Monday 30 October 2017

EYMS takeover 270 and 502

Bus King are giving up three of their five local bus routes in East Yorkshire this coming weekend. The Hessle Town Service is passing to Stagecoach although they have not yet announced this or released a timetable on their website. Meanwhile EYMS are taking over services 270 and 502 from Monday 6th November operating to their current timetables.

Service 270 provides a solitary Monday to Friday evening peak departure from Driffield to Beeford via Nafferton, Wansford and North Frodingham, leaving Driffield George Street at 1710; on schooldays it also serves Driffield School. Nafferton is otherwise served by EYMS's far more frequent 45/46 and 121 services, while Wansford, North Frodingham and Beeford are otherwise served by Bus King's approximately three hourly 136, which for Driffield commuters offers 0719 or 0939 arrivals as the morning peak priority on this service is to serve Bridlington instead. I presume the 270's main flow is school children attending after school activities, and maybe some afternoon Driffield shoppers?

EYMS had been operating the 270 until September 2013 and their return to the route may be short lived as it is due to have it's East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) funding withdrawn in April 2018. The service has an average five passengers per journey at a subsidy of £8.03 per passenger according to ERYC's 2016 Review of Bus Services documentation.

Service 502 provides a Monday to Friday weekday evening peak and Monday to Saturday evening service between Bridlington, Flamborough, Bempton and Buckton. Services depart Bridlington Bus Station at 1715 (Not Saturday), 1905, 2005, 2105 and 2300, and Buckton at 1933, 2033 and 2133.

For Flamborough the 1715 fits in between the 1655 and 1755 EYMS service 510 departures from Bridlington Bus Station, with the evening service nicely following on from that final 1755 departure. From Flamborough Dog and Duck into Bridlington the final 510 is at 1825 with the first 502 at 1944. The situation for Bempton and Buckton is a bit different however - EYMS Bridlington town service 504 provides the Monday to Saturday daytime service to these villages, but the 504 only operates off peak. This means the 502 has no equivalent morning peak service from Bempton and Buckton, and on Saturdays there is a rather large gap in departures from Bridlington between between 1630 and 1905 and Monday to Saturday from Bempton between 1650 and 1935. Bempton does also have a railway station.

The 502, despite being primarily an evening service, is not due to have its ERYC council funding withdrawn; in the balanced scorecard used by ERYC it missed the 'chop' by one place. It carries on average five passengers per journey at a cost of £3.08 per passenger journey. Bus King have been operating the service since September 2013 when they took over from TD Travel, who in turn took over from EYMS in April 2011.

Bus King are, as far as I can tell, going to continue to operate the Monday to Saturday 136 between Driffield and Bridlington and the Monday to Friday 530 Driffield Town Service.

Sunday 1 October 2017

Further Cuts to the 22

Tomorrow, Monday 2nd October, sees Hornsby Travel reduce weekday Scunthorpe Town Service 22 from a half hourly to hourly frequency. The service links Lakeside Retail Park with Timberlands, Bottesford Lane, Bottesford Road, Ashby Town Centre, Priory Lane, Devonshire Road, Glanville Avenue and Scunthorpe Town Centre. The Saturday service was withdrawn in February after previously being reduced from half hourly to hourly. At one point around 10-11 years ago the service operated every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday, with Stagecoach operating half hourly alongside Hornsby Travel.

Hornsby Travel spoke to the Scunthorpe Telegraph about the changes:
"Unfortunately there isn’t sufficient income on service 22 to pay for two buses and drivers for 20 hours a day. The number of houses in the Timberlands and Lakeside area is growing but the number of passengers travelling isn’t growing. Putting up fares by a large amount to meet the shortfall isn’t an option so instead we can provide one bus and driver on an hourly timetable, making sure the peak journeys to the colleges have a larger bus. This will be sustainable without council support."

"Mr Hornsby criticised developers of the Lakeside estate for a perceived failure to plan suitable bus routes as part of the development. He said ... "There is only one road suitable for a bus. All other roads in the estate do not have sufficient road space for a bus to have a circular route in it which would give the public better access to a bus service and potentially more passengers using the service. There are also metal fences around the various areas which results in people having to walk hundreds of meters to a bus stop when it may be just outside their door. The consultation on the Lakeside housing development with bus operators and consultants was a waste of time because we were ignored. Buses and bus passengers may not be the top item to design into any new development whether it is a housing estate or retain area but they have to be planned in first. If not they are almost impossible to build in later."

"Simon Usher, the managing director for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, one of the major developers on the Lakeside estate, said: "The public transport policy for the development was comprehensively considered in partnership with the local authority at the time of the planning application process."

I'm not familiar with the area so can't comment on the design issues raised, but perhaps a good time to point out that North Lincolnshire Council are currently running a consultation on the Scunthorpe bus network that can be accessed here and an associated council report is available on this page. In summary the consultation is part of a Scunthorpe Bus Network Review which takes into account the following:
• "An analysis of bus passenger journeys in Scunthorpe using data held by bus operators
• An analysis of whether the current network met passenger and non-passenger needs and any potential changes that might improve connectivity for customers
• An understanding of future trends and developments
• Proposals to improve passenger journeys which would then hopefully result in an increase in passenger numbers
• Potential opportunities to increase the number of commercial services in Scunthorpe
• Information from passenger feedback, bus surveys and contacts made by local people in relation to the bus network.
The aim was to develop initial recommendations arising from the review by October 2017.  The council and local bus operators would need to agree to any changes, with the aim of implementing from April 2018".