Saturday 30 September 2023

North Lincolnshire Services 96 and 97 Update

Earlier this year I covered the launch of two new bus services in North Lincolnshire; the 96 from Barton to Brigg and the 97 from Garthorpe to Wroot via Crowle and Epworth. In both cases I suspected the provision could be over ambitious. The Local Democracy Reporting Service recently reported the following after speaking to the North Lincolnshire Council Cabinet Member for Connectivity:

Cllr Mitchell indicated the Brigg to Barton bus route through the low villages had been successful with passenger numbers. However, the piloted Isle of Axholme service, that ran east to west across the Isle, had not had as many passengers yet, 

"We just need to do a bit of tweaking to the route and timetable," he said. But he urged people to use the route to ensure it continued."We have just got to think very carefully how we spend taxpayers' money on this. But also in recognition that some of these routes have huge social and economic value. We can't really put a price on tackling social exclusion."

Sunday 24 September 2023

Saturday Improvements in the Isle of Axholme

The Stagecoach operated Saturday tendered services in the Southern Isle of Axholme are revised from Saturday 7th October.

Presently there is the 291 from Owston Ferry to Doncaster via Epworth and Westwoodside with two daytime journeys each way, and the 399 from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside via Epworth and Owston Ferry with four journeys each way. From next month the 399 will have six journeys each way between Scunthorpe and Westwoodside, with two extended to Doncaster, presumably replacing the 291. Two morning journeys from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside will run 'fast' omitting West Butterwick and Owston Ferry, which is reasonable enough at 0645, and at 0915 when there is a 0900 service as well (the 0900 goes to Doncaster, whereas the 0915 is a 'positioning' service for the 1000 Westwoodside to Scunthorpe).

With the exception of the small village of Low Burnham served by the 291, this is excellent news. There are two more journeys overall between Scunthorpe and Westwoodside, and in terms of 'useful' journeys - as opposed to 'in service positioning journeys' - there will be three useful departures from Scunthorpe back to the Isle of Axholme at 1300, 1620 and 1735, as opposed to two at 1320 and 1735 presently.

In addition there will be greater consistency between the Monday to Friday and Saturday services. Most Monday to Friday services are run by Hornsby on what I think is a part commercial/part council funded basis. Currently the only consistency is the final 399 round trip from Scunthorpe to Westwoodside (run by Stagecoach 6 days a week). From next month the 0645, 0900, 1300, 1620 and 1735 from Scunthorpe will be consistent Monday to Saturday (during college holidays at least), as will the 0728, 1725 and 1845 from Westwoodside and 1245 and 1545 from Doncaster. 

Saturday 2 September 2023

East Yorkshire Bridlington Changes

East Yorkshire are amending their local services in Bridlington from tomorrow - Sunday 3rd September. The changes are to make services "more reliable", which should happen as running times are slightly increased. However it seems little or no extra resource is being added to the network, so out goes clockface timetables largely consistent between weekdays and Saturdays, and in comes harder to remember times and notable differences on a Saturday. I understand that extra resource for clockface timetables and consistency probably can't be justified, but the new timetables aren't very user friendly. 

On service 2 to the south of Bridlington, the 1420 and 1530 circulars from Bridlington Bus Station no longer operate Monday to Friday during school holidays. Most Saturday journeys operate 5 minutes later than Monday to Friday.

For service 3 to the West Hill Estate, the 1515 from Bridlington Bus Station no longer operates Monday to Friday during school holidays. The service remains mostly hourly, but journey times are slightly extended, and vary from journey to journey, and between weekdays and Saturdays.

The 4 and 4A to New Pasture Lane Estate are amended from operating hourly each for a combined half hourly frequency to a combined frequency of between every 20 and 45 minutes Monday to Saturday mornings and early afternoons. School Holiday weekdays are reduced to hourly, as already occurs on schooldays, though clockface half hourly departures return from Bridlington Bus Station on Saturday afternoons.

The 5 and 5A to the north of Bridlington retain some semblance of a clockface timetable from Bridlington Bus Station in the morning and early afternoon at least, running hourly each for a combined half hourly frequency. However the first service of the day at 0800 from Bridlington Bus Station is cancelled, as is the 1200 leaving an hours gap. Following that the 1230 is a 5A Monday to Friday but a 5 on Saturdays, the 1300 a 5 Monday to Friday but a 5A on Saturdays and there is then a 1325 5A Monday to Friday and a 1330 5 on Saturdays. The late afternoon service gains a 100 minute gap Monday to Friday from Bridlington Bus Station, previously just a 60 minute gap schooldays only.

On Service 6 to the North of Bridlington, the 1445 circular from Bridlington Bus Station is withdrawn Monday to Friday, leaving a 130 minute gap. Otherwise an hourly service remains (with two 65 minute gaps on Saturdays), but again with slightly extended journey times, times varying slightly from journey to journey, and between weekdays and Saturdays.

Finally service 14 from Bridlington to Flamborough is also slightly revised with extended running times and slight variations at timing points depending on the day of the week - for example 1430 from Flamborough to Bridlington Monday to Friday, 1433 Saturday and 1431 Sunday.