Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Battle of York [3]

You Could Have Gone by Train ...
... from Copmanthorpe station (closed 1959) on the main East Coast line south of York; to Haxby (closed 1930) on the Scarborough line.
But nowadays it is a No 13 bus. Its terminus is on Station Road ...
... whence it wiggles via Flaxman Croft before taking the main road into York.
Currently there is a bus every hour Monday to Saturday with nothing on Sunday. Just at the edge of the village centre, however, Yorkshire Coastliner runs every 30 minutes via Hallcroft Lane.
North of the city the 13 runs via subsidiary roads in Wiggington where the every 10 minute service 1 is king, before crossing the railway and turning at West Nooks.
Service 14 provides evening and Sunday journeys to Haxby.
It wasn't always so.
At one time the northern terminus was Monks Cross shopping centre, then in 2012 things were swapped around.

Services 13/13A: Copmanthorpe – York – Monks Cross
Service 13 will have a new route. Between Copmanthorpe and York the route is unchanged, it will then operate from York via the current route of service 12 to Haxby. It will operate hourly, Monday-Saturday daytime.

Later the timetable was increased again by adding in the 13A giving an every 30 minutes service at the Haxby end.
But this year First Bus has held a consultation:-

The company said the consultation exercise was held online and directly with customers at a number of public drop-in sessions, and customers' comments had contributed to the changes, which come into effect on August 2. "The review has included examining routes to ensure that buses go where customers really need them."

fbb loves this sympathetic word "consultation" which usually means "we'll discuss the changes with you and do what we want anyway." In the case of the 13, to ensure that the buses go where people really want them, First will withdraw completely from the route from 2nd August.

A replacement will be run on tender (?) by Connexions aka Harrogate Coach Travel.
Surprisingly this reverts to a Copmanthorpe bus every 30 minutes.
Which leaves us with a question. Assuming Connexions have squeezed a bit of de minimis tender money out of York City council, how can they run a bus every 30 minutes when First can't manage one every hour? We must assume that Connexions costs are lower (lower wages? lower overheads?) but surely not that much lower? Or are the First Bus financial aspirations simply too high?

Answers in a plain envelope with a £20 note to the usual address, please.

And a University PS ...
 Too Much Excitement? 
... and a mysterious hat on the logo. No idea why!

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, Professor Koen Lamberts (he's Belgian and it's from a Dutch/Flemish word meaning "bold" or "daring" - fbb) ...
... said: "The University is committed to promoting sustainable travel and transport. We are, therefore, extremely pleased to work with First to facilitate an efficient, sustainable and integrated University bus service for students, staff, visitors and members of the community."

Will he be going by bus?

 Next York blog : Thursday 16th July 


  1. In terms of Connexxions presumably a combination of any or all of the following:
    lower wages
    lower overheads
    cheaper buses
    lower profit expectation
    a more positive view on generation factors
    a plan for growth by the enhanced service
    better marketing
    an expectation of some transfer from other parallel services simply by not being First.

    Whether or not it works remains to be seen but smaller operators can often take a more intuitive less numbers based approach to route development that often pays off.

  2. Minor correction:

    The Coastliner service through Copmanthorpe generally operates every 20 minutes.

  3. I can't comment on "Conexxions" but I can provide a bit of background, as my sister lives in Copmanthorpe.

    Apart from a couple of roads in Copmanthorpe, the 13 route into York City Centre is identical to Coastliner's. Relations were amicable until a few years ago when First started a competing York-Leeds service. Coastliner retaliated by competing hard along the main road from Copmanthorpe into York. They currently run every 20 mins for most of the day, and run into the evening when First do not. Single fares are similar, but Coastliner offer a heavily discounted return (from Copmanthorpe) which is much cheaper than a First Day. So the 13 has mainly been carrying OAPs and those who don't want to walk from Hallcroft Lane. So I'm not surprised that First have given up, especially as they are going to need more drivers elsewhere.

    There is a Sunday version of the 13, but it's a City contract operated by Transdev York (13A).

  4. Should have check my Coastliner timetable. Bad house point for fbb!