Saturday, 17 April 2021

Alford gains a second Tuesday bus to Grimsby

Grayscroft Coaches Tuesday 'Shopper' Service 28 from Sandilands to Grimsby, via Sutton on Sea, Mablethorpe and Louth returns on Tuesday 20th April, after being suspended due to COVID-19. Upon restarting it will be extended to start and finish in Alford, operating via Bilsby and Markby to Sandilands, before picking up it's existing route. 

Both Alford and Bilsby have a faster and more direct alternative to Grimsby on Tuesdays, with Hunts Coaches service 44, so only for Markby is this a new Grimsby link. The 28's Alford extension does complement the main 96A service between Mablethorpe and Alford for local travel, but I wonder if it's primary purpose is to reduce 'dead-running' for interworked Alford schools services? Whatever the reason, it's a minor improvement so welcome news.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Bridlington to Flamborough Summer Improvements

On Sunday 18th April, East Yorkshire will commence an hourly Sunday daytime service on route 14 between Bridlington and Flamborough, operating until Sunday 31st October. The timetable matches the Monday to Saturday year round provision, minus the first two morning services in each direction.

The Beachcomber Blue open top service between Bridlington and Flamborough also returns from Saturday 17th April to Sunday 31st October - an extended season compared to 2019 which operated from 25th May to 1st September. Beachcomber Blue operates every weekend and school holiday. Rather than providing the previous two hourly service that also extends beyond Bridlington Town Centre to John Bull World of Rock, the Beachcomber Blue will instead operate hourly between Bridlington and Flamborough, providing a half hourly frequency with service 14. Be aware though, to benefit from the 30 minute frequency, the East Yorkshire publicity leaflet implies you need a Beachcomber day ticket (£5 adult or £3 child and concessions) rather than a standard return ticket (£4 adult or £2 under 16) that is restricted to service 14. 

Clearly these changes are designed to attract Summer tourists, but may also be useful for locals, particularly the Sunday daytime 14. 

Sunday, 4 April 2021

North Lincolnshire Retendering and Changing Fortunes

Two previously Hornsby Travel operated North Lincolnshire Council tenders have passed to Stagecoach. Service 90 between Scunthorpe and Crowle made the switch on Thursday 1st April, whilst service 35 between Scunthorpe and Amcotts was operated by Hornsby for the final time yesterday (Saturday 3rd April), before Stagecoach take over on Tuesday (6th April). Both routes continue on the same timetable with Stagecoach that Hornsby had been operating.

A few years ago, Stagecoach's 'out of town' services from Scunthorpe were limited to the Interconnect 100 (& 101) to Gainsborough and Lincoln, 103 Cliffsider to Lincoln, 350 Humber Fastcat to Hull and the evening peak 399 to Westwoodside. However through tender wins from Hornsby it has added the 4's Sunday service to Brigg, the 60 to Whitton and now the 35 and 90. Whilst Hornsby, East Yorkshire and Isle Coaches still have a presence, Stagecoach have clearly  become the main 'out of town' operator in Scunthorpe again.

Hornsby on the other hand have contracted their 'out of town' and non-Scunthorpe services. In addition to the tender losses to Stagecoach, they have also lost the North Lincolnshire demand responsive service to East Yorkshire and have a reduced network in the Brigg area due to council cutbacks. What is left is now limited to the 4 and X4 to Brigg (and Barnetby on the X4) plus the Barton and Brigg Town Services (and some school and college routes).

Friday, 12 March 2021

Service 1C returns

After a retendering exercise by Hull City Council, East Yorkshire operated services 21 and 51 were withdrawn on Saturday 27th February, and replaced by Stagecoach operated services 1C and 5A on Monday 1st March.

Service 21 had operated between Hull Paragon Interchange, Wilberforce Drive, Freetown Way, Caroline Street, Cannon Street, Bridlington Avenue, Fountain Road, Beverley Road, Mizzen Road, Compass Road and Kingswood Retail Park. The 21 operated every 90 minutes off peak Monday to Saturday increasing to hourly at peaktimes, but omitting Kingswood.

Meanwhile service 51 linked Hull Paragon Interchange, Hull Royal Infirmary, Rawling Way, Hessle Road, Boulevard, Selby Street, St Georges Road, Hessle Road, Hawthorn Avenue, Boothferry Road, Fiveways, Pickering Road, Anlaby Road, Anlaby Park Road North and Sibelius Road. The 51 operated every 90 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, peak and off peak.

The principle replacement for the 21 and 51 is the Monday to Saturday offpeak 1C, which apart from some variations in Hull City Centre and not serving Kingswood, is a merger of the 21 and 51; not serving Kingswood is unfortunate but would require either a lower frequency or increased vehicle requirement. In Hull City Centre the 1C operates from Sibelius Road direct to Paragon Interchange then as per the 51 route, whilst from Mizzen Road the 1C operates from Alfred Gelder Street via Carr Lane, not serving Bond Street or Paragon Interchange. The 1C number has been used before between Sibelius Road and Compass Road (and Kingswood), back in EYMS days, although arguably in West Hull the current 1C routing has more in common with Stagecoach's service 2 than service 1.

Service 1C operates every two hours but with some extra journeys, departures from Sibelius Road are at 0900, 1000 (to Paragon Interchange only), 1100 and 1300 along with an extra 1435 from Paragon Interchange to Compass Road. From Mizzen Road the 1C departs at 0900, 1000, 1200 and 1400. The 1C requires one vehicle all day and a second first thing in the morning and again mid-afternoon, a reduction from the 21 and 51 each requiring a vehicle all day.

There is no peak time replacement for the 21 along Bridlington Avenue, or for the 51. Parts of the 51 route along Rawling Way, Hessle Road, Boothferry Road, Anlaby Road and Anlaby Park Road are served by other services, and some other sections of route are within walking distance of these roads. Mizzen Road and Compass Road are served by new service 5A, which is a variant of existing service 5 'shorts' between Hull and Orchard Park extending to Compass Road rather than Orchard Park Tesco. Based on the 8th March timetable, departures leave Paragon Interchange at 0730, 1534, 1634 and 1734 Monday to Friday and 0730, 1533, 1633 and 1733 Saturdays. From Mizzen Road the 5A departs at 0715 and 0810 Monday to Friday and 0713 and 0803 Saturdays. 

The 5A appears to use 'slack' in peaktime timetables to serve Compass Road without increasing the peak vehicle requirement. Sadly such 'slack' does not appear to be available off peak at the moment, as in order to serve Mizzen Road and Compass Road, Hull City Council are subsidising the 1C along most of Beverley Road that is otherwise very well served by commercial routes. This subsidy could be used instead to increase frequency between Sibelius Road and Bridlington Avenue, or to serve unserved or underserved roads such as North Road and Askew Avenue in West Hull.

Overall, whilst there maybe hourly rather than 90 minute frequencies for parts of the day and there is through connectivity provided from Beverley Road to Hull Royal Infirmary, these changes are a reduction in service. Hull City Council were considering reducing services to 4 days a week however, so it could have been worse.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

New East Hull Services 40 and 41

Hull City Council tendered service 50 was withdrawn after operation on Saturday 27th February, following around 25 years of operation across various routes, but always including Hull City Centre and East Hull. It was initially numbered service 70 and also briefly had a spell as service 58. The 50 latterly was operated by East Yorkshire and linked Hull Paragon Interchange, Holderness Road Shops, Laburnum Avenue, James Reckitt Avenue, Ings Road, Maybury Road, Jalland Lodge, Maybury Road again, Broadway Drive and Holderness Road Morrisons. Four journeys were provided in each direction on a 90 minute frequency Monday to Saturday mornings and early afternoon.

Following retendering the contract was won by Stagecoach and two new services were introduced as a replacement - 40 and 41. I say replacement, but the 40 doesn't do much to replace the 50, rather it reinstates useful links that haven't been provided recently.

The 40 operates as a circular from Holderness Road Morrisons. Going anti clockwise it serves Ings Road, Cavendish Road, Lambwath Road, James Reckitt Avenue (Garden Village), Mount Pleasant and Holderness Road shops. There are four anti-clockwise and three clockwise journeys Monday to Saturday daytimes. The section of Ings Road between James Reckitt Avenue and Cavendish Road has been unserved apart from the 677 Cranswick Foods workers service since the 9 was withdrawn early in the COVID-19 pandemic last year, whilst Lambwath Road has been unserved since then. The section of James Reckitt Avenue served by the 40 also has service 12a, but unlike the 12a, the 40 offers links to the main Holderness Road shopping area and to Morrisons, so has a clear purpose alongside the 12a.

The 41 also operates from Holderness Road Morrisons, via Portobello Street to Broadway Drive then back onto Portobello Street and as per service 14 before replacing the 50 along parts of Staveley Road, Marfleet Lane (Jalland Lodge), Maybury Road and Broadway Drive back to Morrisons. An hourly service is provided Monday to Saturday daytimes, with one 90 minute gap. For Jalland Lodge, Maybury Road and Broadway Drive, through links to Hull City Centre and Holderness Road shops have been traded for increased frequency and a slightly later afternoon service - connections are available to other services on Holderness Road.

The section of James Reckitt Avenue between Ings Road and Gillshill Road is now unserved, as is Laburnum Avenue. James Reckitt Avenue passengers will need to walk to either Ings Road, the stops near the James Reckitt Avenue and Gillshill Road junction, or through East Park to Holderness Road. Laburnum Avenue passengers will need to walk to James Reckitt Avenue or Holderness Road for alternative services.

There are clearly a few positives here, probably more than the negatives. Maybe the 50 could have been retained on a Saturday though, with the 40 and 41 operating weekdays only. That would have avoided any roads becoming unserved and retain all previously provided through links. My other suggestion would be that as the combined 40 and 41 timetable has 17 minutes layover per hour, the 40 could perhaps make a 'double run' along currently unserved Chamberlain Road, using the roundabout at the junction with Stoneferry Road to turnaround - something the 50 and 70 used to do earlier in their history.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

JustGo

Back on Monday 7th September 2020, the mostly demand responsive CallConnect service in North Lincolnshire was largely replaced by new fully demand responsive service, JustGo. CallConnect had operated in North Lincolnshire in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, whose brand it is, with most services being operated by Hornsby Travel. JustGo is operated by East Yorkshire from their Elloughton depot and I presume the change is down to a routine retendering exercise by North Lincolnshire Council. JustGo operates Monday to Saturday daytimes, as with CallConnect.

JustGo has some important differences from CallConnect however. CallConnect requires registration and then for journeys to be booked by phone or on their website (an app has just been introduced in the Gainsborough area however). JustGo on the other hand has had an app available since launch in September, with phone booking also available. CallConnect was pay on bus, whereas JustGo has app or phone payments. Concessionary passes can be registered on the JustGo app or by phone when booking. 

With CallConnect, North Lincolnshire was divided into zones, with no travel possible from one zone to another. JustGo has done away with these divisions, making journeys such as Saxby to Scunthorpe Hospital possible, although it has added some new divides. 

Initially JustGo was quite simple - travel anywhere within rural North Lincolnshire or to and from, but not within, the Scunthorpe, Ashby and Bottesford urban area. One problem with that - the potential to abstract revenue from, and undermine, frequent commercial timetabled services. See the example here of it initially being possible to book a journey from Scunthorpe to Brigg despite an hourly commercial service being provided by Hornsby Travel (and an extra subsidised service every two hours). So a few weeks after launch, four more zones were added, in which travel exclusively within them is prohibited - Scunthorpe to Barton, Scunthorpe to Brigg, Scunthorpe to Messingham and Barton to Ulceby. As with the Scunthorpe Urban area, travel in and out of these zones is allowed, and they are fairly tightly defined around the routes of timetabled services, so whilst Scunthorpe Town Centre is included, Scunthorpe Hospital isn't. Therefore Winterton to Scunthorpe Bus Station by JustGo quite rightly isn't allowed as there is a half hourly timetabled bus instead, but Winterton to Scunthorpe Hospital, not otherwise possible without a connection, sensibly is permitted. 

I do wonder if these additional zones are a downside of apps and automation? A person with knowledge of the bus network could use that knowledge to direct travellers onto a timetabled service if available - I presume that is what CallConnect did - whereas for an app to do so presumably requires some IT work?

Whilst the FAQ section of the JustGo website doesn't allude to this, the rural area of North Lincolnshire served by JustGo does stretch slightly beyond the council boundary according to the JustGo website map. Immingham - nearest town for villages like South Killingholme - and Habrough - rail connections available - in North East Lincolnshire are included, as are Brocklesby, Great Limber and Keelby in Lincolnshire County Council's area - possibly 'compensation' to Great Limber for the 250 being rerouted away to replace a North Lincolnshire Council tendered service? Brigg Garden Centre, technically also in Lincolnshire County Council's area is included and Blaxton in South Yorkshire is also covered, providing connections onto First service 57f to Doncaster. These are all sensible extensions beyond the North Lincolnshire boundary. Could Misterton in Nottinghamshire be another worthwhile extension, for bus connections to Gainsborough and Retford? Maybe Doncaster Sheffield Airport as well for employment links?

CallConnect in North Lincolnshire used to provide some timetabled services, with the demand responsive bus 'borrowed' to operate a scheduled service. These were:

  • 55: Santon-Appleby-Dragonby-Scunthorpe - Friday Only
  • 58: Wroot-Sandtoft-Epworth - Friday Only
  • 59: Wroot-Blaxton - Monday to Friday
  • 260: Goxhill-New Holland-Barrow-Barton - Saturday Only

Each operated one journey in each direction, designed for shopping purposes, but were withdrawn with the start of JustGo. Aside from schools and college services, the villages and hamlets of Appleby, Sandtoft, Santon and Wroot no longer have a timetabled bus service, whilst Dragonby residents need to walk to the A1077. The 260 has a weekday service operated by Stagecoach; much of Barrow additionally has the 250 to Barton (plus Hull, Grimsby and Cleethorpes) whilst Goxhill and New Holland have a rail service to Barton (and Grimsby and Cleethorpes) as an alternative, albeit the stations are only conveniently sited for parts of each village - likewise Barton station is only well located for some shops in Barton Town Centre.

These withdrawals are disappointing. I wonder if they are down to the lack of cash handling on JustGo vehicles? Borrowing a demand responsive vehicle seems like a good way to provide a 'no pre-booking required' timetabled service when no other financially sensible options are available.

JustGo hasn't quite meant the end of CallConnect in North Lincolnshire. As happened before North Lincolnshire Council got involved with CallConnect, the Lincolnshire County Council service extends into North Lincolnshire where sensible. The Caistor CallConnect service area includes Brigg, Barnetby, Hibaldstow and Humberside Airport, for shopping, rail links, doctors and employment, as well as Cadney and Howsham villages. The Gainsborough CallConnect includes Kirton in Lindsey, which acts as the local small town for some villages in the Lincolnshire County Council area.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Significant Improvements for Hull Marina and Humber View

East Yorkshire service 178 between Hull Paragon Interchange, Hull Marina, the western part of South Bridge Road (Humber View sheltered housing) and Hull Paragon Interchange was withdrawn at the end of January after just four weeks of operation. The 178 had operated every 1-2 hours Monday to Saturday daytimes. Replacement came in the form of amended Stagecoach services 16 and 20 on Monday 8th February.

Service 16 between Hull Paragon Interchange, Victoria Dock, Mount Pleasant Asda and the Preston Road Estate now makes a short detour in each direction via Humber View. The 16 continues to provide an hourly Monday to Saturday service, so for the western part of South Bridge Road this is a frequency enhancement and comes with a link to Asda as well. The area is within walking distance, at least without bags of shopping, of the City Centre and alternative services, so I can only imagine it's Humber View that is generating demand here.

Service 20 - Priory Park Park and Ride - has replaced the 178 in the Marina area. Previously it had looped around the city centre from Anlaby Road via Ferensway, Albion Street, Bond Street, George Street, Wilberforce Drive, Alfred Gelder Street and Carr Lane back to Anlaby Road. Now from Bond Street the 20 operates in the opposite direction along Alfred Gelder Street then serves the Marina area before routing direct to Paragon Interchange via Castle Street and Ferensway. From Paragon Interchange the 20 returns to Anlaby Road via Park Street. Service 20 continues to operate every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday.

The 20's new route provides a vastly improved frequency between the Ferensway and St Stephen's area of the city centre and the Marina area, as well as a park and ride service for the Marina area without having to walk to Alfred Gelder Street or Carr Lane. It also provides an extra three buses per hour from Paragon Interchange to Hull Royal Infirmary that are direct and don't operate via the city centre loop. However it does come with the drawback of longer journey times from parts of the city centre - Monument Bridge (between Alfred Gelder Street and Carr Lane) to Priory Park was timed for 15 minutes previously, but Alfred Gelder Street to Priory Park is now 28 minutes. Additionally George Street, Wilberforce Drive and Carr Lane are now unserved, though fairly close to alternative stops on Alfred Gelder Street, or in the case of the western end of Carr Lane, at Paragon Interchange.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

152 Extended, 153 Truncated

East Yorkshire revised services 151, 152 and 153 on Sunday 3rd January. There have since been some further temporary COVID-19 related changes, but this post is based on the 3rd January changes. Service 151 was the least changed, continuing to link Hull Paragon Interchange, Anlaby Road, Anlaby, Kirk Ella, Willerby Square and Willerby Parkway. 

Service 152 has been extended; still running the same route as the 151 between Hull and Anlaby but rather then looping via Lowfield Road (with waiting time), Beverley Road and Wilson Street in Anlaby back to Anlaby Centre and Hull, Monday to Saturday the 152 is now extended to Bridgehead Business Park in Hessle. The 152 operates to Hessle via Lowfield Road and returns via Wilson Street, so passengers from Lowfield Road to Hull need to walk to either Anlaby Centre or Beverley Road - the layout in Anlaby prevents a service from Hessle serving Lowfield Road, the main Red Lion bus stop in Anlaby Centre and Hull Road in the village. After Anlaby, the Monday to Saturday 152 routes to Darleys Roundabout, and then serves 155's former route in Hessle along Beverley Road, Swanland Road, Barrow Lane and Ferriby Road to Home Farm, before terminating at Bridgehead Business Park. On the return from Bridgehead Business Park, the 152 operates via Boothferry Road and Heads Lane to Ferriby Road instead off Home Farm.

Finally Service 153 between Hull, Anlaby Road, Anlaby, Kirk Ella, Swanland, North Ferriby and Melton Business Park (plus evening and Sunday extensions further westwards) is now truncated to operate between Hull and Swanland only. The new 55 replaces at Melton Business Park, but otherwise the Swanland to North Ferriby link is lost and North Ferriby to Hull is reduced from two to one services per hour. Additionally the Church Road, New Walk, Parkfield Avenue, Nunburnholme Avenue and Corby Park areas of North Ferriby no longer have a bus to Hull and are only served by the 143 to Beverley three days a week and by school buses - the area is served by North Ferriby railway station however.

The main Monday to Saturday daytime service pattern of the 151, 152 and 153 each operating hourly continues, providing a 20 minute frequency between Hull and Anlaby. Monday to Friday peaktime 151's are now 152's, removing morning peak services from Church Lane and School Lane in Kirk Ella and reducing provision elsewhere in the village. The flipside is increased links to Bridgehead Business Park - the 152 is not a very direct route from the centre of Hull at least but it maybe useful for any commuters from Anlaby, Anlaby Common and Anlaby Park. The 55 and 66B provide more direct services to Hull and the 250, 255 and 350 stop within walking distance on Boothferry Road and the Humber Bridge Northern Approach, though business park passengers may need to cross the busy Humber Bridge roundabout. The bus stop at the business park does also provide a useful off road layby for waiting.

Service 151 is enhanced in the evening Monday to Saturday however, moving to a full hourly service; the 1905 152 and 2255 153 from Hull both become service 151's instead. Swanland has lost it's limited evening service.

On Sundays the 153 remains hourly daytimes with the 152 hourly in the evening (and one morning journey). As with the rest of the week, the 153 is now Hull to Swanland only but the 152 is following it's previous Lowfield Road & Wilson Street loop, not extending to Hessle.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Introducing the 55 and X5

On Sunday 3rd January, East Yorkshire extensively revised their services along the A63 corridor out of Hull towards Brough and Goole. In this post I will focus on services that extend west of Melton Business Park.

Previously the main services along the corridor were the 155 and X55. The 155 operated out of Hull Paragon Interchange via Anlaby Road and Boothferry Road as far as Darleys Roundabout, then via Beverley Road, Swanland Road, Barrow Lane and Ferriby Road in Hessle, North Ferriby High Street and Melton Road, Melton and Welton Villages, Brough, Elloughton, Brantingham (early morning and evening journeys only), South Cave, North Cave, Newport, Gilberdyke, Eastrington, Howden, Goole Hospital to Goole Town Centre. The slightly quicker X55 took the same route out of Hull as far as Darleys Roundabout, then continued along Boothferry Road via Bridgehead Business Park to join the A63 to Brough then largely as the 155 to Goole, but not serving Brantingham at all and with some route variations in Goole. There was also a limited 155A that operated via Anlaby instead of Boothferry Road, additionally served Melton Business Park and also served Brantingham. Finally to add into the mix was a small number of service 153 journeys that extended west of Melton Business Park; one Monday to Saturday evening service from Elloughton via Brough, Welton, Melton, to Melton Business Park then as the main 153 route to Hull via North Ferriby, one Monday to Saturday evening return, that extended beyond Elloughton to Brantingham and South Cave, and two hourly Sunday daytime extensions to Melton and Welton.

Monday to Saturday daytimes the core pattern was the 155 hourly between Hull and Elloughton and the X55 hourly between Hull and South Cave, extending two hourly to Goole. The 155 picked up most early morning and late afternoon Goole extensions and also provided a limited evening service alongside the previously mentioned 153. The 155A variation provided two morning peak journeys from Hull, an early morning service from North Cave and a single afternoon journey from Goole, Monday to Friday only. On Sundays the 155 provided four journeys between Hull and South Cave during the daytime.

Now everything has changed. The 153 no longer operates in this area, and the 155 and X55 have been replaced by new services 55 and X5, along with a change to the 152. The 155A remains but with some changes to it's western termini. 

The 55 follows the X55 route out of Hull, serving Bridgehead Business Park - service 152 picks up the 155’s old route in Hessle (more in a future post) - before routing via North Ferriby High Street and Melton Road, Melton Business Park (replacing the 153), Melton, Welton, Brough, Elloughton, South Cave and as per the old 155 route to Goole. Brantingham is not served at all by the 55. Service 55 operates hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes between Hull and Gilberdyke. The Gilberdyke to Goole section has four services to Goole and three from Goole Monday to Friday and two each way on Saturdays. The 55 operates hourly early evening between Hull and Elloughton but there is no late evening service. On Sundays, five journeys operate in each direction between Hull and Gilberdyke.

The X5 is a new coach operated service between Hull and Goole. It operates direct from Paragon Interchange in Hull, omitting other City Centre stops, then via Hull Royal Infirmary, Rawling Way and the A63 to Brough and Elloughton. It's then back onto the A63 to Newport, Gilberdyke - serving the B1230 only and not running into the village - Howden and Goole (but not Goole Hospital). Aside from Hull City Centre, the route in Gilberdyke and the extension to Goole, it is rather reminiscent of the original X55 Petuaria Express. The X5 operates five times a day Monday to Friday and four on Saturdays. Although the X5 is advertised as limited stop, as far as i can tell it stops at all stops it passes; limited stop is presumably a reference to the sections of the A63 and B1230 without stops.

It maybe that timetables and frequencies are being 'depressed' by COVID-19, but overall this seems like a step backwards if it reflects the longer term service provision planned by East Yorkshire. Hull to Brough and Elloughton has gone from an almost half hourly service Monday to Saturday, to an hourly service plus four or five fast coaches. Eastrington is reduced from approximately two hourly to 2-4 services per day, with links to Goole Hospital similarly reduced. Hull to South Cave journey times are increased from 51 to 61 minutes. There is also no late evening service at all, so the last departure from Hull is at 1710 to North Cave, 1730 to Gilberdyke, Howden and Goole, 1810 to South Cave and at 2010 to Elloughton, as opposed to 1800 to Goole, 1950 to North Cave, Gilberdyke and Howden and 2255 to Elloughton and South Cave.

There are certainly some positives here which should be acknowledged. Newport and Gilberdyke increase from a two hourly service Monday to Saturday daytimes to hourly plus an occasional fast coach. North Cave gains an hourly rather than two hourly service. Journey times from Hull to Melton and Welton reduce by three minutes. There is a new Monday to Friday 0530 from Elloughton to Hull, previous first service 0633. The early evening service between Hull and Elloughton is increased to hourly rather than 1800 then 1950. On Sundays there is an extra journey, and now a Sunday service from North Cave, Newport and Gilberdyke (Melton and Welton have lost the 153, but it was arguably a 'relic' from when it was the X55 rather than 155 that operated on a Sunday).

It's the X5 which seems most questionable to me, certainly west of Elloughton. Between Hull, Brough and Elloughton, offering one fast and one slow service has it's advantages and disadvantages compared to two less differentiated services. Given the housing growth in Brough, and the railway station being located away from 55 and X5 routes, there is potential here post COVID-19. In Howden, the X5 will have more use as the main service into Goole, and also it's railway station is a significant distance outside of the town.

Taking Gilberdyke however and whilst the X5 is being positioned as a fast Hull link, assuming the pre COVID-19 rail timetable is reinstated, it will be up against two trains per hour, one taking 19 minutes versus 37 on on the X5. Unless there are significant price differentials, how can the X5, or the X5 and 55 combined compete - senior citizen pass holders aside? Rail will have the frequency and speed advantage. It's a similar story in Goole. Two trains per hour to Hull pre COVID-19, the fastest taking 29 minutes as opposed to an hour on the X5. Plus while the X62 doesn't serve Goole Town Centre and the route also had to support the Goole to Leeds section, when Stagecoach tried to provide a more comprehensive fast service on the X62 between Hull and Goole, it failed.

Friday, 29 January 2021

The short lived 74 returns - as the X7

Between Hull and Withernsea there is the main bus 'corridor' via Hedon and along the A1033, plus two 'diversions'; one via Holderness Road and Southcoates Lane in Hull and one via the village off Burstwick. Monday to Saturday daytimes two services per hour can be sustained along the main 'corridor', leaving a choice - share the two 'diversions' out between the two services each hour, or put both diversions on the same hourly journey and run the other hourly journey as a faster service. Since EYMS/East Yorkshire became the sole operator on the corridor, the former has usually been the preference.

In July 2011, the latter was however tried briefly. Service 74 operated between Hull, Hedon and Keyingham (on the A1033), omitting Holderness Road and Burstwick, hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, with some afternoon journeys extending to Withernsea. Alongside this was hourly service 75 between Hull, Holderness Road, Hedon, Burstwick, Keyingham and Withernsea. By October 2011, the corridor had reverted back Monday to Saturday daytimes to an hourly 76 via Holderness Road but not Burstwick and an hourly 77 via Burstwick but not Holderness Road. 

Fast forward over 9 years and on Monday 4th January 2021, East Yorkshire have decided to try again with the one faster and one slower service each hour Monday to Saturday daytimes. Service 75 now operates during this period, as well as continuing in the peaks, evenings and on Sundays, as the slower service via Holderness Road and Burstwick, whilst the faster service omitting both these areas is numbered X7. Services 76 and 77 are withdrawn, which also has the effect of simplifying from three (75/76/77) to two (75/X7) service numbers. Unlike in 2011, all journeys operate between Hull and Withernsea apart from an early morning Hull to Hedon 'short'. For Withernsea this means that rather than a 78 minute journey time on the 77 and an 81 minute journey time on service 76 to Hull, there is now a 73 minute journey time on the X7 and an 86 minute journey time on the 75. 

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Good News for Paull and Preston

East Yorkshire revised services 78 and 79 between Hull, Victoria Dock, Hedon Road, Hedon Town Centre and the Inmans Estate in Hedon from Monday 4th January.

Previously, in addition to the locations above which are served by both services, the 78 additionally served Hull Marina and the western part of South Bridge Road in Victoria Dock, whilst the 79 routed via the village of Paull. Together the two routes operated hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, with the majority of services operating as a 78. With the 78 and 79 having unique sections at different parts to the other, in most of Victoria Dock and along Hedon Road there was no even interval hourly frequency, but from both Hull Paragon Interchange and Hedon Thorn Road Corner the 78 and 79 provided departures every 20 minutes combined with services 76 and 77.

The 78 has now been rerouted away from Hull Marina and the western part of South Bridge Road, but instead serves the village of Preston, which otherwise only has the 277 every 95-150 minutes into Hull (plus 1 journey each way on a Saturday on service 173 and Stagecoach's Cranswick Foods workers service 677). The 79 continues it's same route via Paull. The new timetable retains the combined hourly service Monday to Saturday daytimes, with each route now operating every two hours, giving Paull a small increase in services. With the 78 and 79's unique sections of route now both being between Hedon Road and Hedon Town Centre, Victoria Dock and Hedon Road gain an even interval service, and the 78 is quicker between Hull City Centre and these areas. The 20 minute frequency from Hull Interchange is retained, now in conjunction with services X7 and 75 (more on these soon), however from Hedon Thorn Road Corner it's now a 15-15-30 minute split across the hour for departures into Hull.

These changes are a clear improvement for Paull and Preston and to a lesser extent, an enhancement for Victoria Dock and Hedon Road.

Hull Marina and the western part of South Bridge Road are now covered by new service 178, which operates as a circular from Paragon Interchange to the Marina, South Bridge Road and back to the Interchange. The 178 operates Monday to Saturday with departures from Paragon Interchange at 0725 (Not Sat), 0915, 1115, 1215, 1415, 1515 and 1720.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

An extra journey for the 88

On Monday 4th January, service 88 between Goole, Airmyn, Rawcliffe and Rawcliffe Bridge gained a slightly enhanced timetable, with an extra journey in each direction. The 88 is operated by East Yorkshire and runs Monday to Friday. Departures from Goole North Street altered from 0905, 1205 and 1505 to 0905, 1105, 1305 and 1505, and from Rawcliffe Bridge changed from 0930, 1230 and 1530 to 0930, 1130, 1330 and 1530; the middle two terminating at Goole Interchange rather than North Street. The pdf timetable now refers to 'Some journeys are provided with the financial support of East Riding of Yorkshire Council' so I wonder if this could be a commercial enhancement as I'm sure the 88 has been fully subsidised ever since it was withdrawn from Thorne?

Friday, 15 January 2021

Isle Coaches Update

Since late March, Isle Coaches service 399 between Scunthorpe, the Isle of Axholme and Doncaster has not operated on Saturdays, just Monday to Friday. As previously mentioned the evening peak Scunthorpe to Westwoodside and return tendered journeys operated by Stagecoach continue to operate on Saturdays. Additionally the 1600 departure from Scunthorpe currently terminates at Westwoodside, rather than continuing to Doncaster.

As far as Isle Coaches service 291 between Owston Ferry on the Isle of Axholme and Doncaster is concerned, it was suspended for much of the Spring and Summer before returning to a reduced timetable. Quite what that reduced timetable is, I don't know. According to the Travel South Yorkshire pdf timetable, the 291 resumed on 21st September 2020, and according to both it and bustimes.org (source Traveline National Dataset) there are journeys at 0900 and 1210 from Owston Ferry Monday to Friday, returning from Doncaster at 1100 Tuesday and Friday only and at 1520 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. The unbalanced days of operation in each direction seem exceptionally unlikely to me. The North Lincolnshire Council website states the 291 resumed on 25th August 2020 on Tuesdays and Fridays only, departing Owston Ferry at 0900 and 1205 and Doncaster at 1100 and 1520. Isle Coaches don't have a website to verify what the actual current timetable is. Pre COVID-19, the 291 had operate three journeys to Doncaster and four from Doncaster Monday to Saturday, including an evening peak service. The tendered morning peak 57f from Epworth to Doncaster, operated by First, continues to operate Monday to Saturday.

It remains to be seen once things return to normal whether the 399 returns on a Saturday and if the 291 goes back to normal. If they don't though some anomalies that have occurred could do with being addressed. Monday to Friday there is currently a morning peak service from the Isle of Axholme to Doncaster, but no evening peak return; Monday and Thursday at least the only service from Doncaster back to the Isle is the 1200 399 departure, and Tuesday and Friday at least the last service is the 1520 291. If an evening peak service is not to be provided, then are there better uses for the morning peak subsidy - maybe provision for South Killingholme or Kirmington villages, or Saturday daytime services in the Isle of Axholme? That brings me to the next anomaly - a tendered Saturday morning peak service from the Isle to Doncaster with no evening return, a tendered evening peak service from Scunthorpe to the Isle and return without an equivalent morning service, but no daytime provision. Would the subsidy not be better used for a Saturday daytime shopping service from the Isle to either Scunthorpe or Doncaster

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Hornsby Changes and Withdrawals - Services 4, X4, 94 and C4

Finishing my look at Hornsby Travel services post the COVID-19 disruption of 2020, time to look at services 4, X4, 94 and C4 in the Brigg area.

The main service 4 between Scunthorpe, Ashby, Lakeside Retail Park, Broughton and Brigg remains hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, though there has been some reductions in the early mornings and evenings, as well as a minor early afternoon improvement, compared to the pre COVID-19 timetable.

The 0430 and 0630 Monday to Friday direct journeys from the Hornsby depot in Ashby to Brigg no longer operate, whilst the Monday to Friday 0450 from Brigg to Foxhills Industrial Estate north of Scunthorpe starts at Lakeside Retail Park instead, with the first service from Brigg to Scunthorpe now at 0630 weekdays. The Monday to Friday 0640 and 0740 Lakeside Retail Park to Foxhills no longer operate, the former replaced by retiming the 0650 from Brigg to Foxhills to operate twenty minutes earlier; additionally the 0730 and 0830 from Scunthorpe to Brigg no longer start back at Foxhills Monday to Friday.

The Monday to Friday early afternoon Foxhills service has been separated from the main Scunthorpe to Brigg service, operating as Lakeside to Foxhills and return. This provides an extra service between Scunthorpe and Lakeside, and permits the 1230 from Brigg to serve Town Hill in Broughton, whilst the 1435 from Scunthorpe is retimed to 1430 and also now serves Town Hill. 

The Monday to Friday 1715 from Foxhills to Brigg now serves the main route via Town Hill in Broughton instead of Scawby, which is covered by diverting the 1700 X4 from Scunthorpe via the village. From Brigg the 1730 departure Monday to Saturday now runs through to Scunthorpe Bus Station rather than terminating at the Hornsby depot in Ashby.

The evening service has been removed almost entirely, though whether this will return when the evening economy opens up and hospital visiting becomes easier remains to be seen. As a result the last Scunthorpe to Brigg service is at 1830 Monday to Saturday rather than 2010 Saturday and 2225 Monday to Friday, whilst from Brigg the last service to Scunthorpe is at 1730 rather than 2050 Monday to Saturday, and to the Hornsby depot at 1910 Monday to Saturday rather than 2050 Saturday and 2305 Monday to Friday. The one evening service still provided is at 2215 Monday to Friday from Foxhills to the Hornsby depot, extending to Lakeside on request.

The Stagecoach operated Sunday service 4 has resumed it's pre COVID-19 timetable.

The faster Monday to Friday X4 has been reduced from hourly between Scunthorpe and Brigg to approximately every two hours, with all journeys routing via Scawby instead off just alternate services. East of Brigg all journeys continue to Wrawby and Barnetby Top before doing a loop via Melton Ross and Barnetby village back to Barnetby Top. The approximately two hourly frequency is maintained compared to pre COVID-19, but over a slightly shorter operating day, with the first Brigg arrival from Barnetby now at 0905 rather than 0755.

Humberside Airport and Kirmington have been removed from the X4 entirely; in combination with the withdrawal of the C4, Kirmington is left without a scheduled bus service, whilst in combination with the C4's withdrawal and the 250's rerouting, so is Humberside Airport. This change reduces the round trip time from Scunthorpe from 2 hours 25 minutes to 1 hour and 29 minutes, as a result of slack timing between Barnetby and Kirmington, and eliminating a 15 minute layover in Kirmington.

Pre COVID-19, when the X4 didn't operate through to Kirmington, it operated as a short Scunthorpe to Brigg service then operated as a through service to route 94. The shorts have gone, and so has the North Lincolnshire Council tendered service 94. Operating approximately every two hours, the 94 linked Brigg and Kirton in Lindsey Monday to Friday via Scawby, Hibaldstow and Redbourne and also incorporated the Kirton town service. There is no replacement for the 94 with most passengers needing to use the demand responsive JustGo service instead. Scawby does have the X4, so the 94's withdrawal here is unlikely to be hugely significant, but the only timetabled bus left for Hibaldstow and Redbourne, due to the C4 also being withdrawn, is the Thursday only Lincolnshire County Council tendered 161 to Brigg and Lakeside. The Nookings area of Hibaldstow is left unserved. Kirton retains the 103 between Scunthorpe and Lincoln.

As alluded to, the C4 has been withdrawn as well. The C4 was the North Lincolnshire Council tendered Saturday provision for the X4 route between Brigg and Kirmington and the 94 between Brigg and Redbourne, with four journeys to Kirmington and two to Redbourne, though some were effectively positioning journeys. The C4 was suspended last March, but did return between Barnetby, Brigg and Redbourne over the Summer. Barnetby, Wrawby (in combination with the 450's withdrawal) and Scawby (in combination with the evening 4's withdrawal) are now without a Saturday timetabled bus service, though Barnetby does have the train. The Saturday situation in these three villages is far from the biggest issue resulting from these changes, but maybe the easiest to fix - could the Brigg Town Service be amended to provide a limited Saturday service to some or all of these villages; the 91 Brigg Town Service did serve Wrawby for a number of years. 

In addition could the Brigg Town Service maybe also serve Hibaldstow, say on a Tuesday to avoid duplicating the 161? Currently Cadney and Howsham, population 459 in 2011, have a three day a week service on Brigg Town Service 92 whilst Hibaldstow, population 2433 has a one day a week service. I appreciate the 92 also serves Brigg Garden Centre but even still, provision feels a bit 'uneven' here.