Sunday, 25 December 2016

New late evening Hull-Barton Journeys

Some positive news to report this Christmas Day. From Tuesday 3rd January, Stagecoach are adding three extra late evening Monday to Saturday journeys to the 350 Humber Fastcat service, between Hull and Barton only. There will be new departures from Hull Paragon Interchange to Barton Interchange at 2220 and 2330, and from Barton Interchange to Hull at 2255.

Currently the last departure from Hull is at 2125, and from Barton Interchange at 2156, so these later journeys are a significant improvement to the evening service. Whilst I'm sure Hull City of Culture 2017 has played a large part in justifying these services, they will be useful for late night train connections at Hull Station, evening football matches at the KC Stadium and evenings out in general, in Hull but also for anyone attending an evening event in Barton. Hopefully they are well used - it's ambitious adding this improved evening service 6 days a week, as opposed to say just Friday and Saturday initially.

The 'even interval' hourly early to mid evening service goes a bit off pattern - 1825, 1925, 2025, 2125, 2220 then 2330 from Hull - but this is understandable as trying to do a Hull-Barton round trip in a hour would be rather challenging. The new departures from Hull also nicely fit around EYMS service 66 along Boothferry Road in Hull during the late evening; the 66 departs Paragon Interchange at 2140 and 2300, with the 350 perfectly filling an 80 minute gap at 2220 and then offering a half hour later last departure.

It's not clear whether the new evening journeys will be routed via Barton Market Place, Pasture Road and Butts Road - there is no timing point for the Market Place but from the Humber Bridge toll booths to Barton Interchange the new evening journeys are allocated 15 minutes rather than the 13 minutes allowed on existing evening journeys, which could allow for serving the Market Place - it would be illogical in my opinion not to serve the Market Place/Pasture Road/Butts Road in Barton as not doing so would make parts of Barton over half an hour walk away from the nearest bus stop served by the new evening journeys.

Clearly the new journeys will involve some out of service mileage. On the assumption that Hull depot operates the new journeys (as opposed to Scunthorpe), that will be from Barton to Hull just after midnight. Given that the 350 operates a direct and quick route into Hull it seems a shame not to run in service as far as Hull City Centre just in case someone finds the journey useful.

Traveline East Midlands shows that most existing Monday to Saturday journeys are due to be retimed slightly, but Stagecoach's new timetable doesn't show that. The timing point for Primark on Carr Lane in Hull City Centre has also disappeared with Stagecoach's new timetable. I'm not sure if the 350 is back running via Carr Lane yet, if it is due to do so again in early 2017 when 'public realm' works are entirely finished or if the service has been 'pulled' from the Hull City Centre loop entirely - I hope not as it is useful to have the option of catching the bus in the eastern half of the city centre rather than having to walk back to the Interchange, and to be able to connect from North Hull services (when I was at university getting off a 105/115 at Carr Lane and catching the 350 there frequently got me home half an hour earlier!).

Anyway, great to see the new late evening journeys!

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