Bus services update. New timetables now on First web site

Herd of buses

First have confirmed the terminus (timing points) where their new Acomb bus services will lay over.

Service 5/5A will terminate at Front Street, (5 at The Marcia Pub, 5A at the Post Office),

The 4 will terminate at Green Lane.

First have promised to improve the prominence of the timetables for the new services on their web site.

We are expecting an announcement about fare levels tomorrow morning. See this web site for details.

Road closures for tomorrow’s (Saturday) Sky Ride in York

On September 14 Sky Ride York will take to the historic streets of York. Due to the size and scale of the event there will be some temporary traffic and transport changes to ensure the safety of everyone taking part.

click for more details

click for more details

Residents and visitors are urged to make use of the city’s extensive Park and Ride network on the day, particularly by using the Park and Pedal facilities at the Designer Outlet, Grimston Bar, Rawcliffe Bar and Monks Cross.

If people are unsure on which route to take to join the Sky Ride there are two Sky Ride social rides leading into the city centre setting off from Rawcliffe Bar Park and Ride and The York Sport Village (behind Grimston Bar P&R) at 9am and 9.30am respectively. These rides will be lead by trained Sky Ride local ride leaders. For more info on the rides go to: http://www.goskyride.com/Search/

Lendal Bridge – the unanswered questions

The Council claim to have published on their web site a complete list of answers given to question raised during their “twitter” Q & A session last week.

Problem is – they haven’t!

Amongst those still not answered are:

Suddenly we are awash with “All York” bus ticket sales information

The Council has issued a statement saying that 12,000 “All York” teenagers’ bus tickets were sold during August.

For 12 months the Council and bus companies resisted providing any information on sales figures.

When eventually they were forced to publish them, it was revealed that sales of the taxpayer subsidised “All York” tickets were only 25% of forecast levels.

The young persons travel tickets were designed to provide cheaper fares for teenagers during the schools holidays.


The £1-30 a day tickets were a worthy project in principle which bus companies should have been happy to fund. The extra revenue, won by filling empty seats, would have more than covered their costs

However, the York Council chose to offer a 20p per journey taxpayers subsidy.

So that’s around £2,400 taxpayers have had to fork out in just 1 month for a scheme that has netted bus companies around £15,000.

One bus operator is claiming that the August sales represent a 500% increase over the previous year. Given that there wasn’t an ”All York” teenagers ticket available last year then that seems to be a spurious claim.

If the announcement heralds a more open approach by the Council to the provision of information about local bus services then that is to be welcomed.

We look forward to seeing details of service reliability published on a regular basis.

All York bus ticket sales figures finally released

12 months after a Freedom of Information request was lodged with the York Council, officials have finally revealed the number of “All York” bus tickets that have been sold.

This was the product launched in July 2012 which allowed passengers to purchase one £5 day ticket which could be used on any bus operating in the York area.

When launched, the Council said that it would spend £20,000 of taxpayer’s money advertising the availability of the ticket.

They would also use administrative staff to allocate, the fare revenue collected, to individual bus operators.

all york ticket

It was this taxpayer’s subsidy which prompted a request that the number of tickets sold be publicised. The Council declined to do so saying that it was “commercially confidential”.

It took an appeal to the Information Commissioner to force the release of the information.

In March the minutes of a Council bus consultative meeting had suggested that “All York” ticket sales were around “10,000 a quarter”.

In reality it turns out that sales are only about ¼ of that figure.

The total number of tickets sold stands at 10,425 which represents a tiny proportion of the 16 million local bus journeys made each year.

It looks like taxpayers have subsidised each ticket to the tune of £2.

Many people thought that the Council should have prioritised the introduction of a smartcard which would allow cross operator ticketing at negligible cost.

Steve Galloway – who first raised the issue – says, “There is nothing contained in the figures that threatens the commercial interests of bus companies. The very low sales do suggest though that the Council miscalculated very badly the number or passengers who would take advantage of a scheme which has proved to be an unnecessary burden on taxpayers.

I hope in future that the Council will be more open with bus users about service information.

They have been withholding facts about bus service reliability for over a year.

I would like to think that they would adopt a more positive approach to information sharing in the future”


Council reject teenagers “ride around for £1” bus fare plea, but First to introduce new student discounts from Sunday.

The York Council is set to reject a petition from local young people who had hoped that the flat £1 “go anywhere” fare available in parts of North Yorkshire would be extended to York.


In May 2013, an 11-16 year old variant of the go anywhere ‘All York’ the ticket was introduced but it was priced at £2.30.

First announce fare cuts for young people – New ticket offers are available for children, young people and students from this Sunday 1 September.

New price list

Child tickets (with an 11-16 YOzone card)

• 80p single and £1.10 return ticket prices frozen

• Day ticket reduced from £2.10 to £2

• Week ticket reduced from £8.50 to £7

• 4-week ticket reduced from £31.50 to £25 (available at PayPoint outlets)

Young People tickets (with a 16-18 YOzone card)

• New maximum single of £1.30 (unless the adult single is lower than that, in which case the lower price applies)

• New day ticket at £3

• New week ticket at £10

Student tickets (University & College)

• New day ticket at £3

• New week ticket at £10

• Term products frozen and now available to college students as well as those at University Valid University Student card or NUS card required.


Traffic congestion in York today

Congestion map 1300 hours Tuesday 27th August 2013. Click to update

Congestion map 1300 hours Tuesday 27th August 2013. Click to update

There is more traffic congestion in York today. This is partly blamed on the closure of Lendal Bridge but also on the temporary closure of Green Dykes Lane.

Hull Road, Paragon Street and Tower Street are particularly busy.

Buses using Hull Road are subject to delay.

Click on map for latest update.

York Council confirms new contracts for subsidised bus routes

The Council has confirmed that it has accepted tenders for new bus services which will operate from 1st September. The services involved are:

Route 21 Colton to York, via Middlethorpe Grove
Services on this route were retendered and the existing operator, Harrogate Coach Travel (trading as Connexions Bus), has been awarded the contract for the next three years. There will be no changes to the route or timetable. As part of the new contract, Harrogate Coach Travel will be introducing a new vehicle that meets more stringent Euro V emission standards (above our minimum standard) later in the year.

Route 24 Lindsey Avenue, Ascot Way and St Stephen’s Road to city centre via Acomb Centre (Monday to Saturday);

Route 26 Fordlands Road to South Bank via Broadway and city centre (Monday to Saturday);

Route 27 Heslington Hall to city centre via Broadway (Monday to Saturday);

Route 627 City centre to Fulford School via Heworth (school days);

Route 637 City centre to Archbishop Holgate’s School via Heworth (school days);

Route 647 Foxwood Lane to Manor School (school days).

Services on these routes were retendered and awarded to Arriva Yorkshire for the next three years starting on 2 September. There will be no changes to the routes or timetables. As part of the contract, Arriva Yorkshire will be introducing newer vehicles that meet more stringent Euro V emission standards (above our minimum standard) on all these routes later in the year.

Routes 35 and X35 Holme-on-Spalding-Moor to city centre

Services on these routes are provided under contract to City of York Council but, as cross-boundary services, with financial contributions from North Yorkshire County and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils. Services on these routes were retendered but the Council has not been able to award a new long-term contract due to a substantial increase in the price from bidders. The Council has reached agreement with Yorkshire Coastliner, which currently provides the service, to extend the current contract for a short period until we can find a more affordable solution for the three authorities. Officers are working with colleagues from neighbouring authorities to come up with an alternative route

Coalition government funds electric buses for Poppleton Park and Ride site

First has been awarded York’s Park & Ride (P&R) contract for a further three years.

Working in partnership with the council, First York has successfully operated all five P&R sites for more than 15 years and will continue to do so for another three years.

In addition, one of the city’s principle bus companies has now also been signed-up to operate the new P&R site at Poppleton, which is set to open in 2014.

Vehicles used in York eco bus trial in 2010

Vehicles used in York eco bus trial in 2010

As part of the new agreement First will be operating a new electric bus service from the new 600-vehicle facility at Poppleton Bar, which is set to open in Spring 2014. The purchase of the buses has been part funded through the Coalition Government’s Green Bus fund, which awarded £594k to First in May.

Six electric buses are set to be deployed on the York Park & Ride network, though a bid submitted by First York. The new buses will provide cleaner and greener bus journeys for thousands of passengers across the city.