East Yorkshire and Stagecoach made some changes to the 350 Humber Fastcat between Hull, Barton and Scunthorpe on Sunday 1st September.
Most notably the peaktime, evening and Sunday journeys now no longer serve the Hull City Centre 'loop' outbound from Hull Paragon Interchange, omitting the Bond Street and Carr Lane stops, as well as the stop opposite the Interchange side entrance on Anlaby Road. Instead all outbound journeys now follow the Monday to Saturday daytime route from Paragon Interchange via Park Street to Anlaby Road, which is also used by the 250 Humber Flyer between Hull, Barton, Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
Stagecoach gave no reason for the change, but East Yorkshire noted it was to give a 'speedier' journey; for example the 1715 from Paragon Interchange used to arrive at Hull Royal Infirmary at 1727 but is now timed for 1718. I also suspect improving punctuality may have been a factor, at least with certain journeys; the previously mentioned 1715 used to arrive at Scunthorpe Bus Station at 1842 but now arrives at 1840, with seven of the nine minutes saved by omitting the Hull City Centre loop 'used up' elsewhere on the route.
On the other hand, this change inconveniences anyone who has been visiting the eastern and central parts of Hull City Centre, such as the Old Town area, Princes Quay or Hull New Theatre; passengers from these areas now have to walk to Paragon Interchange, or catch another service and change at either Paragon Interchange or Hull Royal Infirmary. Most other services in Hull City Centre serve other parts of the City Centre in addition to Paragon Interchange inbound or outbound, or in both directions. Furthermore in some cases changing from a connecting service onto the 350 at Bond Street or Carr Lane enabled an earlier 350 to be caught as opposed to changing at Paragon Interchange; I myself used to be able to get home from Hull University to Barton half an hour earlier a few years ago by changing at Carr Lane.
Overall this is a disappointing change, but if punctuality is a concern then this is a better option than cutting say Winteringham or the Frodingham Road area of Scunthorpe, where the 350 provides the only or main service. Plus for passengers travelling from Paragon Interchange it does speed up journey times.
At the same time the 1640 Monday to Saturday departure from Paragon Interchange has been retimed to 1645, fitting in better between the 1630 and 1700 service 250 departures. On Sundays the departure times from Paragon Interchange have been standardised from 0825, 1025, 1320, 1530, 1830 and 1930 to 0830, 1030, 1330, 1530, 1830 and 1930.
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