New free Sunday bus service from Woodthorpe

Service 500 will launch on Sunday 13th November and will run free of charge

In the run-up to Christmas, First York are trialling a Sunday service which will take passengers from Foxwood, Woodthorpe and Bishopthorpe, direct to Askham Bar Park & Ride, where they can connect with a direct, frequent buses on Park & Ride service 3 to York City Centre.

The service will also serve stops at Askham Bar Tesco.

At the time of writing First haven’t published a timetable for the service on their web site

The company says that recent changes by City of York Council have meant that residents of Woodthorpe and Bishopthorpe have been without a Sunday bus service. “We’re now launching a free shuttle bus service to Askham Bar Park & Ride to help you travel into York, and enjoy the Christmas shopping opportunities and festivities”.

First York  Managing Director, Marc Bichtemann, comments: “At First York, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with the best service possible. We wanted to ensure that our customers in Bishopthorpe, Woodthorpe and Foxwood who want to travel into York in the run-up to Christmas, have the opportunity to do so. We will therefore be offering a free shuttle bus service to the Askham Bar Park & Ride from this Sunday, and look forward to welcoming our customers on board.”

The service, numbered 500, will run with an electric bus, subject to availability, to reduce noise and emissions. The trial will end on Sunday 18 December. We’ll then assess demand for the service before deciding if it can be extended into 2017.

First York announce bus service changes.

old bus

First York have announced changes to bus services which they will implement from the beginning of August.

The number 13 and 13A services will be scrapped.

The latter provides the only link to the City centre from the Hamilton Drive area and is likely to lead to calls for the Council to substitute a tendered service. There are a lot of elderly people living in the area served by the 13A.

First say that Harrogate Coach Travel will run a replacement which may mitigate the loss of the 13 Haxby to Copmanthorpe (via Tadcaster Road) service but details are awaited.

Cllr Stephen Fenton has welcomed the extra early and late services on the number 12 route as ” good news”.

“The loss of the number 13 obviously impacts on Tadcaster Road, but is mitigated by the fact that there will be new service operated by a different operator, and residents are already served by the 4, 12 and the Coastliner”.

The changes were revealed only hours after First announced that it would be running 9 buses an hour (!) between the Railway Station and the University. The number 4 already provides 8 buses an hour. The combined service would provide a theoretical frequency of one every 3 minutes (and is probably the nearest thing to continuous public transport, short of a conveyor belt!!). 

Of course, York’s’ traffic conditions will mean that  buses on this route are likely to “bunch” so frequencies in practice may be much less than promised by the timetable. 

First have said that they intend to re-route the number 4 at the University end  but no details have as yet been made available.

Another major change affecting Acomb concerns the route of Service 5 which will be revised to run via Boroughbridge Road, Beckfield Lane and Ostman Road to serve more of north Acomb (instead of Carr Lane and Woodlea Avenue).

According to First, the proposed changes are:

  • Service 1 (Chapelfields – Wigginton) revised timetable to improve reliability
  • Service 4 (Acomb – University of York) revised route to the University
  • Service 5/5A (Acomb – Strensall) revised route between Station Rise & Boroughbridge Rd (via current 10 route). In Acomb service 5 will be revised to run via Boroughbridge Road, Beckfield Lane and Ostman Road in both directions omitting Carr Lane and Woodlea Avenue.
  • – Service 6 (Clifton Moor – City) frequency increase to every 10mins from 12mins (Mon-Fri only) to meet demand. Revised route to the City with the University link now provided by service 4
  • – Service 10/10A (Nether Poppleton – Stamford Bridge) rerouted between Rougier Street and Boroughbridge Road via the current route of services 5/5A serving National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, Salisbury Road and Water End. In Stamford Bridge services 10/10A will operate in a one way clockwise loop from The Square via Main Street, Burton Fields Road, Battlefields Way, Moor Road, Church Road, High Catton Road, Roman Avenue North, Roman Avenue South, High Catton Road and Church Road to The Square and then current route back towards the City Centre
  • Service 12 (Foxwood Lane – Monks Cross) revised timetable to improve reliability with an extra earlier journey from Elmfield Ave at 0643 and an extra later journey from the Stonebow at 1751
  • The current service 13/13A Copmanthorpe/Acomb/Haxby will be withdrawn due to low demand (customers will be able to use new service 13 between Haxby & Copmanthorpe provided by Harrogate Coach Travel Ltd.

NB. The Council announced last week that bus use in the City had reached a high of 15.6 million journeys last year. Most of these will have been generated by the new Park and Ride sites although the Council has so far declined to reveal the numbers using stage carriage services.

Some children’s bus fares to double in York

Behind closed doors decision hits number 20 bus service.

Behind closed doors logo

Two decisions were taken last week which affect bus services contracted by the Council with Arriva/Transdev in York.

There was no prior consultation with local Councillors or residents before the decisions were published.

The first change will see child fares on the 627/637/647 services increased so that they are “in line with those charged on other local bus services”. The services provide links to Fulford, Archbishop Holgate and Manor schools (from Acomb).

Currently children using these routes pay £1 return. This would be doubled to £2 (saving the Council  £19,711)

 The increase will be implemented from 1st September 2015.

The Council has promised to “ work with the contracting bus operator (Arriva) to explore opportunities for term pass discounts”

The number 20 bus service which links Tesco, Gale Lane and  Front Street with Poppleton, Wigginton and the University will run less frequently.

“Instead of an hourly ‘clock-face’ timetable, additional running time will be built in to the timetable meaning certain departures will be 70 or 75 minutes apart.

Most buses will run from Heslington Hall via University Road and Melrosegate (currently buses run from Heslington Hall via Field Lane, Osbaldwick village, Alcuin Avenue and Melrosegate). School-time journeys will still be routed via Osbaldwick as they carry a number of children from the village to and from Huntington and Joseph Rowntree schools“.

All buses will divert to call at Vangarde Shopping Park (John Lewis etc), providing a new transport link for staff and shoppers. “Providing this link may allow CYC to use some of the Vangarde Section 106 developer funding to offset a proportion of the contract price”.

The proposal will remove the section of route through Heslington East and Osbaldwick except for at school times. The Councils says that, “whilst some Osbaldwick resident are using the service (around 15 passengers per day on average), alternative bus links are available”.

First bus route changes for Tour de France in York

With millions expected to line the route of the Tour de France this weekend, First is putting in place the final preparations for the local bus and Park&Ride network around York on Sunday 6 July.

Bus stuck during previous TdF race

Bus stuck during previous TdF race

Due to road closures some routes will also need to be diverted or altered and customers are encouraged to plan well ahead by visiting for all the details.  Details of changes to routes, stops and services can also be seen around the city centre on notices at bus stops and information displayed on real time screens.

As a result of the route taken by the race, First’s cross-city services will be split and some will be diverted with buses starting and finishing at one of three bus hubs, Fishergate, Hungate & the Station.

First has worked closely with City of York Council to also provide more Park & Ride journeys with services starting from 6am – three and a half hours earlier than on a normal Sunday. In addition, Askham Bar, Grimston Bar and Rawcliffe Bar Park & Ride sites will open from 4am to allow people to arrive early.

Park&Ride sites provide services every 10 minutes with great value fares (returns costing £2.70 from the terminal to the city centre, with up to 2 children travelling free with each adult). More information is available Due to the route taken by the race the Poppleton Bar Park&Ride will not be operating on Sunday 6th July..

First is also providing extra buses across the York network on existing routes providing more capacity and allowing for slightly longer journeys in some cases to take into account diversions and additional road traffic. Many services will also start earlier on the morning of Sunday 6 July to accommodate the extra demand.

As well as additional driving roles, First staff will be working across the network and behind the scenes to ensure the event is a success. First is also preparing spare buses ready at key locations across Yorkshire to meet any other transport requirements.

Additional late evening services will operate on the Monks Cross Park & Ride on Friday 4th July to cater for the ‘Grand Departy’ concert at Huntington Stadium. The last bus back to the City will depart from Monks Cross Park & Ride site at 11.30pm. Services will run as normal on Saturday 5 July and Monday 7th July.

Customers are encouraged to keep in touch with travel updates over the weekend by using twitter on @YorkTravel

Will Pearson, Business Manager of First in York added:  The Tour de France, Grand Depart is a fabulous opportunity to showcase Yorkshire and we’ve worked closely with partners including City of York Council to support our existing bus network and introduce extra services to help transport existing and new customers. There will be some disruption to the bus network but by planning ahead customers can find out what alternatives are available and ensure they enjoy this

Late shoppers Park and Ride services tomorrow (Thursday)

Park and ride buses

Extended Park&Ride (P&R) services on Thursdays and free Boxing Day P&R travel.

A late night shoppers service will operate on all five Park&Ride routes every Thursday, with the last bus leaving the city centre on all routes at around 9.30pm (for exact timings visit

The first extended service will run from the 28 November to coincide with the biggest Christmas market in York’s calendar – St Nicholas Fayre.

In addition to this, passengers will also be able to take advantage of FREE travel on Boxing Day on the three key P&R routes which will be operating.

Three Park & Ride services will operate on Boxing Day:

◦Askham Bar (white line – route 3) – First bus at 7am from the site, last bus back from Tower Street at 6.45pm

◦Designer Outlet (red line – route 7) – First bus at 7am from the site, last bus back from Rougier Street at 6.42pm

◦Monks Cross (silver line – route 9) – First bus at 7am from the site, last bus back from Rougier Street at 6.43pm

All three services will operate at a 15 minute frequency throughout the day and will be FREE for all passengers (and will stop at all usual stops along the route).