A number of InterConnect-branded interurban bus routes with fixed timetables are complemented by demand-responsive, flexible CallConnect minibuses, on which journeys must be booked in advance. Many of the InterConnect services are provided by Stagecoach in Lincolnshire; most CallConnect services are run by services company Kier.
InterConnect was first established in 1999, when the existing RoadCar "Connect 6" Lincoln–Skegness bus (introduced in 1998 as part of Route 6's rebrand) was rebranded and its service frequency increased. CallConnect was established in 2001. The network and its services are subsidised by Lincolnshire County Council. Some services were scaled back in 2011–2012, following cuts to local government funding, and reductions in the Bus Service Operators Grant fuel duty subsidy.
List of InterConnect routes
|Route name||Map colour||Destinations||Route variants||Operator||Date introduced||Timetable link||Does it run on Sundays and Bank Holidays?|
|InterConnect 1||Orange||Lincoln–Grantham||—||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||November 2002||||Yes, 6 times each way between Lincoln and Grantham and hourly between Lincoln and Waddington.|
|InterConnect 5||Mid Blue||Lincoln–Woodhall Spa–Boston||—||Brylaine Travel||July 2002||||No|
|InterConnect 6 ||Yellow||Lincoln–Horncastle /
|6a||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||February 1999||||Yes, 5 times each way for the InterConnect 6, and hourly for the 6a.|
|InterConnect 7||Hot Pink||Skegness–Boston||X7||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire / Brylaine Travel||March 2005||||No|
|InterConnect 9||Purple||Skegness–Mablethorpe /
|9a; 9b||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||March 2005||||Yes, 6 times each way between Skegness and Mablethorpe during the Summer season only.|
|InterConnect 37||Pale Pink||Spalding–Peterborough||—||Stagecoach in Peterborough||May 2010||||Yes, 4 times each way.|
|InterConnect 51||Red||Louth–Grimsby||51a; 51b; 51c||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||April 2006||||No|
|InterConnect 53||Green||Lincoln–Market Rasen /
|53a; 53b||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||February 2004||||No|
|InterConnect 100||Light Blue||Lincoln–Gainsborough /
|—||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||April 2006||||No|
|InterConnect 505||Blue-green||Spalding–King's Lynn||—||Stagecoach in Norfolk||February 2002||||Yes, every 30 to 60 minutes.|
The various models of double-decker bus used by Stagecoach in Lincolnshire for its InterConnect services are painted in a special purple-and-gold livery which is different from the standard Stagecoach colour scheme. Some buses have route-specific numbered branding, in particular the flagship InterConnect 6 service, and a "Coastal Connect" brand used on the routes serving towns and villages on the Lincolnshire coast. Buses from the other InterConnect operators tend to carry that operator's standard paint scheme. All the InterConnect branded bus routes have hourly services throughout the day Monday to Saturday (with the exception of Interconnect 505; that runs up to every 20 minutes) with some services running on Sundays and Bank Holidays too (but on a reduced timetable).
|Route name||Destinations||Operator||Date introduced||Date removed|
|InterConnect 5||Boston–Spalding||Brylaine Travel||July 2001||?|
|InterConnect 18 (Rail Link)||Lincoln–Sleaford–Spalding–Peterborough||East Midlands Trains||April 2011||?|
|InterConnect X3||Lincoln–Newark||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||June 2010||April 2011|
|InterConnect 3 ||Lincoln–Cleethorpes||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||February 2004||?|
|InterConnect 6x ||Lincoln–Skegness (the quick way)||Stagecoach in Lincolnshire||July 2012||2014 |
There are two kinds of CallConnect services – entirely demand-responsive 'dial-a-ride' services which serve an area with no fixed route or timetable, and semi-flexible services which run to a timetable but which deviate off the route to serve smaller villages. Journeys on CallConnect must be booked in advance over the telephone, by text message or online. CallConnect buses are designed to meet the fixed InterConnect services at designated 'interchange' points in the larger towns and villages.
Through ticketing is available between some InterConnect routes and CallConnect services, and vice versa. Through ticketing is also available between CallConnect buses in the Sleaford & Metheringham area, and East Midlands Trains rail services from Sleaford and Metheringham railway stations on the Peterborough to Lincoln Line.
In 2011, Lincolnshire County Council reported a 23.5% increase in usage of CallConnect compared to the previous year.
CallConnect services operate in 14 named areas across Lincolnshire (and extending into neighbouring counties) – only the city of Lincoln and its nearby villages, and the unitary authority of North East Lincolnshire are not covered by CallConnect. The areas covered are:
|Route number||Area covered||Operator||Date introduced||Timetable link|
|53C||Brigg, Caistor and Ridge||PC Coaches||February 2016|||
|1G/1K||Grantham, Newark & Kesteven||Kier / other operators||November 2002 (1G)
July 2008 (1K)
|5C/6H||Horncastle, Coningsby & Woodhall Spa||Kier||April 2001 (6H)
July 2002 (5C)
|505H/505L||Holbeach & Long Sutton||Kier||February 2002|||
|51E/51N/51S||Louth||Kier / TC Minicoaches||March 2004 (51N)
February 2005 (51S)
July 2008 (51E)
|9M||Mablethorpe & Alford||Kier||March 2005|||
|3C/3M||Market Rasen & Caistor||TC Minicoaches||February 2004|||
|18M/18S||Metheringham & Sleaford||Kier||April 2008|||
|4P/4R/4S||Peterborough, Rutland, Stamford & the Welland Vales||Kier||September 2009 (4S)
April 2010 (4P)
July 2010 (4R)
|6S/7W||Spilsby & Wainfleet||TC Minicoaches||April 2001 (6S)
February 2005 (7W)
Semi-flexible CallConnect services
|Route number||Destinations||Operator||Date introduced||Timetable link|
|3L/3X||Louth–Binbrook–Market Rasen||TC Minicoaches||May 2011|||
|65/65A||Sleaford–Woodhall Spa–Horncastle||Kier / Sleafordian Coaches||?|||
|H1||Horncastle town service||Kier||?|||
- Lincolnshire InterConnect website
- CallConnect online journey booking form
- InterConnect Network Guide
- Lincsbus: public transport information for Lincolnshire
- InterConnect Flexible Bus Services : Department for Transport leaflet (2003)
- Making connections in Lincs : Bus and Coach Magazine (2006)
- CJ Conversions LTD - builders of the Call Connect vehicles
- Kier (2013) Kier strengthens its services arm with acquisition of May Gurney, 8 July. Available from: http://www.kier.co.uk/press-office/press-release/2013/08-07-2013.aspx [Accessed 25 November 2013]
- Jones, S. (2012) Stagecoach East Midlands: show, seasonality and soon Scanias in Skegness. Bus and Coach Magazine, (1162); pp.16–20
- Lincolnshire County Council (2011) Service changes from 4th April 2011. Available from: http://www.lincsinterconnect.com/timetables/ServiceChangesApril2011.pdf [Accessed 30 January 2012]
- Grimsby Telegraph (2012) Number of bus services face axe over fuel duty cut, 17 February. Available from: http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/Number-bus-services-face-axe-fuel-duty-cut/story-15255385-detail/story.html [Accessed 20 February 2012]
- Market Rasen Mail (2012) BREAKING NEWS: Six buses a day for Market Rasen says Stagecoach boss, 29 February. Available from: http://www.marketrasenmail.co.uk/news/local/brigg/breaking_news_six_buses_a_day_for_market_rasen_says_stagecoach_boss_1_3570882 [Accessed 1 March 2012]
- Lincolnshire InterConnect, InterConnect Network Map. Available from: http://www.lincsinterconnect.com/maps.phtml [Accessed 5 February 2013]
- This service formerly continued to Spalding.
- This service is the flagship Interconnect route
- This route is divided into two, in order "to comply with Department for Transport guidance". Connections are guaranteed at the route dividing point, and the journey often continues on the same vehicle.
- Runs between Skegness and Burgh-le-Marsh.
- Continues from Skegness to Chapel St Leonards and back and also has Boston College as the start and end of route.
- This route originally only ran between Skegness and Mablethorpe, but in 2009, the route was extended to Louth on Monday to Saturday.
- Serve colleges and schools in Louth.
- Serve colleges and schools in Grimsby and Louth.
- This service was originally numbered InterConnect 3 and the route formerly continued to Cleethorpes.
- From 2010–2011, the InterConnect 3 service was extended to Newark-on-Trent as the 'executive' service X3, in order to meet East Coast Main Line trains at Newark North Gate railway station. This extended service was cancelled in March 2011, with the operator citing a lack of passenger demand.
- Serves Linwood.
- Does not serve any stops between Market Rasen and Grimsby.
- Cooper, K. (2010) Stagecoach in Lincolnshire - Inter Connect Scania 15511 in Lincoln 13/10/10 [image]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46341292@N05/5141122878/ [Accessed 23 February 2012]
- ACBest [pseudonym] (2012) Skeggy Scanias. A life of Lincolnshire travel, 24 June. Available from: http://lincstravel.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/skeggy-scanias/ [Accessed 5 February 2013]
- Pulling, H. (2011) Stagecoach 16940 (Stagecoach Lincolnshire) FX06AOB [image]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hhhumber/6548915503/ [Accessed 22 February 2012]
- ACBest [pseudonym] (2011) The X3– Doomed to failure, or not given enough time? A life of Lincolnshire travel, 7 April. Available from: http://lincstravel.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/feature-the-x3-doomed-to-failure-or-not-given-enough-time/ [Accessed 13 May 2013]
- This route still runs as Interconnect 53, but with it only running between Lincoln and Grimsby.
- Lincoln to Skegness "the quick way": first ran in the 2012 school summer holidays; added to the main timetable in March 2013. 20% faster than the basic number 6 service; does not serve Raithby, Spilsby, Partney or Burgh-le-Marsh.
- For unknown reasons, the 6x was withdrawn in 2014. One possible explanation could be because of passenger confusion; ie accidentally taking the 6x bus not knowing that it doesn't go to Spilsby, etc.
- Lincolnshire InterConnect, Interchanges. Available from: http://www.lincsinterconnect.com/information/interchanges.phtml [Accessed 5 February 2013]
- Lincolnshire InterConnect, Through ticketing. Available from: http://www.lincsinterconnect.com/information/through-ticketing.phtml [Accessed 5 February 2013]
- Lincolnshire InterConnect, Rail Poster. Available from: http://www.lincsinterconnect.com/timetables/RailPoster.jpg [Accessed 5 February 2013]
- Louth Target (2012) Lincolnshire's CallConnect bus usage increases by 23.5 per cent, 21 January. Available from: http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/Lincolnshire-s-CallConnect-bus-usage-increases-23/story-14986912-detail/story.html [Accessed 20 February 2012]
- Welland CallConnect, a cross-county-boundary service, supported by local authorities in Northamptonshire, Peterborough and Rutland as well as Lincolnshire.