Monday 29 October 2012

X62 New Timetable Details

The new timetable for the X62 from Hull to Leeds via Brough, Goole and Castleford from today (29th October) has seen the previously Saturday only 1030 and 1400 from Hull, and 1300 and 1630 from Leeds start operating additionally on weekdays. The weekend timetable has not altered. Also the service has switched from the City Bus Station to the Coach Station in Leeds (i.e. other side of the shared concourse).

Friday 26 October 2012

Not quite the end for Brigg Market Day Buses

Last week I noted the end of Brigg market day (Thursday) only services 160 and 202 after operation on November 1st. I had assumed there would be no replacement, with passengers directed to  use Call Connect instead.

This will not be the case, with new Thursday only service 161 starting on November 8th. This will operate from Market Rasen via Holton Le Moor, Caistor, Grasby, North Kelsey, Bishop Norton and Waddingham to Brigg and Lakeside Retail Park serving many, but not all, locations currently served by the 160 and 202. There will be one journey each way, but prepare for a long journey if you want to travel the full route. 2 hours 5 minutes in the morning, and 1 hour 45 minutes in the afternoon. Certainly better than nothing though. The full timetable is on Traveline East Midlands.

What is confusing however is that on Traveline East Midlands, it is shown that both Dents Coaches and PC Coaches will be operating the 161 at the same times. Brigg Market Day Bus Wars would be surprising, but I guess you never know ...

Holloways Freshney Place 'Shopper' Changes

Holloways Coaches are amending their Tuesday and Thursday 'shopper' service from Scunthorpe to Grimsby from December 20th. The service operates via Ashby, Broughton and Brigg, and oddly is not included in North Lincolnshire Council timetables.

In the past Holloways Coaches operated a number of services from the Scunthorpe area to Grimsby in association with Freshney Place Shopping Centre; I'm not sure if they are still involved or not.

From VOSA:

  • Variation Accepted: Operating between Holloways Garage and Grimsby Bus Station given service number FP1 effective from 20-Dec-2012. To amend Timetable.

Thursday 25 October 2012

260 Saturday Timetable Announced

Stagecoach have released the Saturday timetable for the 260 'Villager' for when it is increased to operate six days a week on a 4 month trial from 10th November. The 260 links Goxhill, New Holland and Barrow to Barton. The Saturday service will be same as the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday timetable, with the exception of the 1425 from Barton Tesco, which will operate through to Barton Tesco on it's return rather than terminating in the Market Place.

This is very good news. However the timetable does seem 'over generous'. Is a Saturday afternoon service really needed? Would the Saturday trial be more likely to be a success with less journeys hopefully carrying more passengers per journey?

Also the 260 is unusual in that it has a different Thursday timetable compared to the rest of the week. This is to incorporate East Halton, and a service to Dam Road/Victoria House in Barton. Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it be more logical to have these variations on a Saturday, not a Thursday, giving a consistent weekday timetable? I can't see that it really matters what day East Halton has it's link to Barton, and Saturdays would coincide with the monthly Barton Farmers Market. The fact the Saturday service is a trial may prevent this from being done now, but something to considerFurthermore I wonder if the Dam Road service is really needed considering the existence of the Barton Town Service?

A 'different' Saturday service could also allow better co-ordination with the 450 between Barrow and Barton. This would be difficult, though surely not impossible, on weekdays due to an interworked schools service, but there isn't that constraint on Saturdays. A 0929 260 from Barrow, followed soon after by a 0943 450 isn't ideal. Even less ideal is an 1139 260 followed by an 1143 450. And from Barton Interchange an 1145 450 followed by a 1200 260 is not exactly an even spaced timetable.

Anyway, good luck for the Saturday service.

Finally, an idea that might save a little taxpayers money 6 days a week. Currently on schooldays there is a 1530 service 450 from Brigg through Barton to Barrow and Goxhill. The bus then returns 'dead' to Barton. During school holidays and on Saturdays, the 1530 instead leaves Brigg around an hour later. Why not instead run the 1530 6 days a week as a 450 from Brigg to Barton, becoming a 260 at Barton to Barrow and Goxhill and return. This would enable the withdrawal of the 1603 260 from Barton Tesco, and reduce mileage on schooldays between Barton and Goxhill.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Boxing Day 66

Seems that the 66 from Hull to Hessle will be joining the Boxing Day bus network this year. From VOSA:

  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Hull Interchange
  • Finish Point: Hessle Square
  • Via: Anlaby Road
  • Service Number: 66
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 26-DEC-2012
  • Other Details: Hull Interchange - Hessle Square

Monday 22 October 2012

Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes Sunday enhancements

From Sunday 11th November, Stagecoach in Grimsby and Cleethorpes are improving their Sunday services.

Back in April the Sunday service on Route 8 serving New Waltham was axed, and as a partial replacement hourly service 46 from Immingham to Cleethorpes was extended from it's North Sea Lane terminus to New Waltham and then onwards to Waltham (for operational purposes?). However from next month the Sunday 46 shall be cut back to Cleethorpes Pier, only continuing to serve North Sea Lane on Monday to Saturday evenings. While I guess some may miss this through Sunday link to Cleethorpes Leisure Centre, Meridian Point and Pleasure Island theme park, the truncation of the 46 makes way for an improved 9A.

Currently the 9A runs hourly on Sundays daytimes between Waltham, Grimsby and Cleethorpes, with hourly Sunday evening 'shorts' between Waltham and Grimsby running as service 9. November's enhancement increases the daytime frequency to half hourly, with the the route extended from it's North Sea Lane terminus to New Waltham, replacing the 46. This doubles the Sunday daytime service for both Waltham, New Waltham and Grimsby Hospital. In the evenings an hourly service will operate, now serving the full route between Waltham and New Waltham. Throughout the day on Sundays, an extra bus each hour is provided between Grimsby and Cleethorpes town centres as a result of these changes.

Thanks to admet for the 'heads up' on these changes last month.

Friday 19 October 2012

Brigg Market Day buses ending

From Traveline East Midlands it seems that two Thursday only services into Brigg are ending after November 1st; the 160 and 202 both operated under contract to Lincolnshire County Council by PC Coaches.

The 160 operates from Caistor via North Kelsey, Bishop Norton, Waddingham, Redbourne and Hilbaldstow to Brigg. The route used to be operated by Applebys, then by Road Car and Stagecoach before passing to PC Coaches. The 202 operates from Market Rasen via Holton Le Moor, Grasby and Bigby to Brigg and Lakeside Retail Park on the edge of Scunthorpe.

If these sevices are cancelled without replacement partial alternatives would be provided by existing Holloways Coaches TB2 and TB4, Hornsby 94 and TC Coaches operated Call Connect service 3C. But for everywhere except for Hibaldstow and Redbourne it will mean the end of a 'fixed' Thursday market day bus to Brigg, with the demand responsive call connect service the only public transport option remaining.

As a final note it is interesting to contrast the approaches of Lincolnshire County Council and North Lincolnshire Council. Lincolnshire focuses on trunk routes with demand responsive services for nearly everywhere else. Whereas North Lincolnshire Council doesn't use demand responsive services at all, instead contracting 'traditional fixed services' to serve smaller communities. If the likes of North Kelsey and Bigby were in North Lincolnshire, I highly doubt the 160 and 202 would be being axed. And if places like Dragonby were in Lincolnshire they almost certainly wouldn't have a 'traditional fixed' bus service any more.

Humber Flyer Barnetby Timetable

Stagecoach have released the revised Humber Flyer timetable from 5th November when one journey each way diverts via Barnetby.

The 0910 from Grimsby to Hull shall now leave Grimsby at 0900 and operate 10 minutes earlier to Humberside Airport, then serve Barnetby and operate at the current times between Barton and Hull.

The 1450 from Hull to Cleethorpes shall operate to the current times as far as Barton, then serve Barnetby and operate 5 minutes later than at present between Humberside Airport and Cleethorpes.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Possible withdrawal of two evening peak Scunthorpe Town Services

A report has been published on the North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) website recommending consultation about the possible withdrawal of two subsidised evening peak services in Scunthorpe. Affected services are the 1735 service 38 and 1800 service 34, both operated by Stagecoach and running Monday to Saturday.

NLC say the cost of the 1735 38 is £16.33 per day, which with an average of 4 passengers is a subsidy of £4.08 per passenger. For the 1800 34 the cost is £24.49 per day, which with an average of 7 passengers per day is a subsidy of £3.50 per passengers. Both of these subsidies per passenger are above the £3 benchmark used by NLC. Total subsidy is £12,490 per annum.

For the 34 alternatives mostly exist. There is a 32A which leaves Scunthorpe at 1800 - i.e. the same time as the 34 - travelling along Cemetery Road in Brumby. The 32A/34 also serve Bottesford Lane, Manor Road, Cambridge Avenue, High Leys Road and Quebec Road at very similar time. The main area served by the 34 but not the 32A is Alvingham Road and Collum Avenue which would be left with a last bus at 1735, provided by the Hornsby 12. The 34 does continue beyond Quebec Road back into Scunthorpe, but this section is probably just a way to get the bus back to the depot in service, I could be wrong though.

From this I'm struggling to see the point of the 1800 34. There is maybe an issue for Alvingham Road and Collum Avenue, but the 1750 service 4 from Scunthorpe to Brigg could possibly divert along these roads, with an 1800 service 6 still serving Ashby Road.

However apart from Cliff Gardens no existing alternatives exist for the 38 and the last journey would be the 1635 if the 1735 is withdrawn. But the 1745 service 60 to Whitton could always divert via Crosby instead of Berkeley Circle with little time penalty.

Complexity in timetables isn't ideal, but better than journeys being axed surely? Solutions seem to exist that allow for better value for money while still retaining links.

Saturday 13 October 2012

First 88 Retiming

From Monday 29th October First South Yorkshire are making changes to their Doncaster network, including the 88 to Goole.  Most journeys from Doncaster will leave 5 minutes earlier than at present, and arrive in Goole 3 minutes earlier. From Goole most journeys will leave 6 minutes earlier than at present but arrive in Doncaster at the same time as they currently do. The frequency remains hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes.

X62 Leeds Terminal Switch

West Yorkshire Metro's latest service change booklet notes that Stagecoach in Hull's X62 from Hull to Leeds will switch from the City Bus Station to the National Express Coach Station in Leeds at some point after October 28th. In reality this means the service will change stops in Leeds to the opposite side of the shared bus/coach station concourse.

The X62 also has a timetable change at the end of the month

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Saturday Villager Trial

North Lincolnshire Council are funding a 4 month trial of a Saturday service on the 260 'Villager' service from 10th November. The service, operated by Stagecoach, links Goxhill, New Holland and Barrow to Barton, and also serves East Halton on Thursdays.

Currently the only Saturday bus service to Goxhill and New Holland is the Hornsby 366, providing one journey to/from Brigg and Scunthorpe. The two villages do also have a two hourly train service. Barrow is served by the 366, and also by the 450 providing a two hourly serve to Immingham, Grimsby, Barton and Brigg.

I'll post more on this good news story when timetable details are released.

North Lincolnshire Council press release:
From Saturday 10 November, North Lincolnshire Council will trial a new Number 260 Saturday Villager bus service - serving residents in Goxhill, New Holland, Barrow, and Barton. The new service is based on the popular 260 Villager service that runs during the week.The new Saturday service will run for a trial period of four months initially.   
Cllr Nigel Sherwood, cabinet member for Highways and Neighbourhoods at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The Number 260 is a popular service during the week and following a petition by local residents, we have agreed to run the service on a Saturday for a four-month trial. We are not making any promises to make it a permanent Saturday service. We’ll have to see how popular it is. So it is important that people use it, after all, it’s what they asked for.”

Thursday 4 October 2012

Saturday Morning Stamford Bridge Changes

After this Saturday - the 6th - Transdev York's early Saturday morning journeys on the 10/10A to Stamford Bridge will cease (0655 10A from Nether Poppleton to Stamford Bridge and 0800 10 from Stamford Bridge to York) due to First starting a new 0730 service 10 from Stamford Bridge. Transdev daily evening service on route 10 is unaffected.

See also this post on Unibus changes

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Humber Flyer via Barnetby

It would seem that from 4th November, one journey each way on Stagecoach's Humber Flyer between Cleethorpes and Hull will divert via Barnetby, following a request from a Barnetby resident, passed on via local MP Andrew Percy.

A report on North Lincolnshire Council's website requests that for 2012-13, Stagecoach have asked the council for a £1,700 annual subsidy for the Humber Flyer, including the journey via Barnetby - this is down from the current £2,000 annual subsidy, as a result of increasing passenger numbers. Other subsidy for the Humber Flyer comes from:
North East Lincolnshire Council - £10,000
Humberside Airport - £10,000
Hull City Council - £5,000
Lincolnshire County Council - £850

The initial request was for every journey on the Humber Flyer to serve Barnetby, but this is not possible "because they [Stagecoach] could not keep the hourly frequency if they did so" - turnarounds are 5 minutes in Cleethorpes and 13 minutes in Hull (which from experience is needed). Instead there will be a 0910 from Barnetby to Hull (currently the Humber Flyer is in Barton at this time) and the 1450 from Hull will divert into Barnetby. I would guess a part of the route will have to be cut on the journeys concerned to accomodate this, but Stagecoach are obviously prepared to do this on a limited basis. EDIT - the 1450 from Hull has a longer than usual turnaround in Cleethorpes, so there is time to serve Barnetby and the rest of the route.

Finally I should note the North Lincolnshire Council report is a recommendation to approve the £1,700 annual subsidy, and not actual approval. Therefore none of the above is confirmed to happen.

It is good to see Stagecoach's requested subsidy reduce, and attempts made to serve new markets. I'd have though it would also be possible to provide Barnetby with a peak time service as well without needing an extra vehicle or cutbacks to the route elsewhere.

Monday 1 October 2012

York Unibus to Stamford Bridge

From Monday 8th October, Transdev York are extending some weekday journeys on Unibus 44 between York City Centre and the University of York to Dunnington and Stamford Bridge. From York's Railway Station services will depart at 0731, 1211, 1311, 1616, 1651, 1721 and 1751. From Stamford Bridge journeys depart at 0730, 0800, 0830, 0915 (to the University only), 1315 and 1400 (to the University only).

While the Transdev announcement highlights the new links this creates between Stamford Bridge, Dunnington and the University, the service also competes at peak times with First service 10, which is getting a new timetable from Sunday. Is Transdev considering competing with First to Stamford Bridge on an 'all day' basis, using unibus to 'test the water' - they already have the tendered daily evening/Saturday morning journeys on service 10 - or is this just about new University links?