Sunday, 9 September 2018

When Three become Two

From Monday 30th April, Stagecoach consolidated evening services on the 3 and 4, along with most evening services on the 14, into two routes, the 3a and 4a.

Service 3 runs from Orchard Park Tesco via Hall Road, Bricknell Avenue, Chanterlands Avenue, Hull City Centre, Holderness Road, Preston Road and Annandale Road to Grange Road Roundabout in Greatfield. The 4 also runs between Orchard Park Tesco and Grange Road Roundabout, but via Ellerburn Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, Beverley Road, Hull City Centre, Holderness Road, Marfleet Lane, Staveley Road, Barham Road and Amethyst Road. Most 3's continue as service 4's, and vice versa, at both Orchard Park and Grange Road. Service 14 links Hull Paragon Interchange with Greatfield Falkland Road via Holderness Road, Portobello Street, Wingfield Road and Annandale Road.

The revised evening 3a follows the 3 route from Orchard Park to Annandale Road before diverting via Wingfield Road, to cover part of the 14, and Hopewell Road, otherwise unserved, to Amethyst Road which becomes the changeover point to/from service 4a. Of the service 3 route only Grange Road is unserved.

Service 4a however has two changes from it's daytime counterpart. From Orchard Park Tesco the 4a operates direct to Beverley Road, omitting Ellerburn Avenue and Greenwood Avenue which are left with the half hourly service 5 in the evening - a fairly significant drop from the 10 services an hour provided on Monday to Saturday daytimes (services 4 and 5, service 13 also provides an extra two services an hour on weekdays but not direct into Hull City Centre). Between Holderness Road and Staveley Road the 4a routes via Portobello Street to replace the 14 rather than Marfleet Lane on the service 4 route, which is left without an evening service.

Between them the 3a and 4a cover all of the 14 route apart from Falkland Road which is also left without a service for the vast majority of the evening. So very little left unserved/almost unserved in the evening with these arrangements, and probably some notable savings for Stagecoach, but not an ideal evening network either. It's not just three roads unserved, but it's further complexity in the 'simplibus' network. Frequency on the 3a and 4a is half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and hourly on Sunday evenings, the same as what was previously provided on the 3, 4 and 14. The 3a from Paragon Interchange starts at 1830 Monday to Saturday despite there being a 1840 service 14.

At the end of the evening, the N4 provides a 2330 departure daily from Paragon Interchange to Holderness Road, Diadem Grove, Staveley Road, Amethyst Road, Grange Road, Annandale Road and Preston Road. The N4 had been running Monday to Saturday only, but now also runs on Sundays replacing the 2300 4 from Orchard Park (last 4a from Orchard Park now 2205). On Monday to Saturdays the 14 retains a 2330 departure from Paragon Interchange despite having no service for the rest of the evening. Other than to maintain a late evening departure to Falkland Road, Grange Road and the section of Holderness Road between Bellfield Avenue and Diadem Grove, offering the N4 and 14 at 2330 seems unnecessarily complicated, especially with a 2330 departure on service 3a Monday to Saturday from Paragon Interchange as well. Running the N4 as a 4a, extended from Amethyst Road to Falkland Road via Grange Road, and not having the 2330 14 would tie in better with the rest of the evening network, and perhaps the 'spare' bus from the 14 could run a late departure on another route. Talking of the Holderness Road, maybe on service 56 to Longhill - EYMS's last departure is at 2300, though Stagecoach did have a 2330 departure on this route some years ago before withdrawing it.

As with all other Stagecoach nightbuses, the Saturday night/Sunday morning 0000, 0030 and 0100 departures on service N4 from Hull Truck Theatre were withdrawn, leaving the 2330 N4 from Paragon Interchange as the last service.

The other 'headline' change is the halving of the Sunday daytime frequency of service 3 from every 15 minutes to every half hour. Stagecoach pointed out in their announcement at the time that the 3, 4 and 14 provide a combined service to Greatfield every 10 minutes, but the only common section of route is Annandale Road.

Other changes include slight retimings to various journeys, and an additional weekday morning service 3 from Orchard Park to Paragon Interchange at 0650. 

No comments: