doomed to fail? Increased bus services are welcome, but it is a slightly odd timetable!
If Hornsby are serious about a half hourly Brigg to Scunthorpe service, and these enhancements are a success, I wonder if it would be worthwhile incorporating the 95 (currently tendered so would need to be made commercial)? Three out of four services every 2 hours could run as a 4 via Broughton, and one every two hours via Scawby, as a 5. Yes this would retain an 'odd' timetable for Broughton (though they would still have a minimum hourly service) but it wouldn't be much extra mileage since the 95 would be axed and it's passengers would hopefully transfer to the 'new 5'. Plus it would allow a marketable half hourly Brigg-Ashby-Scunthorpe service. The 94 could then provide a more frequent Lime Sidings to Brigg service, with perhaps a through Scunthorpe service from Redbourne and Hibaldstow retained on Saturdays.
As ever post any comments on the service change and my thoughts on it in the comments section below.
See also this post from earlier this year on the Brigg to Scunthorpe market.
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