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.

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