Saturday 30 September 2017

Later Acklams 142 on Schooldays

On 5th September, Acklams Coaches added an extra journey to their service 142 - a new 1710 departure operates on schooldays from Beverley Bus Station to Molescroft, Cherry Burton, Etton and back to Beverley - the previous last Acklams service was at 1500 with a later EYMS journey at 1535. The extra journey comes after requests from Cherry Burton residents, and it is good to see Acklams Coaches responding to these requests.

If the new journey is successful it could also operate during school holidays (last bus from Beverley 1500) and on Saturdays (EYMS have a 142 departure at 1600). I guess the current schoolday only operation is based around using a vehicle and/or driver that has just finished a school run?

Friday 29 September 2017

Service 398 was to have been withdrawn

Catching up with something that happened over the Summer - Stagecoach cancelled their 398 Tuesday Only Belton to Gainsborough 'shopper' service registration with VOSA. The 398 links parts of the Isle of Axholme to Gainsborough on market day, routing via Nottinghamshire, departing Belton at 0945 and returning from Gainsborough at 1310. Somewhat surprisingly to me, the cancelled VOSA registration (PB0001484/190) had it recorded as a commercial service - Stagecoach's only other public service on the Isle of Axholme is an evening peak tendered service on the 399 from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside.

In the end it seems North Lincolnshire Council stepped in with funding and the 398 was reregistered to the same timetable:

From: Belton To: Gainsborough Via: Name or No.: GA_398 / 398 Service type: Normal Stopping Effective date: 04 September 2017 Other details: To reinstate route following Council request. Supported by Helen Reek of North Lincolnshire Council. Hail and ride on all sections where traffic and safety conditions allow.

Saturday 23 September 2017

9a back to East Hull Only

Back in April Stagecoach extended Monday to Saturday hourly daytime East Hull service 9a to the Bricknell Estate in West Hull, routing via the Avenues and Inglemire Lane. On Monday 4th September the 9a once again became an East Hull only service. The Bricknell Estate gains a quicker, more direct, link into Hull City Centre as a replacement - the 3b - and the Avenues are already well served.

Fairfax Avenue once again becomes unserved while Inglemire Lane goes from a half hourly off peak daytime service (service 9/9a combined)/less frequent in the peaks to just hourly off peak on the 9. Until April Inglemire Lane was unserved apart from the university term time only nightbus 107. The evening service has also been reduced to Inglemire Lane on the U5. Looks like Stagecoach's experiment here hasn't worked out as planned - trying a service enhancement around the University and new Halls of Residence mostly during holidays on one hand perhaps isn't the best time to do something new, but on the other hand when the 9a and to an extent the U5 are integrated into the main network, they really need to be sustainable when there are no students.

Looking back at this years changes I do think the old 9 routing in West Hull via the Bricknell Estate to Cottingham had considerable advantages, giving both the Hull and East Riding parts of the Bricknell Estate a direct service into Hull, as well as providing through links from Chanterlands Avenue and the Bricknell Estate to Cottingham and Castle Hill Hospital. I don't know what punctuality was like on the old 9, nor financial performance, and East Riding of Yorkshire Council withdrew their financial contribution in April, but from my outsiders view (maybe too outside) it seems the old 9 was the best solution. If Inglemire Lane can justify a service then maybe a stand alone service could be provided, perhaps reinstating a Beverley Road to Newland Avenue link at the same time, and/or restoring a service to Oldstead Avenue, the western part of Greenwood Avenue and the southern part of Ellerburn Avenue?

Crayons away, there are some other changes to the 9 and 9a timetables. On weekdays there is a new 0920 9a from Paragon Interchange to North Point, filling a 90 minute gap in the 9a between 0850 and 1020, and an hour's gap in the combined 9/9a between 0850 and 0950. The 1500 service from Cottingham on Saturdays now extends beyond James Reckitt Avenue to North Point, whilst the final service 9 of the day Monday to Saturday from Paragon Interchange at 1850 is withdrawn, with the last service now at 1820. In the opposite direction from North Point the 1555 9a is withdrawn, with the last 9a now at 1455 and creating a 90 minute gap in the combined 9/9a between 1530 and 1700 on weekdays; on Saturdays the 1700 service 9 from North Point to Paragon Interchange is replaced by 1630 and 1730 departures maintaining an hourly frequency all afternoon.

Friday 22 September 2017

Stagecoach 5/U5 Evening Changes

As part of Stagecoach's service changes in Hull on 4th September, the Monday to Saturday evening service on the 5/U5 routes between Hull City Centre, the Avenues, Orchard Park and Kingswood was revised.

Starting with weekdays, the previous arrangement was a half hourly 5 from Hull Old Town to Kingswood, and a half hourly U5 from Hull Old Town to the Hall Road/Endike Lane roundabout, via Inglemire Lane. This has now changed to a half hourly 5 between Paragon Interchange and Kingswood (two journeys still start back from the Old Town), supplemented by a half hourly U5 from Hull Old Town to Kingswood in the early evening only (last departure 2015 from Kingswood, 2030 from Hull Old Town).

These changes are an improvement for Hall Road which now has four buses an hour to/from Hull City Centre in the early evening combined with the 3, and for northern parts of Orchard Park and Kingswood which regain a quarter hourly early evening service 5/U5. It does however reduce the late evening Stagecoach frequency in the Avenues from quarter to half hourly, whilst Inglemire Lane's last bus is now 2040 from Paragon Interchange as opposed to 2335.

On Saturdays the 5 had been operating half hourly between Hull Old Town and Kingswood, as on weekdays, with the U5 operating every 10-20 minutes between Hull Old Town and the Hall Road/Endike Lane roundabout to give a service every 10 minutes between Hull Old Town and the Avenues. This has now been changed to a half hourly service 5 between Paragon Interchange and Kingswood (the last journey still starts in Hull Old Town) and a half hourly U5 between Hull Old Town and Kingswood, but unlike on weekdays, the Saturday U5 operates all evening.

As on weekdays this is great news for Hall Road, northern parts of Orchard Park and Kingswood while the Avenues area and Inglemire Lane see a reduction in services though.

Late buses are cut back on Saturday's, now 2330 last bus rather than 0030 from Kingswood, and 2320 from Hull Old Town/2330 Paragon Interchange rather than 2330 from Hull Old Town or 0055 from Hull Truck Theatre. The new N125 provides a partial replacement for the Avenues and northern part of Beverley Road.

Sunday 17 September 2017

Nightbus to and from Beverley

As well as the N62 to North Ferriby, Brough and Elloughton, Stagecoach's other new nightbus service from Hull into the East Riding of Yorkshire this September is the N125 to Beverley. The N125 runs from Monument Bridge in Hull City Centre via Ferensway, Princes, Newland and Cranbrook Avenues, then right onto Greenwood Avenue and up Beverley Road to Dunswell, Woodmansey and Beverley Bus Station. Journeys into Beverley route via Swinemoor Lane and Hull Bridge Road, while the outbound route appears to be the quicker option via Flemingate (see simpli after dark map).

The N125 runs on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and has three departures from Monument Bridge, at 2320, 2350 and 0050, with the 2320 also serving Paragon Interchange. There is one solitary service back from Beverley at 0015 to Ferensway, which is probably just an in service positioning journey, but maybe useful for anyone wanting a Saturday night out in Beverley, or needing to travel from the Avenues into Hull City Centre for a connecting service.

The 2320 is an entirely new journey, however the 2350 and 0050 act as partial replacements for service 5 journeys from Hull Guildhall at 2355 and 0055; the N125 serves the Avenues and parts of Beverley Road as the 5 does, but not the Orchard Park Estate, aside from Tesco on Beverley Road, or Kingswood. This 'tactic' of 'piggybacking' a new nightbus service onto an existing service was also used for the N62, and reduces the amount of new mileage involved - the 2350 and 0050 are only 'new' north of the A1079/A1033/A1174 roundabout.

The last EYMS service from Hull to Beverley is at 2300, so no overlap between EYMS and Stagecoach in this direction, although from Beverley to Hull EYMS have a 0024 service.

Hopefully the N125 does well, serving both Hull City Centre and the Avenues area of nightlife should help. Again like the N62, the N125 is trying to tap into Hull's growing evening/night-time economy, but like the N62 it also faces the promotional challenge of Beverley, Woodmandsey and Dunswell not being significant Stagecoach operating territory, and there are no services from these locations to the Avenues so passengers would need to connect or walk from Beverley Road on their inbound journey.

Saturday 16 September 2017

Stagecoach N11 (and 11 changes)

As part of Stagecoach's changes to services in Hull on Monday 4th September, service 11 between Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road, North Point and Kingswood has been revised. Evening times have been changed to improve co-ordination with other services and there are some notable changes to very late services.

From Kingswood the final two weekday services at 2310 and 2340 have been replaced by a single 2335 service, 50 minutes after the previous journey at 2245. On Saturdays the half hourly evening frequency from Kingswood continues until 2345, but the 0022 from Kingswood Leisure Park has been withdrawn.

From Hull City Centre the previous 0000, 0030 and 0100 service 11's from Hull Truck Theatre on Saturday night/Sunday morning have been replaced by two service N11's at 0000 and 0100. The new 'N' prefix is needed as these journeys now deviate significantly from the standard 11 route. After serving Lowgate in Hull's Old Town they follow the 11 route up part off Holderness Road, before using the 12 route via Summergangs Road and Gillshill Road. Then it's along Ings Road, served only by the 9 and 677 and otherwise unserved Savoy Road to rejoin the standard 11 route via Bellfield Avenue and Spring Cottage. After Spring Cottage the service routes via Wawne Road, otherwise covered by the 9a and 12 before routing via the residential areas of Kingswood to terminate at Kingswood Retail Park.

The new N11 route seems to be an attempt to maximise how much of East Hull can be served by one route, without being too long for residents at the far end of the route in Kingswood. It's not as simple as largely just following the standard 11 route as before, but more people get a chance to have a nightbus service. Parts of Holderness Road previously served by the 11 on a Saturday night/Sunday morning are now covered by the N4.

Monday 11 September 2017

Service 13 Start/End of Day Reductions

As part of last Monday's (4th September) changes by Stagecoach to services in Hull, service 13 saw some reductions at the start and end of the day - it continues to provide a half hourly daily daytime service between Hull Paragon Interchange, Salthouse Road and North Point, extending to Orchard Park on weekdays.

The 13W variant has been withdrawn - this operated twice on weekday mornings 'clockwise' from Paragon Interchange via Chanterlands Avenue to Orchard Park and the main service 13 route back to Paragon Interchange, and once anti-clockwise in the evening. The main purpose seemed to be links to Wilberforce College. Now however these services operate as standard 13's between Orchard Park, North Point and Paragon Interchange only.

In the weekday morning peak the 0650, 0720, 0750 and 0824 from Paragon Interchange have become three departures at 0710, 0740 and 0810. The last weekday journeys each way in the evening, at 1808 from Orchard Park and 1840 from Paragon Interchange to North Point are withdrawn, with last services now half an hour earlier in each direction. On Saturdays the last two services from Paragon Interchange to North Point, at 1824 and 1840 have been withdrawn, with the last departure at 1755. On Sundays first departure from Paragon Interchange becomes 0940 instead off 0845, and last departure 1740 rather than 1815; from North Point the last departure is now 1645 rather than 1718.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Some Park and Ride Journeys back via the A63

Last Monday - 4th September - Stagecoach partially reversed a change they had made in April to Hull's Priory Park Park and Ride service. In April the service was routed away from the A63 to instead operate into the City Centre via Hessle Road, Askew Avenue, Boothferry Road and Anlaby Road. Now alternate weekday peaktime journeys will resume operating via the A63, providing a 20 minute frequency via the A63 and a 20 minutes frequency via Askew Avenue, where all stops are served. Within Hull City Centre, morning journeys via the A63 will operate via Carr Lane and Queens Dock Avenue rather than via Hull Truck Theatre, Albion Street and Bond Street.

The 3, 3a, 3b, 4 and N4

Monday's changes (4th September) by Stagecoach to their Hull network included 'cross city' service 3 and 4, and new services 3a, 3b and N4. The 3 and 4 link Orchard Park, Hull City Centre and Greatfield/Bilton Grange, but via different routes between the three locations, and operate as a circular at both ends of the route.

On service 4 there are two new weekday journeys from Paragon Interchange to Bilton Grange at 0430 and 0500, current first service at 0530, and four new weekday journeys from Paragon Interchange to Orchard Park at 0440, 0510, 0540 and 0610, current first journey at 0625. As a result the first two weekday service 3's from Greatfield no longer start back at Marfleet Lane and the first four weekday service 3's no long start back at Greenwood Avenue - service 4 now covers these extensions. Other early morning improvements see the first four weekday service 3's from Orchard Park now operating through to Greatfield. This means the first departure for Greatfield from Paragon Interchange is now at 0537 rather than 0657. Additionally the 0600 service 3 from Greatfield to Paragon Interchange on weekdays now extends to Orchard Park, providing a 30 minute earlier first service from central Hull.

On Saturday's the first three departures from Greatfield on service 3 also no longer start back on Marfleet Lane but only the latter of these services seems to be covered by a slightly retimed first service 4 of the day. The first three Greatfield departures on service 3 do now however operate through to Orchard Park on Saturdays now, rather than a connection being required for cross city travel at Paragon Interchange.

Both service 3 and 4 have timing changes throughout the day. The last service 3 from Greatfield to Orchard Park is now split at Paragon Interchange so that it continues to depart to West Hull at 2330. On service 4 the 2300 from Bilton Grange to Orchard Park now only operates between Paragon Interchange and Orchard Park on weekdays, last Bilton Grange departure becomes 2230.

The other big change is very late evening, with new service N4 introduced from Hull City Centre via Holderness Road to Diadem Grove (so omitting Marfleet Lane as served by service 4) then around Bilton Grange and extending into Greatfield and onto Preston Road. There will be a 2330 departure from Hull Interchange Monday to Saturday and then extra journeys at 0000, 0030 and 0100 on Saturday night/Sunday morning from Hull Truck Theatre. These journeys replace the previous service 3 departures from Hull Truck Theatre to Greatfield and onto Bilton Grange and Marfleet Lane at 0000 and 0100 on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

The N4 seems to be in part about covering the diversion of the 11's nightbus journeys away from parts of Holderness Road as otherwise it would make more sense to use the route of service 3's previous nightbuses and provide a quick journey to Preston Road/Greatfield without compromising travel time to Bilton Grange too much. The end result is a slight increase in the nightbus provision however which is welcome to see.

Finally to the 3a and 3b, which replace the 9a in providing a service to Bricknell Avenue Estate - the 9a will no longer operate in West Hull. Back in April the Bricknell Avenue Estate saw service 9 replaced with a longer routing into Hull City Centre on service 9a. Now the direct route into Hull City Centre via Chanterlands Avenue that service 9 used to use, is brought back - service 3b will provide a simple Paragon Interchange-Chanterlands Avenue-Bricknell Avenue-Burnsiton Road-Grammar School Road-Bricknell Avenue-Chanterlands Avenue-Paragon Interchange loop every hour Monday to Saturday daytimes (with one two hour gap on weekday mornings). A single service 3a operates from Paragon Interchange in the evening peak, extending to Orchard Park after serving the Bricknell Avenue estate. The change does mean Fairfax Avenue becomes unserved again but otherwise it seems like a far better service than what the 9a was providing.

Monday 4 September 2017

Kingswood Service 6 Small Reductions

Back in April, Stagecoach introduced a new 2330 journey on service 6 Monday to Saturday from Hull Paragon Interchange to Kingsbury Way, Kingswood, on a route which otherwise has no evening service - service 7 being the main evening service to most off Kingswood. From today (Monday 4th September), the 2330 will no longer operate on weekdays, but will continue to do so on Saturdays.

The last three journeys from Kingswood are also withdrawn Monday to Saturday, at 1820, 1850 and 1920 from Kingsbury Way, but there is a new 1900 departure on Saturdays only. Again these now withdrawn journeys were only introduced in April, and service 7 provides an alternative for Kingswood travellers heading into Hull City Centre, and to Kingswood Retail Park and Beverley Road, at these times.

Sunday 3 September 2017

New N62 nightbus to North Ferriby and Brough

Not sure if it started yesterday - the 2nd - or next week - the 9th - but North Ferriby and Brough have gained/are gaining a new Saturday nightbus service. (The VOSA registration is effective the 2nd, but the details are listed on the Stagecoach website under changes being introduced from Monday 4th).

Stagecoach are incorporating their current late Saturday night/early Sunday morning services on service 2 between Hull City Centre, Boothferry Estate and Hessle into new service N62 between Hull City Centre, Boothferry Estate, Hessle, North Ferriby and Brough (Elloughton Road) - the N62 number 'ties in' with their X62 service between Hull and Leeds via Brough and North Ferriby. The N62 will operate from Hull Paragon Interchange at 2330, replacing the previous service 2 at 2325 from the Interchange to the Boothferry Estate, and then from Hull Truck Theatre on Ferensway at 2400 and 0100, replacing previous service 2 departures to Hessle at the same time.

Currently the last service from Paragon Interchange to North Ferriby and Brough is on service 153 at 2255. North Ferriby and Brough have a sparse evening service from Hull - the 155 from Hull at 1800 (commercial) and 1950 (subsidised) and then the 2255 153 (subsidised), so the N62 means there will be as many departures from Hull City Centre between 2300 and 0100 as there will be between 1800 and 2300! (There is an evening rail service as well). For Hessle there is currently a gap between the 2305 57 from Carr Lane and the 0000 service 2, which the 2330 N62 will nicely fill.

Single fares will be £1.80 within Hull, £2 to Hessle, £3 to North Ferriby and £4 to Brough.

It will be very interesting to see how the new N62 does; incorporating the established Hull to Hessle section should help leaving only the Hessle to Brough section as 'new' mileage. The City of Culture and Hull's growing evening/night-time economy will hopefully kick start and sustain the N62. Brough is also seeing significant new housing development. On the other hand three services within 90 minutes all the way to Brough is a bold start, especially given the minimal current evening service. Additionally neither North Ferriby or Brough are major Stagecoach operating areas, so beyond any X62 users there is no existing Stagecoach customer base to target - it will mostly need to be 'new to Stagecoach' customers. I would wonder how EYMS will react but given the sparse, partly subsidised, existing evening service I doubt they will be bothered so long as a nightbus is the extent of Stagecoach's ambitions in the area, as it has been in Hessle (except Boothferry Road).

It seems that Stagecoach are missing out the villages of Melton and Welton which will mean slightly quicker journey times to Brough, although at that time of night I suspect the time saving will be very small. It also seems that Elloughton won't be served, even though the N62 could easily extend there before running back to Hull. Another idea could be to extend at least the last departure to South Cave (and maybe even beyond) on a request basis. Credit though to Stagecoach for trying something out and I hope it works out for them and supports Hull's night time economy.

The new N62 seems to return empty from Brough to Hull, so the Sunday morning 0025 service 2 from Hessle to Hull has been withdrawn. Also, as a consequence of the 2325 service 2 becoming a N62 extending to Brough, the final service 1 departure from Boothferry Estate to Hull at 2350 is withdrawn on Saturdays only, with the last service now at 2320.

Also on service 1, the weekday 2210 from Boothferry Estate now operates as a standard 1, rather than a 1W via Smith and Nephew, while the final 2315 departure from Paragon Interchange Monday to Saturday moves to 2330 - Stagecoach are trying to standardise last Monday to Saturday departures from Paragon Interchange at 2330, which also sees the weekday service 2 from the Interchange to Boothferry Estate at 2325 depart 5 minutes later.

EDIT - If you search for the N62 timetable as opposed to using the link in the service change announcement on the Stagecoach website, a different format timetable is shown, which indicates the N62 terminates in Elloughton Main Street, not Brough Elloughton Road.