Sunday, 28 January 2018

First X54 axed ?

Update 30.1.2018: It looks like just a convoluted timetable change rather than full withdrawal of the X54, for now at least. We'll scour the timetable as soon as the powers that be have determined that we mere passengers can see it! UPDATE 2.2.2018: See the new timetable here.

It's not just in Southampton that First are making savage cuts. In the far west of our region, route X54 has connected Poole and Weymouth in some form or another for several years, with a new timetable coming in on 25th March.

For end-to-end and many intermediate journeys, the train (now operated by First) provides an alternative. But there are many villages for whom the X54 was their main or only public transport. Dorset County Council no longer produce bus route maps of the county, but the last one in 2016 gives us an idea of the terrain:

This is an old map and many of the routes on it no longer run

More Purbeck Breezer 40 will continue to run more frequently between Poole and Wareham, so let's concentrate on Wareham to Weymouth. The following villages rely on the X54 as their only public transport link:




From Warmwell, Damory 5 also provides a limited service via Osmington and Preston into Weymouth.

The once great Jurasic Coaster service which used to run from Poole to Exeter is no more. The Exeter end has already been axed and the eastern leg is a pale shadow of its former self.


123 comments:

  1. So sorry to burst your anti First bubble, but this is nothing but ‘fake news’. The X54 will continue to operate from Weymouth to Poole from 26th March.

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  2. So sorry to burst your anti First bubble, but this is nothing but ‘fake news’. The X54 will continue to operate from Weymouth to Poole from 26th March.

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  3. You may wish to consult this page and then you can confirm it is not fake news. https://www.vehicle-operator-licensing.service.gov.uk/search/find-registered-local-bus-services/details/514717/ Also because of my criticism towards First Dorset, they blocked me from social media.

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  4. A withdrawal has been registered with VOSA and their website mentions no change from that date. So either it is being withdrawn or someone has forgotten to publicise an upcoming change. Might not seem important to some, but I imagine it matters a lot to people in those 4 villages that might be about to be cut off.

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    1. There is also a registration for a new X54/X55

      https://www.vehicle-operator-licensing.service.gov.uk/search/find-registered-local-bus-services/details/514718/

      Only to Wool but apparently the Poole section will continue on a separate registration

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    2. I do agree it is important and the CMA may be interested. However the x54 is not to be cut entirely (yet). First have registered a partial replacement https://www.vehicle-operator-licensing.service.gov.uk/search/find-registered-local-bus-services/details/514718/ According to Simon N (who no longer works for First?) some journeys will still continue to Poole, although I can't find any evidence of this and there is now less than 56 days to register this with the TC.

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    3. Given the change is from 26th March and it is still January, publicity would be very premature, and simply confuse the travelling public. Why do you persist with this ridiculous anti-First bias which ruins an otherwise useful blog?

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    4. Sotonbus, cancellations appear sooner than registrations for the simple fact that there is no charge for a cancellation! A registration or variation won't appear until it has been paid for - and an operator has two weeks to pay for a registration by credit/debit card.

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    5. Thanks for the explanation. Strikes me as an unsuitable system as in the meantime, passengers are left wondering whether they'll still be able to get to work, the shops, to visit friends etc.

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    6. As Ken said we should be able to see what is happening on the Xroutes in Dorset from Thursday week. Not too long to wait!

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    7. SotonBus; the DVSA(VOSA) site is not intended for use by intending passengers. Traveline is, and thanks to Ken and his colleagues, the new TTs will be on there in very good time for the changes at the end of March. Just admit you jumped the gun and learn from it; not everything First do is bad (the Solent Rangers are a real success story more than doubling frequency Fareham-Southampton), but you seem to be obsessed with all their faults (and blind to GSC's).

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    8. DVSA is the first indication of changes on the horizon and that's why I use it as a source. After a change being registered there it is often a week or more before the new timetable is on Traveline and often months before the bus companies themselves promote the changes. This site is designed to give people a more timely heads up that they might need to change their lifestyle, job or shopping habits due to decisions often taken by people with little regard for those affected. I find the accusations of anti-first bias rather amusing as they are rarely backed up by facts. This site reports on the bus situation locally, not nationally, so has to reflect the fact that First are making huge cuts in the city. We built up Citybus with our taxes so it's painful to see that legacy squandered, while others can make the same routes pay. GSC is certainly not above criticism on this blog - prime example was the Marchwood crisis when First showed GSC to be claiming a subsidy for the 8 when it was commercially viable. No wrongdoing legally, but it shows a flaw in a system that doesn't always put passengers first. Shareholders have plenty of people to speak for them, this blog is here to speak for the South's bus passengers, so often written off by the mainstream media as unworthy of attention.

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    9. But using DVSA as a source in isolation can be misleading, as has been explained to you by a poster above, unless you wait a while to let DVSA catch up with themselves. If I lived in Stokeford or Portway, and relied on the bus, I would have panicked on reading your blog, only to find later that there was (probably) nothing to worry about (I accept we haven't seen the new TTs yet).

      You have form on this; on 1 December you blogged that the Three was being cut from Lordshill Way (it wasn't). You described the extension of the 2 to Thornhill as bizarre, and its subsequent withdrawal as a savage cut. Whatever First do, you criticise. Meanwhile, GSC, whose operation of the 18 is farcical at times, get no criticism at all.

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    10. Sadly there are times when DVSA is the sole source or information that something might be about to change. If I lived in one of those four villages I would still be very concerned about the long term future of the X54.

      The Lordshill Way episode to which refer actually appeared on First's Southampton website, before being corrected after my blog post had been published. I should really send First a bill for my proofreading services. Extending the 2 to Thornhill was indeed bizarre, but not as bizarre as withdrawing it mere months later after many people will have got used to having an alternative to Bluestar. The 18 may indeed not be perfect, this blog includes and wrlcomes regular comments attesting to reliability issues, but it also has to be said that the timetable isn't constantly changing and we can say with some certainty that it will still be serving Saafamptin for many years to come.

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    11. I would assume that GSC are the best operating division of Go Ahead??
      Plymouth has changes something like every week for the 5/5A, In Oxford I know a peak service that has failed to run less than 15 minutes late in the past 2 years, and for the last 2 weeks two buses have turned up at the same time as the next Stagecoach one which manages to run to time, East Anglia is basically a lost cause, GNE seems to be good, but does have lots of odd branding changes? And Go Ahead London seem to be ok, but not the best (a new Wright Streetlite provided an awful ride - we were concerned the bus was about to fall apart!)
      Odd though is the choice of ADL vehicles for Plymouth and GSC whilst all vehicles elsewhere are Wright? You've dodged a bullet there!

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    12. I think most of the credit for GSC goes to Andrew Wickham and the soon departing Ed Wills. They are both experienced busmen, who know that stability and reliability, together with superb relationship building, are the key to success. They also know that Alexander Dennis will jump through hoops to keep doing business with them, as well as having innovative products that locals like very much. Go ahead group can learn a lot from the leadership that these two guys have provided, even if it will likely lead to the loss of Andrew to the very top job eventually.

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  5. The Jurassic Coaster once went from Bournemouth’s Castlepoint to Exeter via Bournemouth Square. West of Lyme Regis Stagecoach now operate the 9A to Exeter via Sidmouth but bypassing Beer. AVMT since last Monday have operated a replacement shoppers service on the previous First X52 route from Seaton to Exeter centre rather than St. David’s Station using the formers route via Beer.

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  6. Both the former X53 and current X54’s registrations were always split at Wool Station.

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  7. Joe Public struggles with constant alterations to service every few months. Its like the death of a thousand cuts. Well patronised service lose trade with each alteration to the point that they become unsustainable. The 10 & 11 to Cadnam/Winsor and the 112 Hythe to Lymington are good examples, constant rescheduling and inconvenient times lead to falling patronage result the inevitable withdrawal. I wish I knew the answer to preservation of SERVICE.

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    1. All of these services have been tendered services to Hampshire CC, not sure of their current status.

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    2. I agree with the post re timetable changes, regardless of commercial or tendered service constant changes are not helpful, falling passengers require bigger subsidy and therefore make the marginal routes less supportable and result in Councils in these cash strapped time unable to justify expensive support for just a handful of passengers, When the Cadnam services were truncated at Totton it was only a matter of time before they were cut back again. Now operating only 3 days a week their future must be in doubt as they are now carrying hardly any passengers and are a prime candidate for withdrawal of subsidy. If you live beyond West Totton and work in Totton or Southampton they offer no journey options at all.

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    3. The answer to preservation of service is easy - make the service convenient. And the answer to that for these particular routes is that they should all be part of interurban routes that directly link the towns and cities either side of the New Forest, as well as the main villages and tourist areas within in it. But unless people are prepared to innovate and invest in making that happen, nothing will ever change. So is anyone willing and able to rise to the challenge, or is it just easier to continue doing nothing about it?

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  8. Settle down everybody and stop all the theories until you see the actual service changes. All the registrations arrived with me on Friday 26 January, at 58 days ahead of the change. Vosa may have quickly put the cancellations on, but as others have posted above a replacement combined X54/55 will run between Poole and Weymouth. I'm starting with service 1 this morning so the X's won't make this weeks Traveline data build but all should be live by Thursday week.
    Ken - Traveline Dorset

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    1. Thank you Ken for clearing that up. Very helpful. As another poster has said, fake news!

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    2. Not fake news just incomplete

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  9. PH0006159/470 Registered
    FIRST HAMPSHIRE & DORSET LIMITED
    Route: Southampton City Centre Vincents Walk to Harnwell Zoo via Portswood, Eastleigh, fair Oak
    Service number: M1
    Service type: Normal Stopping
    Effective date: 30 Mar 2018

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  10. Thanks Ken,

    I see there are many entries added today on VOSA for the Weymouth area - we await to see your updates this/next week.

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  11. 'Savage cuts' - cutting one route which duplicates another route, and was in the first place an attempt to take passengers from the competition and another one which wasn't carrying enough passengers to be worthwhile? I guess that only every other operator would do the same, cutting commercial routes that don't earn money. It's called running a business, if prawn sandwiches aren't selling enough in Waitrose will they continue selling them? I'll answer to make it easy for you - no!

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    1. Could not have explained it better, If we had had a PTE in 1974 as was a possibility we would have excellent public transport as in Manchester, West Midlands etc, Maybe the time has come to scrap the madness we endure and adopt a regional transport plan as in Belgium with a budget to provide service rather than the haphazard subsidy system administered ad hoc. No crazy duplication, no cherry picking and the ability to cross subsidise important but marginal corridors

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    2. I don't know what the political view was in Portsmouth in 1973/74, but Southampton was appalled at the idea of losing the County Borough status, and Education with it, as Education would go to the County. They wanted a Metropolitan County. It was then pointed out to the Elected Masters that it would mean losing Transport. The members decided that, if they couldn't keep both, they would keep Transport, so the idea of a Met County was dropped. In the event, of course, they lost Transport a dozen years later anyway.

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  12. To update those of you desperate to find out the detail, I managed to get everything except X51 and X53 finished in time for the Traveline data build. The changes are minimal across the normal services. X51 and X53 will be a week behind.
    Ken- Traveline Dorset

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  13. Here is a thought why not link the More X1 or X2 Bournermouth to Lymington with the BS6 creating a through route Bournemouth to Southampton It would not require extra vehicles and would open up new journey opportunities

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    1. It is a no. Taking 3 hours to get from Bournemouth to Southampton on a bus and pay virtually the same as on a coach (50 min travel) or a train (40 min or less), it is just complicating things too much. Just keep as it is.

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    2. Also with the LEZ this would require replacement/retrofitting of more buses than currently.

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    3. There was a through bus service 19/20 for around 40 years before it split up in Lymington. Modern traffic congestion could cause massive delays for a long route. Sadly, using a concessionary bus pass and just a few paying customers for such a long route might not make it viable.

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  14. Timetable now available, and very surprisingly it's good news! There will actually be more services, and the weekend services are back for summer. x54: http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk/se/XSLT_TTB_REQUEST?language=en&command=direct&net=swe&line=42X54&sup=%20&itdLPxx_direction=H&project=y10&outputFormat=0&itdLPxx_displayHeader=false&itdLPxx_sessionID=EFA03_56160781&lineVer=2&itdLPxx_spTr=2&itdLPxx_operatorCodeForTTB=FD

    x55: http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk/se/XSLT_TTB_REQUEST?language=en&command=direct&net=swe&line=42X55&sup=%20&itdLPxx_direction=H&project=y10&outputFormat=0&itdLPxx_displayHeader=false&itdLPxx_sessionID=EFA03_56160781&lineVer=1&itdLPxx_spTr=1&itdLPxx_operatorCodeForTTB=FD

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    1. Interestingly most x54s will run via Lulworth restoring regular public transport in a village that had its last (non seasonal) bus service cut last year. First good bit of news to come out of First H&D in a long time, might just be a final swansong before they disappear though.

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  15. The rumour mill continues to grind away and there is talk of an official announcement in March from First bus.
    Staff from RATP who own Yellow Buses continue to visit Empress Road so what can we expect from that?

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    1. Isn't it more likely that they were there to talk about the Brockenhurst contracts or even a takeover of the Weymouth depot?

      Southampton seems a bit far fetched for RATP to take over?

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    2. You can expect another incompetent owner, based on their showing along the coast! They have no one skilled enough there, to challenge Go Ahead, so there is little doubt that they will continue to be nothing more than nuisance value, as First have been. They also think that leather seats are the way ahead, just to give you a clue as to their ideology. Still, lots of lovely new optare buses, which are very second rate in my opinion, and no doubt lots of fantasies and marketing spin, route replanning etc. Then reality will set in that they have no answers to the well established and generally liked service provided by Bluestar, together with their fantastic relationship with the local council, which will all lead to RATP running for cover before too long. If Stagecoach cannot see a future here, what makes the French outfit think that they can do better? I wonder if they dare to come in with the marketing campaign of viva la difference? Lol. So bang goes the redundancy package that many seem to have been hanging on for, with a new job doing the same job, but for a lovely French employer with a track record in Bournemouth of route revamps which are then almost completely reversed. Sound familiar? Oh, and absolutely no contract base to shore them up during the hard times ahead!

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    3. I'm not sure I would be that hard on RATP. While there have been some disastrous decisions in the past couple of years I'm not sure how much of that is down to wider company structure and how much was the man running Yellows. Bearing in mind that man changed late last year I'm prepared to wait and see what happens next.

      Until a few years ago Yellows was far more of a challenge for GSC, they were managing to fight them off and even grow their network in a way First have never managed against Bluestar. Then when the MD changed they did lose their way. I think under the right person they have the capability to stand up to GSC. And RATP are large enough to have deep pockets. It would certainly be interesting times anyway.

      Anyway, for all we know maybe RATP management are at First to discuss selling Yellows to them. After all First seem to be expanding into Kings Lynn as Stagecoach close their depot there so it's not beyond the realm of imagination...

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    4. Interesting to see anything you saw about First expanding into Kings Lynn? As I recall they sold their operations to Norfolk Green which was then sold to Stagecoach... I think the only operators set to expand there are Konect and Lynx.
      Talking about Kings Lynn, I wonder if Stagecoach will keep any routes? They could simply let the Coasthopper routes go as Lynx or Sanders would quickly fill those, I believe they have outstations at Long Sutton and Holbeach which could perhaps take the 505?
      I'd guess that RATP management would be visiting First because of the Brockenhurst contract. It would make sense!

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    5. update to above: The Steven Knight Media blog states that the 505 would continue to be operated from Long Sutton, as well as some other services around Wisbech as outstations to Peterborough.

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    6. First Eastern Counties appear to be either duplicating or taking over the X29 Norwich > Fakenham route currently run by Stagecoach at least.

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    7. And Konect as well - I'm unsure of timings and dates but could you have 3 operators on there for a stretch of time?

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    8. Apparantly they are being withdrawn https://twitter.com/Norfolkgreenbus/status/958595806243840000

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  16. First are in talks with a local bus company for taking over the Routes 6 and 8!!!!! - official!!!

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    1. Official from First or from the back of your mind? All of this 'First are leaving now' seems very much like rumours.

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    2. Rumours? You must be kidding surely? The evidence is that they keep cutting routes, have jacked all their contract work and have a depot about twice the size that they need. On the other side of the coin, they have registered the Marwell route, so unless they are operating it from another depot, they may be here til the autumn. Lots of rumours from staff there about the announcement in March, so we will all know soon enough. If I were a betting man, I would happily have a hundred quid on them not being here in 2019.

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    3. In my opinion a closure is more likley as if there was a sale on you would keep all your contracts as to have a higher portfollio to sale i beleve stagecoach did this with london put a few cheap tenders into tfl for routes in selkent area won them do when the aussie bank purchased it there was more to purchase. But as ive found after almost 16 years in this industry only listen to rumours once the operator have published there plans in black and white

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    4. But perhaps the contracts made the depot more expensive than a purchasing company would want?

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  17. My money is on Xela as they have just been granted 10 more O licence discs

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  18. So what would this leave First? A handful of routes from a massive depot.... They must be gone, although a very odd decision to register the Marwell route, unless they are going to run it from another depot. Certainly sounds like damage and cost limitation measures, prior to their complete withdrawal, anytime soon. Agree with the Xela likelihood as Bluestar have little further room for expansion, although one of their depots has also been told to make room for an extra 10 vehicles, anytime soon, according to local information. I think we can safely say that First are as good as gone, so interesting times ahead, but agree that RATP are unlikely to be negotiating for the First depot, which seems a suicidal idea, bearing in mind that they would be starting with virtually nothing.

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    1. And expensive times ahead, if it is true about First basically 'leaving'. Also interesting though, I suppose I can give you that.

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  19. What’s this madness all about? First wants to withdraw routes 6 and 8? Are the enthusiasts mad and start with non-sense rumours? Can we stop with this?
    I personally don’t like First, and I tried to boycott them but as I am moving from my actual location to somewhere else in Southampton, I have to use First again or being stranded because I’m stupid.
    I even read if First pulls out completely, Bluestar would take some of the routes and merging “Bluestar 6 with First 6”?
    And then you are surprised you are blocked from bus companies’ pages on Facebook...
    I learned my lesson when I criticised First Wessex about X54 plans and they blocked me. Now I don’t blame them!

    We all know First is likely to leave Southampton if levels of patronage do not increase to a satisfactory level. And I don’t think RATP will take over Southampton routes, as their meetings is about Brock Buses, and it is likely they will terminate contract earlier.


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    1. Whilst much of the rambling on here is pure speculation, I think most people are genuinely interested and are just offering an opinion as to their take on the First demise. I can see no way that Bluestar would link their 6 to the First route, as it would make an unacceptable length of journey, but I have little doubt that they have a thorough contingency plan in place, ready for the expected announcement that First are leaving town.

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  20. Another source of information is Companies House (Beta Website) and to see who is moving in and out as directors. In looking up Yellow Buses - Bournemouth Transport, one will see that Bournemouth Councils Director recently left.

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  21. When the N prefix longer Darts and the P prefix Volvo Olympians arrived in Southampton, they were in white, and the roumour was that they had arrived like that ready for the new owners to apply their red blue and orange stripes without needing a repain. Utter rubbish, as we know, because a different firm bought Citybus. Forget all the rumours, folks, ssit back and wait for the official press release!

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  22. So actually not a "savage cut" at all, but an improvement by First to the service with the reinstatement of weekend services, and a more innovative route via Lulworth and Durdle Door.

    No evidence that they are pulling out of Weymouth at all. Eat your words SotonBus; you look a bit silly now, don't you!

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  23. A few comments:
    VOSA can be misleading as routes and registrations don't match one for one and the order they are applied for and processed is not normally important.

    First did not win the Unibus contract, which must distort the commercial bus operations in Southampton.

    First need more profit to buy new buses, new ticket machines, etc and due to past problems have some operations, which are not sufficiently profitable. They seem to be cutting out routes that aren't good enough, perhaps more than some competitors.

    Xelabus have taken on 5 school routes from First after half term (King Edward VI).

    It is cheaper to slowly run a company down than pay redundancy, if you can. It sometimes leaves a company with a profitable core to start growing again.

    First Norfolk has taken back Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth from Go-ahead who have closed Anglianbus. First still employ 31 drivers in Kings Lynn on the XL - the depot was not closed - only the town and rural services were withdrawn. Also look at First in greater Bristol.

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    1. You forgot to mention that although Anglianbus ceased to exist, the entire operation was taken over by Konectbus, another Go ahead group company.

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    2. Konectbus and Anglianbus were simply different operating names such as Bluestar and Unilink, I believe they had the same management?

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    3. So simply a rebranding, rather than any kind of withdrawal?

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    4. A couple of routes were withdrawn at the same time as it was rebranded as Konectbus, It could just be seen as rebranding Unilink as Bluestar.

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    5. Anglianbus had ceased running east of Norwich some time ago and the trunk 61 Lowestoft to Kessingland had become a shadow of its peak. I don't know the area and I can't remember all the history, but it was a very small Anglianbus that was folded into Konectbus. What was left was not company sized. This was a significant First come back. You need to look at the whole company, not just Southampton.

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    6. Indeed. Anglianbus had a fleet in excess of 100 when GA took them over in 2012. Some posters on here need to take off those blue-tinted specs...... Go South Coast is expanding but in other parts of the country Go Ahead is contracting!

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    7. Which is exactly how business goes, right? Some areas are better than others, some managers are better than their counterparts. As we are around the Solent area, we can see that Go Ahead are light years ahead, in our local area.

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  24. First’s Aviva P&R, Cantell School and Taunton’s College contracts transfer to Bluestar after half term.

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  25. i used bluestar buses for the first time on my visit to southampton today i found bluestar buses more nicer than first no leather seats on bluestar i noticed that bluestar were carring more passengers than first on the corridors that they both operate foir example first 2 less than 5 people on board and bluestar 18 nearly full on some buses id like to see bluestar run more routes into woolston at every 10 min intervals in the future

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    1. The nicest vehicles are usually saved for the Bluestar 1.

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    2. i didnt go on the no 1 but i will next time im in southampton but the good thing is you dont have to travel to winchester on it i would only go as far as london road than i would use the unilink buses back thats the best bit about buying a bluestar day rider you can use it on the unilink buses too like i said the bluestar fleet is nicer than first

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    3. I agree,it`s handy being able to use Uni-link as well.Uni-link U1 is frequent,busy and the buses have double doors,which speeds things up,as everyone isn`t trying to board and alight through the same door.

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    4. But the poor driver is expected to smile and greet those boarding at the same time as thanking those alighting. Mystery shoppers report on those who fail ! Customer service gone mad.

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    5. What is so hard about greeting customers with a smile? Ok, it's impossible to thank those leaving by the middle door, but the mystery shopper is far more interested in you not pulling away before clients are seated and how gently you brake as you bring your vehicle to a halt. Mystery shoppers are there for a reason and make sure that you do the job in the right way. If you feel that it's too much to ask, perhaps you are in the wrong job? Customer service is king, quite rightly.

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    6. But sadly mystery shoppers mark down without explaining why on their forms and as it is all secret the driver has no comeback or challenge. And yes they do reduce marks for failing to thank passengers leaving by the back door !

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    7. If you do not see the forms, nor have any come back, how do you know what you are marked down on? Suggest greeting everyone properly, and you have made a great first impression, making any mark down less likely.

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    8. Drivers can see the form but what does 'somewhat' with a 50% cut in marking mean on the question did the driver thank you on departure ? No one can ask the mystery shopper to explain or give a reason but the company will reduce the drivers bonus by £50. I travelled (note I am not a driver) on a peak hour Bluestar bus this week where the driver robotically smiled and said hello, with thank you have a nice day on leaving which was so obviously following instructions it was laughable with so many boarding & alighting at each stop.

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    9. I am sure that when the Bluestar driver smiled and greeted passengers, and when he thanked them, that he had already said it a thousand times previously, which makes him ultra professional for carrying on doing so, even if it did sound robotic at times. They are human after all, but fair play to him. Many don't even bother to make the effort, whether under instructions or not!

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    10. Bus drivers get a bonus, just for doing their job? I wish I did. Can anyone explain why a bonus is needed? Surely pride would be payment enough, knowing that you have done a great job, for a good employer, who rewards you well anyway?

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    11. The bonus was introduced in days when Accord had the contract - Go Ahead want to remove it for new staff. I would dispute the 'good employer' - staff are dismissed for petty reasons but the public dont hear about them because the company pays them off before they get to an employment tribunal. Secrecy is a condition of the pay off.

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  26. Now hearing from just about everywhere that Yellow Buses will be re-introducing the old route numbers from April to be announced early next week. Apparently they will not be reverting all the changes made in 2017 though. Somehow this also incorporates an odd new pink livery https://www.flickr.com/photos/mainline421/28373527899/in/dateposted/

    While the changes were a bad idea at the time, it has actually proved an improvement for me personally so it is a shame to see it fail. The previous management got it wrong, but they did try to fix the major problems YB had and delivered many improvements in the process, without resorting to constant changes like First.

    On a related note Route One tickets are being withdrawn from tomorrow which will be significant price increase for some as they are cheaper than many returns.

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  27. are you saying that the yellows will use numbers like 1 2 3 like most other bus operators it will be interesting i have a soft spot for yellowbuses with a good mixed fleet of double deckers and single i never had any issues with the network they used between 2006 and 2017 and the current network

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    1. Yes, routes will be re-numbered based on the numbers used until 2017.

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  28. It sounds strange to me, but here I am trying to do it:
    1a-1f (Royal Line)
    2a-2d (Priory Line)
    3a-3d (Bourne Line)
    4a-4d (uni line)
    5a-5b (Village line)
    6 (Coast Line)
    7 (Dolphin Line)
    8 (Heath Line)

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  29. personly theyd be better off using route numbers like 1 2 3 for example the p1 route 1 p2 route 2 p3 route 3 r1/r2 route 4 r3 route 5 v1 route 6 v2 route 7 u6 route 8

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  30. https://goo.gl/xfWhrD
    All change in Bournemouth. (link is safe, it will redirect you to VOSA.)

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  31. On the subject of route numbers, when will the crazy situation in Southampton of First and Blue Star using the same number for services to different destinations from the same bus stops, I recently came across a very confused and angry person in Totton who was told he needed to get a number 8 to go to Hedge End. In the good old days of Green buses and Red Buses there was an agreement not to duplicate route numbers.

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    1. i thaught bluestar used to number their buses as bs1 bs2 ect to ovide confusion with other operators

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    2. That will be rectified when Bluestar become the sole main bus operator in Southampton soon,the way things are going.

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    3. Never seen a bluestar bus with bluestar numbering unlike more and salisbury red brands who do mostley have m/r routes Remember when stagecoach made the winchester 6 into the spring when people asked what number they needed for kingsworthy and you told them they needed a spring you got looks of your a moron or p**staker

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    4. Although it gives the impression of a fast route, Xelabus use X in front of numbers so its easy to differentiate with them and the big boys.

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    5. BS show the routes as BSxx on the website etc but only display the number on the vehicle. If you are a stranger to the area the destination may not be recognised or relevant to your journey as you may not have knowledge of the geography of the area. I cant believe the authorities allow the duplications of numbers to happen. The X11 is the slowest route from City to Shirley !!, another misleading route number.

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    6. I'd say the X12 takes longer

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    7. The X does stand for Xelabus - I agree it can be confusing, but X means different things everywhere! In Oxfordshire the X32, operated by Thames Travel, is the slowest route from Wantage to Oxford whereas the X3, operated by Oxford Bus Company (same management??) is an actual express route!

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    8. There has never been an agreement not to duplicate service numbers in Southampton. The 'Green' buses had their headquarters in Bournemouth/Poole so route numbers were allocated in that area first and therefore it was never an issue in Southampton. It started to become a problem when Citybus duplicated service no 27 some time last century.

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  32. Duplicate numbers are daft. The amount of times people ask me is this where the 1 or 2 goes from? I'd always ask if they want the 2 to Eastleigh or Millbrook for example, or Winchester 1 or not? Often have to tell them they're at wrong stop as they'd always ask me @ Yates Above Bar stop.

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  33. If anyone from First or Blue Star takes the time to read what we the public think, not that they care much for our opinion we are only passengers and an inconvenience to the. What do they think about number duplication and are they minded to do something?

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    1. I would guess both operators would say “why should we be the ones to change our numbers?”.

      First’s 2, 7 and 11 are supposedly “City Red”s and route 3 is “The Three”. So the only duplicate numbers really are the 8 and 9.

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    2. In the interests of balance, as to who is the better operator. It was Blue Star who created this confusion by renumbering all their services. After all these years if you say Southampton to Winchester bus, I still think 47 before BS1 and much the same with all their other routes.

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    3. The first duplication was Citybus service 27

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    4. Perhaps it is an age-related problem. My friend's daughter catches the no 1 to go into town or school, a different no 1 to visit her grandfather, another no 1 to visit her father and used yet another no 1 to visit her other grandfather when he was still alive - does not have a problem with this.

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    5. It's worse in Winchester - there are, effectively, three route ones:
      - 1 Winchester | Southampton
      - 1 Stanmore | city centre | Winnall

      What's more, the Bluestar 1 and Stagecoach's 1 to Stanmore serve the same route from the bus station out to St Cross.

      That was most certainly initiated by Bluestar when they changed the 47 to be Bluestar 1.

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    6. Chester a good example the got 3 1 routes 1/1a chester-blandon joint stagecoach and arriva
      1 liverpool-chester stagecoach
      1 chester-wrexham arriva

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  34. All change at Yellow Buses on .8 April 2018 - today’s Bournemouth Echo are saying many people will be left with no choice in their only buses run by Morebus.

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    1. See YB website for more details

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  35. Re Yellow Bus changes. There is a summary of the changes on the Yellow Buses website. I have received the registrations this morning, and am awaiting electronic files from the operator. Due to the amount of work involved with all the numbers replacing letters etc, I will not be in a position to release any changes in tomorrow's data build but should be in a position to release everything next week.
    Ken - Traveline Dorset

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  36. From facebook there is a comment that Xelabus are making an announcement in March?

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    1. From the rumours going round in the industry locally, just about every operator is making an announcement in March!

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    2. Xelabus taking over First 6 to Hamble and 8 to Hedge End, so the rumour has it. The rest sold to Stagecoach, apparently.

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    3. Xelabus have just been advertising their summer timetables as well.

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    4. that just leaves the no 2 3 7 9 and 11 i have an idea the no 2 would be withdrawn as bluestar cover it on the 18 bluestar could extend the 17 to thormhil alond the 3 route to replace the 3 they could introduce a new service 15 to replace the 7 so you have bluestar 15 and 16 in townhil park 15 via portswood and the hospital and the 16 via bittern baby a route 13 to replace the no 11 and a route 19 to replace the 9

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    5. Bluestar trying out double deckers on 18 would suggest they know the 2 will be withdrawn !

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    6. The 3, 7 and 11 seem to be profitable so maybe Stagecoach would purchase purely for those routes. The 2, 9 and 13 less so - I was under the impression the 8 had fairly good loadings at peak?
      Anyone can see the 2 being withdrawn, it's a matter of time. I think the 3, 7 and 11 will probably stay around a while and if Stagecoach are buying then possibly there will be new buses.

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    7. why would stagecoach want to run southampton i think bluestar should take over if stagecoach were to take over first they should take over the portsmouth and fareham depots which would include the x4 x5 in southampton

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    8. Most likely thing is the introduction of three new hybrid Volvo Gemini buses that are to be delivered around Easter.

      https://www.intelligenttransport.com/transport-news/65366/southampton-clean-bus-technology-millions/

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  37. And the First 13

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  38. Spotted on Traveline, the M1 Southampton to Marwell zoo, running from late March to... August 3rd... it may mean they would change the timings or... the end of First in Southampton?

    Also, talking about renumberings, Bluestar has a confusing numbering in terms of destinations, while First was always better at it:
    First would go West-East:
    1 - Adanac Park
    2 - Millbrook
    3 - LORDSHILL - Thornhill
    (X4 and X5 are run by First Solent)
    6 - Hamble *
    7 - Townhill Park
    8 - Hedge End
    9 - Sholing
    10 - Thornhill
    11 - Weston
    12 - Lordshill - TOWNHILL PARK
    13 - Harefield

    *Routes 6 and 8 are exceptions to the rule

    If I was in charge on Bluestar route planning, I would just do a quick renumbering;
    1 - Millbrook - Thornhill (actual 18)
    2 - Lordshill - Sholing (actual 7)
    3 - Brownhill - City Centre (actual 17)
    4 - City Centre - Townhill Park (actual 16)
    (5-9 unallocated for future projects)
    10 - Southampton - Lymington (actual 6)
    11 - Southampton - Hythe - Calshot (actual 8)
    12 - Southampton - Hythe - Langley (actual 9)
    13 - Southampton - Hythe - Fawley (actual 9)
    14 - Southampton - Totton - West Totton (actual 11)
    15 - Southampton - Totton - Calmore (actual 12)
    16 - Southampton - Nursling - Romsey (actual 4)
    17 - Southampton - Eastleigh - Fair Oak (actual 2)
    18 - Southampton - Chandlers Ford - Winchester (actual 1)
    19 - Southampton - Hedge End - Boorley Green (actual 3, but I would still expand it to Bishops Waltham, Swanmore and Waltham Chase)
    20 - Boyatt Wood - Eastleigh - Romsey (actual 5)

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    1. So change virtually any number, confusing passengers when the current numbers work fine?

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    2. Too much time on your hands me thinks.

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  39. So reading between the many speculative lines, am I right in thinking that...
    First 6 & 8 are going to Xelabus in March 2018?
    And that most or all remaining First Soton routes are changing to Stagecoach?!
    This is happening in March or summer or by end of year?
    Correct me if I'm wrong...

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    1. I think First are slowly withdrawing from Southampton and 'allowing' other operators to take on their routes. Dont think anyone will buy what they have left. Bluestar will take over the city routes (already looking at double deckers). Xelabus will be allowed to take a few less profitable routes so that it looks like there is competition. Wonder if Weymouth and Portsmouth will be next.

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    2. Perhaps Bluestar would buy the depot, I believe they are almost full at Eastleigh and Totton? Then they could move the 3, 7, 16, 17, 18 and unilink to Portswood as well as take over First's 3, 7, 9, 11 and 13 from there?

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    3. Looking recently on Twitter at the Marc Reddy acct, & he is really bigging up the Eclipse buses nr Gosport & Fareham. So going on that I'd doubt that First would quit the greater Portsmouth area.
      But I suppose none of can tell what is really going on with the Firstbus mindset?

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