Stagecoach in Hull is a bus operator providing services in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is a subsidiary of Stagecoach East Midlands, a subdivision of the Stagecoach Group.

Stagecoach in Hull
HeadquartersKingston upon Hull
Service areaBeverley
Kingston upon Hull
Service typeBus services
HubsHull Paragon Interchange
Fleet113 (October 2022)[1]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

History edit

Kingston upon Hull City Transport Scania Metropolitan on Anlaby Road in April 1979
East Lancs E Type bodied Dennis Dominator in Hull bus station in May 1995

Stagecoach in Hull's origins can be traced back to Hull Corporation Transport, whose tramway operations began in 1899. Motorbus operations began in 1909 with a fleet of six buses, later restarting in 1921 and expanding alongside the city's trolleybus network. The trolleybus network was officially abandoned on 31 October 1964, having been gradually replaced by fleets of Leyland Atlantean motorbuses.[2] Hull Corporation Transport was one of the quickest operators of one-person operated buses,[3] and on 10 November 1972, became the first bus operator in the United Kingdom to fully phase out the use of conductors.[4][5] Earlier in the same year, Hull Corporation Transport was renamed to Kingston upon Hull City Transport (KHCT), coinciding with the introduction of a new fleet livery and uniform.[6]

Prior to deregulation, KHCT shared Hull's bus network with then-National Bus Company subsidiary East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS), which had been split into three fare zones following a co-ordination agreement in 1934, in which both companies could gain a share of bus fares around the city. KHCT's operating area would expand throughout the 1970s with the construction of both the Bransholme and Orchard Park housing estates,[7] and in 1980, KHCT entered into the Crown Card weekly ticket scheme with East Yorkshire.[8] To comply with the Transport Act 1985 and ensuing deregulation of the bus industry, on 27 July 1986, the assets of KHCT were transferred to a new legal entity, Kingston upon Hull City Transport Ltd.,[9] which was soon followed by the closure of bus garages on Cottingham Road and Holderness Road, resulting in a significant downsizing of KHCT's bus fleet.[7]

Following deregulation, the co-ordination agreement between KHCT and EYMS, which was now owned by its management,[10] was abolished, and the two operators became engaged in competition from the late 1980s until 1994. Both companies began operating competitively on each other's network of services,[11] while KHCT was challenged by smaller independent operators entering Hull's bus network, including City Traveller, Connor & Graham, Metro Citybus and Pride of the Road/North Bank Travel.[12][13][14][15] These operators would eventually go bankrupt or were taken over by either KHCT or EYMS, with the former Citilink brand retained as a low-cost subsidiary of KHCT until it was wound up in 1992.[7][16][15]

As well as its core bus operations across Hull and Humberside, KHCT also expanded into outside ventures throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. The 'Kingstonian' coaching arm, founded in 1982, would enter into the Continental European market with the acquisition of the formerly Eastern National-owned Voyage National in France in 1988, followed by acquiring the family-owned Kivits Reizen in the Netherlands in 1990.[17] In the United Kingdom, KHCT would acquire the coaching operations of York Pullman in February 1990 and take on a National Express coach service from York to London in May 1991,[18][19] as well as forming a vehicle engineering firm named 'The Garage' at the company's former central works and separate car and taxi hire franchises in Hull and Anlaby respectively.[20]

As a consequence of competition on its core bus network, however, KHCT incurred heavy losses, losing £2 million and incurring £782,000 in debts in 1993.[21][22] KHCT's external ventures would be progressively sold or dissolved throughout 1992,[20][23] with KHCT's finance director being denied compensation by an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal after 'The Garage' was found to have suffered from serious financial irregularities,[24] and the company were removed from the Crown Card ticket scheme amid sustained competition with EYMS.[25]

Faced with escalating financial losses and increased competition, Kingston upon Hull City Council sold KHCT to Stockton-on-Tees based Cleveland Transit in December 1993.[7][26][27] This deal saw KHCT's employees take a 49% stake in the company,[28] with a new livery of white and blue featuring a yellow band as well as a straplined logo reading "Employee Owners Working for You" similar to that of Cleveland's adopted,[29] and a year later, the deal led to KHCT's 'bus war' with EYMS ending after the two companies agreed to co-ordinate their Hull timetables.[30] Half of the city council's £2.7 million profit from the sale, however, would be lost to a £1.4 million debt owned to Humberside County Council,[31] and immediately after the sale, 18 drivers and four managers were laid off by KHCT in an attempt by Cleveland Transit to make the company turn a profit.[32][33]

Stagecoach ownership edit

A Frequento branded Stagecoach in Hull Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident in July 2006

In November 1994, Cleveland Transit and KHCT were sold to Stagecoach Holdings for £7.7 million.[34] The Transit-era KHCT blue and white livery was initially maintained by Stagecoach, however on 1 January 1996, KHCT was formally renamed Stagecoach Kingston upon Hull, later shortened to Stagecoach in Hull, with the Stagecoach corporate livery being introduced by the spring of 1996.[35][36] Permission was granted by Hull City Council for Stagecoach to move operations from the former KHCT depot on Lombard Street to a new site on Foster Street, Stoneferry in November 1995, which was completed in 1996,[37][38] and the Kingstonian coaching arm was acquired by EYMS and integrated into its own coaching operations in March 1997.[39][40]

Stagecoach Kingston upon Hull and twelve other bus companies in Hull were summoned to the Restrictive Practices Court by the Office of Fair Trading in November 1998 after investigations revealed they were taking part in a price fixing and market sharing "cartel" on tendered Hull City Council school bus services.[41] The OFT stated that they had uncovered evidence of representatives of the thirteen companies, including Stagecoach, secretly meeting at a Hull hotel to agree on the minimum prices they would bid to run the services and what services each company would bid for.[42][43]

In 2006, Stagecoach in Hull was included as part of the reorganisation of Stagecoach operations in the East Midlands and Lincolnshire into an enlarged Stagecoach East Midlands subsidiary.[44] In the same year, Stagecoach in Hull introduced the Frequento network, with routes serving Orchard Park, Bransholme and later Sutton-on-Hull being operated to more frequent timetables using new low-floor buses. The service was initially launched with nine new Dennis Trident Alexander ALX400s.[45][46] These were later supplemented with 14 Alexander Dennis Enviro300s in 2010 and nine Alexander Dennis Enviro400s in 2011, the latter of which were named after notable Hull people such as William Wilberforce, Philip Larkin and Mick Ronson.[47][48]

250 workers at Stagecoach in Hull affiliated with Unite the Union entered a period of strike action from 7 October to 7 November 2022 in a pay dispute, disrupting bus services provided for the annual Hull Fair.[49] The strike was scheduled to last until 29 December, however negotiations between Stagecoach management and Unite representatives involving Acas resulted in the strike suspended on 7 November and formally ended on 11 November, with workers receiving a backdated 20% pay rise of up to £13 an hour.[50][51]

Services edit

Simplibus network edit

Stagecoach in Hull was the second operator in Stagecoach East Midlands to launch a 'Simplibus' network, following the launch of Stagecoach Grimsby-Cleethorpes' network in 2014. The new Hull network saw existing routes renumbered from west to east into a numerical sequence of 1–16, as well as providing new services connecting Orchard Park Estate, Kingswood and East Hull. The new services launched on 6 September 2015 and replaced the previous Frequento network.[52]

The new Simplibus services would later result in a combined £8.4 million investment in a fleet of new buses over three years, with Stagecoach in Hull receiving 46 new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC double-decker buses and Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC single-decker buses between 2016 and 2019, all delivered new with Simplibus branding.[53][54]

Council tenders edit

Stagecoach in Hull first took on the Priory Park Park and Ride services as a commercial operation from CT Plus in September 2014, following a retendering process by Hull City Council. The company invested in five single deckers, three of which were given blue route-branding for the service, with the aim of improving bus services for the 2017 City of Culture events.[55] Stagecoach announced it was to withdraw from operating peak time services on the park and ride in June 2023 due to low passenger numbers and high operating costs,[56] however a deal was agreed in September 2023 for Stagecoach to continue running the service until March 2025, with the park and ride's operations being reduced to operating between 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays only and bus frequency moving from every 20 minutes to 30 minutes.[57]

Retendering by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council in 2019 saw Stagecoach in Hull gain the contract to operate a seasonal park and ride service in Bridlington from East Yorkshire, also launching a bus service operating from Hull to Bridlington three times a day.[58] Stagecoach would later gain Hull City Council bus service contracts from East Yorkshire in 2021, being awarded funding to run both an East Hull supermarket shuttle and services connecting two West Hull estates.[59]

References edit

  1. ^ "Bus Services Improvement Plan" (PDF). Hull City Council. p. 18. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Hull 27-year trolleybus era ends". Hull Daily Mail. 2 November 1964. p. 5. Retrieved 10 January 2024 – via
  3. ^ "Fastest o-m-o in Hull". Commercial Motor. Temple Press. 10 December 1971. p. 19. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Hull first with 100 per cent o-m-o". Commercial Motor. Temple Press. 24 November 1972. p. 29. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Last of Hull bus conductors fade away quietly". Hull Daily Mail. 15 November 1972. p. 8. Retrieved 10 January 2024 – via
  6. ^ "New uniform for Hull busmen". Hull Daily Mail. 15 April 1972. p. 1. Retrieved 10 January 2024 – via
  7. ^ a b c d Wells, Malcolm; Morfitt, Paul (2017). Hull Corporation Buses. Amberley Publishing. pp. 4–6. ISBN 978-1-4456-6754-6. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  8. ^ "Hull card". Commercial Motor. Temple Press. 25 October 1980. p. 28. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  9. ^ "All change on the Blue and Whites". Hull Daily Mail. 26 July 1986. p. 1. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  10. ^ "E Yorks snapped up". Commercial Motor. Temple Press. 14 February 1987. p. 18. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  11. ^ Jarosz, Andrew (15 August 1992). "EYMS attacks Hull services". Coach & Bus Week. No. 26. Peterborough: Emap. p. 14.
  12. ^ "Metro tightens up Hull competition". Commercial Motor. Temple Press. 15 June 1989. p. 19. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Hull independent's KHCT complaint". Coach & Bus Week. No. 24. Peterborough: Emap. 1 August 1992. p. 3.
  14. ^ "KHCT ups the pace". Coach & Bus Week. No. 25. Peterborough: Emap. 8 August 1992. p. 6.
  15. ^ a b Jarosz, Andrew (26 September 1992). "Defence of KHCT starts". Coach & Bus Week. No. 32. Peterborough: Emap. p. 6. Retrieved 18 May 2024.
  16. ^ "KHCT snaps up new Citylink". Commercial Motor. Temple Press. 16 March 1989. p. 21. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  17. ^ Millar, Alan (31 May 1990). "KHCT confounds the critics". Coachmart. No. 590. Peterborough: Emap. pp. 24–25.
  18. ^ "...and Reynard Pullman moves in". Commercial Motor. Temple Press. 8 March 1990. p. 21. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  19. ^ "KHCT gets first Nat-Ex service". Coachmart. No. 642. Peterborough: Emap. 6 June 1991. p. 9.
  20. ^ a b Jarosz, Andrew (29 August 1992). "Brand names to go next month". Coach & Bus Week. No. 28. Peterborough: Emap. p. 12.
  21. ^ Jarosz, Andrew (22 May 1993). "KHCT debt confirmed". Coach & Bus Week. No. 66. Peterborough: Emap. p. 10.
  22. ^ Jarosz, Andrew (5 March 1994). "Inquiry call as KHCT books show £2m loss". Coach & Bus Week. No. 106. Peterborough: Emap. p. 10.
  23. ^ Jarosz, Andrew (17 October 1992). "KHCT rundown to its core business goes on". Coach & Bus Week. No. 35. Peterborough: Emap. p. 12.
  24. ^ Jewell, Michael (15 May 1993). "Financial director was not unfairly dismissed". Coach & Bus Week. No. 65. Peterborough: Emap.
  25. ^ "Competition hotting up in Hull". Coach & Bus Week. No. 29. Peterborough: Emap. 5 September 1992. p. 9.
  26. ^ Jarosz, Andrew (18 December 1993). "Transit sews up the sale of KHCT and wields axe". Coach & Bus Week. No. 96. Peterborough: Emap. p. 3.
  27. ^ Hickman, Martin (20 November 1993). "Sell-off deal for Blue and Whites". Hull Daily Mail. p. 1. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  28. ^ "Hull completion due". Coach & Bus Week. No. 95. Peterborough: Emap. 11 December 1993. p. 5.
  29. ^ "Bus firm launches late night services". Hull Daily Mail. 8 January 1994. p. 3. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  30. ^ Jarosz, Andrew (6 August 1994). "Peace breaks out after Hull bus war". Coach & Bus Week. No. 128. Peterborough: Emap. p. 9.
  31. ^ Jarosz, Andrew (19 February 1994). "Debt wipes out most of KHCT sale profit". Coach & Bus Week. No. 104. Peterborough: Emap. p. 19.
  32. ^ "Drivers' jobs are axed after bus company takeover deal". Hull Daily Mail. 13 December 1993. p. 1. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  33. ^ Gray, Chris (15 December 1993). "Now managers' jobs go at the Blue and Whites". Hull Daily Mail. p. 7. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  34. ^ Stewart, Rob (11 November 1994). "Shares bonanza in bus takeover". Hull Daily Mail. p. 5. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  35. ^ "KHCT Renamed". Bus & Coach Buyer. No. 341. Spalding: Glen-Holland Limited. 19 January 1996. p. 5.
  36. ^ Young, Angus (16 March 1996). "Bus colours to go?". Hull Daily Mail. p. 5. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  37. ^ Young, Angus (17 November 1995). "Bus operators seek new base". Hull Daily Mail. p. 16. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  38. ^ "Car park plan sparks chaos fears". Hull Daily Mail. 13 November 1997. p. 7. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  39. ^ "EYMS buy Kingstonian Travel and launch National Holidays". Bus & Coach Buyer. No. 400. Spalding: Glen-Holland Limited. 14 March 1997. p. 9.
  40. ^ "EYMS group buys coach operation". Hull Daily Mail. 4 March 1997. p. 5. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  41. ^ Young, Angus (18 August 1998). "Deals on wheels". Hull Daily Mail. p. 1. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  42. ^ Young, Angus; Naylor, Mark (19 November 1998). "Bus firms face court action". Hull Daily Mail. p. 1. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  43. ^ Gow, David (20 November 1998). "Firms accused of running school bus cartel". The Guardian. London. p. 29. Retrieved 6 November 2023 – via
  44. ^ "Stagecoach integrates Traction businesses". Bus & Coach Professional. 26 September 2006. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  45. ^ "Comfort on the buses". Hull Daily Mail. 6 July 2007. p. 2. ProQuest 333668710.
  46. ^ "Don't miss the bus on timetable changes". Hull Daily Mail. 17 April 2007. p. 13. ProQuest 333649110.
  47. ^ McGinn, Sarah-Ann (27 March 2010). "New fleet travels in real-time". Hull Daily Mail. p. 15. ProQuest 333726290.
  48. ^ Thompson, Jenna (8 February 2011). "Bus to be named after estate hero". Hull Daily Mail. p. 12. ProQuest 849739694.
  49. ^ "Hull: Stagecoach bus drivers begin strike action". BBC News. 7 October 2022. Retrieved 5 November 2022.
  50. ^ Miah, Rahima (11 November 2022). "Hull Stagecoach workers in strike victory after agreeing whopping pay rise". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  51. ^ "Hull: Stagecoach bus strikes called off after pay deal agreed". BBC News. 11 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  52. ^ "Simplified network goes live in Hull". routeone. September 2015. Archived from the original on 17 July 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  53. ^ "Stagecoach invests £2.7m in new vehicles for Hull". Coach & Bus Week. Peterborough. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  54. ^ Robinson, Hannah (12 June 2019). "Stagecoach to launch 31 new buses in Hull next week - and they have some great features". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  55. ^ "Stagecoach improve Hull Park & Ride". Coach & Bus Week. Peterborough. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  56. ^ Gerrard, Joseph (13 June 2023). "Council to prop up Hull park and ride amid falling passengers and rising costs". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 June 2023.
  57. ^ Gerrard, Joseph (1 September 2023). "Changes to Hull's Priory Park and Ride peak services as new deal made with Stagecoach". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  58. ^ "Fast Link to the Coast launches in Hull" (Press release). Stagecoach East Midlands. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  59. ^ "Hull Services 21, 50 & 51". East Yorkshire. Archived from the original on 8 May 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.

External links edit

  Media related to Stagecoach in Hull at Wikimedia Commons