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.


NMcB said...

Fortunately, I saved the PDF timetables for both the 54 and 56/57 before they were reduced again, so can confirm that on 5th and 12th September the Sunday services on both 54 and 56 were half-hourly before being reduced to hourly on the 19th due to driver shortages. In parallel, 57 also ran half-hourly on these dates, rather than hourly as it did both before and since. It's a pity that the driver shortage made these improvements so short-lived, but hopefully things will improve over time and the full timetables can be restored.

Humber Transport said...

Thanks. A welcome Sunday enhancement to the 57 when it can be staffed

Busmanhull said...

The 56 uses Anlaby road and Ferensway inbound from Wold road. Not park street.

Humber Transport said...

Thanks. Post corrected