Sunday, 1 November 2020

Stagecoach's 7, 8 and 11 in Hull

Pre-pandemic, Stagecoach services 7 and 8 combined to offer a service every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes between Hull Paragon Interchange, Beverley Road, Sutton Park and Bransholme North Point Shopping Centre. The 7 then continued half hourly to North Bransholme via Bodmin Road before forming a circular with service 6 between North Bransholme, Kingswood and Paragon Interchange. Service 8 also extended back to Paragon Interchange half hourly, but without a change in number, via Midmere Avenue, Howdale Road, Dunvegan Road, Salthouse Road and Holderness Road. The 8 also had two variants; the 8a omitted Midmere Avenue and Dunvegan Road in favour of Biggin Avenue, part of Noddle Hill Way, Kestrel Avenue and the central and eastern sections of Howdale Road and operated as an hourly off peak variation, while the 8x was a weekday morning peak variation via Clough Road and Sutton Fields Industrial Estate. Evenings and Sundays the 7a operated half hourly (hourly Sunday evenings) mostly following the service 7 route but serving Honiton Road and Wawne Road instead of Bodmin Road, and extending from North Bransholme to Kingswood Retail Park via the service 6 route.

Looking at the arrangements in Stagecoach's 30th August network and there has been some significant changes. Firstly the 7 and 8 are no longer co-ordinated, with the 7 operating half hourly and the 8 every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, giving an extra bus per hour between Paragon Interchange and North Point, but at uneven intervals.

The 7 now had a totally different route beyond North Point, with Bodmin Road and North Bransholme no longer served, and the 6 operating as a 'standalone' service. As such Bodmin Road no longer has a link to Beverley Road, though the 2 and 10 provide services from both Bodmin Road and North Bransholme to North Point and Hull City Centre five times an hour combined Monday to Saturday daytime, and the 11 provides an extra service every 20 minutes for part of Bodmin Road. 

Instead the 7 now operates a loop from North Point via Honiton Road, Biggin Avenue, part of Noddle Hill Way, Kestrel Avenue, the central and eastern sections of Howdale Road, Sutton Village and the southern part of Wawne Road back to North Point. This loop is largely to replace the withdrawn 8a variant, but also covers for the loss of the 9 on Honiton Road. The half hourly frequency of the 7 represents a doubling of frequency for Biggin Avenue, Kestrel Avenue and the parts of Howdale Road that were only served by service 8a hourly pre-pandemic. The loop does not operate at peak times, and the morning peak service is inbound only to Paragon Interchange, with the afternoon peak service outbound only from Paragon Interchange.

Turning to service 8, and aside from the withdrawal of the 8a variant, the other route change is a diversion away from a small portion of Salthouse Road to serve part of Bellfield Avenue and Middlesex Road - the pre-pandemic 11a route. This provides a new Monday to Saturday daytime service for Middlesex Road. As already noted the frequency has increased from half hourly to every 20 minutes; the 8X variant remains and now also operates on Saturdays. 

Looking in more detail at the timetable, the first clockwise service 8X from Paragon Interchange is now at 0537 Monday to Saturday, rather than the first Sutton Park departure being at 0617 on service 7 pre-pandemic. From North Point the first departure for Sutton Park is now at 0553 on service 8 Monday to Saturday rather than 0455 Monday to Friday and 0555 Saturday. 

The evening and Sunday 7a has been withdrawn; with the reversion of the evening and Sunday 12a variant to operate via the main 12 route, the northern section of Wawne Road is covered, and service 6 has gained an evening and Sunday service to replace the 7a around Kingswood and North Bransholme, albeit at a lower frequency - hourly at all times rather than half hourly Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes. Service 8 has gained an hourly early evening Monday to Saturday and Sunday daytime service, but otherwise Sutton Park is served daily evenings (hourly) and Sunday daytimes (half hourly) by the 2A. Sunday daytimes, the 2A and 8 combination provide Sutton Park with three services an hour, compared to two pre-pandemic.

Finally to service 11 between Hull Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road, Bellfield Avenue, Dunvegan Road, Howdale Road, Midmere Avenue, North Point, Tiverton Road, Bodmin Road and Kingswood Retail Park. Routing wise, the 11 no longer operates direct between Bodmin Road and Kingswood Retail Park, but instead routes via Kingsbury Way and Richmond Lane to Kingswood Health Centre, replacing service 9, before changing number on most journeys to service 5 then serving Kingswood Retail Park. The evening and Sunday 11a variant for Salthouse Road is gone with the main 11 route operating at all times, replaced by the 8 along Salthouse Road Monday to Saturday early evening and Sunday daytimes only. Finally Monday to Saturday morning peak services no longer serve Hull Royal Infirmary and Smith & Nephew.

Service 11 frequency is currently every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and hourly evenings and Sundays, compared to every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and half hourly evenings and Sundays pre-pandemic, though the 8 parallels the 11 for most of it's route between Paragon Interchange and North Point, and it's frequency improvements replace the 'lost' service 11 journey each hour during the daytime.

First service from Kingswood Retail Park is 0432 Monday to Saturday and 0728 Sunday compared to 0645 and 0715 respectively pre-pandemic - though earlier 'short's were provided from North Point starting at 0455 Monday to Friday and 0555 Saturday. First service from Paragon Interchange is now at 0550 Monday to Saturday and 0740 Sunday rather than 0555 Monday to Friday, 0655 Saturday and 0735 Sunday. Last service from Paragon Interchange is now at 2320 Monday to Saturday and 2210 Sunday as opposed to 2330 daily, whilst from Kingswood Retail Park the final service leaves at 2252 Monday to Saturday and 2158 Sunday rather than 2340 daily.

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