Changes to bus services from 1st December

Includes further refinement of number 12 service

Changes affect following services. Click for detailed timetable

Chapelfields – Wigginton service 1

Clifton Moor – York Uni service 6

Bishopthorpe – Heworth service 11

Foxwood – Woodthorpe – Monks Cross service 12

Bus shelter clean up welcomed

We reported last week that several of the Council owned bus shelters in west York were looking shabby. Some were overgrown with weeds and undergrowth.

We are pleased to report that, following our highlighting the issue to the York Council , some of the shelters have been tidied up. Undergrowth has been cut back from the shelters making them much more user friendly.

However the work undertaken has also served to emphasise how much these shelters need a coat of paint and other refurbishment.

Many are now rusting quite badly.

Foxwood Lane shelter. No longer an Arboretum
Shelter near Otterwood Lane as tidied up
Askham Lane bus shelter, although very rusty, is now free of undergrowth

We were also pleased to see for the first time for some time today that the Cornlands Park was largely free of litter.

There seems to be a slow improvement in some public service standards in the City following a disappointing summer.

Cornlands park

Councillor revives threat to number 12 bus service

“Use it or lose it” message for bus service users from transport chief

Just days after the number 12 bus service was reprieved, residents are being urged to make full use of it after falling passenger numbers left the long-term future of one section of its route in jeopardy.

Service 12 runs between Foxwood, the city centre and Monks Cross, but the section of the route between Alness Drive and Foxwood Lane has suffered a decline in patronage, This summer, bus operator First York announced its intention to withdraw the service that it provides along that section of the route on the basis that it is no longer commercially viable.

However, City of York Council stepped in to provide the funding required to continue operating the service in its entirety, but only up until 31 January, 2020. This will allow time for a tendering process to be carried out in a bid to find the most cost-effective, long-term solution. A decision about the future of the service will be made once that process is complete.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport, said: “It’s positive that the council has agreed to provide the funding needed to ensure that bus service 12 can continue to operate between Alness Drive and Foxwood Lane in the short-term but, as we work to identify a longer-term solution, it’s really important that local people make full use of the service.”

We think that the threat is ill timed. Details of the reprieved service weren’t generally circulated until over a week after the decision was taken.

Bus stop timetables similarly weren’t undated.

We think that Council should get its own house in order before preaching to passengers, many of whom are vulnerable.

Do bus passengers get a fair deal in York?

After several stable years, we have seen some criticism recently of some bus services in the City. Changes to the number 12 service were poorly publicised following a late decision by the York Council to step in and save part of the service

Passengers in west York have criticised for a long time the lack of “real time” bus arrival information screens in the area.

Bus reliability stats, provided by tracking technology, are not shared with passengers, although a “one off” sample survey – due to be conducted in a few days time – does produce a snap shot of reliability.

One area that the York Council can help passengers with is the “bus stop experience”.

Unfortunately bus shelters, provided by the Council around 10 years ago, are now looking distinctly shabby.

The Foxwood Lane bus shelter has been re-purposed as an Arboretum. Weeds dangle from the gutters, and strangle the interior. The shelter is never cleaned, the perspex is opaque and the paint continues to peal.
The nearby shelter on Askham Lane is no better. At least the sight lines from the shelter are better this year as the Council actually cut part of the adjacent hedge in the spring. You can just about still see if a bus is on its way. Unfortunately they didn’t trim the hedge at the back of the shelter making cleaning and routine maintenance impossible. It is now very scruffy.
At least the weeds are held at bay on this Windsor Garth shelter. But it is rusting badly and also sports opaque windows.

Number 12 bus service gets better buses

They are 5 year old vehicles
  • Bus upgrade on services 11 & 12 for passengers in Bishopthorpe, Ashley Park, Monks Cross, Foxwood Lane / Woodthorpe Lane
  • Investment will replace existing buses with low-emission services to support Clean Air Zone objectives
“Streetlite” bus

First York say that passengers on bus services 11 & 12 are “set to benefit this month with a bus upgrade providing improved travelling comfort together with lower engine emissions.

The service upgrade will be complete by mid-October with the introduction of eight 5-year old ‘StreetLite’ single-deck vehicles that will replace older buses operating on service 11 (Ashley Park – York – Bishopthorpe) and service 12 (Monks Cross – York – Foxwood Lane)”.

However they fall short of the latest specification buses which the financially troubled Wrights company were selling before they went into administration. The latest version of the “StreetLite” has a Euro 6 emission compliant engine while the “Max” model is all electric.

The number 12 service was saved last week following an 11th hour intervention by the York Council who will now subsidise part of the timetable.

First say that the “upgrade represents an investment of £800,000 and will provide customers with a superior interior including leather seating and lighter environment with more space for customers with pushchairs.

The newer buses are fitted with Euro V engine technology and will be upgraded to Euro VI to meet the Clean Air Zone requirements in partnership with City of York Council & the Government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund.

This investment follows the positive change for customers last month on service 10 (Stamford Bridge – York – Poppleon) with new journeys added and the evening service taken on by First York commercially.

This latest announcement comes in advance of a significant investment in York which will see 21 new electric double decker buses introduced later this year”.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said,

“We are committed to providing safe, punctual and reliable bus travel for the people of York, so it’s important that we continue to invest in our bus services. With the support of our partners including City of York Council, this investment will also reduce bus emissions on the corridor and support the Clean Air Zone requirements. I’m sure our customers and the local community will welcome these improvements and encourage more people to switch to using bus services.”

Last minute reprieve for number 12 bus service?

Reports are emerging from the Council which claim that the 12 bus service, which was to have terminated in Woodthorpe from next Sunday, will now continue to serve the Acomb Wood Drive, Bellhouse Way and Foxwood Lane loop.

The decision – which is understood to involve a Council subsidy – was taken in a behind closed doors decision. No advanced notice of the proposal was published by the Council.

The service will run on an approximate 40 minute frequency.

The original plan would have left most of the 500 homes on the Acomb Park estate without an accessible bus service for large parts of the day.

A copy of the Mon-Fri First timetable, which will operate from 30th September, can be downloaded by clicking here

A copy of the Saturday timetable, which will apply from 5th October, can be downloaded by clicking here

Changes to service 14 were announced earlier in the summer.

Chapelfields bus fare reduced

First has reversed its plan to charge £2 for the trip from Front Street to Chapelfields. The price hike from £1 was widely criticised. Although a short distance, the service is well used by those with heavy shopping to carry. The gradient can be a problem for some.

The new fare will be £1-20p

A similar situation exists in other parts of the CVity including Foxwood, although there, the short hop fare to Acomb has yet to be revised.

We have generally been supportive of the improvements that First have made to their services over recent years.

However, changes to short journey fares seem to be have been driven more by administrative convenience than passenger needs.

NB. Over 50% of bus journeys are made by pensioners using their free passes.

Changes to tendered bus services in York

Bellhouse Way will lose its early evening service

The York Council has finally caught up with social media and confirmed which bus operators will provide which subsidised services from next week.

The Council says, “following a decision made by City of York Council’s Executive last month, arrangements have now been made for the continued operation of tendered bus services when the current contracts expire next Saturday 31 August”.

“Commercial interest from bus operators First York and Reliance means that some of the routes that previously required financial support from the council now need a reduced level of support or, in some cases, none at all”.

Timetables will be available at www.itravelyork.info from early next week, and the new service arrangements are as follows:

Service 10: First York will operate the evening service commercially (with no financial support from the council) from Monday 2 September. Journey times will be very similar to those currently provided by Transdev.

Service 11: First York will continue to operate the evening service, with financial support from the council.

Service 12: First York will operate the daytime service commercially from Monday 2 September. First York will also operate a commercial evening service between Acomb Park, Moor Lane and the city centre until approximately 9.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

Service 14: Transdev will operate an evening service, with financial support from the council, from Monday 2 September. This will include hourly journeys between Haxby (West Nooks) and the city centre all evening, extending to Woodthorpe and Foxwood after First York’s commercial service finishes at around 9.30pm. This means that the bus service along Alness Drive, Acomb Wood Drive and Bellhouse Way will not operate until late evening.

Service 19: Reliance will operate the weekday service commercially from Monday 2 September, with the exception of one morning peak-time journey, which will require support from the council. Transdev will operate the Saturday service, with financial support from the council. Journey times will be similar to those provided currently.

Service 20: Transdev will continue to operate the service, with financial support from the council.

Service 21: York Pullman will operate this service with financial support from the council, starting from Saturday 31 August. Journey times will be very similar to those provided currently by the Connexionsbuses service but, to improve reliability, all trips will terminate and start in the city centre, rather than at the Morrisons store off Foss Island Road.

Services 24, 25 and 26 will all be operated by Transdev, with financial support from the council, from Saturday 31 August. Journey times will be very similar to those currently offered by Arriva. Transdev will also operate the Friday and Saturday late evening service 26.

Change of operator on some local bus routes from 1st September

First buses have announced the following changes

“We will be making some changes to our services on the above date, timetables will be available on-line from Thursday 14th August”.

Service 10

  • We are pleased to be operating the evening service once again with some minor changes to times.
  • Additional journeys will also operate;
  • 2045 Rougier Street to Stamford Bridge (Monday – Saturday)
  • 2120 Stamford bridge to Merchantgate (Monday – Saturday)
  • 0730 Stamford Bridge to York (Sundays)

Service 12

  • Changes to the early Saturday morning timetable.
  • A revised service will operate in the evenings between 1900 to 2100 providing journeys between Stonebow and Woodthorpe. These will operate to Woodthorpe as normal route to Moor Lane, then via Acomb Park Old Moor Lane (layby), terminating at Woodthorpe Shops.  The last First Bus from Woodthorpe to York will leave at 2125.
  • Journeys after 2100 to Woodthorpe will be undertaken by service 14 which will be undertaken by another operator under contract to City of York Council.
  • The 1818 from Monks Cross will be retimed to operate at 1810, and an additional journey from Monks Cross at 1835 and will operate through to Woodthorpe.

Service 14

  • Because of a tendering process, we will no longer be the operator of the 14-evening service, due to this being awarded to another operator.
  • We will however operate some additional service 12 journeys between 1900 to 2100 providing journeys between Stonebow and Woodthorpe. These will operate to Woodthorpe as normal route to Moor Lane, then via Acomb Park Old Moor Lane (layby), terminating at Woodthorpe Shops.  The last First Bus from Woodthorpe to York will leave at 2125.
  • Journeys after 2100 to Woodthorpe, and 1215 to York will be undertaken by service 14 which will be undertaken by another operator under contract to City of York Council.

Service 26

  • Because of a tendering process, we will no longer be the operator of the 26 Friday and Saturday evening service. Due to this being awarded to another operator.

Click for service 10/10A timetable

Click for service 12 timetable

  • NB. These are subsidised services which have been put out to competitive tender by the York Council. Unfortunately the Council has not formally announced the results of the tender process nor has it issued a media statement indicating which operators (and to what timetable) will operate each service from September.