The re-opening of Grimston Bar Park & Ride and a new dedicated service for students are among improvements being introduced by First York from Sunday 27 September.
Service 8 will resume operating every 12 minutes during the day (07:00 start) with additional stops at Windmill Lane End, Beeswing and Matmer House to manage capacity with social distancing restrictions. The extra drop-off and pick-up points, which also apply on P&R route 2A, are a temporary measure in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when the current Government guidance limiting passengers is lifted.
The return of Grimston Bar P&R will also see the launch of a new connection to university locations with the UB1 service which will operate a journey up to every 30 minutes. This will be complemented by new timetables for the 66 service and a renamed 67 (formerly the 66A) which will run a combined frequency of up to every five minutes. The 66X will operate a limited stop service between the campus and York rail station at peak morning and afternoon periods only.
A campus shuttle service has been nearly doubled to provide free trips up to every 10 minutes between sites, creating some 88 journeys a day in each direction.
Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said: “Our team of schedulers have worked really hard to develop a network of services that enables us to manage the return of student life to the city and maintain safe capacities on board our fleet. With a vastly increased free shuttle and dedicated routes for students we will be able to ensure they can travel safely with a service that’s easy and convenient to use.”
He added: “The park & ride network is also opening up further with Grimston Bar serving another important corridor into the city as York continues its recovery. This return to operation and other service changes we’ve made will help bus travel to play its vital role in supporting the local economy and enabling everyone to complete their journeys with safe distancing.”
To help keep bus travel safe, First York is continuing to complete daily enhanced cleaning of its fleet which includes use of a long-lasting sanitiser and regular disinfection of all grab rails and poles, entrance door handles, window ledges and other touchpoints, both at its depot and during service intervals at selected York city centre stops during the day.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport at City of York Council, said: “As one of the key entry points in to the city, re-opening Grimston Bar Park & Ride will support our citywide recovery by helping to manage traffic, as we expect routes to be busier with the return of more students to universities. Since the pandemic began, we’ve all gone to great efforts to protect each other. We know this has been a difficult year for everyone, but it is vital we continue to follow the public health advice and do what we can to stop the spread of the virus.”
Among other changes, Service 4 York-Acomb will resume its pre-Covid route operating from Cornlands Road, Gale Lane, Front St, Green Lane and Tudor Road (Clock house) while some route changes have been made to 12 service from Monks Cross and its stop on Jockey Lane.
Poppleton Bar Park & Ride remains closed and electric vehicles will be deployed on service 12 which requires the route to be changed to facilitate charging.
Full details of all the changes and timetables can be found at https://www.firstgroup.com/york.