Sunday 25 September 2016

Wolds Villager returns to Humberside Airport

From tomorrow, Monday 26th September, the weekday 68 Wolds Villager service operated by Hornsby Travel on behalf of North Lincolnshire Council will resume serving Humberside Airport. The service otherwise links Brigg with Wrawby, Barnetby, Melton Ross, Kirmington, Croxton, Wootton and Ulceby.

The areas road network has suffered major disruption in the past couple of years, with a weight restriction on the A18 Melton Ross rail bridge and the construction of a new roundabout at Barnetby Top, which has necessitated temporary timetables for the 68 focused on serving local villages. With the weight restriction lifted earlier this year and the roundabout complete, the 68 once again has time to serve Humberside Airport without compromising frequency.

Departures from Brigg Cary Lane are at 0955 (to Humberside Airport), 1055 to Humberside Airport, 1155 (to Kirmington or Ulceby), 1410 (to Kirmington), 1515 (School Hols, to Barnetby) and 1615 (to Barnetby). In the opposite direction there are departures at 0750 from Barnetby, 0919 from Kirmington (starts Ulceby on Tue+Thu), 1020 and 1120 from Humberside Airport, 1252 from Kirmington (starts Ulceby Tue+Thu), 1438 from Kirmington and 1530 (School Hols) and 1630 from Barnetby. Some afternoon journeys also serve Brigg Leisure Centre.

As can be seen the timetable isn't that useful for Humberside Airport, and it is more a case of as the service is passing by it might as well serve the airport, or use it as a convenient place to turn around. When combined with the demand responsive Call Connect service the 68 may be off more use for the airport, or as means of connecting onto the Humber Flyer which serves the airport.

There will be more disruption to the local road network in the coming years as the Melton Ross rail bridge needs replacing, but this should be minimal as the new bridge will be slightly north of the existing one.

Sunday 18 September 2016

EYMS Anlaby Morning Peak Improvements

EYMS are improving the morning peak service from Anlaby into Hull from Monday 26th September. There is a new weekday 0802 from Anlaby on service 152, plugging a 40 minute gap in what is otherwise a 20 minute frequency.

In addition, this new journey, the weekday 0645 and 0715 and Saturday 0855 and 0925 service 152's from Anlaby will serve the Anlaby 'loop', via Lowfield Road, Beverley Road and Wilson Street, as occurs Monday to Saturday daytimes and Sunday evenings. Lowfield Road is seeing significant new housing development which maybe at least part of the reason for this change.

Extra EYMS Evening Services

From Monday 26th September, EYMS are enhancing Monday to Saturday evening services on routes 115 and 154 between Hull Interchange and Castle Hill Hospital; the two routes operate as a circular for most journeys, with the 115 operating via the Avenues, Endike Lane and Cottingham and the 154 via Anlaby Road, Springfield Way and Willerby.

To suit new visiting times at Castle Hill Hospital there will be a new 1950 115 from Hull (currently last bus 1920) and 2039 115 from Castle Hill Hospital (currently last bus 2009). On service 154 extra journeys will depart Hull at 1955 (currently last bus 1925) and at 2032 from Castle Hill Hospital (currently last bus 2002).

In addition EYMS will add extra 'short' journeys on service 115 between Hull Interchange and Endike Lane. Services will leave Hull at 2030, 2130, 2230 and 2330, and from Endike Lane at 2151 and 2251. This will provide an 'all evening' service Monday to Saturday for Endike Lane, and provide additional evening buses for the popular Avenues area bars and restaurants.

Sunday 11 September 2016

Wroot Changes

One change I missed earlier in the month was the withdrawal of First South Yorkshire Monday to Saturday service 59 from Wroot to Doncaster. It offered one morning journey from Wroot, and an afternoon journey in each direction (plus I think some extra journeys wholly within South Yorkshire). This provided a basic shopping and leisure link from the North Lincolnshire village.

As a partial replacement, the Hornsby Travel operated Isle of Axholme CallConnect now offers a regular weekday journey from Wroot to Blaxton in South Yorkshire at 0908, with a 1325 return, for connections onto Isle Coaches service 291 to/from Doncaster. At any other time of the day Monday to Saturday daytimes, the 'demand responsive' CallConnect service can be pre-booked for Doncaster connections on First service 57 or Isle Coaches 291/399 at Blaxton.

Not the same as a through bus, but at least a 'regular' 'timetabled' bus service can still be used by anyone in Wroot wishing to travel to Doncaster.

Monday 5 September 2016

Hull Bus Cuts Decision

Hull City Council have decided on changes to supported bus services within the city, which will result in cost savings to contribute towards budget cuts. Thankfully overall they aren't too drastic, but for those impacted I'm sure they won't be saying that. It should be noted options to cut services back further were rejected. Further details are contained in this report from council officers.

Services 1D, 1E, 16 and 50 will be operated by EYMS from 30th October 2016 to 31st October 2019 for a cost of £169,863.04 per year. There is an option to extend each contract for up to 12 months (it is worth noting the 1D/1E is two separate contracts for the Sibelius Road and Mizzen Road sections). The decision was based on 80% price and 20% quality.

Services 1D and 1E will not see any "significant changes to service frequency" but service 50 will reduce from every 1 3/4 hours to every 2 hours. The biggest change will come on service 16, which is currently operated by Stagecoach. From the takeover by EYMS onwards, the frequency will reduce from hourly to every two hours after the morning peak period.

A contract for services from the Dorchester Road and Kestrel Avenue areas to North Point Shopping Centre, currently provided by variations to Stagecoach commercial service 9, has not been awarded. No compliant tenders were received and tenders for the existing service exceeded the available budget. Instead it is recommended that efforts are made to agree with bus operators a deal to cover Kestrel Avenue, through a de minimis variation to a commercial service. "Initial discussions with local bus companies" indicate this will be possible and should result in a cost saving as compared to awarding a contract. No doubt Stagecoach will be continuing to provide this link.

Dorchester Road seems likely to be left without a service. Council officers note that changes to commercial (Stagecoach) services over the last two years have provided more frequent services on nearby roads, and that the Dorchester Road service "simply provides a shorter walk to the nearest bus stop".

Service 9 also receives funding for diversions in West Hull, to serve the Grammar School Road area; this diversion is also part funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, which wishes to withdraw it's share of support. The Hull City Council decision instructs officers to "engage with bus companies to finalise agreements" for services in this area to continue, again another de minimis arrangement.

"Minor" financial contributions to some 'out of city' services will also end from 1st April 2017 (not 31st October 2016 as officers recommended). This covers service 350 tendered by North Lincolnshire Council, and services 78/277 and 105 tendered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council. The 105 must cover two Sunday morning return journeys that East Riding of Yorkshire Council wish to withdraw funding for, and I guess the 350 covers the EYMS operated Monday to Saturday evening or Sunday journeys as I think all Stagecoach journeys are commercially operated; East Riding of Yorkshire Council also wish to withdraw funding for their share of the EYMS operated Monday to Saturday evening journeys. It is not clear what service 78/277 journeys are impacted. These contributions are below £1000, though it is not clear if that is per service or for all the services concerned, and I can only presume the contribution is per annum.

Some happy news to end on - Stagecoach have said they will require no subsidy for service 6 from 1st April 2017 to maintain the current service level.

Sunday 4 September 2016

Stagecoach 450 Weekday Afternoon Change

Tomorrow, Monday 5th September, Stagecoach are amending the weekday timetable on service 450, between Immingham and Barton. The 1445 from Immingham to Barton, which starts in Grimsby at 1415 as service 5, will only operate on Saturdays, and be replaced on weekdays by a 1345 Immingham to Barton, not starting in Grimsby but offering a connection from the 1315 service 5 from Grimsby.

I presume this relates to changes in the school day at Baysgarth School in Barton, where Stagecoach did, and I guess still do, hold a school bus contract. While I can understand the reasons for the change, it is unfortunate. The previous 5/450 from Grimsby is at 1245 just half an hour earlier, and the next 5 to Ulceby is not until 1715, four hours later. Also unless weekday shoppers into Grimsby from Barrow, Thornton Curtis or Wootton fancy an early 0830 arrival, they will only have 2 hours 15 minutes between the next 1100 arrival and needing to catch the 1315 bus home (or else use Call Connect from South Killingholme or Ulceby).