Sunday, 3 February 2019

The slow and painful demise of the 46

There's a new timetable from Monday 4th Feb on Stagecoach 66 and 67 in Salisbury.

Elsewhere, Hampshire County Council cuts bite on 17th Feb. One of the routes affected is Stagecoach 46, which currently runs weekdays only between Winchester and North Baddesley.

Back in 2010 however, it ran 6 days a week and all the way to Southampton City Centre via the General Hospital and Shirley:


In October 2011, the route was curtailed to only run as far as the General Hospital and the Saturday service was withdrawn completely:


January 2012 brought a minor change, with some college services:


Come the summer of 2012 and the contract passed to Velvet (remember them?). The timetable was much as before:


By October, the contract was back with Stagecoach, although they weren't sure how long for:


It turns out they had it for good, the next change coming in January 2015. No longer running to the General Hospital, the southern terminus is now North Baddesley, with another cut to the number of journeys:


No much changed in August of the same year:


September 2016 sees some college services added again:


They disappear again in the current timetable, which started in September 2017:


From the present to the future... from 17th Feb 2019, we're down to three journeys a day from Winchester and just two towards the city:




Who says austerity's over?


117 comments:

  1. The latest timetable for the 46 is useless for most ordiary travelers.It's just a useless as the revised 6A in Winchester.Some services have now been so decipated by HCC to a point where they are just throwing taxpayers money down the drain.I get sick of poloticians spouting how important public transport is,when in what they do,in many instances they are killing it off

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    Replies
    1. Stagecoach 46 and 461

      There are a couple of errors in your article about the 46.

      The college buses still ran in September 2017. They were just renumbered to 461 so as stop the people on Romsey Rd leaping on the college bus by mistake when they wanted the Hospital or Westgate.
      In fact the four college buses still run now. One has just stopped outside our house.

      This time round someone has sat down and given these changes of the 17th Feb some thought.
      The 9.25 am IN and the 2.45 pm OUT college buses will now run all year. To make up for the loss of the two 46's which presently run half an hour behind these college busses
      The other two college buses will now run on school days instead of college days. The college opens for slightly less days than the schools do.
      The lunchtime bus has been set slightly earlier
      enabling people to have a short or long time in Winchester in the afternoons.
      Yes; there could have been a couple of more changes made for the better, but all in all things have worked out not too badly. In theory at least. Now we wait to see if it is so in practice.
      I think the contract is for two years this time.

      Delete
  2. Valley Park in general has a dreadful bus service for such a huge area of housing - the study of what it has lost is far wosre than looking at the 46 in isolation. The 46 also has the disadvantage that it is supported by HCC, and they may not say it but they don't like supporting services into neighbouring local authority areas, be they Wiltshire, Dorset or unitaries such as Southampton and Portsmouth.

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  3. It's almost as though the council only see a reason to support a bus service if it is purely for the reasons of off-peak travel.

    Look at the 14 in Basingstoke.

    The council slashed the timetable recently, until it was petitioned by the locals and a few early morning journies were reinstated.

    The commuters are only thought of if they are vocal.

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  4. I agree with you.Commuters are left out in the cold and recent tendancy is to support the odd shopper service just a few times a week in and out of a Town between about 0900 and 1300.With more days being withdrawn with the latest timetable changes,all that's happening is the route is becoming weaker until in the end it's gone forever.Interesting to note the Cango service never seem to get such sweeping cuts.Is this due to them in the first place being a HCC invention?

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  5. Really?

    Basingstoke Cango is now just the C41, run as a standard bus service 2 days a week.

    Andover Cango is now a fixed timetable service group.

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  6. With many on here being a fan of the armchair scheduler, I thought I'd jump on that particular bandwagon and come up with a new routing for the 46 designed to increase patronage.

    Here's the spreadsheet showing rough timings: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15TEBN7XAsJsphT8dMLXtJ0ZyNpKbwt0WC6PFT3Uno_o/edit?usp=sharing

    In essence, I'd suggest utilising existing buses on routes X11, X6, X7 and the 46 to provide an enhanced service along the corridor without significant increases in cost. 5 buses currently used, 5 buses required in my suggestion.

    Creating three new routes:

    X6 and X7 running from Southampton to Lordshill on the current X11 route, continuing beyond to North Lordshill, Rownhams, North Baddesley and Hiltingbury as a combination of existing services (see spreadsheet).

    The X6 would then continue to Hursley & Winchester (as the 46 currently does) and the X7 would continue through South Millers Dale, Fryern Hill, Chandlers Ford and Velmore to Eastleigh.

    The final new service would be the X8 - an hourly loop from Eastleigh to Velmore, Chandlers Ford & Fryern Hill.

    X6 & X7 would run every two hours, combining for an hourly frequency between Hiltingbury, Valley Park, North Baddesley, Lordshill and Southampton.

    Thoughts welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And who would subsidise that lot?

      Delete
    2. It would utilise the existing funding from Southampton CC for the X11, Hants CC for the 46 and Eastleigh BC for the X6/X7.

      Wouldn't be much of an increase - current routes require 5 buses, so does my plan.

      Work in college routes (which are mostly commercial) and improve the profitability and/or reduce subsidy. Provide even headways to increase usefulness of services.

      Delete
  7. Ive heard news that firstgroup are selling its Manchester business depots at bolton oldham queens rd are all included its going to be intefesting how long till southampton is next

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. just rationalising what they have in the Manchester area,they will still be operating in Manchester area.Why would you think they want to move out of Southampton,as they seem quite content with what they at present operate

      Delete
    2. I am sure they are far from content in Southampton! 20 plus routes back in 2004, down to just 8 today. All contract work thrown in, and a depot twice as big as they now need. Meanwhile their main competitor goes from strength to strength, and picks off all their best staff at will. Drivers constantly moaning about their contracts, and the lack of heating and demist capability in their vehicles. Content? You have to be kidding?!

      Delete
    3. Well as I state I don't see them going from Southampton.The 8 routes they have seems to suit them and their operation.Some staff have moved elsewhere,but I notice staff who have been with them for years still there,so it can't be all bad.Much easier too to run just 8 routes instead of having to worry about 20 or more.I talk to their drivers daily and they as yet don't keep moaning to Me about contracts,lack of heating etc.

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    4. First isn't going anywhere at all! It will stay in Southampton with little or no changes!

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    5. Except for more and more near empty buses as Bluestar continue to dominate the Southampton bus network.

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    6. True Anon 23:49-Try catching a First bus to Bitterne after 7:15pm on a Sunday night and you will not be able to do so.

      Delete
  8. Have to agree about politicians saying we should all be green etc etc & then HCC routes are reduced to such a poor level that even the die hard bus user seeks an alternative like walking/bike or a taxi. One bus every 2 to 3 hours is not going to get bums on seats. It's not just the 46 that's hanging on by a whisker there's other routes too. One such is the 28 & 28A Fareham to Whiteley. No more buses after 1700 (apx) - no Sat afternoon service & just 2 to 3 hourly otherwise. The traffic queues to get out of Whiteley resemble the A32 into Gosport at times. No buses before 0900 into Whiteley for the business park workers, shopping centre staff too.No wonder people use a car ...they have no choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 people on a bus isn't green. The only way to really get people out of their cars is to introduce congestion charging, but the politicians are scared to do so because most people in this country have too great a love for their cars.

      Delete
    2. Areed.And most people in this Country are not remotely interested in green issues

      Delete
  9. PH0006159/487 Registered
    FIRST HAMPSHIRE & DORSET LIMITED
    Route: Southampton City Centre to Marwell Zoo via Eastleigh
    Service number: M1 ()
    Service type: Normal Stopping
    Effective date: 06 Apr 2019

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the proof First isn't going anywhere.

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    2. Well, not yet anyway!

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    3. Can see Cityred 2 disappearing soon as it is rather poor performing when I`ve seen it lately.

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    4. At nightime the 2 is known to have passengers on board

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    5. Whilst when I've seen/been on the 2 recently it's been quite busy....You simply can't rely on occasional observations.

      Delete
  10. Yesterday morning, I used a Xelabus X4 from Hedge End to Eastleigh. The 9:54am bus had a very good loading, nearly full. However, the patronage consisted mainly of concessionary passes and I don't think Xelabus make much profit. I am sort of understanding why the successive cuts, although I do not agree totally with it.
    At least they could run 30 minute later on the very last journey (will be a 17:20 from Eastleigh after Feb 17, and I am suggesting a 17:50).
    Later today will have a meeting with someone at Bluestar regarding my persistent complaints regarding the problems on the 3, especially reliability. Hopefully they will listen to me and do something about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A quick add to the comment above, and just regarding the Xelabus X4, they need to change the 6:40am Monday to Friday from Hedge End and run it 15 min earlier (starting it at 6:25), so people could get a faster train from Airport Parkway to London and also help the commuters to the industrial Estate off Wide Lane.

      Delete
    2. Most services today are supported by concessionary pass holders.In fact without these people numerous services would run almost empty.People that used to use buses to and from work in Country areas have long deserted the bus and have their own transport.It's a case of having too,otherwise they are stuck.Even with Students many of them now drive and have abandoned the bus.The only ones that are ordinary workforce useing buses are mainly confined to Towns and Cities where the frequencies are pretty good all day long early to late and in many cases the fares are much more attractive to use the bus.I don't know what problem you have with Bluestar 3,but in what I see most run when they should do apart from peaks where like all other routes they are plagued by heavy traffic,which causes lateness.However something specific must afect you,and trust when you meet Bluestar they can address your concerns.As for X4 when Xelabus have had later journeys they can't have been used to any reasonable degree,otherwise they would not have taken them off or where they received a subsidy EBC withdrawing it.It should be remembered that EBC is one of the better Councils in modern times to try to keep poorly patronised services going.They do their best under harsh circumstances due to Central Government cuts.

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    3. My suggestion would actually encourage people to use the bus to commute to work whether in Eastleigh and beyond (6:25am) and get back on time (5:50pm). Food for thoughts, I would love to see an answer from Xelabus regarding this, as it isn’t a huge change.

      Delete
  11. 09:54 will be not long after 09:30 then ;)

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    Replies
    1. I know. And I was honestly impressed with the loading. Good for Xelabus.

      Delete
  12. To be honest HCC are cutting some Saturday Buses which have been all but dead when running such as the T3/4 Saturday Service so not a great deal would miss the Saturday service

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can confirm that the loadings on T3/T4 on Saturdays were very low all Saturday

      Delete
  13. Check this link after 21st February. I can't reveal any details yet, but a bus service will have a surprising change. http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk/se/XSLT_TTB_REQUEST?language=en&command=direct&net=swe&line=44003&sup=E&itdLPxx_direction=H&project=y10&outputFormat=0&itdLPxx_displayHeader=false&itdLPxx_sessionID=EFA02_78736949&lineVer=2&itdLPxx_spTr=2&itdLPxx_operatorCodeForTTB=SQ

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    Replies
    1. Well the service number is a 3.
      The operator is Bluestar.

      Can't see much changing to the route, maybe to run via West End Road and Harefield Estate before going back on Bitterne Road East.
      Or perhaps to serve Hedge End Centre but other than that I don't see a frequency increase or an extension on the other side of town.

      Delete
    2. The Xelabus X5 stops running in March.

      Perhaps Bluestar are filling that gap with an enhanced service to Boorley Park? There's a new road due to open through the estate soon too.

      Delete
    3. Is it perhaps an extension to Fair Oak or Bishops Waltham?

      Delete
  14. Anonymous, just saying that nobody will see this coming. Maybe we can have some news from VOSA very soon but I can ensure you this service will change before Easter.

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  15. It's already well known that the 3 is to run direct to Eastleigh, so why all the cloak and dagger nonsense?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not everyone works at Bluestar and not everyone has access to this, so please, don’t assume everybody knows about it.
      It will be a nice move from Bluestar if your info is accurate, as it would solve a lot of problems regarding reliability, as well as not running dead from Eastleigh depot to Boorley Green...
      :)

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    2. I don't see running in service to Boorley Green from Eastleigh as opposed to dead will solve reliability problems.Surely running dead should be slightly quicker than in service to pick up the route start at Boorley Green

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    3. Extending to Eastleigh (via Fair Oak) would allow them to increase the layover times at each end of the route - making it more reliable.

      The current B*3 timetable has just 12 minutes of layover every two hours. (averaging 6 mins per hour)

      By extending to Eastleigh, that'll increase to approx 38 minutes over three hours (an average of 12-13 mins per hour, doubling current layover times).

      This will make the service more reliable whilst also making it more attractive (thanks to new links) - particularly for the new residents of Boorley Park.

      Remember: only the first and last journeys of the day currently run dead from the depot to/from Boorley Green.

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    4. I can't imagine at the cost of the new houses at Boorley Park many will be potential bus users.As to reliability issues could be even worse with peak hour traffic in the Eastleigh area particularly along Fair Oak Road

      Delete
    5. That's a rather snobbish view (Anon at 1803). Bus users come from (nearly) all walks of life.

      I believe around 1/3 of the properties are "affordable" homes and there should be some social housing in there for good measure too.

      I doubt we'll ever see a turn-up-and-go level of frequency for Boorley, but there should be enough custom to enable the B*3 to grow.

      Bluestar will be very aware of the reliability issues along the route and I'm confident they'll plan accordingly!

      Delete
    6. Andi, correct me if I am wrong, but when I read the timetable, I gather that the first 3 journeys from Boorley Green and the 3 last journeys from Southampton would run dead from and to Eastleigh. (Monday to Friday)
      Saturdays are the first 2 and last 3, and Sunday first and last.

      Delete
    7. I was being generally unspecific Claudio, my point is that *most* journeys are part of the loop from Boorley Green to Southampton and back - not running to/from Eastleigh.

      The journeys starting/finishing in Southampton or Boorley Green (with no obvious connecting B*3) may not be running dead to/from the depot - they may be coming off or going onto a school or college route.

      Delete
    8. I'm sorry you think My comment was being snobish.However many areas where new housing is being built does not lend itself to bus users in any numbers.Most have their own car and need their own car due to poor service frequency.I see no particular increase in numbers on Bluestar 3 extending to Eastleigh.For what it carries the present Bluestar 3 is more than adequate at present

      Delete
    9. Anonymous, if this rumour of extending the 3 would improve the numbers on the service for these reasons:
      - Fair Oak: A regular quick connection from Eastleigh to Fair Oak (without the diversion like the 2 to Stoke Park), and before I am told off "but the Xelabus X15 does that already" - yes it does but hasn't a regular service like an hourly bus;
      - Horton Heath: At the moment, Horton Heath have 3 services from Xelabus (X9 Eastleigh – Bishops Waltham); (X10 Southampton – Bishops Waltham); (X15 Eastleigh – Hamble). I believe that this rumoured extension it will give new opportunities to travellers. Although the X10 to Southampton is quicker, it would take some passengers from the X9 because it has a more direct route to Eastleigh, and, the rest of the X15 passengers (which I believe it won’t survive another year);
      - Boorley Green/Park: that part of Eastleigh with a peak service to Hedge End (and the and will lose it after March 24th), it would benefit as well with regular connections to Eastleigh, as well as the current connections to Southampton
      - Botley: If anyone wants to go to Eastleigh by bus, and without changing, can do it by getting a slow X9 or an infrequent X15. If this 3 is extended to Eastleigh, it will benefit Botley for sure and change this.
      - Hedge End and the rest may benefit from this extension only if there are later buses to Southampton (an 5pm last bus from Freegrounds Avenue is not good enough, as well as only 4 buses on a Sunday).
      - If I was Xelabus, I would be very worried, because the prices are not as competitive as Bluestar and they must be prepared to lose patronage from the X9 to Eastleigh (especially at Botley, Horton Heath and Fair Oak), and a death sentence for the X15.
      - Finally, a little sting to Xelabus, I wish that Bluestar would launch a X4 killer by creating a service 13, linking Hedge End to Eastleigh and Boyatt Wood (of course service 5 would no longer serve Boyatt Wood, and that would be the responsibility of this service 13, and when doing the loop around Hedge End, it would do it clockwise (not anticlockwise like the X4) and slightly early times.

      Delete
    10. I can't imagine Bluestar introducing a Hedge End to Eastleigh service over Xelabus X4 route. I am informed by an unofficial source that Bluestar 3 may get a 2 hourly Sunday service.However that remains to be seen and might as lots of things be just pure gossip.It does seem however that it will be extended to Eastleigh sometime round Easter.In years past Solent blue line as it was then provided an hourly service 28 between Horton Heath,Fair Oak and Eastleigh.The patronage on this was always low so it didn't last.

      Delete
    11. Its so blantaly obvious that this Claudio chap is such a Bluestar fan. He has nothing but hatred for any other bus company in the area. I am no supporter of any of the companies but from my perspective First are having problems within the city and yes don't seem to attend to the attacks made by the blue buses. Bluestar are without doubt bully boys and trying to get First out of the city. Then see the fares change!
      On a recent visit to the city it is full of blue buses with mixed levels of passenger numbers. It must be costing Go Ahead a massive amount running expensive buses on high frequencies with minimal numbers travelling and with seniors travelling a much reduced income. First with all its problems hold its own and I can well understand their move to try and hold onto Weston. With Xelabus they seem to fill a gap on local bus services that the Bluestar doesnt want to move onto. Xelabus X4 works with Barton Peveril. You can see that with the number of students travelling and making use of the X4 and the college 401. Students also can make use of the X4 during the day to get home to West End and Hedge End. Your stupid suggestion of hitting Xelabus why? Another attack like Weston with First? Claudio you should stick to collecting bus numbers stood by the side of the road as that is clearly your passion for getting Bluestar numbers in your little book! I would finish by saying if Bluestar so run their 3 through to Eastleigh via Fair Oak I can't see too much for Xelabus to worry about? Their X9 doesnt really carry a lot of Eastleigh bound passengers from what I see as they mostly travel in sections along the route? The X10 is quicker for travelling to Southampton and is well placed for the new Chalcroft development. The X15 is funded by EBC it says in their timetable book and actually gives a link from Hamble to Eastleigh so again can't see any change to route 3 Bluestar having any effect whatsoever? Leave First and Xela alone and
      if Bluestar want to carry on attacking these companies I hope we will see someone biting back.
      Give them a taste of their own medicine.

      A student who travels on all three bus companies buses.

      Delete
    12. I just want to laugh. And you imagine why I am a Bluestar fan:
      - it is the only bus company that makes an effort to listen to public feedback and it is totally independent (First is a puppet, still don’t understand the move in October 2017)
      - Bluestar doesn’t block on social media and confront any public member when things aren’t right (First Blocked me and Xelabus expelled me from the enthusiast group)
      - Bluestar didn’t destroy the comprehensive bus network existent in Southampton 10 years ago (guess who did), and actually is recreating them: through buses to Hospital from Weston, or not allowing people from Oakley road to be without a bus after more than a 100 years;
      - Bluestar creates a lot of initiatives to call more people to use the bus (I think Xelabus and First have a lot to learn from BS)
      - Bluestar isn’t greedy when you ask for a rerouting of service (First never bother to reply; Xelabus replies with a plain NO)

      Nobody knows about this, but I was invited last Wednesday 6th to visit the Bluestar depot in Eastleigh to have a meeting with the General Manager, along with two Eastleigh Councillors to discuss my worries and suggestions made in the past to Bluestar and I felt like I was welcome there, with no intimidation, unlike Xelabus that posts here as anonymous and inviting me to have a meeting with Mr Blair, which I saw as a way to try to intimidate me, and I wouldn’t be so surprised if someone assaulted me physically and verbally while in their premises; I then asked the councillors if they could arrange me a meeting with someone from Xelabus and they... rejected! because of what I’ve been saying about them in here!

      Delete
    13. Well what do you expect when you state the X4 should be killed off by Bluestar ? I can well understand First and Xelabus realise you are just a bus nutter who has no idea of the intracicies of running buses but just wants to make stupid comments.

      I can understand how both First and Xela feel when idiots like you bound such rubbishing comments. I wouldnt be surprised you get a back hander from Go Ahead.

      Grow up!

      Delete
    14. Bluestar maybe a bully but it's a strange situation when someone smaller (Go Ahead) bullies someone much bigger (First group).

      If First have got themself into a position where they can be bullied then that really is the result of their own incompetence and mis management in recent years both at the local level and the national level.

      Delete
    15. It is not about growing up it is all about treating customers right

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    16. I seem to remember Xelabus MD asked you to get in touch and go and have a one to one meeting and you declined because of work - yet last week you found time to go to Bluestar?

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    17. Bless, I think Claudio is a bit deluded. To quote "I wouldn’t be so surprised if someone assaulted me physically and verbally while in their premises"

      It's a bus company, not the mafia.

      Delete
    18. Go ahead smaller than First??Go ahead is a huge company running bus services in places such as Brighton and Plymouth and London and also trains.

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    19. GTR and South eastern trains are owned by Go ahead as well as trains in Germany.

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    20. Go Ahead turnover: £3.5bn
      First turnover: £5.7bn

      Delete
  16. VOSA today shows a change to the X4 from 21/04. To amend the westbound route in Fareham.

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  17. I see that NX 300 (Southsea- Bristol via Soton and Salisbury) is due for chop.

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    Replies
    1. Plenty of trains over more or less the same route when GWR can be bothered to run them.

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    2. And the 315 is being severely cut back to operate between Bournemouth and Plymouth only.

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    3. That 315 has run between Eastbourne and Helston ever since I can remember.It passes where I live daily.Will be sad not to see it anymore

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    4. Source of information?

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  18. How will I get coach from Southampton to Eastbourne when route changes happen?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe even via Gatwick

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    2. 035 to London, 028 to Eastbourne

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    3. One journey each way on the 206 is being diverted via Brighton as a partial replacement. All details are on the NX journey planner for April onwards.

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    4. At least that is a reasonable connection into the regular bus across the Sussex Coast.

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  19. I bet that will push the price up

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  20. Looking at future roadworks for So'ton, it'll be more hell for ALL commuters from April til late May. Coxford Rd will be only one-way meaning current routes of the 3,7 & 17 can't proceed as usual! Something to do with installation of a right turn into the Soton General. So depending on where you're coming from you could face a massive diversion.
    So be prepared for even longer delays on any bus which goes via the hospital. Bluestar are aware but haven't finalized their diversion route.
    Personally it makes sense if they run 17 to Lordshill etc firstly & then do hospital on way back to Shirley, otherwise it'll be a stupid idea to double back on yourself.
    But hey I'm only an alert commuter & not a civic planner.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Looks like (from the online roadworks site) that the road is closed from Warren Avenue roundabout to just before the Tremona Road junction, so could the buses go up Tremona Road from Warren Avenue and then turn back on to Coxford Road to resume normal route and still serve hospital both ways?

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  22. Could do that perhaps but 8 wks temporary one-way westbound for Coxford Rd. Diversion on roadworks site says Olive Rd, Aldermoor Rd, Lordswood Rd & Winchester Rd.
    So hence why I think Olive Rd, then Lordshill, Adanac park then usual route to hospital to Shirley seems sensible option?
    Either way it's going to cause snarl ups whatever bus co's decide upon.

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, that would only help people going one way. What about those wanting to go from the hospital to Adanac? Blue Star have a park and ride site there to serve!

      Delete
  23. Good points made by anon @ 01:12
    But there'll still be some who won't be able to catch bus at their usual stops throughout this process.
    I just don't get Southampton council & why they seem obsessed with road works but at same time roads are still riddled with potholes?
    Top of our former Rd- meant to fix cluster of potholes last yr...only patched up 1 of them! Meant to be doing same area again last wk but they haven't, is what I've heard.
    Talk about wasting money, why not just do it in one foul swoop?

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  24. Some roads now are just plain dangerous with potholes.However Southampton Council seem obsessed with updating cycle paths and pavements.The latest to come will be in a few weeks time when they start along Bitterne Road West.Myself I see no problem with how it is at present,whilst if you go along Quayside Road nearby,the state of the road is shocking,but nothing going to be done about this.Here again I presume yet another bus stop closure in Bitterne Road West,although not confirmed as yet.

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  25. Mar 18-29 lane closure for Quayside Rd bus stop improvements work. Junction is shocking, on bus to work the other yr & stupid car driver wasn't paying attention & drove into the rear of the bus!

    Whereas Quayside Rd area will have Rd closed between Mar 11-22 for "cycle improvements" work.
    Also undertaking work on the Avenue aren't they? But is there really enough room for segregated lanes along there?

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  26. Recently whilst on Bluestar buses using their WiFi, majority of times this website is blocked! Anyone else noticed this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably not just this website but a lot of “blogspot” websites, as some of the websites allocated in this blogspot thingy contain inappropriate content. Not the case of this Sotonbus blog. Also I don’t think Bluestar blocked this on purpose, as the service is provided by a third party.

      Delete
  27. I don’t know if this has been discussed:
    Bluestar’s Aquiles Heel is... the depot(s).
    One mid sized Depot in Eastleigh and one pretty small off Salisbury Rd in Totton.
    Do you guys think they should invest money to purchase a building in Nursling off the M271? Or should they wait (and be constrict in launching new routes in the meantime) to see if something happens to the First operation in Southampton (although I don’t believe they will sell the operation or make any move to leave)?
    I saw also an article at “The News (of Portsmouth) that an abandoned building in the middle of J12 of M27 (which I think it is where the M275 begins) could be converted to a Bus Depot. Do you think also that Bluestar may be interested to launch some services in Portsmouth?

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    Replies
    1. Here is the link for the Portsmouth “depot” https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/plans-for-m27-bus-depot-could-boost-city-services-1-8804787

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    2. Blue Star have long since stated that they are not interested in combining both depots, as this would have adverse effects on dead mileage and give no flexibility in the event of traffic problems or local industrial disputes. They are however keen to relocate both depots, should a commercially sensible option become available.

      Delete
    3. Oh that is interesting. I always thought that a change on depots would have an effect on timetables, to minimise dead mileage. And this is me just imagining things, in case they move both depots to one in Nursling:
      In my point of view it would have little impact on routes 8, 9, 11, 12, 17 and QC.
      Routes 1 and 18 would have some impact
      Routes 2, 3, 7, 16 and all Unilink would be the biggest losers, as it would have a serious effect on dead mileage.
      So at the end of the day it is not desirable a merging of depots. However I think they will need to do something about it, as they must be nearly full capacity.

      Delete
    4. There is little they can do at Totton, but at Eastleigh they just rent a bit more space in the vacant areas, so they can expand whenever they are ready.

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  28. Surprised when you met them last week you did not enquire as to whether they were looking for new premises to launch new services elsewhere

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    1. This meeting was with me, Richard Tyldsley and 2 councillors from Eastleigh. The question would be inappropriate, in my point of view, as it wouldn’t be seen with good eyes from the Eastleigh side.

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    2. Yes-I would imagine all would have been mortified at you suggesting attacking Portsmouth bus wise.Still I hope they addressed your concerns about Bluestar 3 or at least Mr Tyldsley did

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    3. Well, yes, although this information regarding a free land for a depot was revealed today, so that would have been impossible to suggest such. And I was really talking about closing both depots and open one in Nursling

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    4. Perhaps you should make your postings clearer to all who read them instead of us all having to guess what you mean

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    5. I am sorry, English is not my first language. Hope you understand that

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  29. Nothing to do with anything above, but I just wanted to say how appalled I am, seeing so many First drivers handling a mobile phone in their cab. These are supposed to be professional drivers, yet they risk a fine, and six immediate points, for doing this, even if the engine is off. I know that Blue Star have clamped down on it and threaten instant dismissal for anyone caught doing so on their CCTV system. They insist that drivers stand out of the cab, so they can't be construed as being in charge of their vehicle. Professional drivers should not only know the law, but should be setting an example to other road users.

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    1. I have seen them read newspapers as well in the Cab

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    2. Well there are worse things Reece,such as you talking to them whilst they are driving in some comments I have noted.

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    3. Oh dear you go on like I'm the only person to do it and you can't even reveal your name how sad is that.

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    4. My reply to you is don't make comments about bus drivers who have a difficult job anyway when you in your own admission in the past do things that are not acceptable.It also applies to others other than you who do the same things.Some people seem to have great joy in getting others into trouble.Not all of us want to put are name forward as many of us work for an operator who does not like staff posting on social media

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    5. I probally have a rough idea who you are anyway.

      But I don't go to extremes by asking about what the engines are like or what it does 0 to 60 in and how many gears the bus has.

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  30. Bluestar have a new ticket choices leaflet available following the fares increase recently and it has an interesting addition to the network map...

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    1. Yay! You spotted something no-one else has bothered to highlight, earn yourself a Leyland National Sticker.

      Jesus, what is with all the "I know something, you don't know" recently? Anyone would think this place is a point scoring section.

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    2. Sorry Darren; you shouldn’t assume that if you know it, everyone will know it too. Well, I picked up a leaflet myself today and it is indeed the extension of Bluestar 3 to Eastleigh. So this blog can start spread the word about it ;)

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    3. Just picked up a copy of the leaflet myself. Unless Bluestar have made a massive printing error, it is clear that the 3 will be extended from Boorley Green to Eastleigh. Also worth noting that the extended route will be entirely within the Southampton Plus zone. If this is happening, it will have a massive impact on the Xelabus routes in the area and I predict the following will eventually happen:

      X15 to be withdrawn completely

      X10 diverted to serve Hedge End & Botley instead of Horton Heath

      X9 diverted away from Hedge End in order to serve the much shorter route to Bishop’s Waltham via Durley

      X4 first & last journeys extended to Netley & Hamble to replace the X15

      I can also see Bluestar 3 eventually being diverted to serve Hedge End station. Heath House Lane & Turnpike Way could also be bypassed to provide a shorter route, with those estates being replaced with a new Hedge End - Harefield - Southampton service

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    4. No printing error - Bluestar are extending their 3 to Eastleigh via Fair Oak and Boorley Green estate.

      I don't see the X9 or X10 being diverted - their current routings are well suited and I don't think they'll be affected by the changing route 3.

      I can see the X15 being changed though. It carries very few passengers at the moment anyway - all are ENCTS and they go to the supermarkets en route.

      Extending a couple of off-peak X4s to Hamble could work well - though the X4's buses may prove too big?

      As for making the 3 shorter, I don't see it happening. To do so would require a vast amount of extra resource. Heath House Lane and Turnpike Way are rather popular sections of the route and bypassing them would harm the B*3, IMO.

      I'd imagine a few peak time B*3s could be extended from Boorley Green to Hedge End station (en route to/from Fair Oak & Eastleigh) to allow commuters to catch London-bound trains.

      Hopefully the changes to the 3 are popular as it would enable Bluestar to run more frequently!

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    5. Are you guys okay? Why does the 3 be extended to Hedge End Station? When the 3 goes all the way to Eastleigh, with a bigger train station within 3 minute walking?
      I believe Xelabus will have a huge impact with huge changes to routes and timetables:
      - The X10 may be diverted via Hedge End Station and Boorley Green before going to Horton Heath to annoy Bluestar;
      - No changes to the X9 as it goes already a long way anyway.
      - the X15 may not be full withdrawn as I said a few comments above, but instead it would start and terminate at the Hedge End Shops (those who want to go to Eastleigh can get an X4 and those who want to go to Botley can get a BS3 or an X9
      - I will write an article pretty soon about this.

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    6. The 3 could be diverted to Hedge End station as commuters wouldn't want to spend circa 15-20 mins extra on the bus just to catch the same train from Eastleigh, Claudio. They'd just drive to the station instead.

      The X9 and X10 are already very tightly scheduled - Xelabus won't want to add another vehicle to the working as that would add another 100k+ to the running costs without an improvement in revenue!

      Xelabus have been very clear in the past that they're keen to avoid competition with the larger operators.

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    7. What impact the B*3 has to Xela would possibly depend on whether the 3 being part of the Southampton Plus zone all the way to Eastleigh is true or honoured [As per Anon 15/02 11:40]

      If true, commuters *might* find the connections and the pre-warmed bus to Eastleigh more tempting than the train from Hedge End.

      I don't know the cost benefits vs time benefits vs SWR reliability; but someone might have more versed local knowledge....

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    8. Xelabus are excellent in running services late, and not caring too much about customers feedback. So I think both routes need working to do, not just the X9 and X10... the X4 suffers from enormous delays especially at peak times.
      Give you an example:
      Two bus stops that are served by both First 8 and Xelabus X4: "West End Midlands Estate" and "Hedge End Superstores". Through the day, First has a difference of 9 minutes between both stops. Xelabus has a difference of just 7.
      So there you have it.

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    9. The B*2 and current B*3 are wholly within the Southampton Plus fare zone, so it makes perfect sense for the extended Bluestar 3 to be too.

      Regarding rail commuters, I was referring to the longer distance commuters - those travelling beyond Eastleigh to Winchester or London. They're not going to want to travel to Eastleigh by bus then catch a train from there.

      There's also rail passengers heading south to Fareham and Portsmouth who wouldn't want to spend half an hour travelling to Eastleigh just to catch the very same train they could catch from Hedge End or Botley!

      Claudio, we all know how you feel about Xelabus. You've made your views ~very~ clear over recent months on this blog. All operators will find their services being unreliable at times - such is the modern world.

      I'm sure Xelabus work just as hard as the others to fix this too. One possible reason for the difference in journey time between West End and Hedge End might be that Xelabus carry fewer passengers (the 8 is double the frequency and travels to a different destination after all). It's the same reason the First 8 takes longer than the X10 between Southampton and Bitterne!

      Routes like the X9 and X10 only have four minutes of layover every hour - very little room for reliability issues but increasing the layover would require many more resources - which isn't financially viable.

      For future reference Claudio, using the journey time of two routes between two timing points isn't a decisive way of proving such a generic point!

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    10. Could you please read my article and tell me what you think about it? https://www.laubus.co.uk/2019/02/southamptoneastleigh-bluestar-due-to.html

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  31. Several changes on Yellow Buses:
    - Introduction of a service N1 running from Westbourne to Christchurch Friday and Saturday nights
    - Change to the route on service N5
    - withdrawal of service 7 with a replacement, offering a service 12 (Boscombe pier to Sandbanks via Alum Chine)
    - introduction of variations on services 2 (2H), 3 (3A) and 6 (6B)
    - introduction of service 19: Bournemouth - Branksome - Tower Park (every 90 min)

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    1. Claudio, thanks for posting. Do you know what date teh changes are effective from please.

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    2. They come into effect from 7th April.

      It seems that the 12 will be known as "Buster's Beach Bus", and I expect to be a summer-only 'takeover' of the 7.

      I totally agree with the below comment though, the constant changes seem to have an air of desperation. It was only 6 months ago the 3a was absorbed into the 3 to "make it simpler".

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    3. All details (and my speculation) here https://www.laubus.co.uk/2019/02/yellow-buses-summer-timetables-from.html

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  32. Yellowbuses seems today to be so badly managed those in charge just don't seem to know what to alter next

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    1. Next they will have a change of ownership.
      Yellow Buses will be on the market by 2020, unless a miracle happens.

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  33. Nice to see yellows are finally listening to people

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    1. Are they really? Successive cuts? And now this? Why the variants on routes 2, 3 and 6? Why the Night buses? We still don’t know about frequencies!

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