Sunday, 28 January 2018

88 Goole to Thorne reduced to Rawcliffe Bridge shoppers bus

After operation on Saturday 3rd February, EYMS service 88 between Goole and Thorne will cease in it's current form. The route currently provides a Monday to Saturday daytime link between the two towns, via Rawcliffe, Rawcliffe Bridge and Moorends. The service operates every 90 minutes on weekdays and every 80 minutes on Saturdays, apart from a 2 hour 10 minute lunchtime gap. EYMS state the withdrawal is because "since taking over the service a couple of years ago after another operator withdrew from the route, there have not been enough people travelling to cover the costs of running the bus".

EYMS started the 88 in September 2015 when First truncated their Doncaster to Goole service at Moorends. In May last year the first and last round trips were withdrawn, before being partially reinstated on a trial basis in September.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council are stepping in to fund a limited replacement. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays one journey will operate from Rawcliffe Bridge to Goole at 0930, returning at 1230. EYMS will remain as the operator, and this ensures that Rawcliffe Bridge retains a bus service. If this revised 88 continues long term, maybe the route could be diverted via Airmyn and Hook which have limited bus services, or provide journeys to these villages in between Rawcliffe Bridge journeys?

As already mentioned, there is only one place on the 88 route that does not have an alternative service, Rawcliffe Bridge, population at the 2011 census: 837. Rawcliffe is served by Arriva's hourly Monday to Saturday daytime 400/401 route between Goole, Snaith and Selby (plus Thornes 488 into Goole on a Wednesday), whilst Moorends has frequent services into Thorne provided by First. In addition there is a hourly rail service between Goole and Thorne North station on the outskirts of Thorne. Put this together, and as disappointing as this change is, it starts to become a bit more understandable.

The uneven interval timetable probably didn't help either, especially on Saturdays. However in some ways it is a potential 'catch 22' situation. A 90 minutes frequency on Saturdays would need an extra driver, an hourly frequency any day of the week would need an extra vehicle and drivers on what is already a commercially challenging route, whilst an even interval two hourly frequency would have meant less journeys.

There is another factor potentially involved here. Until last April, East Riding of Yorkshire Council made a small 'de minimis' contribution to the 88 off 7p per passenger journey. (The consultation documents on the cuts gave an annual passenger figure of 45630 for the 88 and an average of 10 passengers per journey).


Anonybus said...

It's only 20 minutes from Rawcliffe to Moorends, so in theory it would be possible to have an hourly minibus shuttle between the two, unless it would be cheaper to extend the 87 hourly from Moorends instead. And as long as through ticketing was available, of course.

In an ideal world, though, the Google-Pontefract train service would be restored to a proper daily hourly service, with most of Rawcliffe Bridge being about half a mile from Rawcliffe station, but even better would be Rawcliffe Bridge gaining its own halt, and Moorends' own disused station being reopened (apparently one of those things that's talked about for years while plenty of excuses are found to do nothing about it).

City of Hull & Humber Environment Forum said...

Nice ideas but in reality.
Minibus service would have to be Community Transport (CT) as registered bus services have to be low floor. CT would need paying for and passengers would be charged (East Riding Council policy).
Rail - Raawcliffe station is very near to Bridge. Moorends? Possibly but very good bus service in to Doncaster from Winning Post. You will find the majority of passengers in the area are concessionary pass holders who generally will not pay for rail travel.

Anonybus said...

A minibus service could be anything from a registered bus service to a bookable taxibus, depending on feasibility and funding. There are at least 3 fully accessible vehicles on the market that are suitable for all such uses, if that was ever to be a desired solution.

A Rawcliffe Bridge halt would only be about a mile east of Rawcliffe station, but the bulk of Rawcliffe Bridge's housing is just over half a mile southeast of Rawcliffe station, hence it would be nice to have, but a reinstated regular train service at Rawcliffe would be a greater priority and of immediate benefit to far more people across a wider area.

Moorends already having a good bus service to Doncaster is more than enough proof that there would sufficient demand for the existing hourly train service to stop there, and it would provide a useful interchange too. Ten years ago it was reported in the local press that Doncaster council had aspirations to reopen 8 stations in the borough, including Moorends, and we all know that forecasts for reopenings tend to significantly underestimate actual demand in any case!

City of Hull & Humber Environment Forum said...

Do you mean minibus? Minibuses can no longer be used on a registered bus service. A bookable bus would be under Section 19 or 22 if not prebooked. East Riding Council would not reimburse concessionary fares. Any new station would cost millions. Tocs would not encourage additional stops between Goole and Doncaster as it slows the train down. As Rawcliffe Bridge the net gain would be extremely negible especially when suck poor frequency. Billions are being poured in to rail whilst the bus industry is being starved.