Bus operators in York are helping families make the most of their school holidays with half price family travel.
From Saturday 15 August until the end of the month, the All York Family Day ticket, which is valid for 2 adults and 3 children (aged 16 or under) to travel on any bus service within the City of York boundary all day, will be reduced to just £5.50, half the usual price of £11.00.
You can buy the ticket on board any bus in the York area operated by First York (including Park & Ride), Arriva, Connexions Buses, East Yorkshire, Reliance, Transdev (including Coastliner and York & Country) or York Pullman.
All bus operators now accept contactless payments so there’s no need to handle cash.
Please remember that face coverings must be worn on board public transport, unless you are medically exempt.
Commenting on behalf of the Quality Bus Partnership, which represents all operators in York and the surrounding area, Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York said:
“This ticket is a great value way to help local families and those planning a visit to see more of the high streets and history York is famed for. Operators have increased services and capacity on buses as well as maintaining daily deep cleaning to ensure everyone can travel safely to their favourite shopping and leisure destinations or to take advantage of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out dining scheme in restaurants.”
The changes are being made to help manage continued capacity restrictions on buses due to social distancing as further lockdown measures are eased.
Service 1 – Frequency of buses increased to every 10 minutes during the day Monday – Friday and every 12 minutes Saturday, changes to times to reduce waiting at bus stops due to reduced traffic levels.
Service 4 – Frequency of buses increased to every 8/9 minutes during the day Monday – Friday and every 12 minutes Saturday, changes to times to reduce waiting at bus stops due to reduced traffic levels.
Service 5/5A – Frequency of buses increased to every 15 minutes during the day Saturday and every 30 minutes Sunday, changes to times to reduce waiting at bus stops due to reduced traffic levels.
Service 6 – Frequency of buses increased to every 10 minutes during the day Monday – Friday and every 12 minutes Saturday, changes to times to reduce waiting at bus stops due to reduced traffic levels.
Service 10/10A – Changes to times to reduce waiting at bus stops due to reduced traffic levels.
Service 11 – Buses will run every 30 minutes for the majority of the day.
Service 11S – will not operate.
Service 12 – Buses will run every 30 minutes for the majority of the day.
Service 200 – will continue to operate 3 early morning services.
Service 66 – Changes to times to reduce waiting at bus stops due to reduced traffic levels.
66A, 66X – will not operate. Alternative journeys will be provided by Service 10, 10A and 66.
Service N66 – will not operate.
Park and Ride Services
Service 2A – will operate every 10 minutes Mon– Fri at peak hours, and run every 15 minutes during off-peak and Saturdays. A Sunday service will operate every 30 minutes. All stops will be served between Rawcliffe Bar and City Centre.
Service 3 – will not operate. Alternative journeys will be provided by service 12 between Askham Bar Tesco and York.
Service 7 – will operate every 10 minutes Mon– Fri at peak hours, and run every 15 minutes during off-peak and Saturdays. A Sunday service will operate every 30 minutes.
Service 8, 66A, 66X – will not operate. Alternative journeys will be provided by Service 10, 10A, 66.
Service 9 – will operate every 10 minutes Mon– Fri at peak hours, and run every 15 minutes during off-peak and Saturdays. A Sunday service will operate every 30 minutes.
With almost breath taking arrogance, the York Council has issued a statement saying that the closure of the southbound lane at Bishopthorpe Road shops will continue for another 2 months.
There has been no debate about other options and a large petition – which asked for the road to be reopened – has been ignored.
No report on the success or otherwise of what the Council describes as a “trial” has been published.
One of the earliest criticisms of the scheme was that the Council had failed to identify how the success or otherwise of the project would actually be judged. It simply referred, rather loftily, to social distancing and government policy.
In reality, the array of bollards has made little difference to social distancing while the contraflow bike lane has introduced another, unwelcome, hazard for cyclists. There has been no consideration of opening up parallel routes (Darborough Street/Cherry Street & St Benedict’s Road) which would at least have provided a much shorter diversion
Nor has the opportunity been taken, during a relatively quiet period, to test an off peak pedestrianisation of the shops area between 10:30am and 4:00pm. Such a scheme would also have aligned with the governments policies while also providing much more room for social distancing. The impacts both economic and on transportation would have provided some real food for thought.
Too late now though, as imminent road works in the Nunnery Lane area are set to cause even bigger traffic congestion problems with the bus services one likely early victim. Works on the nearby South Bank flood alleviation scheme (subject to a planning committee decisionnext week) will further add to transport woes in the area.
Not content with increasing pollution levels on Scarcroft Road the new diversion via the City centre will add over a mile to some journeys.
The Council says that residents can Email them with their views. The address is Bishrd@york.gov.uk
We doubt that many will bother. Rather the pressure for the Council to adopt an open and inclusive approach to decision making will mount. The Council leadership needs to move out of its bunker mentality and start to re-engage with the local community.
We saw in 2015 what happened when a particularly stubborn administration tried to force the Lendal Bridge closure on an unwilling population.
The same will happen again unless polices and attitudes change and change quickly.
First says, “This week we will be launching an update to our mobile app that will enable customers across the UK to live track not only the location of their next bus but also its available capacity, as we continue to develop ways to help customers social distance on board our fleet.
First Bus will be the first major bus operator to roll out live capacity tracking. This reduces uncertainty for customers and allows them to make informed decisions about their essential journeys. Going live this week, the app update will show customers a bus icon on a map depicting the live location and available capacity of each vehicle in the vicinity. This new functionality will provide customers with the information they need as the bus approaches.
The innovation has been made possible by First Bus’s new passenger counting functionality, announced at the end of May. Data from this system feeds directly to the First Bus app in real time. This app update coincides with First Bus doubling the number of buses operating across England from Monday 1 June, with support from UK Government. First Bus expects to be able to increase service levels across its networks in Scotland and Wales in coming weeks.
With social distancing guidance being observed at the same time as lockdown restrictions are being relaxed, this additional capacity will allow customers to travel in comfort and safety. To further support social distancing, and in addition to passenger counting, seats on each bus are now clearly marked indicating where customers should sit.
First Bus continues to encourage cashless payments, and use of the First Bus App to purchase mTickets, to reduce the need for contact between customers and drivers.
Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus said “We are really proud to have been able to fast-track this technology to ensure safe, informed travel during these difficult times. Our buses provide an essential service for our customers and we are doing all we can to support them.”
This latest update from First Bus forms part of its ongoing work to improve the customer experience.
. N.B: The app update will be available from Apple and Android app stores during the first week of June 2020 Dependent on individual phone user settings, the app may automatically update or require the phone user to manually select to update to the latest version 4.7
The app update is available to all First Bus app users in the UK and any customers downloading the app for the first time after the update will automatically have the live tracking functionality
First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks. We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.
As schools and shops will begin a phased reopening in June, bus operators, rail operators and City of York Council are making changes to ensure that safe travel options are available for residents.
More buses and trains will be operating and appropriate health and safety measures will be in place to ensure that social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, which may mean reduced capacity on board.
To help support essential journeys, on peak times, please plan ahead and travel outside of the busiest times, particularly first thing in the morning.
Changes on board
Bus operators are putting in place new safety measures to protect staff and customers. These include reducing the number of available seats on board each bus, encouraging the wearing of face coverings, ensuring alighting passengers are clear of the bus before anyone else boards and keeping a safe distance when boarding.
Please be patient and observe all the safety measures when travelling. You should not leave your house if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. There’s lots more information on how to travel safely available online.
Customer safety information will be displayed at bus stops. When queueing please maintain a 2 metre distance between yourself and other passengers. Additional measures may be put in place at stops to manage social distancing
To help prevent unnecessary contact, please use cashless payment methods, such as contactless debit cards, smartcards or M-ticket apps wherever possible. To help support essential journeys on peak time buses, normal concessionary travel rules will apply from Monday 1 June.
Bus passes will be accepted for concessionary travel only after 9am on weekdays and at any time on weekends, with the exception of blind persons who are permitted to travel at any time of day in York.
Bus operators and the council are working to update timetables as quickly as possible. Please note that due to the short notice nature of these service changes, some timetables on journey planning websites, apps and real-time information screens may not be updated immediately. Please visit bus operator websites for the latest timetable information.
Park & Ride:
Services 2A, 7 and 9 (Rawcliffe Bar, Designer Outlet and Monks Cross) will run every 10 minutes at peak times, 15 minutes during the day and every hour during the evening. A half hourly service will be provided on Sundays
Last Park & Ride buses from the city centre will depart at 10:15pm (service 2A), 22:45 (service 7), 8:05pm (service 9, Mon-Sat) or 7pm (service 9, Sundays)
The Designer Outlet car park remains closed until further notice- service 7 is using the same stop as service 415 (on the roundabout)
Services 3, 8 and 59 (Askham Bar, Grimston Bar and Poppleton Bar P&R) will remain suspended until further notice
Further information about Park and Ride can be found online. You can also find information about how to support social distancing by using Park & Pedal from Monks Cross or Rawcliffe Bar:
A summary of all bus service changes is also available. Rail service levels are gradually being increased. Please use contactless card payments wherever possible and note that most rail services now require seat reservations before travelling. For the latest updates visit train company websites:
Sections of the media are reporting that buses will not stop to pick up passengers if drivers have a “full” load.
Post COVID, and to retain social distancing, that could be as few as 25 people on a double decker bus.
At peak time such services might previously have carried as many as 100 people.
Bus capacity will be reduced by 75% according to First York. Passengers will be counted at they get on and off services with effect from Monday.
With more workers, and some schools, set to add pressure to the transport system in June, clearly some measures need to be taken to ensure that priority is given to those making essential journeys.
One suggestion is that free – or discounted – travel should be restricted to off peak times (10:00am – 3:00pm and after 7:00pm in the evening). This could affect pensioners, children and those using the YoZone card.
Some officials believe that this would ease capacity issues on public transport particularly if employers and schools stagger arrival/closing times and that as many people as possible continue to “work from home”.
There has also been a suggestion that a new Priority weekly ticket could limit travel to two hour specified slots during the day (morning and evening) to give workers a better chance of finding space on a particular service.
Despite the protests of some ultra pro cycling groups, that the 15,000 or so per day displaced bus passengers should take to their bikes, the reality is that even doubling the numbers cycling to work would scarcely dent the demand pattern for bus services.
A clear plan to avoid the congestion that increased car use would bring to the City is needed and it is needed now. Whatever the solution, bus companies and the council need to get a process in place quickly if chaos is to be avoided.
Meanwhile it has emerged that the Council failed to spend its bus stop improvement budget last year. Despite pleas for “next bus” screens to be installed at busy stops in Acomb, Foxwood and elsewhere, no progress was made.
The budget was underspent by around £45,000.
The screens, and mobile travel apps, need now to be upgraded to show whether spare seats are available on individual services (as already happens with some rail services).
Real time information systems have a vital role to play in avoiding large queues at bus stops at least while social distancing rules are in place.
Many bus shelters are in poor condition. Some need repainting. Others need panels replacing. Some are regularly overgrown with vegetation. One on Foxwood Lane famously sports a crown of weeds every summer.
Now, ironically, there is a suggestion that “green roofs” should be installed on some shelters to aid biodiversity. (NB. The shelters that are regularly overgrown are located next to the countryside so make little contribution to bee welfare).
These are issues that require prompt attention and a proper dialogue with local residents.
11 more fatalities have been reported by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Six of the deaths were at York Hospital, taking the total number of fatalities there to 109, and the remaining five were at Scarborough.
The number of York people who died up to May 1 and whose death certificates include Covid-19 is 94.
There are a total of 408 cases in the city, according to stats from Public Health England.
No details of the infection rates found at the Poppleton testing site have been published.
Bus companies get York Council backing
The Council has said to the government that all local bus companies should receive grant support. To do so they had to either run at least 40% of the services that they did pre lockdown or alternatively get a certificate for the local authority saying that the new frequencies were meeting demand
From Sunday 29th March, the following changes will take effect:
First York is moving all services to a Sunday timetable (bolstered by additional buses during peak times) to ensure key workers, including health service and emergency workers, can get to and from their places of work and those without a car can still collect medical prescriptions or do their essential shopping.
1, 4, 5, 5A, 6, 66 – Will operate a revised timetable operating every 30 minutes during the, with early journeys operating Monday – Friday. Services will operate at hourly intervals during the evening, reduction to hourly intervals earlier on a Saturday and Sunday evening than present. Saturday and Sunday morning services have also been thinned out till approx. 9am.
10 – Will operate a Sunday timetable with additional early journey weekdays. Late journeys will continue to operate Monday to Saturday, to be reviewed dependent on usage.
11 – Will operate a special timetable with early journeys weekdays, service will operate every 70 minutes. Late journeys will continue to operate Monday to Saturday, to be reviewed dependent on usage, and whatever decision is made regards tendered services.
12 – Will operate a special timetable with early journeys weekdays, service will operate every 60 minutes, journeys after 1900 will continue to operate subject to patronage review.
200 – Will operate Monday to Saturday, the final journey will operate 10 minutes later.
HSB – Will operate normal schedule.
York Park & Ride
Service 2 – Will operate every 30 minutes as service 2A, observing all stops. Service will commence at 0700 Monday – Friday, and 0930 Saturday and Sunday. Evening service will operate hourly, these evening journeys terminate at Station Avenue. Return journeys will commence at Station Avenue.
Service 7 – Will operate every 30 minutes, Service will commence at 0700 Monday – Friday, and 0930 Saturday and Sunday. Evening service will operate hourly, these evening journeys will terminate at Rougier Street. Return journeys to Designer Outlet will commence from Clifford Street.
Service 9 Will operate every 30 minutes. Service will commence at 0700 Monday – Friday, and 0930 Saturday and Sunday. Last journey from City Centre 1900.
Services not operating (Grimston/Askham/Poppleton Park & Ride – closed)
66A, UB1, 3, 3A, 8, 59, 11S
At First Bus, your safety is our top priority. In the wake of the evolving impacts of coronavirus, we are working with the Government and wider industry to ensure we are following the latest advice to keep you safe on our buses.
The Council, has confirmed that it is establishing neighbourhood “community hubs”. Council staffed they will NOT be open to the public. They are planned to support residents identified as vulnerable or those who have been in touch asking for support, by providing them with essential, non-perishable foods.
The UK Government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus
Information service on WhatsApp. The new free to use service aims to provide
official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus
(COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.
To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp,
simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’
in a WhatsApp message to get started.
A set of menu options is then presented which the
user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as
well as links to GOV.UK
for further information.
Public toilets in the city centre will be closed
until further notice.
Parks and open spaces
All council-run parks in the city will remain open
for exercise but we’re asking visitors to ensure they adhere to social distance
best practice. From this weekend, Rowntree Park will reopen following the
flooding earlier this year.
Play areas will be closed from today and this
includes basketball courts, skateparks, caged five a side areas and tennis
courts. Notices are being placed in all play areas instructing the public of
To ensure we follow the government’s guidance on
social distancing the York Bar Walls are closed.