The subsidy for the section of the number 12 bus route which serves Alness Drive, Acomb Wood Drive and Bellhouse Way is to be extended until April 2020. But beyond then, a subsidy of £65,000 per year is being sought in order to retain that section of the route.
An Officer Decision published by City of York Council (available HERE) states that a report will be prepared for the council’s Executive to consider the long-term funding given the annual cost is greater than the budget available.
Some key headlines from the published Decision are set out below:
First York planned to cancel service 3A, and the section of service 12 which connects Bellhouse Way, Acomb Wood Drive and Alness Drive with the city centre and Monks Cross, with effect from 29th September 2019. City of York Council agreed temporary funding for both services until 1st February 2020
A fully compliant tender process has been carried out and the winning bidder is prepared to provide an equivalent service to the existing route 12 (with vehicles meeting the Clean Air Zone emissions requirement) for approx. £65k per annum
The cost of operating both services from 2nd February until 31st March would be £14,800 (£4k for service 3A and £10.8k for service 12), which is within budget for the 2019/20 financial year
The cost of operating both services throughout 2020/21 and subsequent financial years would be £88,700 per annum (£24k for service 3A and £64.7k for service 12), which exceeds the anticipated subsidised bus budget for 2020/21 by around £26k. It is therefore not possible to fund both services beyond 4th April 2020 from within the budget.
Local Lib Dem councillors will continue to work with council officers and bus operators to maintain and improve bus services which provide a lifeline for many residents.
A new timetable for the number 12 bus service will come into effect on Monday 2 December.
The timetable is available online on the First website HERE
The changes are designed to improve punctuality, with four buses on the route rather than three. The daytime frequency also increases slightly to every 35 minutes.
A large number of residents have raised concerns with local councillors about the reliability of the service over recent months. The end of major road works on The Mount and Coppergate should help to improve matters.
timetable posters will be updated later this week.
Local Lib Dem councillors have delivered a leaflet across Woodthorpe, Acomb Park and Foxwood asking residents for feedback on the number 12 bus service.
We have received a large number of e-mails and phone calls from residents who are exasperated by the increasing unreliability of the service. Many have noted that more people would be inclined to use the service if they could rely on it.
We are compiling all of the responses received and will be discussing with First and Transport officers at the council what can be done to improve the situation.
Representatives from First Bus and the council’s iTravel team attended the joint Dringhouses & Woodthorpe and Westfield Ward Committee meeting on 3rd October at the York Indoor Bowls Club.
Local councillors and residents had a look around one of the newer and more environmentally-friendly ‘Euro 5’ buses being rolled out on the route and were able to raise questions and concerns about timetables and reliability.
There has been some confusion around recent timetable changes which will hopefully be resolved soon.
Under normal circumstances, bus services are required to be registered at a minimum of 6 weeks’ notice. Part of the reason for this is to allow local authorities sufficient time to input timetable data into the national Traveline system and use the data to produce stop-specific bus stop posters – a process which involves a number of external agencies and usually takes around 3 weeks in total.
As the council decision to provide financial support to retain the Woodthorpe-Foxwood section of the route was only formally signed off last week, First and council officers had a very short time to register the service and produce timetables. The service 12 timetables currently up at stops are therefore short-term temporary posters which will be replaced with full-size composite displays as soon as possible.
The number 12 bus timetable can be accessed on the First York website HERE
At the beginning of September some changes were made to the number 12 bus service which meant that from early evening it no longer served Alness Drive / Acomb Wood Drive / Bellhouse Way, but instead turned around in the layby on Moor Lane.
A further revised timetable was published recently which was due to come into effect from 29 September. This would have seen the Alness Drive / Acomb Wood Drive / Bellhouse Way section of the route removed altogether. It would also have seen some Monday to Friday peak time journeys operate as the service 12A, with these journeys not serving Askham Bar Tesco.
These route changes will not now go ahead, following discussions between First, local councillors and council officers and as a result of additional funding being made available via an Officer Decision.
In addition, the evening number 12 service for Alness Drive / Acomb Wood Drive / Bellhouse Way has been restored.
The economic viability of the Alness Drive / Acomb Wood Drive / Bellhouse Way part of the route will be kept under review, and local efforts will be made to encourage more residents to use the service.
A new timetable for the number 12 service will come into effect from 29 September, and it is available HERE
The number 12 service will continue to go around the ‘Woodthorpe loop’ (Moorcroft Road / Acorn Way / Ryecroft Avenue / Grassholme) on both the outward and return journeys.
Another change coming into effect is that the 500 Sunday service between Woodthorpe and the city centre via Bishopthorpe is being re-named the 11s.
First have announced the diversion route for the number 4 bus from Monday 9th to Sunday 20th September, when St Helens Road will be closed due to work being done by Northern Powergrid.
Heading towards the city centre, the number 4 will miss out Eason View, Thanet Road and St Helens Road. It will instead carry on along Chaloners Road before turning left onto Moor Lane and then left at the Askham Bar roundabout onto Tadcaster Road.
Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has secured an assurance from the council that Transdev (the new operators of the late night 14 service) will be contractually obliged to accept First Day and First Night tickets when the new service starts on 2 September.
A number of Acomb Park residents have been in touch to raise concerns about the service changes, and in particular whether this would mean them having to buy a separate ticket to get home on the late night Transdev service.
First have confirmed that their 6pm to 9.30pm 12 service will travel along the Moor Lane layby (green line below) and will stop at the bus stop on Moor Lane near to the junction with Alness Drive (circled in red below).
Timetable information is available on the iTravel York website HERE
First Bus have announced changes to the number 12 and 14 services that serve the Tadcaster Road and Woodthorpe areas.
The changes follow City of York Council undertaking a competitive tender exercise for subsidised bus services. The most significant change will see the number 14 service run by a different operator.
Here is the information that First have published regarding the number 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
We are pleased to report that First bus have confirmed that a Sunday bus service connecting Woodthorpe with Askham Bar is to continue.
A revised service 500 will begin on 2 April. The bus will no longer go up Alness Drive & Acomb Wood Drive towards Foxwood, but will still serve the Moorcroft Road / Acorn Way / Ryecroft Avenue / Grassholme loop.
The 500 service will not terminate at Askham Bar but will travel through to the city centre, via Bishopthorpe and Bishopthorpe Road. Passengers boarding in Woodthorpe can however get off the 500 at Tesco and get on to the number 3 Park & Ride bus. The bus will be free for the first few weeks of operation, but after than normal fares will apply. The new timetable can be downloaded Here
First York have announced a further extension to the free Sunday 500 service, which connects Foxwood, Woodthorpe and Bishopthorpe with Askham Bar. The service will continue to operate until 26 March. The timetable can be found Here.