Wednesday 31 May 2017

260 Saturday Service Cut

The North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) website reports that the Saturday service on the 260 'Barton Villager' is to end. The service links Barrow, Goxhill and New Holland with Barton, and operates seven daytime journeys on a Saturday. The route is operated by Stagecoach under contract to NLC.

"From 3 July 2017 the Barton Villager Saturday service will no longer operate.  Passengers can use the CallConnect service".

The Saturday service was introduced in 2012. It is not clear if the cut is down to a need to find cost savings, low usage, a combination of these, or something else. I have sometimes seen the first arrival into Barton on a Friday full (on an Optare Solo) but that doesn't necessarily mean the Saturday service loads as well.

Clearly this cut is disappointing, however there are far worse cuts that could be made. The 260 continues to operate on weekdays, for those who can rearrange their trips to a different day. There is CallConnect as NLC point out. Not that NLC are promoting it on their website service changes page, but for Barrow residents there is also the NLC subsidised 450 to get them into Barton on a Saturday without the need to pre-book CallConnect. One positive could at least be to 'funnel' some extra passengers onto the 450, but if it isn't promoted as an alternative that is less likely to happen. Reminds me of when the 150 was withdrawn NLC just promoted CallConnect and ignored the Thursday diversion of the 260 to East Halton. Goxhill and New Holland also have the train into Barton, and retain one Saturday bus service - the 366 to Brigg and Scunthorpe which also serves Barrow.

Monday 29 May 2017

Afternoon Peak Scunthorpe-Kirton Service to be restored

At the start of April, Kirton in Lindsey saw a significant reduction in it's main bus service, the Stagecoach 103, including the withdrawal of it's afternoon peak service from Scunthorpe as the last departure became just after 1600. From 12th June a weekday later departure is restored, with a new 1730 service from Scunthorpe to Kirton being operated 'in-house' by North Lincolnshire Council. Unlike the Stagecoach 103, this new service will operate via the A18 and B1398, presumably to avoid any competition issues with commercial services along Ashby Road, Messingham Road and to Messingham itself.

Welcome news!

Monday 22 May 2017

EYMS Hull to York Changes

Sunday 21st May saw EYMS amend it's Hull to York services, and while one route was withdrawn completely, another service group saw some improvements.

As briefly already mentioned, the X4 has been withdrawn due to what EYMS say is "low numbers of regular passengers meaning that this high-mileage service costs more to run than it takes in fares." The X4, branded as the Wicstun Express, started in March 2011 as a Market Weighton to York express service with five weekday and four Saturday roundtrips. In February 2012 the service was extended to start back in Brough, also serving Elloughton, South Cave and Sancton, but reduced to four weekday and three Saturday round trips. January 2013 saw North Newbald added to the route, while in July that year the service was extended further to start back in Hull, serving North Ferriby en-route to Brough; it was also increased up to five round trips. May 2015 saw the first service from York truncated to start in Market Weighton on weekdays and withdrawn entirely on Saturdays.

As can be seen EYMS tried to make the Wicstun Express work, with various changes in the six and a bit years it operated. The X4 saved only 12 minutes over the hourly X46 from Market Weighton (plus Shiptonthorpe and Hayton) to York Station off peak, and only 5 minutes compared to the 46 to York Station Road, so despite omitting Pocklington the time saving was minor and arguably not enough for the X4 to be perceived a significantly faster service. There are now more 45/46's serving Market Weighton as a partial replacement for the X4.

Between Hull and York the X4 was slightly quicker than the X46 and in the hours it operated enabled EYMS to offer two Hull to Market Weighton and York services an hour. Was this not appreciated by passengers, or did passengers just prefer to stick to the consistent every hour X46? The train is also an option for Hull to York travel, and en-route also serves Brough.

So with other options for Hull, Brough and Market Weighton to York, Hull to Market Weighton and for local travel between Hull and South Cave inclusive, arguably the X4's USP came down to North Ferriby (very limited train service to York), Elloughton, South Cave (and Brough for OAP's with their free bus passes) to Market Weighton and York, plus the small villages of North Newbald and Sancton. Not big markets. It's a shame for North Newbald and Sancton, the latter is down to just the Friday 198, whilst the former has the 198 plus three day a week 143 - however at the start of the 2012 the only difference compared to now was the 198's predecessor, the S2, running on a Tuesday as well as a Friday.

What could have made the X4 work? An hourly service? Divert via Pocklington? Maybe, but that would have probably have been at the expense of a reduced 45/46, and at the expense of some of the X55/Petuaria Express frequencies. It would probably have meant 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'.

Part of me thinks it's a shame there isn't a Saturday only residual service for York daytrippers, like the old 857 service, but I guess that such a service would face the problem of what to do productively with a vehicle and driver in York all day.

Moving on to the main X46 service between Hull and York via Beverley, Market Weighton and Pocklington, there is a revised timetable but the Monday to Saturday daytime service remains hourly. There is a new 0605 X46 from Hull on Saturdays that replaces the 0615 X4. On weekdays there is a new 0810 X46 from Hull to York which starts in Market Weighton on Bishop Burton College Days and seems to replace the previous 0915 service 46.

Evening and Sunday variation X47 now serves Barmby Moor and Wilberfoss, and while on Sundays this is to replace the 45/46, on Monday to Saturday evenings these are limited additional services for the two villages.

Sundays see the biggest change, and it's a significant enhancement. The previous every 'one to two hour' frequency daytimes becomes hourly - matching Monday to Saturday - and continuing to alternate between the X46 and X47. This does partially replace the 45/46 between Pocklington and York, but between Hull and Pocklington is a genuine enhancement which is good to see.

Sunday 21 May 2017

EYMS 45/46 Revised and Cut Back

Today, Sunday 21st May, sees some major changes to EYMS's 45/46 group of services between Bridlington, Driffield, Market Weighton, Pocklington and York.

Very major on a Sunday actually, as the entire Sunday service is withdrawn. This had comprised three service 45 round trips between Bridlington and York plus five service 46 round trips between Pocklington and York - giving the Pocklington to York section an approximate 90 minute frequency. All these services were financially supported by East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) until the end of March this year. The 46 had an average 10 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £1.72 per passenger; the Sunday service performed sixth worst in the 'balanced scorecard' used by ERYC to determinate which contracted services would be having their funding removed. The 45 performed better with an average 20 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £1.67 per passenger journey.

To partially mitigate the changes, EYMS have diverted service X47 via Barmby Moor and Wilberfoss, which will provide these villages with five Sunday journeys each way between Hull, Pocklington and York, operating every two hours. Pocklington to York via Kexby Bridge also benefits from enhanced Sunday services X46/X47 which now operate hourly combined Sunday daytimes as opposed to every 1-2 hours previously. Dunnington and the University of York have alternative Sunday links into York with First York so as far as the Pocklington to York section is concerned the main loss is links east of Pocklington.

Between Bridlington and Driffield service 121 operates hourly on Sundays, although the first departure from Bridlington is at 1025 rather than 0830 on service 45. Any passengers for Pocklington and York will need to travel via Beverley and change. For Bridlington to York the Coastliner also offers an alternative, albeit one that is designed to get daytrippers to Bridlington rather than to York. There are however no alternatives for the villages of Warter and North Dalton between Pocklington and Driffield.

Monday to Saturday also sees big changes. It's probably easier to break them down into three sections; York to Pocklington, Pocklington to Driffield and Driffield to Bridlington.

Between York and Pocklington the service remains hourly daytimes, with some additional services that had operated over and above this frequency withdrawn. The major change is a reduction in services running via the University of York, which had been served by all journeys except those via York Maze and the 2305 from York. Now only most morning journeys from Pocklington and most afternoon journeys from York will run the university - this should at least cater to the main traffic flows from Pocklington and surrounding villages to the university, and First have frequent services between the university and York City Centre. Not serving the university saves five minutes on journey times.

Dunnington sees slightly more services from York/to Pocklington and less in the other direction. Calls in the 0945, 1145, 1345, 1645 (Sat), 1730 (Mon-Fri), 1835 and 2305 from York become calls in the 0900 (Not Sat), 0950, 1150, 1650, 1850, 2105 and 2305 (Fri+Sat). From Pocklington calls in the 0800, 1055, 1255, 1455 and 1745 become calls in the 0800, 1300 and 1500. This provides a basic service for Common Lane in Dunnington and for any Dunnington to Pocklington shoppers. The main service for Dunnington is provided by First (and Transdev).

Services running via Dunnington and/or the University of York use service number 45; service 46 is only for journeys omitting both locations.

A note about the evening service which until late March was subsidised by ERYC with an average 10 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £2.89 per journey. The 2025 from Pocklington remains, as does the 2110 from York, retimed to 2105 and now serving Dunnington. The 2225 from Pocklington and 2305 now operate on Fridays and Saturdays only.

On the Pocklington to Driffield section, very few services will now use the direct route via Warter and North Dalton; only the 0650 Bridlington to York, 1350 York to Driffield or Bridlington and 1850 York to Bridlington. These journeys will have an A suffix added to their route number, the only route variation to gain a suffix. Whilst North Dalton will also be served by other journeys, Warter will not, and it's only other bus service is the Tuesday 199 'shopper' to Pocklington.

The previous Pocklington to Driffield timetable had a 0905 46A between the two towns via Market Weighton, Middleton, North Dalton, Bainton, Tibthorpe and Kirkburn, then 0945, 1130, 1330 and 1630 departures from Pocklington via Market Weighton, Middleton and Bainton and 1030, 1230, 1430 and 1920 departures from Pocklington via Warter and North Dalton. All bar the 0905 started in York and some continued onto Bridlington.

There are now just five departures from Pocklington to Driffield, at 1035 via Market Weighton, Middleton and Bainton, at 1235 and 1635 via Market Weighton, Middleton and North Dalton and at 1435 and 1930 via Warter and North Dalton. Extra departures from Pocklington to Market Weighton operate at 1130 and 1330. All services start at York, and apart from the 1435 on schooldays, all run through to Bridlington.

From Driffield previous services departed the Middle Street South stop at 0723, 1020, 1220, 1420 and 1710 via North Dalton and Warter, at 1110, 1510 and 1620 via Bainton, Middleton and Market Weighton, and at 1258 as service 46A via Kirkburn, Tibthorpe, Bainton, North Dalton, Middleton and Market Weighton. Some started in Bridlington and all continued to York. Extra journeys from Market Weighton operated at 0725 (Not Sat), 0915 (Not Sat) and 0940 (times taken the Griffin).

As with services from Pocklington, departures from Driffield are reduced to five a day. A 0723 departure operates via North Dalton and Warter, 1015 and 1215 departures via North Dalton, Middleton and Market Weighton, a 1415 departure via Bainton, Middleton and Market Weighton, and a 1710 departure via Bainton, North Dalton, Middleton and Market Weighton. All start in Bridlington and continue to York. Extra departures from Market Weighton are at 0725 (Not Sat), 0945, 1145 and 1345, creating hourly departures from Market Weighton between 0945 and 1445.

These changes maintain a basic service between Pocklington/Market Weighton, Middleton and Driffield. Bainton and North Dalton retain services, though the first North Dalton to Driffield service is at 1304, with the only suitable return at 1710 - North Dalton shoppers may prefer to use Market Weighton or Pocklington instead. With only one eastbound service, Bainton customers only have a usable shopping/leisure service now to Driffield or Bridlington (plus Beverley on Acklams 142). Tibthorpe and Kirkburn Village Centre are unserved, and will be left without a bus service (is there a stop on the A614 main road on the edge of Kirkburn that the 45/46 can use?).

Finally looking at the Bridlington to Driffield section, the service is reduced from six to five journeys each way, with the 0900 from York truncated at Pocklington, and the first arrival into Bridlington now at 1154 rather than 1104. The penultimate 1545 departure from Bridlington is also removed. In addition the 1350 from York now terminates in Driffield on schooldays, with a connection onto service 121 required for travel further eastwards.

In reviewing these changes between Pocklington, Driffield and Bridlington, it's important to note that ERYC removed some financial support at the end of March for the 0905 Pocklington to Driffield and 1255 return on Saturdays between Middleton and Driffield - average 4 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £7.59 per passenger journey - and also for the 1345 York to Brildington east of Pocklington and 1545 Bridlington to York east of Pocklington - average 11 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £3.07 per passenger journey. The 1345 survives, truncated at Driffield on schooldays, however there has been an overall thinning out of the timetable, and I'm sure these subsidy cuts have contributed to that.

Friday 19 May 2017

Major EYMS Changes between Hull and Goole

On Sunday (21st May), EYMS are making significant changes to it’s services along the ‘A63 corridor’ between Hull and Goole. There is a major simplification of services, some positives and some significant negatives.

At present the Monday to Saturday daytime service comprises an hourly Petuaria Express between Hull Interchange and Goole via Hull Royal Infirmary, Rawling Way, the A63, Brough, Elloughton then either the A63 again, Newport, Gilberdyke Village Centre and Eastrington (service X55) or South Cave, North Cave, Newport and the 'main road' in Gilberdyke (B1230) (service X56), before both variations 'reunite' and serve Howden into Goole. This is supplemented by service 155 between Hull and South Cave via Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Boothferry Road as far as Darleys Roundabout, residential parts of North Hessle (Swanland Road, Barrow Lane and Ferriby Road), North Ferriby High Street, Melton, Welton, Brough, Elloughton, Brantingham and Ellerker, operating just over every 2 hours.

The above is very much a simplification, at peak times/mornings some journeys on service 153 between Hull and Melton West extend to Brough, Elloughton and in some cases South Cave. Some 155 journeys operate as far as Goole, some journeys as service 155A serving Anlaby instead off Boothferry Road, while some Petuaria Express journeys operate as route X57 serving South and North Cave as well as Gilberdyke Village Centre and Eastrington. On top of this there is also service X4 between Hull and York via North Ferriby, Brough, Elloughton and South Cave.

After operating on Saturday 20th May the X4 is being withdrawn entirely, due to what EYMS say is "low numbers of regular passengers meaning that this high-mileage service costs more to run than it takes in fares". In so far as the 'A63' corridor is concerned the big change is the loss of links to Market Weighton and York, as the service was timed with York passengers in mind, however the X4 did still form part of the overall service offer between Hull, North Ferriby, Brough, Elloughton and South Cave operating every two hours. (I'll cover the other impacts of the X4 withdrawal separately).

As the X4 ceases to form part of services along the A63 corridor, the 153 becomes a lot less significant, with only one evening journey operating west of Melton each way Monday to Saturday.

Simplification is also achieved on the Petuaria Express as the X56 and X57 are gone, with a revised X55 remaining. The X55 will no longer use the Clive Sullivan Way leaving Hull, instead routing along Anlaby Road, the full length of Boothferry Road and serving the new Bridgehead Business Park before picking up the A63 to Brough. This maybe less prone to delays and will certainly mean more opportunities to pick up additional passengers. After serving Brough and Elloughton the X55 operates direct to South Cave, with certain journeys then serving North Cave, Newport, Gilberdyke Village Centre, Eastrington, Howden and Goole. The 'new X55' will operate hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes between Hull and South Cave, with extensions to Goole every two hours; the South Cave 'shorts' will serve Water Lane, which is currently served by the 155.

The off peak Monday to Saturday daytime 155 will now link Hull and Elloughton via it's existing route, operating every two hours (exactly!). At peak times, and late afternoons (when there are various changes to the standard pattern), some journeys run as far as Goole, using the same route as service X55 (barring some services via Brantingham). Some 155A variations also remain early morning and on one weekday late afternoon journey.

Looking in more detail at what the changes mean for certain communities - Go back about ten years and Boothferry Road between the Hull City boundary and Darleys roundabout had the 155 every hour, and the 350 every hour (Mon-Sat daytime frequency). Over time this has evolved with the 350 going half hourly and the Humber Flyer routing along here, but the 155 being approximately halfed. With these changes the 155 frequency isn't much different but the X55 adds a further hourly service along here, and Stagecoach become a little less dominant in this small part of traditional EYMS territory.

Between Darleys Roundabout and the Humber Bridge it was just the hourly 350, but with the addition of service X55 there are now 4 services per hour along this part of Boothferry Road, which is seeing new housing development. Boothferry Road has certainly seen a substantial improvement in frequencies over the past decade.

Whether by accident or design the new 155/X55 co-ordinate well with the 350/Humber Flyer leaving Hull Interchange Monday to Saturday daytimes. The hourly X55 leaves at :25 past the hour; perfect co-ordination between the :10 past :40 past 350 departures. The 155 in the hours it does run departs on the hour, fitting in perfectly between the :50 past Humber Flyer and :10 past 350. Sadly going into Hull it's not so good; the X55 leaves Bridghead Business Park at :46 past the hour, with a 350 leaving the comparable Humber Bridge stop at :42 past the hour.

For Brough and Elloughton, journey times to/from Hull on the Petuaria Express increase with the revised route, from 25 minutes inbound off peak from Brough, to 38 minutes. On a more positive note the journey time differential with the 155 reduces, which now only takes 10 minutes longer, so maybe passengers will perceive a '3 buses per every 2 hours' frequency rather than hourly plus an occasional slow bus? Although there is the loss of the X4 to consider as well.

Decimated would be an appropiate word to describe the impact of these changes on the village of Brantingham between Elloughton and South Cave. Currently it enjoys a daytime service every 2 and a bit hours on the 155, but from next week it will be served only by the weekday 0619 North Cave to Hull, the 0725 Elloughton to Goole, the weekday 1428 Goole to Hull, and by evening journeys - i.e. what I think are the East Riding of Yorkshire Council supported journeys. The only other bus service to Brantingham is the 3 day a week 143.

However what for Brantingham is a decimation of service 155's, is a total elimination for nearby Ellerker, and it will be left with the 143 as it's only bus service.

Another big negative is on the Newport to Goole section of route, which goes from hourly to every 2 hours. For Eastrington and parts of Gilberdyke village it's already two hourly, but for Newport, Gilberdyke as a whole, Howden and Goole it's a halving of service. The first arrival into Goole on weekdays is also significantly later at 0827 into Goole Interchange as opposed to 0702 at present. Hull to Goole, Hull to Gilberdyke and Gilberdyke to Goole does have the train as an alternative, but the location of the station in Howden is a long way from the town and not on the route to Goole. Rail also isn't an option for Newport.

One small piece of good news in Goole is that the Petuaria Express will serve Goole Hospital in and outbound instead of just inbound as at present (with outbound passengers needing to travel via Goole Town Centre).

Aside from the 1820 X57 from Hull to Goole becoming a 1800 service 155, Monday to Saturday evening services are unchanged. On Sundays the X57 between Hull and Gilberdyke becomes the 155 between Hull and South Cave; this means the end of Sunday buses for North Cave, Newport and Gilberdyke which had enjoyed three X57s' each way. The new Sunday 155 provides four daytime journeys each way and reintroduces Sunday services to parts of Hessle. It does however duplicate the 153 in Melton and Welton.

Friday 12 May 2017

EYMS 153 Changes

From Monday 21st May, EYMS service 153 sees some alterations as part of wider changes to services along the 'A63 corridor'. On Monday to Saturday's the only services west of Melton will be the 1856 Elloughton to Hull and 2255 Hull to South Cave. This means an improved service for Nunburnholme Avenue in North Ferriby as more service 153's will now complete the loop of residential areas in the village instead, with the first service into Hull City Centre becoming 0720 (0728 Sat) as opposed to 1023, while the last return will be at 1745 rather than 1540 (1640 Sat).

Sunday services are unchanged, including serving the villages of Melton and Welton; this is in addition to the Sunday service 155 via these villages being restored.

Monday 1 May 2017

EYMS 88 reductions

From Monday 21st May, EYMS are reducing service 88 between Goole and Thorne. The service was introduced in September 2015 to replace First's long standing Goole-Thorne-Doncaster service. Until March East Riding of Yorkshire Council provided financial support that amounted to 7p per passenger journey, but this subsidy was a victim of cuts to the council's financial support for bus services.

Due to low use, the first and last weekday journeys in each direction will be withdrawn - 0725 and 1740 from Goole, and 0806 and 1820 from Thorne; first journeys will now be at 0850 from Goole and 0930 from Thorne, and last journeys at 1620 from Goole and 1700 from Thorne. Other journeys are unaffected; 6 journeys each way will now be provided on weekdays as well as on Saturdays, but with the differing 90 minute weekday and 80 minute with a lunch break Saturday frequencies remaining.