Sunday 25 December 2022

Acklams Coaches cease local bus service operation in Beverley and Driffield

After operation on Saturday 22nd October, Acklams Coaches ceased operation of most of their local bus services, and it's associated BusKing operation ended bus service operation entirely. 

The commercially operated Beverley Town Service 5 and part-commercial/part-tendered service 142 between Beverley and Middleton have been replaced by an East Yorkshire operated combined service 5/142 tender, which commenced on Monday 24th October. Under Acklams operation the 5 and 142 appeared to be largely interworked and were able to use one vehicle across both services other than on Monday to Friday mornings for one journey; East Yorkshire did also have their own service 142 on a Saturday only. Now however one vehicle is used to service both the 5 and 142 all day Monday to Saturday - unsurprisingly that does lead to a slightly reduced level of service overall.

Beverley Town Service 5 operates as a circular from the Bus Station up Norwood before diverting to serve the otherwise unserved Highfield Road and Lilac Avenue areas. It then operates into the Swinemoor Estate, largely also covered by East Yorkshire's commercial B1/B2 services, before routing back to the Bus Station via Sample Avenue and Mill Lane where it is the only service. Acklams service 5 departed Beverley Bus Station at 0930, 1030, 1130, 1330 and 1430 Monday to Saturday, plus an extra 1000 departure on Saturdays, but the new East Yorkshire operated tender has only three journeys at 1020, 1120 and 1320 Monday to Saturday. 

The 142 used to be a fairly complex operation under Acklams Coaches. There was a morning journey from Bainton into Beverley via Middleton, Etton and Cherry Burton at 0920 Monday to Friday, which started back at Kilnwick on Wednesdays. Monday to Saturday there was then a 1100 Beverley-Cherry Burton-Etton-Beverley circular before a 1210 (1200 Wed) Beverley to Bainton service via Cherry Burton, Etton, Middleton and on Wednesday only, Kilnwick. Following this was a 1250 Bainton to Beverley Monday to Saturday, omitting Middleton and a final 1500 Beverley to Etton 'short' via Cherry Burton Monday to Saturday.

On top of this on Saturdays were four East Yorkshire operated journeys. An 0925 'fast' from Beverley to Middleton, a 0945 from Middleton to Beverley, a 1600 Beverley to Middleton and finally a 1638 from Middleton to Beverley that omitted Lockington but still served all other villages en-route. Off note is that the East Yorkshire 142 didn't serve Bainton, leading to the rather strange situation of Bainton only having a lunchtime 142 on Saturdays.

The new 142 timetable is much simpler. There is a Saturday only 'fast' from Beverley to Middleton at 0910, then a Monday to Saturday 0930 Middleton to Beverley via Bainton, a Monday to Saturday 1150 Beverley to Beverley circular via Middleton and Bainton, a Monday to Saturday 1350 Beverley to Bainton via Middleton and finally the Saturday only 1600 Beverley to Middleton and 1638 return omitting Lockington remain. There are actually some improvements here, with the new 1350 departure from Beverley providing an extra service to South Dalton, Holme, Lockington, Lund, Middleton and Bainton. Bainton gets a usable Saturday service and Middleton gets a Saturday afternoon service into Beverley. Cherry Burton and Etton do see a slight reduction in service however and the small village of Kilnwick is now unserved.

BusKing's tendered 135 has passed to East Yorkshire, but has lost it's Monday to Friday peak journeys at 0721 from Wetwang to Driffield, returning at 1710. The Tuesday and Thursday 'shoppers' journeys between Driffield, Wetwang and Sledmere remain however.

East Yorkshire has also gained the tendered 124 between Driffield, Ruston Parva, Boynton and Bridlington from Acklams. Whilst the Wednesday service between Ruston Parva and Bridlington remains unchanged, the Thursday Boynton to Driffield service now operates on Fridays - bad for visiting Driffield market which is held on a Thursday, but presumably good for cost and allows use of the same vehicle that does the 135 on a Thursday.

Leaving the biggest change to last, and BusKing's tendered 530 Driffield Town Service has passed to Holderness Area Rural Transport and reduced from a Monday to Friday operation to Tuesday and Thursday only. Going by, the final 1418 trip around the town has also been dropped. Rising costs are 'blamed' for the reductions to the service, which is equally funded by Driffield Town Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 

All that remains of Acklams Coaches bus network is the 131/504 tender in Bridlington, which going by this tweet, I get the impression they don't intend to rebid for when their contract ends in September 2023. Acklams Coaches have an extensive coaching operation, as well as school and college contracts and a Hull City football service, so they retain significant operations - just not local bus services.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The late afternoon service 530 journey was still running at the end of November as I used it twice. The service is run with an electrically-powered bus. Also it is going to run additionally on Fridays on and after 6th January.