Friday, 30 March 2018

Brough Town Service withdrawn

Easter Saturday (31st March), is the last day of operation for the 158 Brough Town Service. The service is falling victim to East Riding of Yorkshire Council cuts to bus subsidies. According to the council's 2016 'Review of Bus Services in the East Riding', the EYMS operated 158 carries an average 4 passengers per journey at a subsidy of £4.34 per passenger journey. Annual passengers were 19618.

The 'main' 158 operates mostly every 40 minutes, Monday to Saturday daytimes from Elloughton's EYMS depot via Beech Road and Hunter Road to Brough Crossroads (as opposed to Main Street and Elloughton Road used by the 155 and X55) then routes via Welton Road to Myrtle Way in East Brough. From here the 158 retraces it's route to Brough Crossroads before operating a loop via Skillings Lane, Saltgrounds Road, Station Road and Welton Road back to Brough Crossroads. The 158 then returns via Hunter Road and Beech Road to Elloughton before extending to Stockbridge Park in west Elloughton via Stockbridge Road and finally returning to Elloughton EYMS depot for a brief break. Three journeys Monday to Friday have also included a trip from Elloughton to Welton and Melton.

Some parts of the 158 do have alternatives. Melton and Welton were added to the 158 when the 155 was reduced from hourly to two hourly, but the 155 went back up to hourly in February. Welton Road in Brough and Stockbridge Road in Elloughton are well served by the 155 and X55 providing two buses an hour. However other parts of Brough and Elloughton are not so lucky.

From my fairly limited knowledge of Brough and Elloughton (so please correct me if I'm wrong), a full size bus probably wouldn't be suitable for Beech Road, Hunter Road or Stockbridge Park. Proposing to use Brough's main 155 or X55 services to serve these areas (or the 143 or X62) therefore probably wouldn't be possible. However full size buses could serve parts of the growing residential areas in East Brough (with more development to come), as well as the Skillings Lane/Saltgrounds Road/Station Road area. Unfortunately looking at the timetables the 155 has 10 minutes 'layover' at Elloughton and 8 minutes at Hull Interchange which would be tight to serve an additional part of Brough whilst still providing some time for delay recovery and driver changeover. The X55 looks tightly timed on South Cave terminating journeys. If EYMS didn't have an Elloughton depot maybe replacing the Brough to Elloughton part of the 155, also covered by the X55, with Skillings Lane would have been an option - but I presume Elloughton is needed on the 155 for driver changeovers.

So with diverting other services not likely to be realistic as a replacement (aside from the three day a week 143 Beverley 'shopper' or Stagecoach X62 to Leeds that wouldn't be any use for local journeys within Brough) it is worth asking - had retaining the 158 on less days of the week been considered? In North Lincolnshire the Barton and Brigg Town Services operate on alternate days of the week under what I believe is the same contract. Could the Brough and say Hessle town services have done the same?

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