Thursday 31 March 2016

Hornsby 94/95 Changes

Tomorrow, Friday 1st April, sees changes introduced to the weekday timetables on Hornsby Travel services 94 and 95, which are operated under contract to North Lincolnshire Council. The 94 operates from Kirton and Gainsthorpe/Lime Sidings to Brigg via Redbourne, Hibaldstow and Scawby, where most journeys continue as a service 95 to Scunthorpe via Scawby, Greetwell Crossroads and Lakeside Retail Park.

Until today on service 94 only one weekday journey to Brigg and one schoolday journey from Brigg served Kirton, however in the new timetable there are 4 journeys from Kirton to Brigg and 2 journeys from Brigg to Kirton. Traveline East Midlands shows the Kirton Klipper local service is no longer serving Lime Sidings, Redbourne or Hibaldstow, so increasing the number of service 94's to Kirton would appear to be a replacement for this, though the timetable from Redbourne and Hibaldstow requires nearly five hours to be spent in Kirton between arrival and departure. The timetable change also enables Kirton to Brigg shopping trips.

As a result of these changes the 94 timetable is retimed, as is the 95, but with no changes to the number of journeys. The 1805 service 95 from Brigg to Lakeside is extended to the Hornsby depot in Ashby. The single Saturday journey each way on the 94/95 from Redbourne to Scunthorpe is unchanged.
New 94/95 Weekday Timetable

Monday 28 March 2016

Substantial Saturday Improvements to Grimsby 1/2/20

These days improvements to tendered services are rather rare, but on Saturday (2nd April) that will happen in North East Lincolnshire, as the 1/2/20 group of services operaed by Stagecoach gain an improved Saturday service. The routes provide a link to the Europarc Industrial Estate on the edge of Grimsby, and also serve residential areas in West Marsh and around Victor Street.

On weekdays the 1 and 2 each operate hourly during the daytime; the 1 between Grimsby Town Centre, Lord Street, Gilbey Road, Europarc and Wybers Wood Top and the 2 between Riby Square, Victor Street, Grimsby Town Centre, Corporation Road, Gilbey Road and Europarc. Service 20 provides a limited early morning and evening link between Cleethorpes, Grimsby Town Centre, Corporation Road, Europarc and Wybers Wood Top, to meet the needs of Europarc commuters.

Until last week the Saturday service had been far more basic, with the 1 operating hourly between Grimsby Town Centre and Europarc only, and the 20 only in the early morning. However from this week the weekday timetable will also apply on a Saturday, so the 1 will extend through to Wybers Wood Top, the 2 gains a Saturday service, and the 20 gains a limited evening service. The introduction of the 2 on Saturdays is arguably most significant as Victor Street gains a Saturday bus service, and Corporation Road gains a Saturday daytime service.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Humber Flyer New Timetable, and a look at co-ordination with other services

Recently the weight restriction on Melton Ross railway bridge on the A18 in North Lincolnshire was lifted, enabling buses to use it once again, instead of having to divert via Croxton. The main service to benefit is Stagecoach's Monday to Saturday Hull-Barton-Humberside Airport-Grimsby-Cleethorpes Humber Flyer, which has had a temporary timetable since 29th September 2014. While the diversion via Croxton was quite short, on a fairly tightly timed long distance route it was enough to require an extra vehicle and revised timetable to maintain an hourly service.

Tomorrow, Monday 14th March, the Humber Flyer reverts back to it's pre-September 2014 timetable with the Croxton diversion removed. There are however a couple of enhancements and amendments to the service being made at the same time. The first morning journey from Grimsby to Barton is extended to Hull, and there is a new later 1910 journey from Hull to Grimsby (1800 last departure pre-September 2014, 1820 in the temporary timetable). The first morning journeys continues to leave Grimsby at 0555 as happened in the temporary timetable, rather than revert to it's pre-September 2014 0605 departure time. The evening peak timetable from Hull is heavily revised with a 90 minute gap after the 1450 departure until 1620, then 1720, 1810 and the new 1910. It appears there are 40 minute layovers in Hull for two journeys late afternoon, I guess to ensure evening peak departures from Hull leave on time.

It is also worth checking intermediate times, as some have changed from the pre-September 2014 timetable.

The new timetable does not see one journey a day divert into Barnetby; this is due to the construction of a roundabout causing a road closure until the Summer, though there is no explanation of this in the new timetable.

The co-ordination between Barton and Hull on the Humber Fastcat and Humber Flyer is good (though not excellent) for most of the day. The morning peak from Barton has departures at 0640 (Flyer), 0650 (Fastcat), 0740 (Fastcat), 0810 (Fastcat), 0810 (Flyer) and 0900 (Fastcat). During the day departures are at :00 (Fastcat), :10 (Flyer) and :30 (Fastcat), while in the evening the Flyer departures at 1730 and 1830 are at the same time as the Fastcat. From Hull the 0715 Flyer operates in between the 0655 and 0725 Fastcat (better than the 0720 Flyer departure pre-September 2014), then departures during the daytime are at :05 (Fastcat), :35 (Fastcat) and :50 (Flyer). In the evening peak departures from Hull are at 1620 (Flyer), 1635 (Fastcat), 1710 (Fastcat), 1720 (Flyer), 1740 (Fastcat), 1810 (Flyer), 1825 (Fastcat), 1910 (Flyer) and 1925 (Fastcat). Not entirely perfect, especially in the morning from Barton to Hull, but Barton-Hull co-ordination will not be the only factor in determining timetables.

One of those other factors is Laceby to Grimsby co-ordination of the Humber Flyer with the 7 and 53. In the morning peak journeys leave Laceby at 0630 (7), 0700 (7), 0730 (7), 0800 (7), 0804 (53), 0825 (Flyer) and 0909 (53). During the daytime Laceby departures are at :00 (Flyer) plus 1009, 1159, 1359 and 1559 (not schooldays). Non-existent co-ordination. From Grimsby to Laceby things are much much better though, with the Humber Flyer leaving at :10 during the day, and the 53 at 0840, 1040, 1240, 1440 and 1540. In the evening peak departures from Grimsby are at 1630 (Flyer), 1710 (53), 1730 (Flyer), 1740 (7), 1740 (53). Worth noting that among the factors at play here is co-ordination of the 53 with other services between Lincoln and Dunholme/Welton.

Thursday 10 March 2016

North Lincolnshire Concessionary Fare Changes Deferred

The North Lincolnshire Council Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member has decided to defer the introduction of a revised concessionary fare reimbursement scheme from 2016/17 to 2017/18. A decision to change the scheme was made in January, but the option of deferring it's introduction was published last week. It's introduction could have resulted in commercial services being cut and tendered services being surrendered back to the council.

The cabinet member also noted that the decision "would require future reports on savings proposals to fund the one year saving if the costs cannot be contained within the service area’s budget".

Wednesday 2 March 2016

North Lincolnshire Concessionary Fare Scheme Update

A report to the North Lincolnshire Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods offers an alternative option to the new concessionary fare reimbursement scheme approved in January. The new scheme, based on a Department for Transport (DfT) model, would mean a lower reimbursement rate for operators, which Stagecoach and Hornsby indicated could cause tendered services to be handed back, and commercial services to be cut.

The alternative option is to defer the proposed to changes for one year. A "review of the use of concessionary services by eligible customers" would still result in savings of £115,000, while a year's delay would allow further consideration of bus operators concerns, and allow for the Call Connect network across North Lincolnshire to be established during this year. Bus operators provided assurances that retaining the current reimbursement scheme would seem them "continue with the existing transport routes", albeit before the savings of £115,000 were found.

The issue caused by the alternative option is that the savings are less than the £200,000 expected with the DfT model, and less than the £250,000 savings target in the council's budget. Therefore savings in other budgets will be needed regardless of the reimbursement scheme chosen, but these will be £85,000 higher if the DfT model is not introduced.