Sunday 31 October 2021

Beverley Locals

On Monday 6th September, East Yorkshire revamped it's Beverley Town Services with new routes B1 and B2 - branded Beverley Locals - replacing it's previous 520 and 521 services, plus in part also replacing the Acklams Coaches operated tendered 522.

Service 520 and 521 had each operated hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes off peak from Beverley Sow Hill Bus Station to the Swinemoor Estate, providing a 30 minutes combined frequency. The 520 also served Holme Church Lane and Flemingate, whilst the 521 additionally covered East Riding Community Hospital and Grovehill Road. Meanwhile service 522 served Lincoln Way and Normandy Avenue every hour off peak and during the evening peak; Lincoln Way is now covered by East Yorkshire's 25.

The new B1 operates from Molescroft Butterfly Meadows via the old 122 route to Sow Hill Bus Station, then via the Railway Station, Swinemoor Estate, East Riding Community Hospital and Holme Church Lane replacing the 520 and 521, before serving Hull Road and Lidl and using the relatively new Minster Way (effectively Beverley Southern Bypass) to Morrisons. From Morrisons the B1 routes via Normandy Avenue back to Beverley Bus Station, including serving Armstrong Way for Flemingate and the Railway Station again. The B2 then operates the same in reverse.

The B1 and B2 each operate hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, reducing to two hourly in the peaks Monday to Friday. There is also an evening service every 90 minutes on each route on Fridays and Saturdays.

Overall the Beverley Locals have a number of positives, but also one negative on the old Beverley Town Network. On the positive side is the new peaktime provision for most areas of the town, and the new evening services on Friday and Saturday. A 2357 last departure from Beverley Bus Station to Molescroft is later than anything from Hull City Centre these days! There are new links to Lidl and Morrisons, and almost all parts of Beverley and Molescroft now have a through bus to the Community Hospital.

The one negative I can see is the Swinemoor Estate Monday to Saturday daytimes - whilst it does still have two buses an hour to and from Beverley Town Centre, it's effectively reduced to one. Taking the Warton Avenue timing point, the direct B2 leaves at 28 minutes past the hour, is timed at Greenwood Avenue at 38 minutes past the hour, then arrives at the Bus Station at 45 minutes past the hour. The indirect B1 leaves Greenwood Avenue at 20 past the hour, Warton Avenue at 30 minutes past the hour, arriving at the Bus Station at 58 minutes past the hour. Unless you turn up at Warton Avenue at 29 minutes past the hour, the indirect service is unlkely to be used for town centre travel. The indirect service is similarly off little use in the opposite direction for travel between Beverley Town Centre and the Swinemoor Estate. In addition most of Grovehill Road is now unserved.

With the introduction of the B1 and B2 to Molescroft, the 122 between Hull, Beverley and Molescroft - currently temporarily suspended due to driver shortages - has been slightly revised. Copandale Road and Scrubwood Lane are now omitted and left to the B1 and B2, with the 122 operating direct via Woodhall Way. Buses towards Molescroft now operate via the entirety of Woodhall Way, with St Lenoard's Road covered by the B2. For Molescroft, the B1 and B2 double their East Yorkshire operated Monday to Saturday daytime service from hourly to twice an hour, but unfortunately with 15 and 45 minute intervals between services.

Sunday 24 October 2021

Spring Bank West Changes

Up to and including Saturday 4th September, East Yorkshire's main services along Spring Bank West in Hull were the 33 and 44; the 33 running from Paragon Interchange in the City Centre to Wold Road and Wymersley Road on the Hull City boundary, and the 44 running from Paragon Interchange to Willerby Road, Kingston Road and Willerby Square. Both operated every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes to give a combined 10 minute frequency along Spring Bank West. A 3rd service, route 34 - operating as an amalgamation of the 33 and 44 between Paragon Interchange and Willerby Square via Wold Road - came into operation in the early mornings, evenings and Sundays. Monday to Saturday evenings had an hourly 34 and an hourly 44, whilst Sunday daytimes had a half hourly 34 reducing to hourly in the evenings. To add to this, some evening 34 and 44's had a C suffix to operate as a through service on the 63C at Willerby Square.

However on Sunday 5th September, East Yorkshire made major changes (and simplification), with the 33 amalgamated into the existing 56, service 44 renumbered to the 54 and the 34 dropped. The 'C' suffixed services were also replaced by extra evening journeys on service 154. Overall most of the changes here are welcome improvements.

The most headline grabbing change was the 33 being combined into the existing service 56 between Longhill in East Hull and Paragon Interchange to create a new 'cross-city' service from Longhill to Wymersley Road, that also increases the frequency to Wold Road and Wymersley Road Monday to Saturday daytimes from every 20 to every 15 minutes (though since reduced back to every 20 minutes due to driver shortages). Daily evening services are hourly, matching the 34's old provision, with Sunday daytimes operating twice per hour, again matching the 34's provision, but with 20 and 40 minute intervals to co-ordinate with the hourly Sunday daytime 57 service between Longhill and Hull Royal Infirmary. (East Yorkshire's initial announcement mentioned half hourly Sunday 56's so maybe this is a temporary driver shortage related issue - I don't have the initial 5th September timetable to hand?)

There was also a change in route between Paragon Interchange and Spring Bank West, as rather than following the 33's route via Spring Bank, the 56 operates via Hull Royal Infirmary and Albert Avenue; this link was previously provided by the 35 every 90 minutes, so a significant enhancement. Spring Bank retains East Yorkshire service with routes 54, 103 and 104, plus Stagecoach's 3, 3B and 5, so the loss of the 33 is not significant. Similarly the eastern section of Spring Bank West that is not covered by the 56 has the 54 and parts also have Stagecoach's 3 and 3B.

In Hull City Centre, inbound from Longhill the 56 now operates to Paragon Interchange via Carr Lane rather than Bond Street and Albion Street, whilst in the opposite direction, there is a reduction in city centre buses; rather than the 33 operating the city centre loop inbound via Albion Street, Bond Street and Carr Lane, and the 56 also using Albion Street and Bond Street outbound, the new 56 enters Paragon Interchange via Anlaby Road and Ferensway (EDIT not Park Street as originally posted), then serves Albion Street and Bond Street just once, reducing city centre vehicle traffic and with the only loss of connectivity being to Carr Lane.

That is one of the benefits of a 'cross-city' route, along with opening new links between parts of West Hull and East Hull. Part of me does think it is a bit unfortunate though that whilst Longhill has eight (currently reduced to six) buses per hour to Hull Royal Infirmary across the 56 and 57, other parts of East Hull have none, but that's partly the consequence of the split in services between East Yorkshire and Stagecoach, with East Yorkshire being more prominent in West Hull due to neighbouring towns and villages outside the Hull City boundary, whilst Stagecoach are more prominent in East Hull.

The revised 56 had led to the end of service 35. This had operated every 90 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes between Paragon Interchange, Hull Royal Infirmary, Albert Avenue, Spring Bank West, Wold Road, Wymersley Road, Willerby Road, Kingston Road, Willerby Parkway and Willerby Square. As already mentioned the 56 provides a far more frequent replacement between Hull City Centre and Wymersley Road and the 151 continues to provide an hourly service from Willerby Parkway to Hull Royal Infirmary and Paragon Interchange. Service 154 provides a link every 20 minutes from parts of Kingston Road to Hull Royal Infirmary, and both the 151 and 154 serve Willerby Square. The section of Willerby Road and Kingston Road between Wymersley Road and Willerby Parkway no longer has a direct bus to Hull Royal Infirmary, but sadly a small flow like this won't sustain a service, and passengers can connect to the 56 along Spring Bank West.

Perhaps the most notable loss is the 35A variant that operated twice a day in each direction via Maplewood Avenue, which is dropped without replacement or an alternative being available. This area used to have a 7 day a week service with route 48, operating I think on a 70 minute frequency.

Also worth noting is that service 57 westbound from Longhill to Hessle now serves Paragon Interchange, matching the 56, and helping those making onward connections.

Service 54 is just the 44 renumbered - which does make sense to link with the 56 along Spring Bank West, but also the 154 in Willerby. Monday to Saturday daytime frequency is increased from every 20 to every 15 minutes (though like the 56 currently reduced back down to every 20 minutes), daily evenings are hourly, reduced from half hourly Monday to Saturday across the 34 and 44 previously, though the 154's enhanced evening service does mitigate in Willerby, whilst Sunday daytimes are currently hourly, but were initially promoted as being half hourly, so I presume driver shortage related again. The last service from Paragon Interchange is now earlier Sunday to Thursday at 2235 rather than 2310, but later Friday and Saturday at 2330.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Beverley to Hull Service Reduced

As part of their services changes on Sunday 5th September, East Yorkshire reduced services between Beverley and Hull, with the 'headline frequency' Monday to Saturday daytimes dropping from five to four buses per hour.

The previous arrangements saw an even interval every 15 minutes departure from Beverley to Hull via Woodmansey and Dunswell, and vice versa, comprised of an hourly 121 starting in Bridlington, hourly 122 starting in Molescroft and half hourly 246, one starting in Hornsea and the other operating as a Beverley to Hull 'short'. On top of this was an hourly X46 via the A1079. 

The 121, 122 and X46 continue (the 122 has since been temporarily suspended due to the driver shortage), but the 246 has been replaced by an hourly service on new route 23 between Beverley and Hull via Flemingate, Woodmansey and Dunswell. From Beverley, services to Hull depart at 00, 20, 30 and 50 minutes past the hour, but even interval departures are provided from Hull.

Looking in more detail, a new 0530 121 from Hull Monday to Friday provides a first service 45 minutes earlier than previously available, whilst a new 0640 23 from Beverley Monday to Friday fills a previous one hour gap between 0605 and 0705. There is a new 2230 23 from Beverley Monday to Saturday, filling a two hour gap between 2130 and 2330 towards Hull and providing a one hour later last service from Beverley to Woodmansey and Dunswell Monday to Thursday. Finally the last departure daily from Hull to Beverley moves 10 minutes later from 2300 to 2310.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Cottingham Evening Changes

East Yorkshire revised their evening services between Hull and Cottingham on Sunday 5th September.

Evening Only variant 63C now operates as a normal 63, no longer extending beyond Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham to Willerby. Instead service 154 between Hull, Willerby and Cottingham now operates later, with the last journey leaving Hull Paragon Interchange at 2310 daily rather than 1955 Monday to Saturday and 1655 Sunday, whilst from Castle Hill Hospital the final departure to Hull is now at 2325 daily rather than 2033 Monday to Saturday and 1832 Sunday.

Service 105 is reduced from half hourly to hourly mid-evening onwards Monday to Saturday - post 2010 from Hull and post 2119 from Castle Hill Hospital. However service 104 gains new later evening journeys on a daily basis, operating every hour; the 104's last departure from Hull Paragon Interchange is now at 2240 rather than 1950 Monday to Saturday and 1750 Sunday; from Castle Hill Hospital the final service leaves at 2349 compared to 2038 Monday to Saturday and 1743 Sunday. Service 104 did have hourly mid and late evening 'shorts' between Hull City Centre and Endike Lake Monday to Saturday pre COVID-19.

Saturday nightbus 106 has not yet resumed post COVID-19.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Anlaby and Kirk Ella Evening Cuts

As part of their 5th September service changes, East Yorkshire have cut the evening service to Kirk Ella and the late evening service to Anlaby.

Monday to Saturday, the 1900, 2000, 2100, 2200 and 2255 151's from Hull to Willerby via Anlaby and Kirk Ella have been replaced by extra 152 journeys to Anlaby only at 1840, 1940 and 2040. The last service from Hull to Kirk Ella is now the 1805 service 151, but the change to 152's does introduce a new early and mid evening service to Lowfield Road in Anlaby. In the opposite direction, service 151 departures from Willerby at 1930, 2030, 2130 and 2230 are now service 152 departures from Anlaby (Red Lion) at 1907, 2007 and 2107 only.

Similarly on Sundays, the 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, 2200 and 2255 152 departures from Hull to Anlaby have been replaced by 1840, 1940 and 2040 services only. From Anlaby (Red Lion) the 1830, 1930, 2030, 2130 and 2230 152 departures to Hull have been reduced to services leaving at 1907, 2007 and 2107.

On their website, East Yorkshire simply said "Some evening journeys will change, to make buses more reliable"; whilst this could explain replacing early and mid evening 151's with shorter 152's, it doesn't cover the withdrawal of the late service entirely. Service 154 does provide an alternative late evening service along Anlaby Road.