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.

Subsidised bus services in York set to continue

The Council is being recommended to continue to subsidise several bus services in York. The services serve either remote areas or provide services at times of the day when commercial services don’t run.

Tenders to continue services were sought earlier in the year.

The affected series are

  • 10 Evening Poppleton – City Centre – Dunnington Stamford Bridge
  • 11 Evening Bishopthorpe – South Bank – Stonebow
  • 12 Daytime Stonebow – Heworth – Monks Cross
  • 14 Evening Foxwood – City Centre / New Earswick – Haxby West Nooks
  • 19 Daytime Skelton – Clifton & Rawcliffe – Exhibition Square
  • 20 Daytime Rawcliffe – Clifton Moor & Haxby – Monks Cross / Osbaldwick
  • 21 Daytime Colton – Acaster Malbis & Bishopthorpe – Foss Islands
  • 24 Daytime Ascot Way (Acomb) – Acomb & Holgate – Piccadilly
  • 25 Daytime Derwenthorpe – Foss Islands – Crossfield Crescent (Fulford)
  • 26 Daytime Crossfield Crescent (Fulford) – City Centre – South Bank
  • 26 Fri/Sat eve Piccadilly – Crossfield Crescent (Fulford)

There is a question mark against the evening link (new service 15) between Stonebow and Monks Cross but officials hope to sustain the service in some way.

If approved the cost of subsidising bus services in the City will rise to £3/4 million.

The full report can be read by clicking here

A decision is expected on 18th July.

Subsidised bus services in York

Abandoned bus shelters – future uncertain

The future of the bus shelters on Tudor Road, which have not had a service for over 2 years, remains uncertain.

Not surprisingly the shelters are in good condition.

There is a site, at the Gale Lane end, which could accommodate a shelter, and which does lie on the now clockwise route taken by the number 4 service.

There are no notices in the shelters (or on the bus stop signs) indicating that the bus service only serves the opposite side of the road.

Even then the alternative bus stops are a testing sprint away.

Anyone texting the bus stop identification code to the information service gets a text back saying that no service is expected within the next 4 hours.

4 years more likely.

If you text for information it will cost you 12p

The stop reference (e.g.  32900872) produces no useful information when keyed into the “Bus York” mobile phone app. See  https://www.itravelyork.info/journey-planning/free-bus-apps/

Many people living in the Tudor Road area would prefer to see a 2-way service reintroduced.

If such a change is not imminent, the Council and bus service providers need to initiate a review of the quality of bus stop information, and shelter arrangements, that they provide in the area.

Abandoned bus shelters can be a magnet for anti-social behaviour, so some prompt action is required.

Sort out sub urban bus shelters plea

Bus passengers in York are calling on the Council to review its bus shelter policies for suburban areas.

A lot of money has been spent on the bus stops on the York City centre in recent years. Hundreds of thousands more will be spent as the area outside the station is remodelled.

but there has been little progress made in providing “next bus due” real time information on most of the network. Even busy routes with inter -urban services like Tadcaster Road lack passenger information (and shelter)

Mobile device systems have been developed but they are not user friendly and often revert to providing just when the timetabled service should arrive.

In Leeds, bus arrival time signs are integrated into shelters.

Some bus shelters are redundant following changes to bus routes which took place several years ago. The shelter below on Tudor Road is an example. The local number 4 service only serves the opposite side of the road on its clockwise route round Acomb. Now all the shelter does is attract anti social behaviour

As a consequence there is a large amount of litter on the near by verge while ponding on the adjacent footpath has never been properly addressed.

Litter next to Tudor Road bus shelter

It is an issue that the various public transport pressure groups in the City have failed to get to grips with.

York to boast one of the biggest fleets of double deck electric buses outside of London

York will be home to one of the biggest fleets of double deck electric buses thanks to investment by First York and funding secured by City of York Council from Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV)

Today (25 March), City of York Council, First York and bus manufacturer Optare announced that 21 new double deck electric vehicles will arrive in York in October 2019. The zero-emission and fully electric buses each have the capacity to carry 99 passengers and have a range of over 150 miles from one overnight charge, which means that they don’t need to be recharged during the day. Alongside this, First York is also upgrading its charging infrastructure, and the state-of-the-art vehicles will feature audio visual next stop technology, USB charging points and will carry new-look Park & Ride branding.

York Park & Ride, an operating partnership between City of York Council and First York, supports over four million journeys every year and is one of the UK’s most successful Park & Ride services. 12 electric single deck Optare buses have been operating on two out of the six Park & Ride sites for the last five years; helping to improve air quality and reduce congestion in the city. Individual car use and the congestion caused is a big contributor to air pollution in York, but each bus can take up to 75 cars off the congested streets in York.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said: “We’re proud to be the operator of one of the biggest fleets of double deck electric buses outside of London, as we continue to work with City of York Council to improve air quality in York.

“Today’s announcement showcases the benefits of partnership working in practice and we remain committed to investing in our bus services in York, as we share the same vision. By working together, local authorities and bus operators can make a real impact on congestion and air quality, provide better services for our customers, support local economies more effectively and, ultimately, help to increase passenger numbers.

“At First York, we are striving to make things better for the customer by making bus travel simple, speeding up bus boarding times, reducing journey times, using data to make better operational decisions and developing a customer relationship as opposed to a transactional one.”

For further information, visit www.itravelyork.info/park-and-ride.