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."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?
"Residents expressed their worries during a meeting at Burringham Village Hall, just down the road from the now unused bus stop."
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!