Monday 27 August 2018

Stagecoach 11 and N11

Service 11 between Hull Paragon Interchange, North Point and Kingswood Retail Park was included in Stagecoach's changes in Hull from 30th April. Various journeys were retimed, especially on Sundays, but there were three main changes, and sadly all of them were minor cutbacks.

On Saturday's the first three morning departures from North Point into Hull City Centre no longer serve Hull Royal Infirmary or Smith and Nephew, instead routing direct to Paragon Interchange (this early morning route diversion remains on weekdays). On Sunday evenings the frequency was reduced from half hourly to hourly.

The Saturday nightbus service N11 was also withdrawn. The N11 comprised journeys at 0000 and 0100 in the early hours of Sunday morning from Hull Truck Theatre that served Holderness Road then Summergangs Road and Gillshill Road from route 12, Ings Road from route 9, Savoy Road, Bellfield Avenue and Spring Cottage from route 11, Wawne Road and the residential areas of Kingswood before terminating at Kingswood Retail Park. Last departures from Hull City Centre are now at 2330 from Paragon Interchange.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Kingswood and other North Hull Changes

Stagecoach made major changes to services 6 and 9 in Hull from Monday 30th April, that were part of a wider package of revisions that also included services 7, 8, 10 and 13.

Service 6 and Service 9, which previously only 'interacted' in Hull City Centre, now form a circular. Service 6 is the least changed route, continuing to run from Hull Paragon Interchange to Kingswood direct via Beverley Road. Apart from morning peak services into Hull, the 6 now starts/finishes at Kingswood Health Centre, not Kingsbury Way, however the circular formed with route 9 maintains the link to/from Kingsbury Way. Service 6 continues to operate every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes, the only notable change to the times being the withdrawal of two Saturday only journeys at 1900 from Kingsbury Way, and the 2330 from Paragon Interchange. These were the only evening journeys on route 6, and everywhere served by route 6 has alternative evening services.

Service 9, and it's 9a variant, however see far bigger changes. What is arguably the 'core' part of the 9/9a, between Hull Paragon Interchange, Garden Village, Ings Road (9)/Lambwath Road (9a), Leads Road and North Point remains, and at it's frequency of half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes with peak times all operating as service 9 and off peak alternating between the 9 and 9a. Saturday morning services into Hull now begin at the same time as weekdays - 0621 from the Leads Road timing point as opposed to 0803 previously.

The 9a's diversion between Leads Road and North Point via Robson Way, Howdale Road, Kestrel Avenue, the southern part of Noddle Hill Way and Wawne Road was withdrawn and transferred to new service 13 variant 13a, reducing journey times on service 9a. Service 13 operates every half hour daily daytimes between Hull Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road, Salthouse Road, Dunvegan Road, part of Howdale Road, Midmere Avenue and North Point, extending via Sutton Park to Orchard Park on weekdays only. The new 13a variant is provided hourly off peak Monday to Saturday, with one service 13 an hour operating via the eastern part of Howdale Road that the 9a had previously covered, instead of Dunvegan Road, then missing out the western part of Howdale Road and Midmere Avenue in order to serve Kestrel Avenue, the southern part of Noddle Hill Way and Wawne Road. The last 13a from Paragon Interchange is at 1455 rather than 1620 on the 9a.

The 13a appears to be a good way to cover the eastern section of Howdale Road and Kestrel Avenue as the parts of the main 13 route omitted are covered by the 11 every 15 minutes, and still keep the 13 once an hour - the time when the 13 remaining half hourly along Dunvegan Road and the western part of Howdale Road matters most is on Sunday daytimes, when the 11 is only every half hour and the 13 is needed to provide four fairly well spaced services a hour.

Also withdrawn from the 13 was the morning peak variation that saw services into Hull start from Noddle Hill Way and operate via Barnstaple Road to Midmere Avenue, rather than starting from North Point. Service 12 continues to link Noddle Hill Way into Hull City Centre at these times.

Finally the extension of service 9 into West Hull, between Paragon Interchange, Princes Avenue, Newland Avenue, Cranbrook Avenue, Inglemire Lane, Hall Road, Endyke Lane, Cottingham Green, St Margaret's Avenue and Castle Hill Hospital was also withdrawn. This section of route had been reduced last year to near enough operate Monday to Saturday off peak only, with departures hourly from Paragon Interchange between 0805 (0910 Sat) and 1510, and from Castle Hill between 0900 and 1600. This removed it's use for commuting and any early or late hospital appointments, at least in both directions. The only unique parts where along St Margaret's Avenue in Cottingham, and as the only daytime service along Inglemire Avenue, which retains the evening U5 and 107 nightbus. The ability to use a Stagecoach ticket to reach Cottingham and Castle Hill Hospital has also been lost.

All these withdrawals of bits of the 9 and 9a have allowed it's extension from North Point via Honiton Road, Wawne Road, Kingsbury Way and Grosvenor Road (on the newest part of Kingswood) to Kingswood Health Centre. Most journeys start as/continue as service 6 to/from Hull Interchange via Kingswood Retail Park, and those that don't extend to/from Kingswood Retail Park.

The final bit of the Monday to Saturday daytime 'jigsaw' for Kingswood is the withdrawal of half hourly service 7's one way loop around the residential parts of Kingswood. From North Point it had operated via Bodmin Road, Kingsbury Way, Kingswood Health Centre, Kingswood Retail Park and Bodmin Road back to North Point, but now operates direct between North Point, Bodmin Road and Kingswood Retail Park in both directions as part of it's Hull Paragon Interchange-Sutton Park-North Point-Kingswood Retail Park route. Service 9 provides the replacement link between North Point and the residential areas of Kingswood.

This new network comes with some significant advantages. The 7's old loop led to long journey times from Kingsbury Way to North Point, and from parts of Bude Road to Kingswood Retail Park, but services now operate direct in both directions on routes 9 and 7 respectively. Also previously both of the routes from Kingswood's residential areas operated into Hull City Centre via Beverley Road, but now one - the 9 - operates via parts of West Hull, providing more options for passengers. Passengers on the 9 and 9a route, for example in Garden Village, also now have services to Kingswood Retail Park and Kingswood Leisure Park via the through service with route 6.

Elsewhere on the 7 and associated 8 services, five late afternoon journeys on service 8 from North Point into Hull start at Kingswood Health Centre in leiu of service 9, which reduces to hourly inbound to Hull City Centre in the late afternoon; service 8 otherwise largely operates only as a Hull-Sutton Park-North Point 'service 7 short' every half hour Monday to Saturday daytimes.

The 'one way' loop arrangement around Kingswood on service 7 had also applied in the evenings and on Sundays, but has been replaced with service 8a operating Hull Paragon Interchange-Beverley Road-Sutton Park-North Point-Honiton Road-Wawne Road-Kingsbury Way-Grosvenor Road-Kingswood Health Centre-Kingswood Retail Park. Frequency remains every half hour Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, dropping to hourly on Sunday evenings. Other than the Kingswood Retail Park extension, and no timing point at North Point Wilko's, I can't see how the 8a differs from the later afternoon 8's that serve Kingswood, and hence can't really see why the 'a' suffix is needed. Anyway, a better service than the old loop arrangement for Kingswood.

Bodmin Road and Bude Road have lost their evening and Sunday links to Beverley Road with the 7's replacement by the 8a. Service 10, which also covers Bodmin Road, now operates as service 10a Monday to Saturday evenings and Sundays, with a small diversion to include Kingswood Retail Park. This covers the link from the Bude Road to Kingswood Retail Park and also provides new links from North Bransholme and Wawne to Kingswood Retail Park - or rather partially restores them as the old 20 and K1 used to offers such links. The 10a operates every half hour Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, and hourly on Sunday evenings.

Saturday 25 August 2018

Stagecoach Hull 3b

Continuing the catchup with Stagecoach's April changes in Hull, from Monday 30th April their service 3b between the Bricknell Estate and Hull Paragon Interchange was revised and slightly cutback. The service remains hourly Monday to Saturday morning peak and daytimes, but with all journeys having revised times and almost every Saturday journey running five minutes later than the weekday equivalent. The service also now finishes earlier, with the last service leaving the Bricknell Estate at 1602 weekdays compared to 1657 previously (Sat last departure now 1707) and Paragon Interchange at 1545 weekdays and 1650 Saturdays compared to 1740 previously.

The 1740 had operated as a 3a, following the 3b route from Paragon Interchange to the Bricknell Estate then extending to Orchard Park Tesco. This particular version of the 3a no longer operates at all now, with the suffix being reused for an evening variation to the main service 3 - more in a future blog post.

Friday 17 August 2018

Saturday Cutbacks and a Weekday Addition

Back on Monday 30th April, Stagecoach revised services 1 and 2 in West Hull, with the main change being a disappointing reduction in the Saturday daytime frequency from every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes. Service 5 between Hull and Orchard Park is now the only Stagecoach service in Hull to have a Saturday daytime frequency of every 10 minutes. On the one hand not a drastic change, and still 'turn up and go', to me at least, but not a positive change.

The Saturday N62 service over the 2 route from Hull City Centre to Boothferry Estate, then extended to Hessle, North Ferriby and Brough was withdrawn at the same time. It had comprised departures from Hull Paragon Interchange at 2330, and from Hull Truck Theatre at 0000 and 0100. In it's place is the return of the N2, but not as a 'traditional' midnight onwards nightbus service. Instead the N2 provides just a 2330 departure from Hull Paragon Interchange, but now operating Monday to Saturday, including extending to Brough six days a week. On weekdays this is a welcome development as the last EYMS buses are at 2255 to North Ferriby and Brough (service 153) and 2305 to Hessle (service 57). However on a Saturday it means the last service from Hull City Centre is now 90 minutes earlier than previously, and for the Hull to Hessle section there have been buses after midnight on a Saturday night/Sunday morning since at least 2004 (maybe longer, I'm just going by my memory and timetable collection). Stagecoach withdrew all post 2330 departures in their April changes, leaving EYMS 106 and 107 as the only remaining nightbuses in Hull.

Monday to Friday as a result of the new N2, which replaces the previous 2330 service 2 from Paragon Interchange, the 2352 service 1 from Boothferry Estate is withdrawn, with the last departure now at 2330.

Times for various other journeys on the 1 and 2 were slightly revised at the same time, including a rather odd 40 minutes gap in the otherwise half hourly weekday evening service, between 1925 and 2005 from Hull Interchange on service 2, and between 1950 and 2030 from Boothferry Estate on service 1.