Monday 25 April 2022

Hornsby Brigg Area Changes

Last Tuesday (19th April), Hornsby Travel revised their services 4, X4 and 94 in the Brigg area. 

Starting with the X4 between Scunthorpe, Scawby, Brigg, Wrawby, Melton Ross and Barnetby; this service has been almost entirely withdrawn due to "passenger demand". All that remains are Monday to Friday journeys at 0800 from Scunthorpe to Brigg and 1745 from Brigg to Scunthorpe. Previously the X4 had operated 7 journeys a day, every two hours with some extras, Monday to Friday, between Scunthorpe and Barnetby. As I will explain below, Scawby, Wrawby, Barnetby and Melton Ross receive alternatives, so the biggest loss is the fast service between Scunthorpe and Brigg. Cutting back the X4 isn't going to attract new passengers to use the bus, but aside from the few properties at Greetwell Crossroads no community is 'cut-off' (and Greetwell retains the residual X4 plus JustGo).

Moving onto service 4, the main route between Scunthorpe and Brigg via Ashby and Broughton; here the main Monday to Saturday daytime service remains hourly whilst the limited mid-evening journeys are retimed to operate slightly later. The big change is that Monday to Friday only, five journeys - every two hours - are extended beyond Brigg to Kirmington via Wrawby, Barnetby, Melton Ross and Humberside Airport. This replaces the X4 east of Brigg, albeit with two fewer journeys, whilst restores a timetabled bus service to Humberside Airport for the first time since the Humber Flyer was rerouted at the start of September 2020 and to Kirmington for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For Humberside Airport, the 4 probably won't be much use, but for the sake of a minute each way, if it's passing why not divert just in case there is a passenger. However for Kirmington this is a clear good news story, and hopefully the core section of the 4 between Scunthorpe and Brigg will benefit from new 'cross-Brigg' passengers.

When the 4 isn't extending to Kirmington, then Monday to Friday daytime it will be operating as a service 94, with through 'cross Brigg' travel available. If this sounds familiar, it's the same basic arrangement as the X4 pre COVID-19, hourly Scunthorpe to Brigg then two hourly to Kirmington or two hourly onto the 94. As part of these changes the 94 gets a new timetable, with four rather than five journeys between Brigg and Redbourne and three still continuing onto Kirton in Lindsey. The 94 also now diverts via Scawby village to replace the X4. Again hopefully the 94 benefits from the 'cross-Brigg' links as well as custom from Scawby.

Overall these changes are cutbacks, but some thought has gone into ensuring they have the least impact possible and some positive developments have been included in the process.

Sunday 24 April 2022

Scunthorpe Hospital Service 9 Withdrawn

On Good Friday (15th April), Hornsby Travel withdrew their service 9 between Scunthorpe Bus Station and Scunthorpe Hospital. In part the route served as a hospital park and ride, with car parks in Scunthorpe Town Centre being used as an alterative to hospital parking. I think the service was still on it's COVID-19 reduced timetable of half hourly 0800-1800 Monday to Friday at the time of it's withdrawal. 

Stagecoach services 1, 7 and 8 provide four services per hour between Scunthorpe Bus Station and the Cliff Gardens side of the hospital Monday to Friday daytime, supplemented by the 90 every two hours off peak - so I don't envisage the withdrawal of the 9 being a major loss here. However the Church Lane side of the hospital, and Church Lane itself, is left with only the East Yorkshire 361 every two hours, so the withdrawal of the 9 maybe felt more here, especially by those with limited mobility. Could the 90 be re-routed via Church Lane to supplement the 361? Or some of the Doncaster Road services that bypass the hospital all together - the 35, 60 and 399? The 9 probably doesn't need a direct replacement, but some mitigation for Church Lane would be good to see.

Saturday 23 April 2022

Pulled from Pocklington - But almost certainly not a big loss

With effect from Monday (25th April), the York Pullman operated tendered X36 Monday to Friday peak service between Pocklington and York is slightly truncated to operate between Bielby and York only. There had been a 0630 from Pocklington, returning from York Station at 1740 as a timetabled service to Melbourne, then continuing on request only to Seaton Ross, Everingham, Bielby and Pocklington. Now however the morning service will be a 0645 departure from Bielby to York, still returning from York Station at 1740 but with the timetabled service ending at Sutton Upon Derwent, continuing onto Melbourne, Seaton Ross, Everingham and Bielby on request only.

Whilst this does mean Pocklington has lost the X36, I'd be surprised if it got much use from the town, since the 46 and X46 offer a quicker and far more frequent service for Pocklington to York travel. Instead the Pocklington end of the route is probably a legacy from when East Yorkshire operated the peaktime service in the area from it's Pocklington depot. So cutting out a little bit of mileage and omitting Pocklington may well be a sensible minor cost and carbon emission saving.

The Monday to Saturday daytime 36 and X36 between Sutton Upon Derwent and York also undergoes some minor retimings as part of this service change.

Saturday 16 April 2022

Pocklington joins the Dalesbus Network

East Yorkshire have won the 2022 contract for Dalesbus Summer Sunday and Bank Holiday service 822 between York, Boroughbridge, Ripon, Fountains Abbey, Pateley Bridge and Grassington, along with a journey on service 875 between Grassington and Hawes. 

As Dalesbus operators sometimes do, East Yorkshire have chosen to extend their service to start and finish at, or closer to, their operating depot, and for East Yorkshire that is Pocklington. The 822 will depart Pocklington at 0855, returning at 1830. Between Pocklington and York the 822 sticks to the A1079 but will serve all stops en-route. 

The 822, and East Yorkshire's 875 journey, commence tomorrow (Easter Sunday 17th April) and operate until Sunday 25th September.

Sunday 10 April 2022

(Almost) Goodbye to East Yorkshire's Service 45

Service 45 between Bridlington, Driffield, Market Weighton, Pocklington and York has been almost entirely withdrawn after operation yesterday (Saturday 9th April), whilst the ad-hoc shorter 45A variant via Warter (the more traditional route) rather than Market Weighton has been withdrawn entirely. Operator East Yorkshire cite "low levels of usage between Market Weighton and Driffield" as the reason for them pulling their commercially operated journeys.

Service 45 and 45A had provided five journeys from Bridlington to York in each direction, plus a Pocklington or Warter to Bridlington short in each direction and one extra 'one-way' York to Driffield working - all operating Monday to Saturday. The frequency was broadly every two hours with some longer gaps, and together with the 46 provided an hourly service between Market Weighton, Pocklington and York, and then further combined with the X46 an approximately half hourly service along this section of route.

The section between Market Weighton and York will be replaced from Monday (11th April) with extra 'short' journeys on service 46, so for local travel on this corridor there is little change. These new 'shorts' wait in Market Weighton for half an hour rather than run the full route to Holme on Spalding Moor, or continue to Middleton - both of which there is time to do. Presumably East Yorkshire do not think the marginal costs of doing so could be covered.

There are some small changes between Market Weighton and York. The Monday to Friday 0632 from Holme on Spalding Moor will run at 0714 to replace an old service 45A between Pocklington and York - oddly the Saturday equivalent, retimed two minutes later from 0647 to 0649, will depart earlier on a weekend morning than a weekday morning. The Monday to Saturday 0825 from York to Holme on Spalding Moor will start in Pocklington at 0920 Monday to Friday. The 1425 from York to Bridlington via Market Weighton will terminate in Pocklington Monday to Friday, only extending to Market Weighton on Saturdays. Similarly the current 1355 from Bridlington will be retained between Market Weighton (depart 1505) and York on Saturdays only, with Monday to Friday just the Pocklington to York section still operating. The 1625 from Pocklington to York will be withdrawn Monday to Friday but is extended to start back in Market Weighton on a Saturday. 

Between Bridlington and Driffield the 121 continues to provide a daily hourly service, so whilst the loss of five Monday to Saturday services each way is hardly welcome, for local travel there is an alternative.

That leaves the Driffield to Market Weighton section of the 45, which as well as linking the two towns also serves the villages of Bainton, North Dalton and Middleton en-route. Bainton and Middleton do have a limited service to Beverley but the 45 has been the main service here, and for North Dalton the only service. Here East Riding of Yorkshire Council have stepped in with new tendered service 145 commencing tomorrow, operated by East Yorkshire - one service, but with two distinct elements.

Firstly Monday to Friday there is a 0645 Driffield to Market Weighton journey connecting into the 46, and a 1740 in the other direction (connecting out of the 1625 from York). The second element is a Monday to Saturday off-peak 'shoppers' service between Driffield and Middleton that then extends to the nearby village of Lund, presumably because there is time to do so. Services leave Lund at 0930, 1030, 1130 and 1330, returning from Driffield at 1000, 1100, 1300 and 1400. Driffield to Bainton had been served by four journeys in each direction, Driffield to North Dalton by six and Driffield to Middleton by four from Driffield and five to Driffield, all Monday to Saturday. From Monday these communities will each have six journeys between the residual 45 and the 145 Monday to Friday, reducing to five on Saturdays - so an improvement for local links into Driffield from Bainton, Middleton and Lund. Like with the service 55 changes, a little good has come from a largely negative change.

As alluded to, the 45 isn't entirely withdrawn - the 1655 from Bridlington to York remains, whilst the 1925 45A from York to Bridlington becomes a service 45 via Market Weighton. Seems a rather 'oddball' retention, but these journeys were subsidised, not commercial, and East Riding of Yorkshire Council have decided to retain them. They do still have some purpose - providing a journey an hour later in each direction than the last 46, supplementing the 121 from Bridlington in the evening peak, and providing the last service of the day from Driffield to Bridlington, which is at 2058 on the 45 but at 1845 on the 121. The 1733 timing from Driffield towards Bainton, North Dalton and Middleton may also be useful for any villagers spending the afternoon in Driffield. 

So other than the ad-hoc Warter journeys, no section of route is left unserved, the Market Weighton to York section is barely impacted . Even focusing on Monday to Saturday daytimes, the only unserved link is Middleton to Market Weighton. This isn't a story of communities being isolated. Where it's significant is the impact on longer distance travel. There is now no Bridlington to York bus apart from that residual 45, with passengers having to travel via Scarborough or Beverley. Likewise for Driffield to York, or Pocklington and Market Weighton to Driffield or Bridlington, it's a change in Beverley going forward. 

Saturday 9 April 2022

Extra Journey to Sand le Mere Holiday Village

The East Yorkshire operated tendered 129 between Withernsea and Hornsea gains an extra 'short journey' between Withernsea and Sand le Mere Holiday Village from Monday 11th April - with a new 1610 departure operating Monday to Saturday and Summer Sundays when the holiday village is open. Currently the last service from Withernsea is at 1445, or 1245 on schooldays, so the 1610 could potentially be an attractive later departure.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Cutbacks West of Hull (with some Saturday enhancements)

In a significant set of cutbacks, from Sunday 10th April, East Yorkshire have cancelled service X5 between Hull and Goole, the Sunday service 55 between Hull and Gilberdyke and their commercial Monday to Saturday journeys on the 55 between Elloughton and Goole. Thankfully East Riding of Yorkshire Council have funded an off peak replacement for the latter cut, which comes with a small Saturday enhancement at the Goole end of the route. 

Starting with the X5, it's been a five journey a day (four on Saturday) Monday to Saturday coach service between Hull and Goole via Brough, Elloughton, the B1230 (serving the edge of Gilberdyke) and Howden, introduced last January. With the benefit of hindsight, not the best time to start a new service! It's axe now is being blamed on 'low levels of usage'. I'm not surprised. Whilst COVID-19 won't have helped at all, I was never wholly convinced about the merits of the X5 in the first place, especially west of Elloughton, due to the greater frequency and speed on the train from both Goole and Gilberdyke into Hull. 

Moving onto the 55, and Monday to Saturday there is very little change between Hull and Elloughton where an hourly service remains. The residual 155 variation via Anlaby, Hessle Cemetery Corner and in some instances Brantingham, on weekdays for certain early morning and late afternoon journeys is withdrawn and replaced by 'standard' 55's via Boothferry Road in Hull and Hessle, apart from the 0610 from Hull Paragon Interchange, which is renumbered to service 55A. Service 156 remains for South Hunsley School passengers.

Between Elloughton, South Cave, North Cave, Newport and Gilberdyke the off peak service remains hourly, but all peak journeys are withdrawn apart from one morning service to Goole. From Elloughton services depart for Gilberdyke at 0725, then hourly from 0955 to 1455, whilst from Gilberdyke departures are hourly from 0930 to 1530, then 1640. The first arrival into Hull from west of Elloughton is at 1048, with the last return at 1400. Even the 1810 from Hull to South Cave and 1906 return is truncated at Elloughton despite there still being time to run to South Cave and back - presumably unable to cover the marginal costs.

The new timetable does still allow travel from Gilberdyke, Newport, North Cave and South Cave into Brough, for example to visit Morrisons, and just about offers a usable shopping service to Hull. However for any commuters the bus is now useless, and even for leisure travel, a last 1400 departure from Hull is rather restrictive, there is no flexibility. As already mentioned, Gilberdyke does also have the train, but this isn't an option for Newport, North Cave or South Cave. East Riding of Yorkshire Council deserve credit for stepping in to keep what service there is going - it could have been a lot worse - but it's hard to be happy with the outcome.

Turning to the Gilberdyke to Goole via Eastrington and Howden section and here it's not all negative. Currently there are four journeys into Goole Monday to Friday, with three returns and two each way on a Saturday. With the new 55 timetable, that increases to four each way Monday to Saturday. This does need to be offset between Howden and Goole by the loss of the X5 - the X5 is presently the most frequent service between the two towns - but certainly a net gain for Eastrington. 

As mentioned the Sunday 55 is withdrawn entirely, operating for the last time today. It offers an approximately two hourly daytime frequency between Hull and Gilberdyke and I believe leaves a Sunday 'bus desert' between Swanland and Selby (as opposed to between Gilberdyke and Selby today). Anlaby Road within Hull has plenty of alternatives, whilst Boothferry Road has the 66 (within the Hull boundary) and 350, but otherwise the only public transport option on a Sunday for current service 55 passengers is the train to Ferriby, Brough and Gilberdyke. Melton, Welton, Elloughton, South Cave, North Cave and Newport will have nothing. Lots of other places across the country are in the same situation, but still a very disappointing development.

Finally another Saturday positive from the changes, subsidised service 88 between Goole, Airmyn, Rawcliffe and Rawcliffe Bridge gains a two hourly daytime service, interworked with the 55. This is the first time Rawcliffe Bridge has had a Saturday service since early February 2018, whilst for Airmyn it will be first usable Saturday service for some years (I seem to recall there was an 'oddball' evening 400 between Goole and Selby on a Saturday until relatively recently that gave passengers a few minutes in Goole, but no daytime service).

Saturday 2 April 2022

Flamborough Improvements

East Yorkshire Service 14 between Bridlington and Flamborough has three changes from Sunday 10th April:

  • The route becomes part of the 'Coaster' brand, already applied to the 12 and 13 between Bridlington and Scarborough. 
  • The Sunday daytime service returns for the Summer, and whilst it's not explicitly stated in the publicity, it appears the Sunday daytime service will now be year round.
  • There are three new daily evening journeys added in each direction for the Summer (10th April to 30th October) at 1845, 1945 and 2045 from Bridlington, returning from Flamborough around half an hour later. This essentially continues the hourly daytime frequency for a further three hours (winter last departure from Bridlington is at 1745).
It's always good to be able to report some good news!