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. 

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