Sunday 17 November 2019

East Yorkshire University, Avenues and Cottingham Changes

On Sunday 1st September, East Yorkshire made some significant changes to their services in the Avenues and University area of Hull, and in Cottingham - in part due to the closure of the University of Hull's The Lawns Halls of Residence in Cottingham, and their replacement with new accommodation around Inglemire Lane in Hull.

The impact of the student accommodation move has been most profound on service 103. This route had linked Hull Paragon Interchange and The Lawns via Princes Avenue, Newland Avenue, Cottingham Road and Cottingham Green, operating every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every hour Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday daytime. Now it operates from Paragon Interchange via Princes Avenue and Newland Avenue before performing a one-way loop of Cranbrook Avenue, Inglemire Lane, Hall Road and Cottingham Road, then back into Paragon Interchange via Newland Avenue and Princes Avenue. The 103 continues to operate every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes but has been increased to half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes.

Prior to September, Inglemire Lane only had Monday to Saturday early evening buses on Stagecoach service U5; Stagecoach had earlier attempted a daytime service with service 9. Whilst this change is clearly good news for Inglemire Lane and Hall Road, it does represent a reduction in services from Cottingham to both Hull City Centre and the Avenues - although as noted above, must be seen in the context of the The Lawns closure.

Nightbus 106S, a solitary inbound journey to Hull City Centre, operating on Saturdays during university terms only, has also been amended to start on Inglemire Lane rather than The Lawns. Nightbus 106, which operates from Hull City Centre via the University to Cottingham year round, is unchanged. Nightbus 107, which operates from Hull University Asylum nightclub on Wednesday night/Thursday morning during term times no longer operates to the The Lawns, but instead operates down Cranbrook Avenue to then provide a 'one-way' loop via Newland Avenue, Princes Avenue, Spring Bank, Beverley Road and Cottingham Road back to Cranbrook Avenue and Asylum. This new route serves various bars and clubs as well as student housing.

'Sister' service to the 103, service 105 between Hull Paragon Interchange, Beverley Road, Cottingham Road and Cottingham has been diverted in Cottingham from The Lawns to Castle Hill Hospital, operating via St Margaret's Avenue. This provides new connectivity to Castle Hill Hospital from Beverley Road and Cottingham Road in Hull, and restores bus service to St Margaret's Avenue for the first time since Stagecoach removed the western half of service 9. The 105 continues to operate every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and hourly on Sunday evenings, but has been increased from hourly to half hourly Sunday daytimes, which compensates for the loss of the Sunday 103 to Cottingham.

When Cottingham services were reorganised in the mid-00's, the service number 115 made a lot of sense. The route ran between Paragon Interchange, Endike Lane, Cottingham and Castle Hill Hospital via Princes Avenue, Newland Avenue and Cranbrook Avenue, where the other main route was the Stagecoach 15. Since the introduction of Simplibus, the 15 became the 5, and East Yorkshire using the 115 number has been less logical. East Yorkshire used September's changes to renumber the 115 to the 104, fitting in neatly between the 103 that also serves the Avenues, and the 105 that also serves Cottingham. The 104 number also links in better with the 154, with which it operates as a 'cross-Castle Hill Hospital' circular.

As part of East Yorkshire's wider initiative to improve early morning services in the Hull area, the first departure from Paragon Interchange Monday to Friday on the 104 is now at 0530 compared to 0600 on the 115. From Castle Hill Hospital there are extra journeys at 0533, 0603 and 0633 to Paragon Interchange, the later also replacing a short 0645 from Endike Lane into Paragon Interchange. Previously the first 115 from Castle Hill Hospital was at 0653.

On the negative side the Monday to Saturday evening 'shorts' between Paragon Interchange and Endike Lane have been withdrawn. The enhanced frequency on service 103 replaces these in the Avenues area, but the last service from Paragon Interchange to Endike Lane is now at 1950 rather than 2330, and from Endike Lane to Paragon Interchange at 2057 rather than 2257.

Service 154 between Paragon Interchange, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Springfield Way, Willerby and Castle Hill Hospital also receives early morning improvements Monday to Friday, with new journeys from Paragon Interchange at 0520 and 0550, previous first journey at 0610, and from Castle Hill at 0541 and 0611, previous first journey at 0641.

The other main service between Hull and Cottingham is the 63. The 63 had been operating Monday to Saturday daytimes every 15 minutes between Paragon Interchange, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road and Priory Road before alternate buses operated to Ledbury Road (just off Priory Road) and alternate buses continued to Castle Hill Hospital via Cottingham Green. Every hour services further continued to Beverley via Skidby, Little Weighton and Walkington. Since September this has been rationalised to a service every 20 minutes between Paragon Interchange and Castle Hill Hospital.

There are two main negative impacts, and one main positive impact. On the positive side this is an extra service per hour to Cottingham, which partially compensates for the loss of the 103. On the negative side is the end of buses to Ledbury Road, which East Yorkshire put down to "parking issues mean buses are having difficulty getting around the smaller estate roads". Also on the negative side is the impact on Skidby, Little Weighton and Walkington. 

These villages are not 'cut-off' as service 180 has been brought back a partial replacement. The 180 was a long standing Hessle to Beverley service via Skidby, Little Weighton and Walkington that was replaced by faster service 80 omitting the three villages, and the 63 extension to Beverley. The 'new' 180 operates between Castle Hill Hospital, Southwood Road, Cottingham, 
Skidby, Little Weighton, Walkington and Beverley on a reduced frequency compared to the 63 and without the through service to Hull. The original 'new' service 180 timetable had departures from Cottingham Green to Beverley at 0745 and 0930, and from Castle Hill Hospital to Beverley at 1048, 1218 and 1348 (departing Cottingham Green at 1100, 1230 and 1400). In the opposite direction, the 180 left Beverley for Castle Hill via Cottingham at 1010, 1140 and 1310, and departed Beverley as far as Cottingham Green only at 1440, 1550 and 1700. With a first arrival in Cottingham at 1043 and last return at 1400, this timetable was not much use for shopping trips into Hull City Centre with a change of bus in Cottingham, though did provide basic commuting and shopping links to Beverley and shopping links to Cottingham.

Since Monday 11th November the 180 has seen two changes. There is a new 1630 from Cottingham Green to Beverley, which makes a Walkington/Little Weighton/Skidby to Hull City Centre round-trip with a change of bus in Cottingham more realistic, and the 1700 from Beverley is retimed to 1715 "to make it easier for commuters to catch the bus after work".

Returning to the 63, there is a new 0610 from Paragon Interchange to Castle Hill Hospital on Saturdays; previously the first journey was at 0715. In the opposite direction the first Saturday service from Castle Hill Hospital is now at 0648 rather than 0740.

As a final note - this is not a new quirk, but the Saturday evening service from Hull City Centre to The Parkway and Burton Road in Cottingham, has a large gap between the 1950 service 104 from Paragon Interchange and the 2330 service 106 from Hull Old Town. There are then further service 106's at 0030, 0130 and 0225. Unusual for somewhere to have a daytime, early evening and 'full' nightbus service (i.e. not just the 2330 departure) but a 3 hour 40 minute gap mid/late evening. 

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