Thursday, 1 March 2012

Entire First Southampton network to be recast

First have registered that their entire Southampton network is to be withdrawn as of Sunday 29th April (with the exceptions of the 21, Bitterne Hoppa B1/B2/B3 and Sunday journeys on Velvet A). How they will be replaced is not yet known, so First must still be reviewing their plans for a new bus network in our city, designed from scratch. This will be the most drastic revision of bus routes in the city for decades.

We do know that new routes 4 and X4 will run from Southampton via Woolston and Lowford to Locks Heath, where some buses will run on to Gosport, some to Fareham and some on to Portsmouth. The cancellation of the current Southampton network means there will be no route number clash with the existing First 4 to Totton. Bluestar still have a 4 mind, but I suppose it's too much to ask for First to use route numbers that aren't already in use by other operators.

Meanwhile, Velvet have postponed the planned changes to routes A, C1 and C2 in order to accommodate passenger feedback they have received in response to their draft timetables. The pencilled-in date for changes to those routes is now 11th June. The new A journeys to Hamble will still start on Monday 2nd April however.

First 72 and 80 are getting a temporary timetable from Sunday 1st April. The 72 is only changed on Sundays, returning to its 2-hour frequency that it had before the winter. The 80 gets an additional service on Saturday afternoons at 1420 from Fareham and 1531 from Southampton Central Station, plus it reverts to its pre-winter Sunday timetable with an hourly frequency.


  1. "Bluestar still have a 4 mind, but I suppose it's too much to ask for First to use route numbers that aren't already in use by other operators."

    Or perhaps Bluestar shouldn't have duplicated route numbers in the first place? First and its predecessors have always used route numbers in the lower range in Southampton whereas Bluestar and its predecessors had route numbers in the 20's, 30's and 40's.

    Still probably asking too much as this blog always has a certain Blue bias!

  2. totally agree with the comment on MAR 1st 2012, 10:32 PM, it was bluestar/Solent Blue line who copied!

  3. Totally agree with above comments - It was BS who introduced numbers 1 2 3 4 8 9 10 11 when they were already in use by First in Southampton (some have since changed) not forgetting of course that Uni Link have route 1 albeit with a prefix and sufix. But then when have the bus companies really considered their passengers - with duplicate numbers it is the occasional user who suffers most. If we go back into history Citybus only had a screen for numbers they used whereas H+D had provision for all single numbers on 3 reels

  4. In principle there is nothing wrong with duplicate bus route numbers so long as the publicity makes it clear, the front of the bus has a destination and having driven routes where the same route number exists on a different route I've never ended up with someone at the wrong destination.