Thursday, 22 November 2012

Christmas & new year / Solstice mystery / Xelanews

We now have the details of Christmas and New Year services from most of our local and regional bus companies. A full summary can be found in the green panel on the right. The only ones we've not yet heard from are Brijan Tours and Xelabus. We've the usual hotch-potch of service levels including the now traditional 'special reduced' timetables from First, but the big story this year is that Boxing Day, usually the preserve of Bluestar, will see buses from First and Velvet also on the road. They will all be running a very reduced service on certain routes or part-routes only, so check the special timetables before you travel. Full details of First's festive services are here (or here for routes 4/4A/X4, 26 and those over in Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth). Bluestar seem to be revising their Boxing Day services as the timetables have disappeared from their website. Velvet will be running route A to a Sunday timetable between Southampton and Hedge End only.

If you fancy seeing in the winter solstice at Stonehenge, Salisbury Reds are laying on a special service from, you guessed it... Salisbury. There are some very mystical numbers and symbols on the timetable though. Probably best to check with them before travelling.

Two surprises from Xelabus:
Surprise 1 is that route X3 runs for the last time on Christmas Eve, to be replaced from 27th December by an extended route X4. The X4 currently runs just three days a week, so it looks like Valley Park will be losing couple of days' service.
Surprise 2 is the announcement that Xelabus plan to start accepting Plusbus tickets from January. I did mention this in my last post and I know Gareth reads this, so good on Xelabus for doing the right thing there.


  1. Has anyone else seen the Bluestar Xmas services leaflet? Its hilarious.... They state that on Thurs 29th, they will be running a normal Thursday service, but several routes will be operating a normal Monday to Friday service!

    I can only assume that it has been proof read by the same person who made such a mess of their website when their November changes came in? Someone really ought to get sacked! Laughable...

  2. Let's not forget that the entry for New Year's Day isn't quite correct (All operators: No buses). In Winchester the annual King Alfred bus running day will be in full swing, with many of the larger operators (and their staff) enjoying the day off. And having a ride on delightful old buses and probably comparing notes...! :o))