Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Christmas & New Year: summary so far

So far we know the Christmas and New Year service changes from four of our local operators:

There's nothing too out of the ordinary so far, but there are a few points to note from Bluestar, our area's biggest operator:

  • The skeleton service on Boxing Day and New Year's Day will run across routes 1, 2, 4, 9, 12, 17 and 18. The New Year's Day service level will be significantly lower than that provided on Boxing Day. In previous years it has had the same service.
  • The newest route, the 17, will be running on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, but the 16 will not.
  • Bluestar 2 will have services running from Southampton into the evening on Boxing Day.
  • On the weekdays between Christmas and New Year, an enhanced Saturday service will run. Most of the enhancements are in the early morning, so for all intents and purposes it's really a Saturday service for most people.
  • As always, no early finish for Bluestar on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.

See Bluestar's leaflet which includes the Boxing Day and New Year's Day special timetables here.

No word yet as to what's happening on First, Salisbury Reds, Stagecoach or Wheelers over the holiday period.


  1. Interesting to note that the leaflet for the period includes a mention of service 35 and 39 both service of which I myself have never yet seen a pocket timetable for

  2. Interesting that the 18 will also be running all evening on Boxing Day. This is presumably because there is an evening football match.

  3. Morebus are taking a risk running the M1 and M2 on Christmas Day

    1. M1 ran last year to RBH but the M2 is new, and being extended for that day only to Christchurch will give the very rare sight of a morebus running across Tuckton Bridge - very much traditionally Yellows only territory.

      On the face of it, GASC operating services on Christmas Day on the IOW and across Poole/Bournemouth/Christchurch, but not in Southampton does seem odd.

      I presume if GASC were to consider Christmas Day operations in Southampton the 2 or 18 would probably the routes to run and would get some people on board - but of course this has to be balanced with having staff prepared to work on that day.

    2. I'm sure some staff would volenteer to work as a considerable amout of people find Christmas Day rather boreing.In fact it's a myth that everyone likes Christmas because many don't, and find it quite a lonely time of year.Even the television reflects the boredom with the same old repeats day in and day out.It's not all who want to play happy families for the period.

    3. Morebus staff do not volunteer to work Christmas Day, they are rostered to do so. New start drivers have inferior conditions to longer serving drivers and those coming across with licences.
      Damory rate I understand applies for first 4 years of a new licence holder's time with the company. Hence the shortage of people.
      Mind you it does save them a lot of money over the average time a driver works for the company, though one assumes it doesn't aid staff retention.
      Bluestar in 2013 rostered people to work the Boxing Day and journeys failed to operate due to high sickness levels amongst the drivers. A cynic might conclude the two events have a connection.
      Yellow Buses operate their Boxing Day schedules using volunteer drivers on enhanced pay rates.

    4. This is a service industry, and that does mean providing a service whenever customers need that service. All staff entering the industry do so in full awareness that it is not a 9-5 job.

      The days of operators shutting down at teatime on Christmas Eve and running nothing until the start of service on December 27th, and again from teatime on New Years Eve until the morning of 2nd January, are gone, and I for one think that is a good thing.

      Most operators, including GASC, do offer enhanced pay rates for work over the Christmas and New Year periods and cover shifts with volunteers as far as possible.

  4. Well buses run Christmas Day on the Isle of Wight and they seem successful,so why not the Mainland?

    1. Amazes me that there is a demand for Christmas day buses on the island!Bus drivers deserve a day off and shame on GSC for being so greedy!

    2. A lot of drivers like to work Christmas and New Year,and not a question of any bus company being greedy.You will note many small shops open Christmas day also, as do many petrol stations,and public houses,so the demand is there