Friday 1 March 2024

Extra Sunday Services on the 350

When does an enhancement leave you wanting more? When the vehicle requirement of a route increases for just one extra journey each way, on a service that could do with more additions than just that.

On Sunday 18th February, Stagecoach added a new 0755 Sunday service 350 from Ashby to Hull via Scunthorpe and Barton, offering an 0925 first arrival into Hull. The new journey is supported by North Lincolnshire's Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus funding allocation. Stagecoach have then added a new 0930 Hull to Ashby. These additions are very welcome, particularly the earlier first arrival into Hull. Overall there are now seven services each way on a Sunday, on a very unbalanced timetable with three hour gaps at certain times of the day - 0755, 0855, 0955, 1255, 1455, 1755 and 1955 from Ashby; 0830, 0930, 1030, 1330, 1530, 1830 and 1930 from Hull.

These extra journeys now increase the Sunday vehicle requirement of the 350 to 3 - 1 from East Yorkshire (unchanged) and 2 from Stagecoach's Scunthorpe depot. However the notional 2nd Stagecoach vehicle finishes it's day at 1051. It is a bit disappointing that the opportunity hasn't been taken to do more with it. On a Sunday, three vehicles could provide an hourly all day service. Even if there was no desire to go that far, the current three hour gaps in the Sunday timetable could have been reduced. 

My frustration aside, I did take a trip on the first run of the new 0755. It's obviously unknown how representative this will turn out to be, but for the record, I and one other boarded at Barton Market Place, 1 got off and 10 were already on board. At Barton Interchange a further three boarded for a total of 15 heading across the Humber Bridge. Briefly observing the 0830 from Hull at Barton Interchange, it only looked to have two or three on board. 

Once over the bridge, one got off at Wingfield Farm on Boothferry Road, 1 on at Fiveways, 1 off at the North Road stop on Boothferry Road, 1 on at the Wheeler Street stop on Anlaby Road, 2 off and 1 on at Wenlock Barracks, 1 off and 2 on at the MKM Stadium and finally 2 on at Hull Royal Infirmary. On arrival at Paragon Interchange in Hull there looked to be 5 waiting for the 0930. Overall quite encouraging for an inaugural run on a damp February Sunday. There looked to be 2 people in Tesco uniform so potentially some commuter travel as part of the passenger mix.

Not wanting to wait until the 1330 to go home, that meant returning on the 1030. The inbound arrival at Paragon Interchange I counted 36 passengers get off. 16 boarded the 1030 at Paragon Interchange and 1 more at the first stop on Anlaby Road after turning off Park Street. 1 got off at Hull Royal Infirmary, 1 boarded opposite the East Yorkshire depot, 2 boarded at the Anlaby Road Sandringham Street stop and 3 at the Anlaby Road Wheeler Street stop. Once turning onto Boothferry Road, 3 got off at Wistow Grove, 1 off at Fiveways, 1 on at Costello Stadium, 1 on at Darleys Roundabout and 1 off at Wingfield Farm. In Barton there was 1 off and 1 on at the Ferriby Road Forkedale stop, 5 off and 3 on at the Interchange and then me off on Butts Road. Again encouraging numbers for the time of day and direction of travel.

For the record, as part of the same change to the 350, Stagecoach no longer divert via Wren Kitchens in Barton on Saturdays. Rather than reduce journey times on the affected journeys, buses wait time in Barton to avoid deviation from the Monday to Friday timetable.


deadendwaterfall said...

I was on that first run of the 07:55 350 as well, I got on at the Ashby extension part on Oswald Road and there wasn't a single other passenger on, I must have been the first ever one to use it. Once at the station, there were as many on average who got on as what usually do on the 08:55 at the station. Most of these alighted either further up the route in Scunthorpe or in Winterton however.

Anonymous said...

A new 350 timetable is out now, just waiting the the Hull lot now

Anonymous said...

Hull lot now published. In an interesting move, most contract services now have been publicly registered or have been registered as a variation on a service. Strange 255/256 situation given inbound in Mon - Sat but outbound is Mon - Fri