Tuesday 15 July 2014

5 years of impartial and comprehensive bus news!

It seems hard to believe it but this blog has now been running for five years. There have been many changes to Southampton's bus services over that time and each and every one of them, regardless of operator, has been covered on this site. You can delve into the archives in the panel on the right.

To celebrate, here are a few statistics:

This page currently receives between 650 and 800 pageviews a day. Almost a quarter of readers are from outside the UK, with the USA and Germany accounting for most foreign visitors

Most people who access this site via a link do so from the following sites (with the highest number of referrals first):

I'm extremely grateful to the administrators of the other blogs that link to this one. If you're aware of a blog to which we ought to link and don't currently, please either leave a comment or send me an e-mail (sotonbus@googlemail.com).

The blogging platform on which this page is hosted is owned by Google, which enables me to see some additional information from them. The most popular search terms which resulted in a clickthrough from Google to Southampton Bus Update are (most popular first):

No big surprises there. Our five most read pages and posts of the last five years are as follows:

  • 5: 29th July 2013: Xelabus X7 changes from today
  • 4: Local Bus Route Directory: A comprehensive list of all bus routes in our region from all operators, detailing areas served and with links to full bus stop listings and live departure info from major stops.
  • 3: Changes on the Way: Our constantly-updated list of changes that are scheduled to take place over the next couple of months. This is the only page on the web which provides such information across all bus operators in our region.
  • 2: Day Out Ideas: Paultons Park: Originally published 1st February 2012 but regularly updated as information changes. This attracts a lot of hits from readers outside Southampton who are looking for a car-free way to access our region's tourist attractions. Hopefully this post has persuaded a few more people to try out Salisbury Reds X7 or Gardbus 139.
  • 1: 28th March 2012: New First Network: routes 4, 4A and X4 analysed: The most read post of all time was published in the run up to the biggest overhaul of Southampton's bus routes since deregulation. Not only did it affect us, but it was also relevant to our dear neighbours in Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth.

I don't tend to mention myself much on this blog, preferring to let the relevant content take centre stage. But, as a thank you for reading and supporting this blog over five years, here's a bit more background about me: I was born in and grew up in Southampton and went to college in Eastleigh. When it was in its short existence, I could occasionally be heard reading the travel news and then later on the news bulletins on Max FM, which broadcast to Southampton mainly on cable but occasionally on FM in the mid to late 90s. After that I went to study in the North of England, where I remained for 17 years.

It was on a visit back home to Southampton, after the bus routes I was familiar with had changed beyond recognition, that I had to do some research to work out how to get around and then the idea for this site was born. If I, who has always used public transport and know where to find out about the buses, was having trouble navigating the several sources across which the information is now spread, then surely other people would be having the same trouble. Some of them would get so frustrated that they would choose not to use the bus after all, or maybe to visit somewhere else in the country instead. If only there was one site where people could keep up to date with what buses are running where and be notified of any changes that are about to happen, I thought. That's when this site came about.

I've not actually lived in Southampton in all the time I've been writing this site, but I've visited several times and still know the area like the back of my hand from when I was growing up. There was even a time when I was writing posts from Germany, as my then employer had sent me over there to work. Now I'm based near Bristol. I've never actually worked in the bus industry, but I've relied on buses all my life, even as those around me lazily hopped into their ever more expensive cars, so I have a real appreciation for the work and planning that goes into keeping the buses running. And I know what information passengers and potential passengers need in order to get the most out of a bus service.

This site takes up a lot of my time, but it has spawned some smaller-scale spin-offs: one for Brentwood in Essex and one for Portishead in Somerset, both initially to help out people I know in those locations, but available to all. I also now run two national sites: Great British Bus Routes and the British Bus Bugle.

But it was Southampton where it all started and which this blog will continue to cover. As in 2009, this is still the only page on the internet that covers all of the bus services in our region, regardless of operator. So thank you so much for reading and commenting, as knowing that my work is useful to someone makes it all worthwhile.


  1. Congratulations on keeping this going for so long and thank you for taking the time and trouble to do so. Here's to at least another five!

  2. Congratulations from me also-Since a while back when I found this site I have always been respectfull that my comments have always been published- I know my comments are not everyones taste and respect the fact that others do sometimes not like my comments or observations-However if not liked they respond which I am happy with and respect their view for all to see-I only comment on how I see things and probabaly some of my conceptions of how things should be are outdated-At the end of the day I just want the best for bus users in a commercially operated world, wether going to work,shopping or for leisure-It's nice to see all views from all who post and am gratefull we can-Many more years of this site and thank you for keeping it going with your dedication--Thank you-PAC

  3. wow - five years - goes very quickly. Happy to see my site in the top listing of referrers - always tried to promote any bus blogs as, done well,they can be a great resource. Keep up the good work!

  4. Brilliant stuff. Fair,but critical & complimentary too. Well done.

  5. I would like to congratulate you on this site for discussion but after this evening and the last Anon on the Velvet story I shall not be supplying any further information about Xelabus. I wish you could vet some of the contributors but to say boring sob story is so very insulting when you lose a 3 year old child to cancer. Thats what Xela is all about!

    Managing Director
    Xelabus Limited

    1. Dear Mr Blair - please reconsider your decision - not all of us who contribute to this site are such offensive morons

    2. But by not supplying information just shows how some Anon's may be proved right. If Xela is the transport company that some say it isn't you'd shrug off the morons & get back on board (pun intended) with knowledge & updates from Xela. After all if you don't help yourself you are letting the company image down - a company formed in memory. If the Xela site isn't up to date & doesn't have the correct info re your services then again YOU are letting your company down. Yes, you were insulted - outgrow the bullies - kick their ar$es by making Xela the no. 1 company in the area not the no. 1 laughing stock. That'll soon wipe the grins of their moronic faces.