Sunday 29 September 2019

Stagecoach East Hull 16 minor reduction

Back on Monday 2nd September, Stagecoach amended East Hull service 16 between Paragon Interchange, Victoria Dock, Newbridge Road and Preston Road (Archbishop Sentamu Academy). The service remains hourly for much of the day Monday to Saturday, but now has some additional gaps on weekdays. College day service 86 was also withdrawn at the same time; this had previously filled in some gaps in service 16.
  • The 0840 from Paragon Interchange to Archbishop Sentamu Academy was withdrawn on weekdays during college holidays. Combined with the end of service 86 there are now no weekday departures from Paragon Interchange between 0720 and 0940. The 0840 continues to operate on Saturdays.
  • The 1440 from Paragon Interchange and 1509 return from Archbishop Sentamu Academy no longer operate on Thursdays, leaving a 150 minute gap in the timetable. During college term times this is presumably related to Wilberforce College having an early Thursday finish.
  • The 1540 service 16 (college holidays)/service 86 (college days) from Paragon Interchange is replaced by a new Monday to Friday service 16 from Paragon Interchange at 1610. The 1540 service 16 remains on Saturdays.
  • The 1609 service 16 from Archbishop Sentamu Academy (college holidays) and 1620 service 86 from Wilberforce College (college days) are replaced by a new Monday to Friday service 16 1640 departure from Archbishop Sentamu Academy. The 1609 continues to operate on Saturdays.

Sunday 22 September 2019

Stagecoach 9 Afternoon Changes

Stagecoach made some afternoon timetable changes to services 9/9a in Hull from Monday 2nd September. The routes link Kingswood, North Point, Garden Village and Paragon Interchange and combined operate every half hour Monday to Saturday daytime.

The 1415 service 9 from Kingswood, and the 1455 service 9 from Paragon Interchange no longer operate Monday to Friday, leaving an hours gap in the combined 9/9a timetable in each direction, and a two hour gap in the 9 timetable. On the positive side an additional journey has been added on Saturday afternoons from Kingswood at 1545 on service 9a, filling an hour's gap in the combined timetable and providing a latter last service from Kingswood and North Point to Lambwath Road, on the 9a's unique section of route.

Saturday 21 September 2019

Bricknell Estate Weekday Afternoon Changes

From Monday 2nd September, Stagecoach reduced service 3b between the Bricknell Estate and Hull Paragon Interchange Monday to Friday, by withdrawing the last journey in each direction. As a result the last weekday departure from Paragon Interchange is now at 1445 rather than 1545, and from Hartoft Road Shops on the Bricknell Estate at 1502 rather than 1602. (The 3b continues in operation for a further two hours on Saturdays).

Later weekday services from Paragon Interchange to the Bricknell Estate are however available on new Wilberforce College service 85, which appears to operate year round as opposed to just during college term times. The 85 departs Paragon Interchange at 1515 and 1645, and operates via Beverley Road and Cottingham Road as opposed to the 3b route via Chanterlands Avenue. The 85 also replaces previous college day service 86, which had a departure from Paragon Interchange for the Bricknell Estate at 1702.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Hornsby Service 4 Changes

On Monday 10th June, Hornsby Travel altered the Monday to Friday timetable on their service 4 between Brigg, Broughton, Lakeside Retail Park, Ashby, Scunthorpe Bus Station and Foxhills Industrial Estate. The 'core' hourly daytime frequency was unaffected. Alongside some minor retimings,, the main points of note were:

From Brigg:
  • The 0625, 0705 and 0725 from Brigg to Foxhills Industrial Estate (serving Lakeside at 0646, 0726 and 0746) were replaced by a 0640 Lakeside to Foxhills, a 0650 Brigg to Foxhills (0710 from Lakeside) and an 0740 Lakeside to Foxhills. (The earlier 0450 from Brigg to Foxhills remains). Overall this reduces the morning peak service from Brigg and Broughton to Ashby, Scunthorpe and Foxhills by two journeys.
  • The 0745 from Brigg to Scunthorpe Bus Station now operates at 0730, and serves Town Hill and South View in Broughton; previously the first westbound services from these areas was the 0830 from Brigg to Scunthorpe.
  • The 1830 from Brigg to Scunthorpe Hospital terminates at Scunthorpe Bus Station.
  • The 1915 'direct' services from Brigg to the Hornsby Depot in Ashby now serves Lakeside Retail Park and extends to Scunthorpe Hospital via Scunthorpe Bus Station. This fills a gap in Brigg to Scunthorpe departures between 1830 and 2050.
  • There is a new 2305 'direct' service from Brigg to Ashby Hornsby Depot
To Brigg:
  • The 0605 from Ashby Hornsby Depot to Brigg, arrive 0623, via Broughton Red Lion at 0615 has been replaced by a 0630 Ashby Hornsby Depot to Brigg 'direct' service. The first service from Broughton Red Lion to Brigg is now at 0659, arrive 0710. (The 0430 Ashby Hornsby Depot to Brigg 'direct' service remains).
  • The 0655 and 0720 from Ashby Hornsby Depot to Brigg via Broughton have been withdrawn, alternative departures from Ashby are at 0645 or 0745.
  • The 0730 and 0830 from Scunthorpe Bus Station to Brigg now start at Foxhills Industrial Estate at 0715 and 0815 respectively; previously the only morning service from Foxhills was at 0610

Sunday 8 September 2019

The 5, 12 and 13

From Monday 10th June, Hornsby Travel withdrew their service 5 between Scunthorpe Bus Station, Lloyds Avenue, Glanville Avenue, Devonshire Road, Priory Lane, Ashby High Street, Bottesford Road, Bottesford Lane, Timberland and Lakeside Retail Park. It had operated Monday to Friday daytimes with departures from Scunthorpe Bus Station between 0740 and 1740, and from Lakeside between 0810 and 1710. The 5 was known as the 22 until last year's launch of simplibus in Scunthorpe, and started in the mid-00's to fill gaps following Stagecoach network revisions. For over 10 years Hornsby provided a half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime service, and briefly Stagecoach did the same not long after the 22 was introduced. However in recent years the service has clearly been struggling. First the Saturday afternoon service went to hourly, then the Saturday morning did likewise service in April 2016. In February 2017 the Saturday service went entirely, replaced by a diversion of service 4 between Ashby and Lakeside and then in October 2017 the weekday service was cut to hourly.

The section of route along Lloyds Avenue, Glanville Avenue, Devonshire Road and Priory Lane has not been replaced. Before the 22 (as was) started, I recall what is now the 10 covered these areas briefly to provide a very basic 2 day a week service into Scunthorpe Bus Station, but not this time. Some passengers maybe able to walk to Ashby Road (services 3/4/6/100/103) or West Common Lane (services 2/3).

Between Ashby and Lakeside replacement comes in the form of new Hornsby service 13. The 13 follows the service 12 route between Scunthorpe Bus Station, Cemetery Road, Old Brumby Street, Alvingham Road, Collum Avenue and Ashby Town Centre before picking up the old 5 route to Lakeside. Service 13 operates every hour Monday to Friday, departing from Scunthorpe Bus Station between 0745 and 1745, and from Lakeside between 0815 and 1715. It is therefore a near like-for-like replacement on this section in terms of access to Scunthorpe and Ashby Town Centres, although easy weekday access to the The Pods Leisure Centre, North Lindsey College and John Leggott College has been lost. Passengers in the Cemetery Road, Old Brumby Street, Alvingham Road, Collum Avenue areas do gain a link to Lakeside however.

With the 13 however, comes a reduction to the Monday to Friday service 12, which goes from half hourly to hourly, co-ordinated with the 13 between Scunthorpe and Ashby to maintain a half hourly service on the common section of route. After the Ashby the 12 largely follows Stagecoach's service 1 route via Messingham Road, Angerstein Road, Spilsby Road and Enderby Road; the service 1 operates as a circular every 20 minutes in each direction so I'm not sure the reduction in the 12 is a big loss here. The 12 then continues to Ashfield Caravan Park/Asda, were all weekday journeys now terminate.

Before I go onto the big issue with the reduction the 12, the loss of the weekday extensions to Burringham and East Butterwick, the Saturday service 12 has been unaffected, continuing to operate hourly between Scunthorpe and Ashfield, along with some extra journeys into Scunthorpe and limited extensions to Burringham and East Butterwick.

Burringham and East Butterwick had previously been served Monday to Friday, and still are on Saturdays, by service 12 extensions beyond Ashfield departing East Butterwick at 0805, 0905 (Tue/Fri only), 1305 (Tue/Fri/Sat only) and 1705, departing Burringham at 0810, 0910, 1310 and 1710, and Scunthorpe Bus Station at 0815 (to Burringham only Mon/Wed/Thu/Sat), 1215 (to Burringham only Mon/Wed/Thu), 1615 and on request only at 1715. This provided a commuter service 6 days a week and a 'shopping' service for Burringham 6 days a week and East Butterwick 3 days a week.

Since 10th June the only weekday service for East Butterwick has been the demand responsive CallConnect, and until Friday (6th September), likewise for Burringham. Hornsby Travel issued this statement to the Scunthorpe Telegraph:
"When the service was cancelled, a spokesman for Hornsby Travel said: "The service is a commercial service from Scunthorpe to the Ashfield Caravan Park at Asda with extensions to Burringham and East Butterwick, subsidised by North Lincolnshire Council. "The passengers from Burringham and East Butterwick have diminished over the years and it's now not viable to operate this service beyond Asda Monday to Friday, even with the subsidy from North Lincolnshire Council. "We've had to make changes across our network this year to make the company in a viable position in these hard times of low passenger usage across North Lincolnshire."
On Friday, the North Lincolnshire Council funded, Stagecoach operated, service 10 between Parklands Caravan Site and Scunthorpe Bus Station was extended on Fridays only to serve Burringham, departing the village at 0930 and 1230, and Scunthorpe Bus Station at 1200. Whilst it would cost, further improvements to the situation could be made by extending the Tuesday and Thursday service 10 to Burringham, and also on all three days the 10 operates, extending to East Butterwick. Combined with the Saturday 12, an extended 10 could provide East Butterwick and Burringham with a basic link to Scunthorpe three days a week and Ashby two days a week (the Thursday 10 operates to Ashby rather than Scunthorpe). Although irregular daytime extensions may no longer fit into the 12 timetable, peak time services could still be extended to/from East Butterwick and Burringham if money was available to fund them.

Now for the really disappointing element to this story. You might think, and I certainly do, that this would be a really good time to promote the Saturday service 12 extensions to Burringham and East Butterwick? Burringham and East Butterwick have seen a massive cutback, but haven't lost their scheduled bus services entirely. However the Saturday 12 extensions seem to have been forgotten about. Take this Scunthorpe Telegraph article for example from June:
"The cancellation of a bus route serving two North Lincolnshire villages has left residents worried that they will become isolated. Operator Hornsby Travel stopped running the number 12 service to Burringham and East Butterwick from Monday, June 10 due to low usage, saying the route is no longer commercially viable. "
"Burringham and Gunness ward councillor Josh Walshe said: "We received notice shortly after the local elections that Hornsby's were giving their notice on the Burringham bus route, which meant the service stopped on Monday."

"Residents expressed their worries during a meeting at Burringham Village Hall, just down the road from the now unused bus stop."
Inaccurate reporting, uninformed councillor? Yes, but the story contains a picture of the councillor standing next to a bus stop in Burringham with a formal North Lincolnshire Council notice stating "Please note that service 12 will not be serving Burringham from Monday 10th June". And the council website still states "Service 12 – terminates at Ashfield Caravan Park, it will no longer service Burringham or East Butterwick". So the inaccuracies even extend to the public transport department at North Lincolnshire Council! I'd rather not do conspiracy theories, but is there an attempt to 'kill off' the Saturday 12 extensions to Burringham and East Butterwick?

In an article this week about the 10 now serving Burringham on a Friday the it's perhaps not surprising this Burringham resident is unaware the village does have services two days a week now:
"Resident Ruth Hammerton said: "Having a bus service one morning a week isn't fit for purpose. I think it's a lot to hope for to get a regular service but even two days would help. "We could plan our days and appointments. But without the bus, you have to make an appointment and hope the Call Connect bus is free. It's such a hassle"."
At least one resident is aware of the Saturday service however:
"But resident Doreen Fletcher said: "We need a service that lets you do several journeys a day, two days a week if possible. "It's been chaotic without it. We can only get into town using the Call Connect service, which doesn't always stop where you want it to, or a Saturday service which no one seems to know about because it isn't advertised. "Two hours once a week isn't enough to do all of the shopping and doctor's appointments you want to do.""
That is the first time I've seen any direct acknowledgment of the Saturday service. These quotes also highlight how CallConnect isn't the perfect answer for bus services in rural areas. Hopefully further improvements for Burringham and East Butterwick will be forthcoming, and more promotion of the Saturday service!