Saturday 31 October 2020

Replacing Service 9 (and Service 12 Updates)

During the Summer, Stagecoach withdrew service 9 in Hull. The 9 linked Hull Paragon Interchange with James Reckitt Avenue (Garden Village), Ings Road, Cavendish Road, Sutton Road, Leads Road, Midmere Avenue, Bransholme North Point Shopping Centre, Honiton Road, Wawne Road, Kingsbury Way, Richmond Lane, Kingswood Health Centre, Runnymede Lane and Kingswood Retail Park. Off peak alternate services operated as variant 9a via Lambwath Road rather than the eastern part of James Reckitt Avenue and Ings Road. The frequency was half hourly combined across the 9 and 9a Monday to Saturday daytimes. I think the service was due to be withdrawn in Stagecoach's cancelled April changes, but it kept going a bit longer, including a brief period running between Paragon Interchange and the Ings Road area only.

Replacing the 9/9a in Garden Village is service 12 variant 12a. Pre-pandemic the 12a was an evening and Sunday variant to service 12, the 12 operating between Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road, Summergangs Road, Gillshill Road, Sutton Village, Noddle Hill Way and Wawne Road and North Point, whilst the 12a diverted to the edge of North Point on Barnstaple Road in between serving Sutton Village and Noddle Hill Way, then after serving Noddle Hill Way diverted to Kingswood Retail Park. Now the 12a is a Monday to Saturday daytime variant serving Garden Village rather than Holderness Road and Summergangs Road.

Since 30th August, the 12 and 12a have each operated half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes for a combined 4 buses per hour, and the 12 additionally half hourly Sunday daytimes and hourly daily evenings. That has maintained the half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime service for Garden Village compared to service 9, but at the expense of Garden Village's Kingswood link, a less frequent services for Summergangs Road, and from the service 12 route to the Holderness Road shops. Pre-pandemic the 12/old 12a variant had been operating every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes and hourly Sunday evenings; so it's only Monday to Saturday evenings which still have a reduced frequency, rather understandable with the restrictions on the evening economy. 

The first service from North Point (Kingswood Sundays) pre-pandemic was at 0530 Monday to Friday, 0600 Saturday and 0750 Sunday, but is now 0455 Monday to Saturday and 0800 Sunday - an enhancement 6 days a week. From Paragon Interchange first services were 0647 Monday to Friday, 0717 Saturday and 0855 Sunday but are now 0610 Monday to Saturday and 0825 Sundays. Last service pre-pandemic was at 2330 daily from Paragon Interchange, but currently is 2310 Monday to Saturday and 2210 Sunday, whilst from Kingswood the last departure was at 2235 Monday to Saturday and 2155 Sunday but is now at 2245 Monday to Saturday and 2130 Sunday from North Point.

From Monday (2nd November) the 12/12a has a new timetable, with the Monday to Friday daytime frequency increasing to every 20 minutes each on the 12 and 12a, for a combined six buses per hour. That's a 50% increase for Garden Village and for the combined 12/12a route compared to pre-pandemic, presumably influenced by the need for social distancing. Weekend and evening frequencies remain unchanged.

Turning to the eastern section of James Reckitt Avenue, with the withdrawal of the 9, this is left with the East Yorkshire operated Monday to Saturday off peak service 50 only, though one side of the road is East Park and part of the other side a school, so the 50 may suffice here. Parts of Ings Road, Cavendish Road and part of Sutton Road are left only with the Cranswick Foods workers service 677, and Lambwath Road becomes unserved. For some passengers, a short walk to Gillshill Road for the 12 and 12a maybe an option. Also left unserved is Leads Road between Sutton Road and Midmere Avenue; here passengers will need to either walk to the 2 on Sutton Road or the 8 and 11 on Midmere Avenue. The 8 and 11 give Midmere Avenue a service every 10 minutes to Paragon Interchange and a service every 20 minutes to Kingswood Retail Park, so the loss of the 9/9a is not significant here.

Honiton Road is now covered by revised service 7, of which more in a future post, but retains a half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime off peak service to Paragon Interchange, whilst loosing it's peak time service. The section of Wawne Road that the 9 served is also covered by the 12/12a, so the main loss here is the Kingswood Retail Park link.

Turning to the Kinsgwood estate and Kingsbury Way is now served by service 11, retaining links to Hull City Centre, Holderness Road, North Point and Kingswood Retail Park and operating every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes rather than the 9/9a's half hourly service, albeit via a longer route to the City Centre. Richmond Lane is served by the 6 and 11, whilst as noted in a previous post, the half hourly 6 is now the only service for Runnymede Lane with the link to North Point lost.

Sunday 25 October 2020

Linking the Boothferry Estate and North Bransholme

Stagecoach services 2 in West Hull and 10 in North Hull had been two separate routes in Stagecoach's city network - a period of early morning 2's continuing as a service 10 at Paragon Interchange aside - until earlier this year. Quite early on during the COVID-19 outbreak the 2 and 10 merged as a cross city service under the service 2 number, providing a through service from Hull Royal Infirmary to Bransholme and North Bransholme. Since Stagecoach's most recent changes on Sunday 30th August, the 10 is back in addition to the 2 in North Hull.

Pre-pandemic the 2 linked Hull Paragon Interchange and the Boothferry Estate in West Hull via Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road and Anlaby Park Road, and at the Boothferry Estate operated as a through route with service 1 between Paragon Interchange and the Boothferry Estate via Hessle Road. Some 2S variants did not begin as/continue as service 1, but instead extended beyond the Boothferry Estate a short distance to Hessle Sainsbury's. Monday to Friday daytimes the 2 and 2S each operated every 15 minutes for a combined 7-8 minutes frequency and on Saturday daytimes, the 2 and 2S each operated every 20 minutes for a combined frequency of every 10 minutes. Service 2 operated every half hour Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes, and every hour Sunday evenings.

The 2S variant didn't last beyond March and since then all journeys have been operated as service 2 (or 2A following the same route in West Hull). The current service 2 frequency in West Hull is every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, half hourly Sunday daytimes and hourly daily evenings. This provides the same frequency compared to pre-pandemic on Saturday daytimes and all day on Sundays, the weekday daytime service remains frequent and the evening reductions are understandable given current restrictions. There are more frequent Monday to Saturday journey opportunities to/from Hessle Road via the service 1 through service, though no more links to Sainsbury's (a variant only introduced last November).

Alternate Monday to Saturday daytime journeys are through services between North Bransholme and the Boothferry Estate with journeys from North Bransholme not serving Bond Street, Albion Street or Paragon Interchange in Hull City Centre, instead using Carr Lane. The other journeys in West Hull are 'shorts' that start at Paragon Interchange and operate the City Centre loop via Carr Lane. Evenings and Sundays all services from North Bransholme do serve Paragon Interchange, but not Carr Lane. All journeys from Boothferry Estate serve Paragon Interchange, but at the expense of Carr Lane (at least on through journeys to North Bransholme). 

The first journey from Hull Royal Infirmary (there is no City Centre timing point on journeys that don't serve Paragon Interchange) is at 0513 Monday to Saturday compared to 0430 Monday to Friday and 0615 Saturday pre-pandemic from the Interchange. From the Boothferry Estate the first departure is 0510 Monday to Saturday compared to 0502 Monday to Friday and 0628 Saturday. In the evenings the last service from Paragon Interchange is at 2320 Monday to Saturday compared to 2330 and from the Boothferry Estate at 2300 compared to 2350. This is perhaps a good time to note that the last service of the day Monday to Saturday from Paragon Interchange, previously numbered N2 and before that N62, is presently not extending beyond the Boothferry Estate to Hessle, North Ferriby and Brough. The Stagecoach website calls the N62 'suspended', which would indicate it hasn't been given up on entirely, though I imagine it has no chance of resuming until at least the night time economy is significantly more opened up again.

On Sundays the first service from the Paragon Interchange is at 0900 compared to 0745 pre-pandemic and at 0757 from the Boothferry Estate compared to 0800 pre-pandemic. Last service is at 2200 from Paragon Interchange compared to 2330 and from the Boothferry Estate at 2157 compared to 2325.

Turning to North Hull and pre-pandemic the 10 linked Paragon Interchange, Cleveland Street, Stoneferry Road, Leads Road, Sutton Road, Holwell Road, North Point Shopping Centre, Bude Road, Bodmin Road and North Bransholme, with some journeys continuing to the East Riding village of Wawne. Between Paragon Interchange and North Bransholme, the 10 operated every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes and hourly Sunday evenings. Wawne was served hourly daily daytimes with some weekday peak extras and the last two services from Paragon Interchange (one on Sundays) also extending to the village. All evening and Sunday services operated as service 10a serving Kingswood Retail Park, Runnymede Lane (now covered by the 6), Richmond Lane and Kingsbury Way (now covered by the 11) whilst some weekday morning peak services from Paragon Interchange operated as service 10x via Sutton Fields Industrial Estate. Finally some early morning services Monday to Saturday from North Bransholme served Hull Royal Infirmary and Smith and Nephew.

Since 30th August the arrangements are a bit unusual with both service 2 and service 10 operating between Hull City Centre and North Bransholme, but to an un-coordinated timetable. The 10 also misses out Leads Road and Sutton Road, adopting a faster route via the southern-most section of Holwell Road (an old service 10 route). 

Looking at service 2 first, all North Bransholme services operate to/from the Boothferry Estate via Hull Royal Infirmary. There is a 2X variant for some morning peak services via Sutton Fields Industrial Estate to replace the 10x, whilst evening and Sunday services operate as 2A via Sutton Park which has lost most of it's evening services via Beverley Road to Paragon Interchange and otherwise has only an hourly, rather than half hourly pre-pandemic, Sunday daytime service. Frequency is every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, half hourly Sunday daytimes and hourly daily evenings.

Compared to the 10 pre-pandemic, first departure from North Bransholme on service 2 is at 0425 Monday to Saturday and 0815 Sunday compared to 0435 Monday to Friday, 0550 Saturday and 0800 Sunday. From Paragon Interchange the first service is at 0540 Monday to Saturday and 0820 Sunday rather than 0525 Monday to Friday, 0612 Saturday and 0810 Sunday. Last service from North Bransholme is at 2230 Monday to Saturday and 2115 Sunday as opposed to 2253 daily, whilst from Paragon Interchange it remains at 2330 Monday to Saturday and moves from 2330 to 2220 on Sundays.

Overlaid on top of this is service 10, which extends beyond North Bransholme to Wawne. Service 10 operates half hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, with some college day afternoon gaps. This gives Wawne double it's pre-pandemic Monday to Saturday daytime service, but no Sunday daytime or late evening service.

Overall frequency between Paragon Interchange and North Bransholme is therefore five buses an hour Monday to Saturday daytimes, an increase from four pre-pandemic,, but not on a co-ordinated every 12 minute frequency, instead two separate 20 and 30 minute frequency services. Sunday daytimes remain every half hour and Sunday evenings remain hourly, with Monday to Saturday evenings reduced from half hourly to hourly.

The improved access to Hull Royal Infirmary is a clear positive, and there are other smaller gains such as Wawne Monday to Saturday daytimes. However the un-coordinated five buses an hour to North Bransholme is messy, as are the routing arrangements in Hull City Centre westbound, especially with westbound journeys having different routes Monday to Saturday daytimes compared to evenings and Sundays.

Saturday 17 October 2020

Hull Service 6 becomes 'independent'

Stagecoach service 6 in Hull has become 'independent', at least in the sense that it no longer operates as a circular with service 7. I can't recall exactly when this change was implemented over the Summer, but this alteration has been in place since at least Stagecoach's Sunday 30th August changes. 

The service 6 route is largely unaltered compared to pre-pandemic when it was linked with service 7. From Hull Paragon Interchange it continues to operate direct via Beverley Road to Kingswood Leisure Park, then serves Kingswood Retail Park and the residential areas of Kingswood before using Pioneer Way to North Bransholme. It's North Bransholme where there has been a slight change, in that rather than changing to/from a service 7 here, the 6 now provides a one way loop around Pennine Way and Wawne Road, to maintain the North Bransholme to Kingswood and Beverley Road link (service 7 no longer serves North Bransholme, more on that in a future post). 

The half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime frequency provided pre-pandemic is also provided in the current (30th August) timetable, though the option of two additional services per hour via the longer service 7 route is no longer available for Kingswood residents. First services remain at similar times. The 6 is now the only service for Runnymede Lane in Kingswood, following the withdrawal of the 9 (again more in a future post). 

Due to these changes, Runnymede Lane and Pioneer Way no longer have links to North Point Shopping Centre. 

Service 6 has also gained an hourly evening and Sunday service, however it does partially replace other services. Along Beverley Road, compared to pre-pandemic, the 4 no longer has an evening service and has been reduced from half hourly to hourly on Sunday daytimes. The half hourly Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday daytime, and hourly Sunday evening 7A has been replaced with an hourly service 8 Monday to Saturday early evening and Sunday daytimes only. In Kingswood, the 6 replaces the 7A and 10A, the latter had also been operating half hourly Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday daytime, and hourly Sunday evening. As such the new evening and Sunday service 6 isn't as much of an enhancement as it might superficially appear, though it does at least simplify the Kingswood network. 

Sunday 11 October 2020

Stagecoach Services 3, 4 and 14 in Hull

Like most routes, services 3, 4 and 14 were impacted by Stagecoach's changes in Hull on Sunday 30th August. 

The 3 and 4 link Orchard Park, Hull City Centre and Greatfield via different routes, and since the Simplibus relaunch had, on most journeys, operated as a through service from one route to another at Greatfield Grange Road - not any more though. Now the 3 continues via Amethyst Road, replacing the 4, to perform an anti-clockwise loop around Barham Road and Staveley Road in Bilton Grange, with the 4 also using this loop to terminate rather than extending to Grange Road. 

Service 3 is currently operating every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, half hourly Sunday daytimes and at varying intervals between 30 and 65 minutes daily evenings. Compared to pre-COVID-19, this maintains the Monday to Friday and Sunday daytime frequency, reduces the Monday to Saturday evening frequency from half hourly all evening and increases the Saturday daytime frequency from every 15 minutes and the Sunday early evening frequency from hourly.

Looking in more detail, the first departure from Orchard Park is now at 0425 Monday to Saturday and 0745 Sunday compared to 0500 Monday to Friday, 0530 Saturday and 0800 Sunday pre-pandemic; from the new Bilton Grange terminus, the first departure is at 0440 Monday to Saturday and 0750 Sunday compared to 0430 Monday to Friday (to Paragon Interchange only), 0555 Saturday and 0745 Sunday from Greatfield. Mostly positive changes. 

At the end of the day the last service from Paragon Interchange to Orchard Park is at 2325 Monday to Saturday and 2230 Sunday, compared to 2330 daily; from Orchard Park the last departure is now at 2250 Monday to Saturday and 2150 Sunday compared to 2300 Monday to Saturday and 2230 Sunday. To Bilton Grange the last departure from Paragon Interchange is currently at 2320 Monday to Saturday and 2225 Sunday rather than 2330 Monday to Saturday and 2300 Sunday. From Bilton Grange the last departure is presently at 2250 Monday to Saturday and 2155 Sunday as opposed to 2237 Monday to Saturday and 2257 Sunday from the old Greatfield terminus. Not too bad considering the restrictions on the evening economy now in place.

The weekday off-peak half hourly extensions from Orchard Park to Bransholme North Point Shopping Centre via Sutton Park have not been resumed, leaving Cheltenham Avenue in Sutton Park unserved and no through bus from Orchard Park to Ennerdale Leisure Centre and Sutton Park (North Point has an indirect through service via routes 5 and 11). Also not resumed is the daily evening 3A variant, replaced by reinstating service 14's evening service, of which more later; instead all evening services now run as service 3. This simplification does have the effect of removing the evening only service from Hopewell Road in Greatfield however.

Service 4 has a couple of further route changes in addition to the new Bilton Grange loop; Marfleet Lane is no longer served, with services now routing between Holderness Road and Bilton Grange via Diadem Grove, and in Orchard Park, the 4 now follows the 5's route between Ellerburn Avenue and Tesco via the western part of Orchard Park Road and more of Hall Road, instead of taking the quicker route via the eastern part of Orchard Park Road. 

The service 4 daytime frequency remains every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday compared to pre-COVID-19, but drops from half hourly to hourly on Sundays. The first service from Orchard Park is currently 0550 Monday to Saturday and 0807 Sunday compared to 0608 Monday to Friday, 0555 Saturday and 0810 pre-pandemic. From Bilton Grange services start at 0655 Monday to Saturday and 0805 Sunday compared to 0610 Monday to Friday, 0605 Saturday and 0730 Sunday from the previous Grange Road terminus.

Evening services had been operating pre-COVID 19 as service 4A, omitting the Orchard Park Estate in favour of a direct routing from Orchard Park Tesco to Hull City Centre via Beverley Road, whilst in East Hull the 4A omitted parts of Holderness Road and Marfleet Lane to serve Portobello Street. The 4A operated half hourly Monday to Saturday and hourly Sunday. Now though, apart from some early evening Monday to Saturday journeys operating as service 4, the evening service has been withdrawn.

It is worth noting that for travel to/from Hull City Centre, the 4 duplicates other services for the vast majority of it's route, especially now the 3 serves Bilton Grange. 

Turning finally to service 14 between Hull Paragon Interchange and Greatfield Falkland Road, the daytime frequency is back at it's pre-pandemic 15 minute frequency Monday to Saturday, but is hourly rather than half hourly Sundays. First departures are 0555 from Greatfield Monday to Saturday and 0835 Sunday, compared to 0555 Monday to Friday, 0700 Saturday and 0805 Sunday pre-COVID-19. From Paragon Interchange the 14 presently starts at 0720 Monday to Saturday and 0800 Sunday compared to 0720 Monday to Friday, 0715 Saturday and 0830 Sunday.

As already mentioned, the 14 has it's evening service restored, replacing the 3A and 4A variations and simplifying the network, albeit hourly daily rather than half hourly Monday to Saturday and hourly Sunday. Falkland Road, which was and is now only served by the 14, regains an evening service. (I say the 14's evening service has been restored, but pre-pandemic Monday to Saturday there was a solitary 2330 departure from Paragon Interchange).

Saturday 10 October 2020

Stagecoach along Hessle Road

Stagecoach haven't returned to pre-Covid-19 service patterns or overall frequencies along Hessle Road in Hull, though for some customers, frequencies have actually improved compared to the start of the year.

Service 1 between Hull Paragon Interchange, the Thornton Estate, Hessle Road and the Boothferry Estate, where it operates as a circular with service 2, was reduced in frequency last November in favour of a rerouted service 20 Priory Park Park and Ride along Hessle Road. This meant the weekday daytime frequency dropped from every 10 to every 15 minutes and on Saturday daytimes the frequency reduced from every 15 to every 20 minutes. Since 30th August the Monday to Saturday daytime frequency of service 1 is every 10 minutes, reversing last year's weekday change and more than reversing the Saturday change. For the Thornton Estate and travellers between the Boothferry Estate and Hessle Road in particular this is an enhancement.

Looking at the rest of the service 1 timetable, Monday to Saturday evenings are currently hourly rather than half hourly pre-pandemic; Sunday's remain half hourly daytimes, hourly evenings. The weekday early morning 1K variation that saw journeys from Boothferry Estate to Hull City Centre extend to Kingswood Retail Park via Stoneferry Road and Sutton Fields Industrial Estate has been withdrawn, and the number of 1W variations via Smith and Nephew rather than the Thornton Estate has been reduced.

The first journey from Paragon Interchange is at 0510 Monday to Saturday and 0830 Sundays, rather than 0435 Monday to Friday, 0600 Saturday or 0730 Sunday. From the Boothferry Estate, the first journey is now at 0433 Monday to Saturday and 0820 Sunday rather than 0500 Monday to Friday, 0642 Saturday and 0815 Sunday. Positives, especially on Saturdays, and Negatives. Last journeys in the evening are understandably mostly earlier at the current time; 2235 rather than 2330 Monday to Saturday and 2130 rather than 2300 Sunday from Paragon Interchange; 2338 rather than 2330 Monday to Saturday and 2220 rather than 2355 Sunday from the Boothferry Estate.

Priory Park Park and Ride service 20 has reverted to using the A63 Clive Sullivan Way en-route between Priory Park, Hull Royal Infirmary and Hull City Centre, rather than Hessle Road. The service frequency has been reduced to every 20 minutes rather than every 15 minutes pre-pandemic. This is pushing the limits of 'turn up and go', but again an understandable cut in the current environment. The first departure from Priory Park is at 0700 rather than 0730. Early Evening variation 22 via Askew Avenue and the KC Stadium is not operating, with journeys remaining as service 20 instead (though service 22 remains on the Stagecoach Hull bus map). 

For Hessle Road compared to pre-pandemic, with the 20 rerouted away, Stagecoach are down from eight to six services per hour Monday to Friday daytimes and from seven to six per hour on Saturdays. Still frequent, still 'turn up and go'. 

Sunday 4 October 2020

East Yorkshire Buses: (Almost) Back to Normal Since July

East Yorkshire Buses returned to normal timetables across most of the Humber Region on 5th July. Coastal services 129 and 130 remained on their winter timetables until 19th July, but have been operating as normal for the time of year since then.

The Bridlington Beachcomber Open Top Service did not operate this year as far as I'm aware, and Hull nightbuses 106 and 107 understandably remain suspended. Also, due to the 2200 mandatory closing for pubs and restaurants, since Friday (2nd October), the Friday and Saturday only 2300 journey from York to Holme on Spalding Moor on service 18 now departs at 2230 'until further notice'.

On the positive side, the Summer service 12/13 Coaster timetable between Bridlington and Scarborough has been extended to Sunday 29th November this year, rather than reverting to a Winter timetable in early November as normal. This means the Bridlington to Scarborough frequency will be half hourly rather than hourly for an extra month.