Saturday 30 March 2024

260 extended to Immingham

The 260 Barton Villager has been one of those services which rarely changes since it was first introduced around 20 years ago. Whilst a Saturday service came and went, and the operator changed from North Lincolnshire Council to Stagecoach, it had always been a Monday to Friday daytime Barton-Barrow-Goxhill-New Holland-Barrow-Barton circular, operating hourly with some longer gaps. A long standing exception had been a Thursday only extension to East Halton as well as a internal Barton Town Service from Tesco to Victoria Drive. Overall this had meant seven circular trips Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and six on Thursdays, two of which served East Halton.

That all changed on Monday 19th February. The 260 now operates between Barton and Immingham via Barrow, New Holland, Goxhill, East Halton, North Killingholme and South Killingholme, with the Civic Centre being served into Immingham en-route to the County Hotel. There are two full route services in each direction as well as two Barton to Goxhill and return extras on schooldays and three during School Holidays. St Chad in Barrow is now unserved, as is Victoria Drive in Barton. The service remains a Monday to Friday only route (for now).

The change is Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funded, though I'm not sure why - resource has been taken away from the Barton to Goxhill section to provide the Immingham extension.

The intent here is good. North and South Killingholme were without a scheduled bus service, and East Halton only had one on Thursdays (college service excepted). Plus to be fair the 260 was never a busy service in recent years from my limited observations - one of those routes that usually had at least someone on, but never many. The Barrow to Barton section also received a significant boost in recent years when the four times a day service 450 was replaced by the hourly (with gaps) 250, supplanting the 260 as the primary bus service between the two settlements. In theory at least there is logic behind reducing the Goxhill to Barton service in order to address no/limited bus services elsewhere.

That being said, the new timetable isn't perfect. Anyone from Goxhill or New Holland who would like or needs a morning in Barton by bus now has only one service to choose from - the 0919 from Goxhill, arrives Barton Market Place 0950 - and can't return home until the 1245 from Barton Tesco. East Halton residents don't really have a usable service to Barton anymore - first arrival at Barton Market Place is at 1150, last departure 1252. 

In terms of co-ordination with the 250 between Barrow and Barton it is a mixed picture - see the updated Summary Timetable here. The 0942 260 from Barrow Market Place fits it well between the 0902 and 1002 250's, but the 1142 260 is just 10 minutes after a 250. In the afternoon the 1427 260 slots is nicely between the 1332 and 1502 250's; so does the school holiday 1535 260 in between the 1502 and 1602 250's, and finally the 1642 260 in between the 1602 and 1722 250's. From Barton Market Place the 0900 260 runs ahead of the 0922 250, then the 1007 260 is 15 minutes ahead of the 1022 250. Very unfortunately there are both 250's and 260's leaving Barton Market Place at 1252 and 1452 (school holidays), but the final 1557 260 fits in better between 250's at 1452 and 1622.


Anonymous said...

So, in summary, villages where people don't use the bus will have fewer journeys (which is still better than them having none at all), and the opportunity has been taken to use the vehicle to provide some sort of service to villages which previously didn't have anything.

But, as ever, you're not happy.

Humber Transport said...

To me that was a fair post pointing out the positives and negatives. It's not a simple good or bad change

Anonymous said...

I have no clue how things work operationally, but surely if it was ran by Grimsby depot, some form of service could be made from deadruns. Perhaps giving Immingham and East Halton an Earlier option. I know the resource also does the 399 after getting back to Scunthorpe and that would need to be sorted. Just a thought, given there's quite a few wasted miles to/from Scunthorpe

Anonymous said...

Just a thought here, I think I know why it hasn’t happened (drivers hours, funding, lack of commercial viability when funding has stopped) but personally I’d have extended the service through to Habrough railway station for two reasons a) the villages between Barton and Immingham although some are served by rail they are on the Barton to Cleethorpes line only and lack mainline connections to Scunthorpe, Lincoln, Doncaster and beyond. Habrough on the other hand is served by main line services. B) Habrough is without a scheduled bus service, most residents have to travel into Immingham for shopping, if you don’t have a car you are reliant on a taxi or DRT.
Like I said just a thought and understand why it hasn’t happened but could’ve been a useful link, the service could have entered Immingham via Manby Road to avoid a “double run” up Pelham Road to reach Habrough