Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Cadnam commuters cut off

Bluestar have confirmed that their peak hour extensions of route 11, taking it beyond West Totton to Cadnam, Netley Marsh and Winsor, are to end from 21st June due to funding cuts by Hampshire County Council.

These are the journeys being cut back to run between Southampton and West Totton only:


That section of route beyond West Totton will then only be served by Wheelers T3 and T4, which only run three days a week:


Those living on the Cadnam section of route will now not be able to get into Totton before 0956 and will need to depart from Totton at 1700 in order to get back home the same day. To continue in to Southampton, you'll need to change buses to Bluestar 6, 8, 11 or 12 and now that the T3/T4 are run by Wheelers, you'll need to either pay twice or use a Solent Go ticket.

Tatchbury Mount Hospital is among the destinations to lose their 6-days-a-week service and their last remaining direct link to Southampton.

30 comments:

  1. It will affect very few people as most now have their own transport. Soon places like Cadnam,Winsor,Bartley and Woodlands will have no bus service at all.I'm surprised the Hythe local service still operates,however I expect in the future this will also disappear or be replaced by some silly taxi share scheme devised by HCC

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  2. Another nail in the coffin for New Forest bus services. Some form of regulation is surely needed for buses. How about the local authority decides on the network and franchises routes? The operator bids for routes paying to operate profitable routes and receives a payment for the nonprofitable all to a service level agreement. This way you could encourage people to use public transport.

    I live in Marchwood, the service here has had a lot of ups and downs over recent years, but first bus is too late for me and evening service is appalling. So without a car I lose my job.

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  3. And how will "regulation" help? If no-one uses the service, then regulation won't increase passenger numbers per se.
    We need to accept that, outside urban areas and apart from interurban routes with large settlements en route, the bus is no longer important.
    Better to use subsidy to improve urban routes than to waste money running buses that only a handful pf passengers use.
    {And I speak as someone who is rapidly approaching 40 years in the industry; doesn't necessarily like the way it's going, but is a realist}.

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    1. I completely agree. HCC's insistence on continuing to pour money into the bottomless pit that is the CANGO services, whilst refusing to selectively enhance urban routes to areas of high deprivation (eg Rowner in Gosport which now has no evening services) frustrates me and is a policy doomed to ultimate failure. Price we pay for having a Tory council I suppose.

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    2. Wherever I have observed Cango services,I have yet to see hardly any passengers on them,and the money spent on them could be put to far better use as Ben suggests.

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    3. I can only assume the locals are content for these cuts to continue, if they blindly vote Conservative in parliamentary and council elections. Want things to improve, then don't vote Conservative.
      The ironic thing is that the elderly are the first to complain about the impact of Tory cuts yet are the ones who elect Tory Governments.

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  4. Regulation would make no difference. The reason for the service cut is that Hampshire withdrew funding! All that cross-subsidy from busier, profitable services would achieve is service cuts on those routes to provide more cross-subsidy for the loss-makers. Wild speculation? No. This is exactly what helped the industry decline and shed users in the 1970s and early 1980s.

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    1. And with a taxpayer owned service, the 'profits' doesn't go to private shareholders and commercial businesses, it is returned to the people paying income taxes....... You would still replace the fleet in the same way, people would have secure employment and better working conditions.
      It is just that the profit is returned to the taxpayer instead of lining the pockets of First, Stagecoach, Arriva, Go Ahead and many others. Look at the former East Coast rail operation, it was returning a surplus to the taxpayer. The railways take more now in public subsidy than the old BR ever did.
      Some socialist things are best left as such. Police, NHS, Fire Service. It doesn't have to be such a dirty word.
      What should happen when the deregulated market fails? Because it is failing in some areas - yes trot out the hackneyed cases of Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford all you want, but there are areas where the monopoly operator holds customers and councils to ransom.

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    2. And if we went back to regulation watch the reduction in patronage as there will be no more high frequency services. It will be 30 and 60 mins frequencies from all areas to all areas. That delivers patronage falls which in turn equates to less revenue. In turn the fares are then jacked up and more patronage loss, and the cycle continues. If you analyse the PTE areas this is exactly what happened prior to 1986. Of course the councils then need tower blocks full of schedulers and more union agreements and restrictive practises than you could shake a stick at ! It's regulation that failed and the evidence is there to be reviewed.

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    3. "What should happen when the deregulated market fails? Because it is failing in some areas - yes trot out the hackneyed cases of Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford all you want, but there are areas where the monopoly operator holds customers and councils to ransom".

      Please supply some reference towns to support your statement.
      My experiences and observations are that a town with a monopoly operator tends to do better than a town with many operators . . . . . the monopoly operator can simply get on with running buses when the passengers want to travel; an operator with competitors always has to watch his back.
      The worst case, of course, is where there are very few or no commercial services, and the town is forced to rely on the local council to plan and pay for the services . . . . that's where you see the low cost operators with old buses and no marketing plan, and so the decline spirals on . . . .

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    4. You don't answer what you'd do in the situation where the Deregulated market is seen to be failing the customer.
      Of course the big companies do not favour regulation because they will lose their cosy monopolies and they wouldn't be able to use the profits to enrich themselves.
      The profit can be used on other things beside enriching people. Why not use the profit to operate less viable services? People are happy to accept a socialist NHS, Police Force, Fire Service, Ambulance Service and that works quite well.
      Deregulation is delivering improvement in services for the customer and savings to local authorities, having contestable services means neither operator withdraws because the other will capitalise on the opportunity. They will operate loss leaders in this situation.
      But there are areas where the market is failing the customer, and in those areas regulation is necessary to rein in the excesses of monopoly providers. There are not many areas but they do exist.

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    5. No reference towns, then? It's difficult to answer when I don't know your examples!

      However . . . profit is not always an evil word. Where are the big groups getting the money to invest in new, posh vehicles? From profit, that's where.
      Many networks will have journeys that carry only a few passengers but are seen as essential to encourage passengers to travel . . . the journeys after 1830 for example, where loadings are low and cash taken non-existent, but passengers have the comfort of knowing that a drink after work with friends won't need a taxi home. These are effectively being paid for by reducing profit.

      A loss leader can only work where the market can pay for them; too many loss leaders and the market will fail, and we have plenty of retail examples where a company has tried to trade its way out of financial difficulties, only to fail (and the Western Greyhounds of recent times are good examples of this).

      I'll say it again . . . . deregulation REQUIRED bus companies to operate at a PROFIT. Cross subsidisation (per se) was prohibited. Any non-profitable journeys or routes were to be paid for by local authorities from public funds. That was the basis of the Transport Act 1985, and that is still in effect.
      What we are now seeing is a collapse of that doctrine, because local authorities can no longer afford to pay for socially necessary bus services; which by the by are now those where almost no-one travels, thereby giving rise to huge subsidies per passenger journey.
      If almost no-one travels (and on many evening services numbers are below a handful per trip) then the trip should not survive.
      And finally . . . comparing the NHS to a bus route? Try telling that to a public meeting. You'd need to run fast!!

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    6. Regulation of bus services in London appears to work very well. No competion there. Why choose regulation for London when it could all be privatised like this area?

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    7. Quite right too Paul D.
      It is worth looking at a recent article on the Dorset Echo website where the GM of First Wessex (Weymouth & Bridport) is begging for public money to run peripheral services that he deems unprofitable. He can do this because he is the monopoly commercial provider and there is no one else there to provide commercial services.
      Go a few miles east (or even to Southampton) and there are two operators who compete against each other who would be prepared to operate those same services on a commercial basis saving the public purse the subsidy that Mr Newport is so keen to receive rather than being commercially innovative. It seems that commercial innovation only works when there are competitors present in the marketplace.
      The much heralded new fleet in Weymouth is a response to years of under investment (only new buses were purchased in 2008 and 2004 with more 'free' money past 1998 if not earlier) by First in the area who for years have persisted in operating everyone else's unwanted rubbish.
      There are countless examples where a small operator enters the market, with the big incumbent responding by cutting fares and increasing frequency.
      The small operator then goes out of business and the big operator then reverses their enhancements by increasing fares and reducing frequency.
      Such cynical tactics are noticed by the customers for what they are.
      If a commercial operator wants to plead poverty then it should accept that 'free' public money will come with strings.
      I object to my income and council tax being used in this manner to allow private shareholders to enrich themselves whilst other areas can have the same level of service if not better without this subsidy.
      The industry is now being asked these searching questions, ironically by the architects of the austerity agenda. The answers that are coming up don't make for pleasant reading.

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    8. What tosh. Even where you have multiple operators there are still subsidised services - take Southampton and Portsmouth for example. Don't forget anyone can operate a bus anywhere (except London) in Great Britian so why haven't other operators stepped in to supply the services commercially in Dorset ! Wake and smell the coffee !

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  5. If the bus service is vital and HCC have cut the funding how about pressuring the local authority to step in ?

    Eastleigh council have provided funding on some routes when HCC stopped

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  6. Just look down the road. Bournemouth and Poole and Portsmouh are both good success stories of deregulation working well.

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  7. It's difficult to reconcile the idea of encouraging folk out of their cars with cutting funds for essential services. Perhaps this former local government officer misunderstood his masters!

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  8. In order to use the bus you have to know its route - how can you tell from the timetable above that the bus goes to Cadnam - the compass inn (never a timing point in the past) and then the Hay Wain is not very helpful in determining the route taken between these 2 points even if you know where they are
    The same principle applies for several routes in the wider Southampton area. Long gone are the days when Cadnam had a 30 min frequency to Southampton

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  9. A new online HCC timetable for Eastleigh and Hedge End can be viewed on the HCC site-However I note at a quick glance the timetable for X56 is different to the one published by Xelabus-Another cock up by HCC I presume

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    1. Operators are sent proofs of these books to verify before they are printed, so if Xelabus haven't bothered to do this then it's at least partly their own problem!

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  10. I have for some time been annoyed about the lack of timetable provision provided by Southampton City Council in stop timetable cases-However it would seem they now have a new contractor to provide joint information as I note the timetable case outside the Civic Centre for Bluestar 3/18 First 5/9 xelabus x11 ans Brijan 7 plus Uni-link services now has this new format-There are two timetable cases per bus pole,but it seems they have decided to place all services useing the stops into one case leaving the other case empty-In the case of the stop for 3/5/7/9/X11/18 and Uni-link, the colour chosen for the background is dark green which matches the stop flag-This is also the case for the other bus pole for U1/U6-Whilst it's nice to note at last Brijan 7 now has a timetable displayed and upto date,the size of the print for all services is so small you need binoculars to read the times,which on a dark green background are just aweful-Let's hope that Bluestar,First which have had their own publicity removed, and others decide to put their own publicity back in the stops, which is of a print and quality we can all read-It's quite obvious that their is no communication between the Council and the bus companies at times as from next week the Bluestar 3 will be slightly different, and as these new timetables have only been put in within the last few days the Bluestar 3 will be slightly different

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    1. A good example of how not to display corporate timetables is shown in the timetable case at West Quay for the Totton services-It's a contractor who has been hired by the council I presume,so they just do what they are told, as they have no idea of what goes where, and could not spot a mistake as they have no knowledge of where buses go-Even the persons who produce the timetables, just produce what they are instructed too,and that person in some instances seems to lack knowledge as well-As an example the First 9 in with Bluestar 18 in Bargate Street-Nice to note at West Quay we still have the Gardbus 139 operating, the full timetable being displayed.

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  11. The new timetable for First no.8 is available now on traveline.Botley is now cut off in the eves and no service on this route after 9pm!

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    1. Well its not great from a bus point of view, although Botley does of course have a station with trains until well past midnight so not completely cut off. Perhaps more striking is the extent to which all routes serving Hedge End village centre and Oaklands Estate have withered in recent years and continue to wither.

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    2. Bus services in Hedge End continue to wither due to the continual service changes either implemented by the bus operators or changes to HCC or EBC contracted services-Most sensible people in Hedge End and area have now found their own transport mainly to get to/from work,which leaves the ones left using a bus in a poor position,which I'm sure they will see further cuts in the area

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  12. The revised timetable for First service 8 in Southampton from July 2015 is now being shown on Traveline South West-Yet more good news for the residents living near the Centre or Botley

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  13. I note that Xelabus have for a limited period reduced the price of their weekly ticket on X11 to £10-In another move First have for a limited period reduced the price of their weekly on red 7 to £5-Both offers are excelent value to potential customers-In observation of operation and passengers carried, I do feel with the X11 that an arrival from Hedge End in Southampton at 0857 on Mondays to Fridays at least is far to late, and due most mornings to heavy traffic arrives much later-Would be better if the first arrival was about 0745 and the journey I mention was about 0825-Although inward it complements Bluestar with a spaced frequency, for most of the day upto about 1500 they run almost together,and now unfortunetly because Bluestar have rerouted via Northam over much of the same route-It's nice to note however the very smartly turned out vehicles operated by Xelabus employed on the X11

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  14. From what i have observed on social media,there is a trend for people in Romsey area to offer lifts to Facebook friends to town on Fri and Sat nights,charging a fiver each way,per passenger.I think it`s something we could see repeated in Hedge End,if it isn`t going on already.

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  15. Yes a good idea and get rid of the buses completely as they are not much use anyway

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