Sunday, 22 July 2018

The residual 504, and the end of the 502

EYMS operated their service 504 for the last time on Saturday 5th May. Under EYMS operation the service routed from the village of Bempton, north of Bridlington, via Buckton, the Hawthorns Holiday Park, Bempton Lane, Marton Road, Marton Gate, Sandsacre Road and Limekiln Lane before operating a 'loop' via the Health Centre and Bridlington Bus Station back to Limekiln Lane and as per the inbound route. The service operated hourly Monday to Saturday off peak, with some schoolday afternoon gaps.

From Tuesday 8th May EYMS had new service 5 operating half hourly along Bempton Lane, services 12 and 13 operating every 30/60 minutes along Marton Road, service 6 every hour along Marton Gate and service 14 every hour along Limekiln Lane. However their new network did not include Bempton or Buckton, nor Sandsacre Road.

As far as I can tell Sandsacre Road has no replacement service, but for Bempton and Buckton, East Riding of Yorkshire Council (EYRC) have stepped in, with a limited replacement. From Wednesday 9th May, ERYC introduced a directly operated 504 between Bempton and Bridlington, albeit with a different route. The 504 still serves Buckton and The Hawthorns Holiday Park but then serves Darwin Road as a service 503 replacement and St Aidan Road as a service 510 replacement before running to the Health Centre and Bridlington Bus Station. Like the 504, the 503 and 510 had both operated hourly Monday to Saturday, the 510 at peak times as well. EYRC's 504 started with two journeys in each direction on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, departing Bempton at 0930 and 1130, and Bridlington Bus Station at 1100 and 1300. Tomorrow, Monday 23rd July, sees a 1330 departure from Bempton and 1545 service from Bridlington Bus Station added to the timetable.

This is huge cut for Bempton, Buckton, Darwin Road and St Aidan Road. In addition, for Bempton and Buckton it came at the same time as the loss of their other service, the ERYC funded, EYMS operated 502 which provided a weekday evening peak and Monday to Saturday evening service between Bridlington Bus Station, Kirkgate, Sewerby Road, Viking Road (evening)/Sewerby Hall (peak), Flamborough, Bempton and Buckton. 

The following quote is from the Bempton Parish Council website (note the route in the evenings on service 502 was not the same as the 504):
"Service 502 operates Monday to Saturday along the same route in the evenings.  This service is currently subsidised by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.  However, given EYMS’s decision to terminate the daytime services, the Council has decided to cease providing subsidy for the evening service and transfer this subsidy in order to maintain a daytime connection to Bridlington for residents of Buckton and Bempton.  The council feels that maintaining a link to health facilities, shopping and other key facilities during the day for residents is the best way to use the resources currently available to it for the purpose of supporting a bus service for the two villages.  "

In this context the withdrawal of the 502's subsidy is understandable, even if it is regrettable. It should be noted Bempton has also a rail station on the Hull-Bridlington-Scarborough line.

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