Saturday, 31 December 2011

Virtually no buses on New Year's Day / Only Velvet running

EDIT: The below post refers to New Year's Day 2012. For 2014, please click here.

As you prepare to see in the new year, bear in mind that virtually no buses are running in our region tomorrow.

The only buses running on New Year's Day are on Velvet routes A and C1. They will be running to a Sunday timetable with buses run by Velvet themselves, rather than First and Xelabus who normally run the Sunday service on those routes.

No other services will be running at all except for the free CityLink shuttle between Central Station and the Isle of Wight ferry terminal. Some trains will be running, so if you're near a station, you won't be entirely isolated.

Enjoy this evening and have a very happy new year!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Your New Year's Eve buses

If you need to use the bus tomorrow, New Year's Eve, then this is how they will be running. There are early finishes on some routes, Sunday service on others, while Bluestar's night buses will be running. Here's the full rundown:

Bluestar: Full Saturday service including night buses.

First: Weekday service on route 21. Saturday service on routes 5, 8, 11, 26, 72 and 80. Special timetable on routes 1/1A, 3, 8A, 9/9A, 10/10A and 12. Sunday service on routes 4, 7, 16 and 17/17A. All services finishing early at around 2000.

Brijan, Stagecoach, Velvet, W&D: Normal full Saturday service.

Unilink: Saturday service finishing early at about 2100.

Click on the links for special timetables and times of last buses on those routes that are finishing early.

Velvet have pointed out that you can see in the new year on one of their buses by catching the last service on route A from Eastleigh at 2340 towards Oaklands. It will be somewhere in Hedge End at the stroke of midnight.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bus service summary for 28th-30th December

Now the bank holidays are almost over and done with, tomorrow sees a semblance of normal service return until the end of the week. There are several different service levels on offer though, depending on the route you need to use. If you want reassurance that your route is running, try the journey planner at Traveline - I've tested it and it has been updated with the correct timetables for each day.

Here's a summary of what is running from Wednesday 28th to Friday 30th December inclusive:

Bluestar: Saturday service except for routes 5, 6, 8, H1, H2, H3, T1 and T2, which will have a weekday service. Special timetable on route 9 (Saturday service with some services extended to/from Calshot - contact Bluestar for full details). Night buses will run on Friday night only.

Brijan: Normal weekday service.

First: Weekday service on routes B1, B2, B3 and 21. Saturday service on routes 5, 8, 11, 26, 72 and 80. Special timetable on routes 1, 1A, 3, 8A, 9/9A, 10/10A and 12. Sunday service on routes 4, 7, 16 and 17/17A.

Stagecoach: Saturday service except for route 46, which will have a weekday service.

Unilink: Saturday service except for route U9, which will have a weekday service.

Velvet: Normal weekday service.

W&D: Saturday service except for routes X1, X2, 112, 118 and 119, which will have a weekday service.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Sunday service on bank holiday Tuesday 27th December

Because Christmas Day was on a Sunday this year, tomorrow (Tuesday 27th December) is a bank holiday, so that most people still get two days off work.

If you need to get about, there's a Sunday service on all bus operators in our region. Sadly this means no service for Marchwood, Colden Common, Bishops Waltham and others. People stuck in those places can get going again on Wednesday.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Boxing Day bus summary

EDIT: The below post was originally published for Boxing Day 2011. For buses running on Boxing Day 2013, click here.


So, Mad Lizzie's done her speech and now it's getting dark, thoughts turn to tomorrow, Boxing Day.

Most bus routes won't be running, but Bluestar will be running a skeleton service on routes 1, 2, 4, 9, 12 and 18. The full special timetable can be found here.

If you're not lucky enough to live on one of those routes, you'll have to wait a bit longer before hitting the sales.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

No buses on Christmas Day

No buses will be running in our region tomorrow.

Despite that, Happy Christmas!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Eve bus summary / First fares to rise

First have announced a fares hike for January. Although the Southampton FirstDay is staying at £4, most other fares will go up on Monday 2nd January.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the first day of bus services not running to their normal timetables, so here's a quick summary of which buses are running when.

Bluestar, Brijan, Stagecoach, W&D: Full Saturday service (but no night buses).
First: Saturday service finishing early at about 2000.
Unilink: Saturday service finishing early at about 2100.
Velvet: Saturday service finishing early at about 2000.

The full timetables can be found on the operators' websites via the links in the red panel on the right. A full list of routes detailing where they go and who operates them is at the very bottom of this page.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Ticket tricks: So'ton £4.50, Eastleigh £4.70 - All major operators all day

Prices updated 14th May 2014

There's a way to travel around Southampton on several operators' buses for less than the price of a Solent Travelcard (the official all-operator ticket at £8 a day). It's by using PlusBus. PlusBus is only available in conjunction with train tickets either to or from Central Station or Southampton Airport Parkway and costs £2.30 in addition to the rail ticket (Railcard discounts are also available on the PlusBus ticket). Even if you aren't using the train, it's worth knowing about, because the single train fare between Eastleigh and Southampton Airport Parkway is just £2.20. That's the lowest priced train ticket that is eligible for PlusBus in our region.

So for a total of £4.50 you can ride around on all buses (except for Brijan Tours and Wheelers routes) within the city boundary all day - much cheaper than two single-operator tickets or the Solent Travelcard. The only hitch is that to buy the ticket, you need to purchase it either from a staffed train station or in advance online (for example on South West Trains' website) and then collect it from the FastTicket machines at Central, Airport Parkway, Swaythling, St Denys, Bitterne, Woolston or Sholing stations.

Similarly for £4.70, you can have unlimited travel for the day across Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford on all operators except for Brijan Tours, Wheelers and Xelabus - click for details of the exact zone and boundary points. So if you need to use a Bluestar and a Velvet bus, this will almost certainly be cheaper than buying separate tickets. You'll need to buy a single train ticket from Southampton Airport Parkway to Eastleigh for £2.20 and the add-on Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford PlusBus ticket for £2.50. This can also be done in advance online and then collected in advance from any FastTicket machine, including the ones at Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford rail stations.

It's a ridiculous system where people are driven to buying superfluous train tickets in order to get a cheaper bus fare, but that's the system we have.

Friday, 9 December 2011

1 woes / Departure boards / Diversions

It's not often that a bus operator will admit that they are having big problems. Bluestar have done just that with a post on their website admitting that they are struggling to provide a reliable service on their flagship route 1. Once such a thing may have been seen as a sign of weakness, but nowadays it appears to be a virtue to recognise where things are going wrong. Better for Bluestar to recognise that there's a problem and confirm that they are looking into solutions than to deny that anything's wrong in the first place. I'd expect them to release a new timetable for that route in the next few weeks.

You can view a live departure board for any bus stop in the UK for free from your computer or mobile. Excluding mobile data charges obviously. NextBuses uses Traveline's timetable database to give a list of departures for your chosen stop, which you can search for by name (that's the bus stop names as used on Google Maps, rather than the name that might actually appear on the stop), postcode, place name or stop code (which is on some bus stop flag signs and on the pdf timetables on Traveline's website). Most of the data is just from the timetable rather than live, but it is still useful if you're not sure when your bus is scheduled to depart. Here's an example of this evening's departures from the Fair Oak Square westbound stop:


First 3, 21 and Unilink U6 will be diverted due to roadworks in Bevois Valley on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th December. The only stop they won't be able to serve as normal is shown here:
The nearest alternative stop for the 3 and U6 are just up Onslow Road. The 21 should still be able to get into the RSH Hospital grounds.

There are Christmas carols in Fair Oak Square on Monday evening between 1700 and 2100, which means that Bluestar 2, Brijan 8 and Stagecoach 69 won't be able to use the Square. Bluestar 2 will be stopping by the church on Winchester Road during those hours. Brijan and Stagecoach haven't said what they're going to do.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Mapping the changes

First of all, thanks to Phil from Velvet, who has confirmed that they will be running routes A and C1 to a Sunday timetable on New Year's Day. They'll be the only bus routes operating that day (apart from Bluestar's free Citylink between Central Station and the Isle of Wight ferry terminal).

The latest changes have taken effect to some of First's routes. Worst hit is the 5, which has been cut back to Aldermoor and reduced in frequency to just hourly Mon-Sat daytimes. The shrivelled up rump of First 5 now looks like this:
First haven't yet updated the network map on their website, so I've doctored a corner of it for you:
As you can see, Bakers Drove is now a bus-free zone. The Eastern side of Lorsdhill North how has to make do with one bus an hour on route 21, where it used to have a total of three buses an hour to town on weekday daytimes. The 21 takes a lot longer to get to town than the 5 did, due to its circuitous route. This deterioration in service for Lordshill North has not gone unnoticed by posters to First's Facebook page.

Southampton City Council's bus map (also showing Bluestar, Unilink and Stagecoach routes) is now hideously out of date for that corner of the city, so I've updated that too:

There is some good news: First 4 has been extended from Totton Asda to Totton College. Here's an updated (again by me) extract of Hampshire County Council's Totton map showing where it goes:

Don't forget also that some journeys on route 80 are now numbered 80A and run a slightly different way between Locks Heath and Titchfield:

Just in case the dodgy graphics hadn't given it away, all of the above maps have been edited by myself because First, Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council can't be bothered to keep theirs up to date. I'm sure they still keep the copyright though hopefully they won't mind me making them relevant and semi fit for purpose again.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Sunday service, really? / First for xmas confusion

All of our region's bus operators have now advised how their services will be running over Christmas and New Year. A summary is in the green panel on the right. There are a couple of surprises however.

On New Year's Day most operators will not be running, but Velvet say they will be running a Sunday service. Are they sure? The A and C1 are run by other companies on Sundays and First, who run the A, say they won't be running on 1st Jan. Xelabus run the Sunday C1, but unless the council are subsidising them on that day, I can't see them running either. Will Velvet be running the services themselves to the Sunday timetable? Unless Phil can confirm otherwise, I think it's safer to assume there will be no buses at all on that day.

The most bizarre feature of the festive season is First's plans for Wednesday 28th to Saturday 31st December. Rather than run a simple (or at worst modified/enhanced) Saturday service like the other operators, First have opted for a ludicrous mish-mash of weekday, Saturday and Sunday services to run on all four of those consecutive days, plus some routes will have a special timetable. If that isn't a recipe for confusion, I don't know what is. Of the routes that will be running to a special timetable on those days, their daytime frequencies will be as follows:

1/1A: Every 15 mins combined (30 mins on each route).
3: Every 15 mins.
8A: Every 30 mins.
9/9A: Every 30 mins.
10/10A: Every 12 mins combined (every 24 mins on each route).
12: Every 30 mins.

Apart from the 1A, each of those routes will be running less often than their normal Saturday service. Also notable are the routes that will have a Sunday service for five days in a row starting on the Bank Holiday Tuesday: 4, 7, 16 and 17/17A. Why have they decided to run particularly the 7 and 16 to a daytime frequency of just once an hour on those days? Bluestar will surely be rubbing their hands with glee as their 2 (running every 20 mins) covers most of the 7's route. No such luck for passengers on route 16, unless they live near a train station.

An early prediction for 2012: First 7 will be cut further and maybe even withdrawn.

Monday, 21 November 2011

0800 E2 replaced by E1 as of today

Hampshire County Council has rushed through a last-minute timetable change to the E1 and E2, operated by Bluestar. The 0800 departures in each direction Mon-Sats, which is currently an E2 running via Otterbourne is from today (whatever happened to notifying the public beforehand?) an E1 running via Colden Common and Twyford. The full new timetable is here.

This change will mainly affect anyone in Otterbourne who needs to get to Eastleigh in the morning rush hour. The 0800 now cancelled E2 from Winchester passed through Otterbourne at 0824 and arrived in Eastleigh at 0840, no doubt ideal for many workers:
Commuters to Winchester still have the 1, but there's no replacement to Eastleigh. So what options do those affected have? According to Traveline, they can either catch Bluestar 1 to Chandlers Ford and connect (with a 22 minute wait) to Velvet C1, giving a journey time of about 50 minutes and with no integrated ticketing other than the £7 Solent Travelcard;
OR they can get the Bluestar 1 towards Winchester and change at St Cross (also with a 22 minute wait) to the E1 that replaces the cancelled E2 journey. That gives you a journey time of an hour, but you can still use Bluestar tickets throughout:
Considering the cancelled E2 did the trip in 16 minutes, the alternatives are not going to tempt anyone out of their cars. Anyone affected should complain to Hampshire County Council, who still haven't bothered to advise of the change on their appalling website. Otterbourne is represented on the Council by Liberal Democrat Charlotte Bailey, whose e-mail address is charlotte.bailey@hants.gov.uk

With the latest cuts biting hard, many people are blaming the bus operators, particularly Bluestar (see their Facebook page). It's worth clarifying that we have two tiers of bus services in this country (excluding London and Northern Ireland). The first are commercial services, run by the bus companies for a profit. The operators choose the routes, times and fares. The second type are contracted by the local authority (in our case either Southampton City Council or Hampshire County Council) to fill a gap in the commercial network, where they deem it necessary. The council pays the bus operator a subsidy to run the service and it's the council that sets the route and times. What happens with fares on contracted services is unclear and most probably varies from contract to contract.

In other news, Stagecoach are first off the block in telling us what kind of service they'll be operating over Christmas and New Year. As we get details from all the bus companies, I'll incorporate their plans into our green 'forthcoming changes' tab on the right, so that you can see them all at a glance.

Stagecoach also have some special offers on their Dayrider Gold and Megarider Gold tickets over the festive period. See their website for full details.

Monday, 14 November 2011

46 gets new timetable already / Bitterne diversions

It's only had its current timetable for a couple of weeks, but Stagecoach 46 is getting a new one from Tuesday 3rd January. There are only a few minor timing changes. New timetable here.

There are a couple of diversions in Bitterne. First 9A is running to the 9 route due to the closure of Chessel Avenue at its junction with Peartree Avenue. The proper 9A route resumes on Friday. First 8 is diverted due to the closure of Spring Road, also at its junction with Peartree Avenue, tomorrow and Wednesday between 0930 and 1600. During those times it will run via the diversion shown here:

Thursday, 10 November 2011

X7 Sunday scandal! X12 flops! 80 to end Wrights Hill snub!

Xelabus X12/X13 runs for the last time tomorrow. No mention of this on Xelabus's website, so I hope they've made an effort to let any regular customers know. The whole route is covered by Bluestar 2 so no-one will be left isolated. I take no pleasure from the fact that the prediction in my post of 18th April (that the X12 wouldn't last 6 months) has been proven correct.

Now to our top story: Wilts & Dorset X7 no longer runs on Sundays, contrary to what we previously reported. The last Sunday service between Southampton and Salisbury was the now withdrawn X71 on 16th October. When the timetable first changed, W&D misleadingly published this Sunday service timetable on their website (screengrab from 17th October):
No prizes for guessing which bit of that I added myself. The organisation of public transport in this country is truly in a sorry state when a bus operator and a state-backed public transport information portal (Traveline) can both publish timetables for a non-existent service! So, what if you need to get between Southampton and Salisbury on a Sunday? The trains still run. If you're allergic to them, your only remaining option (according to Traveline) is to take a National Express coach to Ringwood and change there to W&D X3, with a total journey time of 2 hours. If you need to get to any intermediate points (well, anywhere between Testwood and Salisbury anyway) on the X7 route on a Sunday, you can't.

First 80 will have a few route changes from 4th December. As well as the one in Locks Heath a couple of posts ago, it will be rerouted to serve Wrights Hill (instead of by-passing it on Portsmouth Road as the 72 will continue to do) and in the city centre, it will use Castle Way in both directions instead of Queensway.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Diversions in Otterbourne and Netley

The main road through Otterbourne is closed every weekday 0900 and 1630 up to and including next Monday. Bluestar 1 is diverting via the M3 between the Nuffield Hospital and Winchester during those times. An hourly shuttle bus is running from the bit of Otterbourne that will still be open to Winchester. Full details here. Route E2 also runs through Otterbourne and will also need to divert, but Bluestar have neglected to say where that's being sent instead.

This Sunday there will be diversions to First 16 in Netley due to the Remembrance Day parade.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Disappearing Xela routes / First 80 route change

Xelabus X12 and X13 are being withdrawn after the last bus on Friday 11th November. There's so far been no official announcement from Xelabus, but the cut is confirmed by the Department for Transport bus service registrations and the Traveline journey planner. The question is did Xelabus jump or were they pushed? Bluestar had registered extra journeys on the 2, which runs to the same route, at exactly the same times as the X12/X13, but have since revoked the extra journeys, presumably safe in the knowledge that Xelabus had decided to throw in the towel rather then get involved in a bus war. We could have been about to witness a scaled-down version of what happened a few years ago when Velvet tried to compete with Bluestar 2 and were met with extra buses from Bluestar, with which they could not compete.

Talking of Xelabus, the timetables for their free buses to the Asda stores in Chandlers Ford and Totton have disappeared from their website, suggesting that they no longer run. We don't tend to monitor the free routes as information is hard to find and can change very quickly, often without notice. Xelabus still run free buses to some larger Tesco branches. To see if there's one near you, check their website.

There will be changes to First 80 after all from Sunday 4th December. During Mon-Sat daytimes, one of the two buses an hour is renumbered 80A and will take a slightly different route between Locks Heath and Titchfield. The 80 will continue to serve Abshot Road and Warsash road, while the 80A will run direct via Hunts Pond Road, as rather crudely shown here:
Times are unchanged.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Overview of all changes this weekend

This weekend is the last of three weekends in which there are major changes to our region's bus services. Here's a full list of what's happening this weekend:

Stagecoach 32/33 Romsey circular
From Monday, services will start later and finish earlier than before (operating approx. 0930-1630, previously 0835-1720). Reduced from 3 to 2 buses an hour, but sections of route stay with 3 buses an hour due to integrated timetable with route 66. New timetable.

Stagecoach 46 General Hospital-Winchester
From Monday, the route cut back to only run between General Hospital and Winchester. Saturday service completely withdrawn. Weekday service towards Winchester cut from 7 to 5 journeys a day, with some timings changed by an hour. Service towards General Hospital is less changed. Chilworth Village and Nursling cut off from public transport completely. New timetable.

Stagecoach 66 Romsey-Winchester
From Monday there are minor timing changes. The late evening journeys on Friday and Saturday evenings are withdrawn without replacement. New timetable.

Stagecoach 69 Winchester-Fareham
No buses this Sunday as the Sunday service is withdrawn, making Bishops Waltham a bus-free zone on Sundays and cutting Marwell Zoo off from public transport entirely. From Monday there are some timing changes Mon-Sats. New timetable.

There are big changes also to Winchester's local routes, including heavy cuts to evening services. Winchester's just outside our patch, so I won't go in to details, but if you want to find out more click here.

There has been some interesting feedback on Bluestar and W&D's Facebook pages regarding other recent changes. Here's a selection:

Friday, 21 October 2011

First cut is the deepest: December change details

First have already revealed the new timetables of those routes that are changing in December. My earlier assumption that it may have been extra xmas shoppers' services was wrong. Here's what's really happening as of Sunday 4th December:

1 City Centre-Weston
The last bus of the day from town at 2317 Mon-Sats currently extends to Hamble. It will continue to do this on Fridays and Saturdays only. Sunday to Thursday it will terminate at Weston.

3 City Centre-Townhill Park
Some weekday early morning journeys are retimed.

4 City Centre-Totton
Extended to Totton College on Mon-Sats. Most times are changed. Sundays unaffected.

5 City Centre-Lordshill North
Major cuts. The 5 will only continue to run between the city centre and Aldermoor (Woodman). The weekday daytime off-peak frequency is being cut from half-hourly to hourly. To make it worse, the first bus of the day will be later and the last bus earlier than they currently are. Bakers Drove will now be unserved by First. A couple of morning 21s that currently start from Lordshill will start back from Buchanan Road, but this is still a huge net reduction in buses serving Lordshill North - weekday daytime frequency is down from 3 to 1 bus an hour.

7 City Centre-Bassett Green
The Saturday daytime frequency is being cut from every 20 to every 30 minutes.

11 City Centre-Sholing
The weekday daytime frequency is cut from every 10 to every 12 mins. The Saturday daytime frequency is slashed from every 12 to every 15 mins.

16 Southampton-Hamble
Some evening services are cut. The last bus from town Mon-Wed will be at 2032. The buses at 2132 and 2232 will only run Thurs-Sat and the extended 1 at 2317 will only run through to Hamble on Fridays and Saturdays. The Sunday evening service is slashed, with the last bus leaving town at 1930.

21 RSH Hospital-Lordshill North
With the partial chopping of the 5, Lordshill North is at the mercy of the 21, so those morning journeys that don't currently start from Lordshill North, will do in future. This is a huge drop in overall service to Lordshill North, not helped by the fact that the 21 takes 53 minutes to get to town, compared with just 36 mins on the 5.

No new timetable has been published for the 80, so there might not be any significant changes to that route. We'll keep an eye out anyway.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Overview of all changes this weekend

One weekend of big changes is out of the way, two are still to go. Here is a comprehensive list of all changes to our region's bus services that take effect this weekend:

Bluestar E1/E2 Eastleigh-Winchester
New timetable from Monday with drastic cuts. The combined Mon-Sat daytime frequency is halved to hourly. The E1 will now also run via Stanmore and County Hospital. Some additional journeys will be provided between Eastleigh and Boyatt Wood providing a half-hourly service on that section of route at limited times only (towards Eastleigh in the morning and from Eastleigh in the early afternoon). The Sunday Velvet E2 service has already been withdrawn and the evening Velvet E8 only now runs on Thursday to Saturday evenings.

Bluestar E3 Eastleigh-Winchester
Withdrawn after the last bus on Saturday. Badger Farm loses its direct link to Eastleigh.

Bluestar F Eastleigh-Bishops Waltham
Withdrawn after the last bus on Saturday with no replacement. Most of the route is duplicated by other services. Stoke Common will be cut off from public transport.

Bluestar H1/H2 Hythe circular
New timetable from Monday. These already infrequent services will start later and end earlier than they currently do. The Saturday service is completely withdrawn.

Bluestar H3 Hythe-Calshot
New timetable from Monday. Heather Road in Blackfield is being cut off. The weekday service will be reduced and the Saturday service will be cut entirely.

Bluestar P1 City Centre-Glen Eyre
New service from Monday, partially replacing the withdrawn 14. The first journey from town will be an hour later than it currently is on the 14. Journeys to town are unchanged apart from the fact that they no longer serve Bitterne, Chartwell Green, Mansbridge or Swaythling. Timetable

W&D X1/X2 Lymington-Bournemouth
New timetable from Sunday with minor changes.

W&D X7 Southampton-Salisbury
New timetable from Sunday with some early morning and evening services cut. The Sunday X71 is replaced by the X7 running to the same route as during the week, isolating Cadnam.

Bluestar 1 Southampton-Winchester
New timetable from Sunday with only minor changes.

Bluestar 5 Eastleigh-Romsey
New service from Monday replacing W&D 65 and 34. One early morning and one evening journey are cut. Timetable

Bluestar 6 Southampton-Lymington
New timetable from Sunday. This route will still run every half an hour (Mon-Sat daytimes) between the city centre and Rushington (Cocklydown Lane) only. One bus an hour will continue beyond there to Lymington. The two-hourly Sunday service is unchanged.

Bluestar 8 Southampton-Hythe
New timetable from Sunday with the total loss of Sunday services, leaving Marchwood without Sunday buses for the first time in decades. Route change in Hythe, with some journeys running in a loop from Applemore via Hythe town centre and the hospital instead of serving the hospital twice per return journey.

Bluestar 9 Southampton-Waterside
New timetable from Sunday. Evening services will no longer serve Marchwood, instead running direct via the by-pass. Heather Road in Blackfield is cut off, with its former services going to Langley instead. Curiously, the N9 night bus on Friday and Saturday nights will still serve Marchwood.

Bluestar 10/11 Southampton-Cadnam
New timetable from Monday. The half-hourly frequency is maintained between the city centre and West Totton. One bus an hour will then continue to Cadnam, via either the 10 or 11 route, meaning each section of this part of the route will only have a 2-hour frequency.

Bluestar 12 Southampton-Calmore
New timetable with cuts to some Sunday evening services.

Bluestar 14 City Centre-Bitterne
This service is withdrawn after the last bus on Saturday. Its replacement, the P1, starts on Monday running between the city centre and Glen Eyre only.

Bluestar 18 Millbrook-Hightown
New timetable from Sunday & route change in the city centre, serving New Road instead of Kingsway towards Millbrook. The headline 7/8 minute frequency will now start half an hour earlier, meaning more morning rush hour buses.

W&D 30 Romsey-Halterworth
Withdrawn after the last bus on Saturday. It is replaced by a revised route 35, which has a new timetable from Monday.

W&D 34 Romsey-Salisbury
New timetable from Monday. Service significantly reduced. This Saturday is the last time the 34 extends to Eastleigh on Saturdays, that section being replaced by Bluestar 5.

W&D 35 Romsey-Braishfield
New timetable from Monday. Route change to partially replace the axed route 30.

W&D 36 Romsey-Lockerley
New timetable from Monday. No longer runs through to Salisbury. The non-schools journeys that aren't being withdrawn will only run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

W&D 65 Eastleigh-Romsey
Withdrawn after the last bus on Friday. The 34 will provide its last buses between Romsey and Eastleigh on Saturday. From Monday, both are replaced by Bluestar 5.

W&D 112 Hythe-Lymington
New timetable from Monday. Non-schools journeys will only run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Most journeys will only run between Lymington and Beaulieu, with only one return journey to Hythe on the days of operation. It is no longer possible to use the bus from Hythe to visit the National Motor Museum.

W&D 118 Lymington-Ringwood
New timetable from Wednesday. Remains at one journey a week in each direction. The journey from Lymington now departs Wednesdays at 0953. Rerouted to run via Sopley and the Avon Valley instead of Burley.

W&D 119 Lymington-New Milton
New timetable from Monday. The frequency is cut from half-hourly to hourly, but the route is extended beyond Pennington to New Milton.

There are more changes next weekend too. We'll publish a detailed summary of them next Thursday.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

First changes, bungling Bluestar & Xelabus timetable

First are making some kind of change to several of their routes from Sunday 4th December. The routes affected are: 1, 1A, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 16, 21 and 80. Given the timing, we guess it will be additional Saturday buses for xmas shoppers, but we'll keep an eye out and will let you know as soon as we know for sure.

Bluestar still have an incorrect timetable for route 3 on their website. It misleads potential passengers into believing that the evening buses still run all the way to Botley. Since Monday just gone, they don't. After the 1825 from town, all Bluestar 3s terminate at Maypole roundabout in Hedge End. Botley now gets its evening services from First 8A. OK, it is down to a cost-cutting decision by Hampshire County Council (who subsidise that section of route) rather than a commercial decision by Bluestar, but they knew about this well in advance, so there can be no excuse for not updating their timetable several days after the service has changed. You can find a correct timetable here.

Xelabus now have a timetable for the C1 on their website, after they started the Sunday service this week. Unlike First with the A, Xelabus points out on their timetable that Velvet run the main Mon-Sat daytime service. On both of those routes though, if you want a full timetable, that doesn't omit certain days or times of day depending on who the council have contracted to fill the gaps, the only place to go is Velvet's website.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Who's running the C1 tomorrow?

Either tomorrow or next Sunday, Hampshire County Council are handing the C1 Sunday service from Velvet over to Xelabus. We have a problem though.

According to Velvet's timetable it's tomorrow.

On Xelabus's website, they announce that they will be running the Sunday C1 soon with "details to follow". No timetable. Are they ready?

But wait, according to the service registrations with the Department for Transport, Xelabus don't take over the Sunday C1 until the 23rd.

Traveline's journey planner on the other hand agrees with Velvet, that Xelabus start tomorrow.

Would anyone living on or near the C1 route (Eastleigh-Velmore-Chandlers Ford-Hiltingbury) care to keep an eye out tomorrow and let us know A, whether any bus turns up at all, and B, who's operating it?

Friday, 14 October 2011

W&D new timetables for Romsey & New Forest

Wilts & Dorset have released the new timetables for those of their routes that are changing on Sunday 23rd October:

X1/X2 Lymington-Bournemouth

34 Romsey-Salisbury
Service is significantly reduced. Here's the new timetable.

35 Romsey-Braishfield
Rerouted and retimed to partially replace axed route 30. New timetable.

36 Romsey-Lockerley
No longer runs through to Salisbury. The non-schools journeys that aren't being withdrawn will only run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. New timetable.

112 Hythe-Lymington
Non-schools journeys will only run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Most journeys will only run between Lymington and Beaulieu, with only one return journey to Hythe on the days of operation. It is no longer possible to use the bus from Hythe to visit the National Motor Museum. New timetable.

118 Lymington-Ringwood
Remains at one journey a week in each direction. The journey from Lymington now departs Wednesdays at 0953. Rerouted to run via Sopley and the Avon Valley instead of Burley. New timetable.

119 Lymington-New Milton
The frequency is cut from half-hourly to hourly, but the route is extended from Pennington to New Milton. New timetable.

What W&D have forgotten to put on their website are the changes to the X7 and X71 between Southampton and Salisbury. Several journeys, including the first and last journey of the day Mon-Sat are being cut. On Sundays, the X71 is being replaced with the X7 running to the same route as on Mon-Sats, meaning Cadnam loses its Sunday service. Here's the new timetable.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Overview of all changes this weekend

As promised, here's a full run down of the changes happening to our region's bus services this weekend:

Velvet/First/Stagecoach A Eastleigh-Hedge End/Boorley Green
The Sunday service will be operated by First (instead of Stagecoach) from this Sunday. As of Monday, the evening service will only run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and will be operated by Velvet (instead of First). Timings are changed on the daytime service, with fewer buses serving Boorley Green and the 30 minute frequency between Eastleigh and Hedge End dropping back to hourly from mid-afternoon. Here's the full new timetable.

Velvet C1/C2 Eastleigh-Hiltingbury
The Sunday service transfers to Xelabus as of this Sunday, but the timetable remains the same. From Monday, there's a new timetable for Mon-Sat services, offering a combined 30 minute frequency for some of the day, down from the current 20 minutes with the C3. The evening service is being withdrawn on Mon-Wed and will only continue to run Thur-Sat.

Velvet C3 Eastleigh-Hiltingbury
This service is being withdrawn after the last bus on Saturday. Valley Park will no longer have a direct link to Eastleigh or Chandlers Ford.

Velvet E2 Eastleigh-Winchester
This Sunday service is being withdrawn after the last bus this Sunday. The Mon-Sat Bluestar service will still run, but gets its own new timetable from Monday 24th October.

Velvet E8 Eastleigh-Boyatt Wood
Effective immediately, this evening-only service is being cut back to only run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. No change to the timetable.

Bluestar 3 Southampton-Botley
New timetable. From Monday, evening journeys will no longer run all the way to Botley, but will terminate at Maypole.

First 5 City Centre-Lordshill North
A new timetable (Mon-Fri, Sat) from Monday, with only minor changes.

First 8A Central Station-Hedge End Station(-Botley evenings)
New timetable (Mon-Fri, Sat, Sun) from Sunday. Almost all journeys are extended from the City Centre to Central Station. Mon-Sat evening journeys are extended from Hedge End to Botley.

Brijan 15 Hedge End-Hamble
New service from Monday, replacing the cut part of First 26. The buses used will no longer be accessible to wheelchairs. Here's the timetable.

First 16 Southampton-Hamble
New timetable (Mon-Fri, Sat, Sun) from Sunday, with only minor changes, including the pointless renumbering to 16A of some rush hour journeys.

First 26 Hedge End-Fareham
New timetable (Mon-Fri, Sat) from Monday. The section of route between Hedge End and Hamble is withdrawn and replaced by Brijan 15. The remaining section of route will have a slightly reduced service.

First 72 Southampton-Gosport
New timetable (Mon-Fri, Sat, Sun) from Sunday. The Sunday service is being cut from 5 journeys at 2-hour intervals to 4 journeys at 3-hour intervals. Although this is an overall cut, the first journey will be earlier and the last journey later than they currently are.

First 80 Southampton-Fareham
New timetable (Mon-Fri, Sat, Sun) from Sunday. The Sunday service is being slashed from 6 journeys at hourly intervals to just 3 journeys at 3-hour intervals. Although this is an overall cut, the first journey will be earlier and the last journey later than they currently are.

We'll do the same next Thursday and the one after that, to help you navigate all the changes that are on the way.

Botley evenings / Eastleigh confusion

Our attention has been gratefully drawn to the fact that Traveline have a new timetable for Bluestar 3. No mention yet on Bluestar's website or Facebook page. But get this, it takes effect this weekend, a whole week earlier than the changes to most of Bluestar's other services. It takes a bit of digging on Traveline to find it, so here is the Bluestar 3 timetable as of Monday 17th October:
In summary, the last 3 to go through to Botley on Mon-Sats is the one leaving Southampton at 1825 and the last one from Botley into town is at 1843. First 8A will serve Botley throughout the evening, but with a longer journey time than you'd have got on the 3. Traveline's journey planner provides this gem:
Rather than get the 1826 8A from town directly to Botley, arriving at 1929, you have time wait 8 minutes and get the 1834 80 to Lowford, wait 15 minutes, then get Brijan 15 to Hedge End and then join the 8A from there. I don't recommend this, as it would certainly work out more expensive (unless you already have a Solent Travelcard). The 8A's long journey time is of course down to its indirect route via Woolston, Peartree, Bitterne, Chartwell Green (with its myriad roundabouts) and West End, whereas the 3 goes direct via Bitterne and Thornhill Park.

Moving on to Eastleigh. Traveline has confirmed that the C1 on Sundays will be operated by Xelabus (taking over from Velvet) as of this Sunday 16th October, and not the following Sunday as we'd previously thought. The timetable remains unchanged.

Staying in Eastleigh, the Velvet E2 Sunday service to Winchester is being scrapped. Velvet have already removed all mention of it from their website, but Traveline confirm it will run this Sunday 16th October for the last time.

Also being partially scrapped is Velvet E8, the evening service to Boyatt Wood. It will still run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but earlier in the week, the last bus from Eastleigh to Boyatt Wood will be the Bluestar E2 at 1800. That's from Monday 24th October. This coming Mon-Weds, it'll be the E3 at 1805.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Hedge Enders late edition / Brijan 17 this week / Cuts victims

It's just occurred to us that Brijan 17 doesn't switch to its new timetable until next Monday, but their website already displays only the new timetable (without a start date). If you want to travel on the 17 this week, you'll be needing these:
There's some confusion about what's happening with evening buses between Hedge End and Botley. They are currently provided by Bluestar 3, but from next Monday, Hampshire County Council (HCC) are subsidising First to extend the 8A to Botley on Mon-Sat evenings. This has led us and a lot of posters to Bluestar's Facebook page to think that the 3 is being somehow cut, but no change to the 3 has been announced. First 8A is scheduled to leave town for Botley at 1717, 1826, 1934, 2034, 2134 and 2234, while Bluestar 3 is currently timed to leave town for Botley at 1715, 1745, 1825, 1905, 2005, 2105, 2205 and 2305. Botley can't sustain more than a bus an hour from Southampton in the daytime, so why would HCC subsidise a half hour frequency in the evening? We think evening cuts to Bluestar 3 will happen sooner rather than later.

Now that most of the news is out regarding our local bus cuts, let's have a quick look at the most harshly affected areas. Marwell Zoo, Chilworth Village, Nursling and Stoke Common are being cut off from public transport entirely. Valley Park is losing its direct link to Eastleigh and Southampton, which will make the bus a far less attractive option for residents there. Evening and Sunday buses are completely disappearing from Marchwood, Bishops Waltham, Twyford and Colden Common. They're just the worst hit. Many other routes in our region are having their frequencies or days of operation cut. Leave a comment and let us know how you are affected.

We now have ahead of us three weekends in a row of big changes to our area's bus services. To make it easier to understand, tomorrow we'll publish a full detailed list of the changes happening over the course of this coming weekend. We'll do the same on the following two Thursdays, so that you know exactly which bus services are changing when. In the meantime, a brief summary is in the green panel on the right.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Brijan 17 cut to 2 journeys a day

Brijan Tours have published the new timetable for route 17, which comes into force next Monday 17th October. The route will still run 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday (it had been feared that it might be cut to just 2 days), but is cut from 4 to just 2 return journeys each day. The existing first and last journeys are axed, meaning it will no longer be possible to commute to Petersfield on the 17 for a nine-to-five job. We thought there might also have been some change to Brijan 7, but this is now not the case.

Monday, 10 October 2011

New Bluestar timetables published

Bluestar have now released their new timetables, that take affect from Sunday 23rd October. The main changes are summarised in the previous post, but we now also know the following:

1 Southampton-Winchester
New timetable with minor changes.

6 Southampton-Lymington
This route will still run every half an hour (Mon-Sat daytimes) between the city centre and Rushington (Cocklydown Lane) only. One bus an hour will continue beyond there to Lymington. The two-hourly Sunday service is unchanged.

8 Southampton-Hythe
The route is changed between Marchwood and Hythe with some journeys skipping Hythe Hospital, running instead direct from Applemore into Hythe. Those journeys will instead serve the hospital on the outbound journey from Hythe. Or vice versa.

10/11 Southampton-Cadnam
The half-hourly frequency is maintained between the city centre and West Totton. One bus an hour will then continue to Cadnam, via either the 10 or 11 route, meaning each section of this part of the route will have a 2-hour frequency.

12 Southampton-Calmore
Sunday evening services are not withdrawn, but they will end earlier than before. Last Sunday bus from town will be at 2105 instead of 2310.

P1 City Centre-Glen Eyre
The first journey from town will be an hour later than it currently is on the 14. Journeys to town are unchanged apart from the fact that they no longer serve Bitterne, Chartwell Green, Mansbridge or Swaythling.

18 Millbrook-Thornhill
The headline 7/8 minute frequency will now start half an hour earlier, meaning more morning rush hour buses.

E1/E2 Eastleigh-Winchester
All buses will run via St Cross, Stanmore and County Hospital in Winchester. Some additional short journeys will run between Eastleigh and Boyatt Wood to give a half-hourly frequency for part of the day.

H1/H2 Hythe circular
These already infrequent services will start later and end earlier than they currently do.

See the post below for other changes. The full timetables are here.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bluestar mauled over savage cuts

Bluestar have attracted considerable criticism on their Facebook page by confirming the cuts that will take place on their services due to Hampshire County Council reducing subsidies, under orders of course by the Tory/Fib Dem national government. The following cuts (no point in calling them changes) will take place from Sunday 23rd October:

5 Eastleigh-Romsey
W&D 65 becomes Bluestar 5. No official timetable appears to have been published yet, but the Hampshire Bus Changes blog has found one. That blog is also good for news of changes to bus services across Hampshire, even those that are outside of our unashamedly Southampton-centric patch.

6 Southampton-Lymington
The Mon-Sat frequency will be halved to hourly. Until the timetable is out, we can't tell if the service will even run to Southampton any more. Certain interpretations of Bluestar's notifications could suggest that the service will end at Rushington and passengers might need to change to another bus, possible the 8 or 9 in order to get into Southampton. It's also not clear if the Sunday service will continue.

8 Southampton-Hythe
The timetable will be 'changed'. This is a disaster for Marchwood as all Sunday buses are being cut, along with the evening 9s that divert through the village. Several people have already posted on Bluestar's Facebook page saying that they will have to give up jobs because of this. In Bluestar's defence, these cuts are down to Hampshire County Council and national government slashing bus subsidies. They are supposedly democratically accountable, so make your view known to your councillors and MP. And maybe consider voting differently next time.

9 Southampton-Waterside
As has already been mentioned, Marchwood is being completely cut adrift in the evenings. Blackfield will also suffer, as Heather Road will lose all its buses. Some additional services will go to Langley.

10/11 Southampton-Cadnam
The lack of a timetable leaves this wide open to interpretation. Bluestar's wording means that at worst there will be an hourly daytime service between Cadnam and West Totton only, with passengers then possibly having to change to another bus. At best it means there will be a combined hourly frequency (currently half-hourly) all the way into Southampton. Either way, it's a hefty cut.

12 Southampton-Calmore
Sunday evening services will be completely withdrawn. If you need to get to Calmore then, tough.

14 City Centre-Bitterne
Will be cut to run between town and Glen Eyre only and will be rebranded the P1. This axe is wielded by Southampton City Council, not Hampshire.

E1/E2/E3 Eastleigh-Winchester
As has already been reported, the E3 is withdrawn. The combined Mon-Sat daytime frequency is halved to hourly. The Sunday service is withdrawn meaning that Twyford and Colden Common will be completely isolated on Sundays.

F Eastleigh-Bishops Waltham
This will be completely withdrawn. Stoke Common will be cut off and the councils have mentioned nothing about any kind of replacement.

H1/H2 Hythe circular
The weekday service will be reduced and the Saturday service will be cut entirely.

H3 Hythe-Calshot
Heather Road in Blackfield is being cut off. The weekday service will be reduced and the Saturday service will be cut entirely.

Given the scale of these cuts and the fact that they are just two weeks away, it is astonishing that Bluestar has only announced them on Facebook, not on their actual website and that the full new timetables are not yet available. We'll scrutinise them as soon as they are out and will let you know of any more details that they (Bluestar, the councils and the government) might be trying to hide from you. We fear there could be even more bad news to come.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Hedge Enders : Brijan 15 on the way

We're pleased to have been proven wrong about the number of the new Brijan Tours route that will run between Hedge End and Hamble, split away from First 26. From Monday 17th October, it will be route 15. Timetable here. There will be 7 journeys towards Hamble and 8 towards Hedge End on weekdays and 6 each way on Saturdays, running roughly every 2 hours. That's the same service level as today. So why the change of operator? Hampshire County Council documents we've seen suggest that First are currently charging the council more subsidy to use a low-floor bus than Brijan will charge for using an older, high-floor bus. So the council's made the switch and anyone who needs to get a wheelchair or pushchair onto the bus between Hamble & Hedge End won't be able to in future.

Meanwhile, the banks who made the cuts necessary by being bailed out with billions of pounds of taxpayers' money seemingly get to carry on regardless.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Romsey & New Forest cuts / W&D 65 -> Bluestar 5

Wilts & Dorset have announced the following changes to some of their and Bluestar's routes in Romsey and the New Forest (For some reason some of the Romsey changes only appear on the Wiltshire page - last time I checked it was still in Hampshire!). No mention on Bluestar's website yet and no new timetables from either of them. The following take effect from Sunday 23rd October:

W&D X1/X2 Lymington-Bournemouth
Many evening journeys are being axed. Expect more drink driving.

Bluestar 5 Eastleigh-Romsey
Replaces W&D 65. Service level unknown.

Bluestar 6 Southampton-Lymington
W&D say this will be cut to hourly between Lymington and Rushington. Either this means it will still be every half hour between the city centre and Rushington OR it could mean that the 6 will terminate at Rushington and passengers will need to change to another bus, possibly the 8 or 9, in order to get in to Southampton. We'll let you know as soon as we do.

Bluestar 10/11 Southampton-Cadnam
The combined frequency will be halved to hourly.

W&D 30 Romsey-Halterworth
Withdrawn and replaced by a diversion to route 35.

W&D 34 Romsey-Salisbury
New timetable with fewer journeys. The Saturday extension to Eastleigh will no longer run.

W&D 35 Romsey-Braishfield
New timetable and route, partially replacing route 30, which is being axed.

W&D 36 Romsey-Salisbury
The route will be chopped in two, with the 36 running between Romsey and Lockerley and the 37 running between Lockerley and Salisbury. This puts the 37 outside of our region, so we'll concentrate on the 36, which is being substantially cut. Other than schools journeys, it will only run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

W&D 65 Eastleigh-Romsey
This route transfers to Bluestar and becomes Bluestar 5. Times will also change. Full details when Bluestar let us see the timetable.

W&D 112 Hythe-Lymington
Several journeys will be cut. Other than schools services, the 112 will only continue to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

W&D 118 Lymington-Ringwood
Timing and route change. Will no longer serve Burley, instead running via Sopley and the Avon Valley.

W&D 119 Lymington-Pennington.
Frequency halved to hourly. Route changed.

We'll do a full analysis of the new timetables as soon as they are available.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Velvet timetables out / Hedge Enders

Velvet have released the new timetables for routes A, C1 and C2, which come in to effect from Sunday 16th October.

On the A, there will be no evening buses on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. The last bus from Eastleigh will be at 1840. An evening service will run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays operated by Velvet and extending to serve Oaklands, which was previously only served in the daytime. Boorley Green loses some afternoon services and the core half-hourly frequency between Eastleigh and Hedge End drops back to hourly after 4pm on weekdays and 3pm on Saturdays. As has already been mentioned, the Sunday service transfers from Stagecoach to First and also has a new timetable, details of which are helpfully included on Velvet's.

The C1 and C2 will now offer a combined half-hourly service in the daytimes before 3pm between Eastleigh, Velmore, Chandlers Ford and Hiltingbury. As has previously been mentioned, the C3 is being withdrawn (seemingly without replacement, leaving Valley Park with neither a link to Eastleigh nor Chandlers Ford). Evening services on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are withdrawn, with the last bus from Eastleigh being the C1 at 1820. Evening buses continue on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. It's already been mentioned that Xelabus will be running the C1 on Sundays, but some confusion has arisen. According to Velvet's timetable, Xelabus's first Sunday is the 16th, but according to the Department of Transport, it's the 23rd. Fingers crossed Velvet and Xelabus won't be expecting each other to run on the 16th and leave people stranded at bus stops.

Brijan Tours start running between Hedge End and Hamble on Monday 17th October, replacing the section of route that is being dropped from First 26. Confusingly though, it looks like Brijan will also be calling their route the 26. So there could be two separate route 26es in Hedge End running to different destinations and run by different operators. I know this is already the case with several route numbers in Southampton (see the route directory at the bottom of the page). Surely such instances defy common sense and only serve to confuse and deter potential passengers. Maybe that's the idea. Maybe Hampshire County Council, who are subsidising the service, have dictated which route number must be used in order to keep usage low so that they then have an excuse to cut funding completely next time they check the passenger numbers. Good luck Brijan, you'll need it.

On the same day there are timetable changes on Brijan's existing routes 7 and 17. It is expected that the 17 will be cut to running just two days a week, which is bad news for anyone in the Meon Valley. Full details when we have them.

Xelabus appear to be planning to cancel either some or all of their X12/X13 journeys between Southampton and Eastleigh from Friday 11th November. More to follow.

There will be some kind of change to Bluestar 2 from Monday 14th November. We'll keep an eye on this and will let you know if the change is significant.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Cuts: First & Stagecoach release full timetables

First and Stagecoach have released timetables for those of their services affected by the Hampshire County Council cuts. Here are the details:

First services changing from Sunday 16th October (Click for full timetables):

A Eastleigh-Hedge End
The Sunday service transfers from Stagecoach to First, is extended to Maypole and has a new timetable with the same number of journeys operating. First will no longer run the Mon-Sat evening service. It is expected, but not yet confirmed, that Velvet will run the evening service, which will operate on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings only.

5 City Centre-Lordshill North
Only minor timing changes.

8A City Centre-Hedge End Station
Route extended to Central Station in the city centre. Mon-Sat evening journeys extend beyond Hedge End Station to Botley. A knock-on effect is that Bluestar 3's evening journeys to Botley will be withdrawn. The big question is will they just be cut back to Hedge End or withdrawn altogether? Bluestar, it's over you...

16 Southampton-Hamble
The weekday peak hour services running via City College rather than Ocean Village are renumbered 16A.

Stagecoach services changing on Sunday 30th October (Click for full timetables):

32/33 Romsey circular
Services will start later and finish earlier than before (approx. 0930-1630, previously 0835-1720). Reduced from 3 to 2 buses an hour, but sections of route stay with 3 buses an hour due to integrated timetable with route 66.

46 Southampton-Winchester
Route cut back to only run between General Hospital and Winchester. Saturday service completely withdrawn. Weekday service towards Winchester cut from 7 to 5 journeys a day, with some timings changed by an hour. Service towards General Hospital is less changed. Chilworth Village and Nursling cut off from public transport completely.

66 Romsey-Winchester
The late evening journeys on Friday and Saturday evenings are withdrawn. There is no replacement so there's a risk of an increase in drink-driving. Otherwise, just minor timing changes.

69 Winchester-Fareham
Sunday service withdrawn, making Bishops Waltham a bus-free zone on Sundays and cutting Marwell Zoo off from public transport entirely. Some timing changes Mon-Sats.

Your last chance for the foreseeable future to go to Marwell Zoo by public transport is therefore Sunday 23rd October. If you fancy doing just that, you can get Bluestar 2 from Southampton City Centre at 1020 or Eastleigh Bus Station at 1056, arriving at Fair Oak Square at 1115, before getting Stagecoach 69 at 1134, dropping you off at Marwell Zoo at 1143. Return from Marwell on the 69 at 1608, arriving Fair Oak at 1617, exactly when the 2 leaves for Eastleigh & Southampton. If you miss the connection, the next 2 leaves Fair Oak at 1717. Maybe stop off for a pint (The George and the Cricketers Arms are near the bus stop). You can do the whole journey using a Solent Travelcard, which is also valid on all other buses of all operators in most of South Hampshire.

Talking of last chances, Gardbus 39 to Ringwood ran for the last time today. If you want to get to Ringwood from now on, your only option is National Express.

More on the upcoming changes as and when we get more details.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Timetable changes on Bluestar

More timetable changes coming up, this time on Bluestar routes 1, 14 and 18 from Sunday 23rd October. More details as and when we have them.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Cuts to First routes to Hamble, Hedge End, Fareham & Gosport

The first post-cut timetables have been released by First. They take effect on Sunday 16th October, but are only for three routes in our region so far, with more to follow. Here are the details that are confirmed:

26 Hamble-Hedge End-Fareham
This route is being cut back to only run between Hedge End and Fareham. How the section between Hedge End and Hamble will be replaced is anyone's guess. The remaining section is being cut from 8 to 7 journeys a day on weekdays. On Saturdays the cut is to 7 journeys towards Hedge End, but only 6 towards Fareham. As you may have guessed, there will still be no Sunday service.

72 Southampton-Gosport
The Sunday service is being cut from 5 journeys at 2-hour intervals to 4 journeys at 3-hour intervals. Although this is an overall cut, the first journey will be earlier and the last journey later than they currently are.

80 Southampton-Fareham
The Sunday service is being slashed from 6 journeys at hourly intervals to just 3 journeys at 3-hour intervals. Although this is an overall cut, the first journey will be earlier and the last journey later than they currently are.

No confirmation so far of what changes are happening to the other First services due to take effect on the same day. We'll keep you posted.

Don't forget Unilink U6 has a new timetable starting today. Don't be fooled by the timetable section of their website, which still links to the old one, now invalid.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Stagecoach confirm cuts

Stagecoach have confirmed that the Hampshire County Council-induced cuts will take effect on their routes as of Sunday 30th October. As well as many Winchester local routes, the following routes in our region are affected:

32/33 Romsey circular
46 Southampton-Winchester
66 Romsey-Winchester
69 Winchester-Fareham

The changes are summarised in previous posts. Once Stagecoach make the full new timetables available, we'll analyse them and will recap the major points.

So far no mention on the websites of Velvet, Xelabus, W&D, Bluestar, Brijan Tours or First of the cuts which are coming very soon to those of their routes which are subsidised by HCC. We'll keep an eye on them all for you. To make this flood of cuts easier to follow, the panel on the right (which always appears at the top of the page, unlike previous posts) will be constantly updated with a list of all known upcoming changes in chronological order.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Changes confirmed for October: Eastleigh cuts

Some more details on the forthcoming changes due to cuts being imposed by Hampshire County Council on behalf of Nick & Dave:

Velvet/First A: New timetable from Monday 17th October, no longer serving Boorley Green. Instead the daytime service will run between Eastleigh and either Oaklands or Botley. The evening service is expected to only continue running on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Velvet C1/C2: These routes will get a new timetable and a route change from Sunday 16th October. The Sunday C1 service will be operated by Xelabus from Sunday 23rd October. Timetable details have not yet been released.

Velvet C3: Withdrawn after close of service on Saturday 15th October, leaving Valley Park cut off from Eastleigh.

Wilts & Dorset X1, X2, X7: New timetables with reduced services from Sunday 23rd October.

First 5, 8A, 16, 26, 72, 80: New timetables with reduced services from Sunday 16th October.

More details when the new timetables are released.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

U6 frequency increase / Fix my transport

Some good news for a change: Unilink U6 will have its frequency increased to every 20 minutes weekday daytimes from Sunday 25th September. New timetable here.

If you've ever wanted to complain about public transport, but haven't been sure how, a new website is here to lend a hand. Fix My Transport allows you to make a complaint, suggestion or give praise relating to any public transport service in the UK. So far the only entry regarding our area's buses is someone reporting the lack of a timetable for routes E1/E2 at a bus stop in St Cross.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cuts are coming: more details

The coming cuts are worse than we thought. According to a Hampshire County Council document we've seen, the following cuts are almost certain to be imposed, as well as those listed in the previous post:

H1/H2/H3 (Hythe local services)
These will no longer run on Saturdays. Some weekday journeys will also be cut.

W&D X7 (Southampton-Salisbury)
Some rush hour journeys will be cut.

Bluestar 6, 10 and 11 (Southampton-Lymington & Southampton-Cadnam)
These will all be cut to one bus an hour (that's just one on the combined 10/11, half the current frequency) and they could be combined into one hourly route running via Cadnam to Lyndhurst and Lymington. This would cut Rushington, Foxhills and Ashurst off apart from the off-peak Totton shopper route T2, which only has three journeys a day and doesn't run at weekends.

Bluestar 12 (Southampton-Calmore)
Sunday evening journeys will be withdrawn.

W&D 34/36 (Romsey-Salisbury)
These will be severely cut to cater for schools and shoppers only. The 34 will no longer run through to Eastleigh on Saturdays (the 65 will run every 2 hours). The 36 will be slashed to run on a maximum of 4 days a week.

Stagecoach 46 (Southampton-Winchester)
Several journeys will be cut, the Saturday service will be withdrawn completely and the route will be curtailed to only run between Winchester and the General Hospital. Chilworth and Nursling will be cut off from public transport, but might be offered a taxi share scheme.

W&D 65 (Eastleigh-Romsey)
Several journeys will be cut.

First 72 (Southampton-Gosport)
Several journeys will be cut, particularly on Sundays.

First 80 (Southampton-Fareham)
Several journeys will be cut, particularly on Sundays.

W&D 119 (Lymington-Pennington)
The frequency of this already part-time service will be halved to just hourly.

No date has yet been set for these to take effect but it should be by the end of November. We'll let you know as soon as we have more.