Monday, 16 December 2013

First 10 saved... for three days.

The headline on First's website makes it look like they're running an additional seasonal special service between Christmas and New Year:

But a closer look reveals that this extra service is actually the soon to be axed route 10 running to its bog standard weekday timetable. First had decided to run a mainly Saturday service on Friday 27th, Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st December, which would have meant no service on the 10 at all. Now Southampton City Council has bunged a subsidy of taxpayers' cash to First, it will run after all, even though First are planning to withdraw the route altogether from 5th January.

It does raise the question: If the council think the 10 is worth subsidising on those three days, will they maybe step in and save it in the longer term? If they do, will it necessarily be First who get the contract or could we see the route go to someone else? In terms of network benefits for the passenger travelling from Totton and the Waterside, Bluestar would be ideal, but since when are council contracts decided based on what's best for the passenger?

In other news, First are bring the old Citybus red back on route 3 which is being rebranded as "the three". Experimental buses in old (i.e. pre-First) colours have already gone down well in the other parts of the country. It will certainly be good to see First making an effort to appear more local.

First are also investing in some brand new buses for the 1.


  1. Well, logically if SCC are funding 3 days of the 10, I would have thought that they'd try to tender out for a normal 10 even with a reduced timetable. if not I'd ask them why not! ...
    By the way ... it's been announced that 2014 Winchester bus running day on Jan 1st is the last :(

  2. Wheelers with their W2 are diverting it via the General Hospital then following the First route 10 to the city.

    1. So what will the W2's new route be ?

  3. Southampton City Council have indeed invited tenders to replace service 10 between the City Centre and Upper Shirley at peak times. They feel that the off-peak is adequately provided by Velvet S1 and Wheelers. Velvet won the tender and there will therefore be significant improvements to the S1 from 6th January including a half hourly peak service. The new timetable is at

  4. Looks like Velvet's S1's hours will be extended to replace the 10...

  5. What wonderful news for the residents of Lordshill North,Upper Shirley and Hill Lane areas, the New Year brings, in the revised timetable for contracted service S1. Also by good fortune, Velvet will still operate the new timetable, a major improvement, in an area which has recently seen much change for the worse. Good luck too Velvet and it's excelent operating staff, and let's hope the residents in the area use these additional journeys provided. PAC

  6. Velvet announced changes to the S1 and they stated that part of the change was to cover the 10, so I don't know if we'll see another tender out for the route.

  7. What about the Totton part of the 10?

  8. Wow, another Velvet expansion, another Wheelers expansion, some joined up thinking at First with their red 3 buses. Very quiet at Xelabus, and contraction at Bluestar losing all the nightstars. Expect a response from the Blues, surely, as they cant keep standing (or possibly going backwards by possibly cutting evening services too) still while the others run amok?