Sunday 18 December 2022

Quietly Suspended and Never Returned

Last month I mentioned how East Yorkshire's 122 between Hull, Beverley and Molescroft was suspended due to driver shortages in September 2021 and never returned. That fate was also bestowed on the 103 between Hull Paragon Interchange and the Hull University area. The 103 had operated every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and every half hour Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytimes from Paragon Interchange via Princes Avenue and Newland Avenue before operating a one way loop via Cranbrook Avenue, Inglemire Lane, Hall Road and Cottingham Road.

In many ways the 103's withdrawal is not a major issue. Other than Inglemire Lane, everywhere else has an alternative; Inglemire Lane does not have a continuous history of bus services and it's passengers can walk to alternatives on Cranbrook Avenue, Hall Road or Cottingham Road instead.

What is striking though is how much overall frequencies are reduced in the area. Pre-COVID, East Yorkshire had nine buses per hour to the University area Monday to Saturday daytimes - the 103, the 104 every 20 minutes via Cranbrook Avenue and the 105 every 20 minutes via Cottingham Road. Now it's five per hour - the 104 every 20 minutes and the 105 every half hour. The 105's frequency reduction is another driver shortage change that has quietly become the new normal - I wish I had now kept better track of what were meant to be only temporary changes.

Stagecoach are now the main operator in the University area, with six buses per hour along Cranbrook Avenue between the 4 and the 5. That's only down two per hour from the eight buses per hour on the 5 pre-COVID - and that frequency was only introduced in November 2019; previously the 5 had been six buses per hour.

Whilst Stagecoach have fared better on Cranbrook Avenue thanks to the diversion of service 4, both them and East Yorkshire have significantly reduced along Newland and Princes Avenue. In October 2019 there were twelve buses per hour (six on each operator across the 5, 103 and 104). Immediately pre-COVID there were fourteen buses per hour (eight Stagecoach/six East Yorkshire). Now it's six buses per hour (three on each operator) with the 5 reduced and 103 withdrawn. 

(There will be more on Stagecoach's post-strike reductions soon).

No comments: