After operation on Saturday 1st April, East Yorkshire's Beverley Town Services B1 and B2 will cease, bringing an end to commercially operated town services in Beverley.
The B1 and B2 were launched in September 2021, incorporating East Yorkshire's previous 520 and 521 town services, plus part of the former Acklams Coaches tendered 522 town service. The B1 operates from Molescroft to Beverley Town Centre, then performs a clockwise loop via the Swinemoor Estate (including the East Riding Community Hospital), Minster Way, Morrisons and Normandy Avenue back to Beverley Town Centre; the B2 operates the same route in reverse. Both routes operate hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, reducing to two hourly Monday to Friday peaks. A Friday and Saturday evening service was provided until September 2022.
East Yorkshire say "regrettably the services have not delivered the growth needed to sustain the current level of service provided". I will give East Yorkshire some credit here for making a significant effort to relaunch their Beverley Town Services in 2021 and for giving new links a 'go', such as from Swinemoor to Morrisons. However it is disappointing that they don't consider any aspect of the B1/B2 to be 'salvageable'.
Thanks to East Riding of Yorkshire Council stepping in with three new tendered services - the 525, 526 and 527 - very few parts of Beverley will be left unserved, other than Minster Way which is largely surrounded by fields. The 525, 526 and 527 will be operated by East Yorkshire, and will operate Monday to Saturday from Monday 3rd April. Together the three routes appear to require one vehicle.
Looking in detail and most of the Molescroft to Beverley section of the B1/B2 is also served by the hourly Monday to Saturday daytime 23 between Molescroft, Beverley and Hull (and to a lesser extent by the 142). Perhaps two buses an hour was one too many? Parts of Molescroft are also served by the 121. Focusing on roads served only by the B1/B2 - St Leonard's Road (B2 only) is left unserved, whilst the 526 provides a basic replacement for Copandale Road and Scrubwood Lane. The 526 will operate Beverley Bus Station-Copandale Road-Scrubwood Lane-Beverley Bus Station with three departures at 1000, 1200 and 1400 and a total round trip time of 10 minutes.
It's unfortunate the 23 hasn't been routed via Copandale Road and Scrubwood Lane, or if that wasn't an option, the 142 could have been given this short diversion. If either of these happened then the 526 wouldn't be needed and the time could be spent enhancing services elsewhere in Beverley.
The Swinemoor Estate - including the East Riding Community Hospital - retains an hourly service between 0930 and 1530 (plus a 1600 journey) on new circular service 525, which covers the B1 route from Beverley Bus Station to Swinemoor. the Hospital and Holme Church Lane before returning to the Bus Station via Flemingate.
I appreciate East Riding of Yorkshire Council have needed to act quickly here so maybe this is one for the future, but the other tendered town service to Swinemoor - service 5 - leaves Beverley Bus Station at 1020, 1120 and 1320. This is poor co-ordination with the 525. Could the 5 and 525 be worked by the same vehicle to improve co-ordination and provide half hourly departures, at least in some hours - with the 142 interworked with the 526 or 527 instead of the 5?
Anyone needing to access the Lidl store to the south east of Beverley will need to use the 23 instead of the B1/B2.
Finally to Normandy Avenue and Morrisons which will be covered by the new 527 operating from Beverley Bus Station via Lincoln Way (also served by the 25) to Morrisons and then back to the Bus Station via Normandy Avenue. Departures from the Bus Station are at 1100, 1300 and 1500. Like the 526, a basic shoppers services, but certainly better than no service at all.
There aren't any easy alternative options here. Maybe the X46 and/or X47 could operate via Lincoln Way and the 25 switch to Normandy Avenue, but the X46/X47 are meant to be direct interurban services between Hull, Beverley, Market Weighton, Pocklington and York so diverting via Lincoln Way wouldn't be ideal.
Overall, thanks to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the B1/B2 withdrawal isn't a disaster for bus services in Beverley. It's still not good news though.