Wednesday, 3 July 2019

RATP sells Yellow Buses / Summer days out


RATP, owned by the French taxpayer, has sold Yellow Buses of Bournemouth to its local management team. We wish them well as the become the biggest locally-owned bus company in the region. We do so with concern for their future, as Go Ahead, the company behind More, has deep pockets and can afford some fierce competition in order to gain territory. The French taxpayer also had deep pockets, which probably put More off from trying to wrestle too many routes from them. Now that Yellows are local again and no longer part of a multi-national, they could be vulnerable to attack. We'll be watching closely.


The New Forest Tour starts this Saturday, making much of the national park accessible to those of us without a car. It's operated by Go Ahead, so there is integrated ticketing on connecting routes by Bluestar, More and Salisbury Reds, plus the historical Hythe Ferry from Southampton.


Bluestar's South Downs Rambler starts on Sunday, running every Sunday and Bank Holiday until 8th September, providing a link between Winchester and Petersfield via attractions like Winchester Science Centre and Hinton Ampner. See the PDF guide here.


From 21st July, Bluestar 9 is extended to Lepe Beach opening up more day out ideas. There's a great value Lepe Group Dayrider ticket valid for 5 people between Applemore Tesco and Lepe Beach for just £7! PDF leaflet here.


Stagecoach are making a bit of a fuss about the attractions served by the 69 between Winchester and Fareham. The star of the show is Marwell Zoo, but that is only served on Sundays and only from the Winchester end, not from Fareham.


Over on the Isle of Wight, Southern Vectis 27 resumes on 20th July, making it possible to visit Tapnell Farm without a car.

What are your favourite days out by bus in our region? Leave a comment and let us know.



See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.


146 comments:

  1. Will be nice for those in Bishop's Waltham on a Sunday for a short period to have a connection bus wise with the outside world once again.At least they can have a decent day out in Winchester

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  2. I enjoy visiting Alton Bus Rally

    I get the Bluestar 1 to Winchester then I get the Stagecoach 64 to Alton

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    Replies
    1. There's a free shuttle bus from Southampton to Alton for the bus rally, Reece. Usually operated by an open-top Olympian too!

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    2. Yes I am well aware of this fact thanks, but I would rather grab A King's City Stagecoach 64 to Alton as the bus is less likely to break down.

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  3. You can`t beat a trip on Southern Vectis route 12 for its views of Freshwater Bay and all the villages on the way.

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    Replies
    1. Can't go wrong with a 12, arguably the best normal route on the island. The 3's, 6's and 8's come equally close though.

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  4. I like busters beach bus in Bournemouth with nice views between boscombe and Bournemouth town and the eclipse service between fareham and gosport also the 76 between andover and basingstoke bonus if they put a double decker on

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  5. Probably my favourite day out by bus is the 50 from Bournemouth Station to Swanage. Great views AND you get to go on a boat. A boat!!

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  6. Does anyone know if Bluestar still run the Aviva Park and Ride in Chandlers Ford?

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    Replies
    1. Do you know what times it run please?

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    2. Do you work for Aviva? If not, then it's not relevant.

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    3. Anon-well said.

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    4. No it isn't for me but I am wanting to photograph the Bus in service and knowing the times would be useful for me in that sense.

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    5. Sorry Reece, but I am unable to help with that. I am sure a quick call to customer services will solve it for you. Failing that, get yourself up near Asda at chandler's ford on the one route before 8 30am or after 4pm and you will spot it going in and out of their offices.

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    6. Yeah I beleive it's 2 buses that operate the Park and Ride

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  7. First are holding a Recruitment day at Empress Road next month for Recruiting of bus drivers

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  8. Well that should put pay to all the gossip they will soon withdrwaw from Southampton

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    Replies
    1. Not at all. They have to keep providing services until such time as they withdraw, and with the number of staff leaving, they need to do something quickly. Redundancy for recently recruited staff costs almost nothing.

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    2. Can't imagine ayone wanting a job with a company that's under the threat of withdrawing according to some commentators on this site

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    3. In all fairness most of the general public are probally unaware of the bus diversion being put up for sale

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    4. Exactly And most would have no interest in the fact as most just want a bus to get them from A to B and have no interest who runs it as long as they have a bus

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    5. If I had a full driving license I certanly would have been going to the Recruitment event at Empress Road

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  9. Not sure about the veracity of this but I saw on Facebook that Xelabus premises in Chickenhall Lane have a notice of re-entry issued by the landlords. Can they operate services with the address of Mr Blair's home? I really don't know the rules so my question is genuine.

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    1. I have been told the buses are out and about today

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    2. I heard the services are running as normal but I am totally unsure about the next days.
      I have discussed This issue with a friend and we agreed that if Xelabus ceases Trading, services X11 (and eventually X12 and X15) would go to Wheelers, with the rest of the services going to Bluestar.

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    3. Would wheelers want the X11 Back as they gave the service back to Xelabus?

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    5. I am in charge of my opinion. Don’t try to censor me

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    6. If Xelabus does go, I suspect that either BS or Wheelers would take over in the interim (as happened when Shamrock buses went bust round here). Certainly with school and college services to keep them going until the end of term and then have them retendered over the summer.

      Likewise with their public services - I'm not sure how much is tendered work but that would end up going out to tender again

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    7. If I recall when Velvet first went into adminstration for the S1 which was the predecessor for the X11 the council asked Bluestar to step in. Which they did (and then when Velvet restarted the echo ran with a bus war story - despite not getting the full story right on the circumstances).

      I hope it is not had news for Xelabus quite a few people who are on the X11 route I know love their service, when Wheelers ran it they were not as impressed and were happy when Xelabus returned.

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  10. Rumours going around that there is an interested buyer in xelabus. Watch this space??

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  11. Surely not one with stripes on their buses?

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  12. There's an article in the Echo about Xelabus, so you can all calm down now.

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    Replies
    1. That's good news indeed

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    2. Let's all hope Gareth Blair continues to be intrested in running the bus company for many years to come, he has done a good job with his buisness.

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    3. Yet another instance on Southampton Bus Update where certain commentators either listen too or read rubbish about something and spread rumours that could do a company much damage.They also predict who will then operate the routes of the operator they believe has gone under.The Southern Evening Echo is well known for stories stretched well beyond reality.I remember years ago when I worked for a local bus company at a service change we would give them details of what was happening but when you read the bit about the changes they read different to what was happening where some person had edited it and transformed it into total nonsense in many cases.

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    4. Xelabus has done so well over the past 10 years (anniversary next year they say) and I find it unbelievable that the Echo can report on what is a non story! They are a family business with personal connections to why it was started in the first place. I am a driver with this company and its the best job I have had and I have worked for both of the companies surrounding Southampton. They are decent people and deserve to receive recognition for efforts. It is so refreshing having both the Blairs come down to the drivers and talk yo us like human beings. I do know these people are highly respected by their work force and whilst other companies struggle for staff, Xelabus actually is fully staffed and has a waiting list!

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    5. Are there any drivers still at Xelabus who joined when the Company first started in 2010

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    6. Yes there are five still with the company. Shows loyalty.

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    7. What companies have drivers worked for before apart from Bluestar and First mate?

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    8. Yes Brijan and Velvet

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    9. This driver above may be new to Xelabus there are more then that and we have worked for Bluestar in the pasted . It’s a pity he doesn’t know about us !!!! And how long we worked for the company oh well he or she pays a lot of intention .

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  13. Wheeler's operations of bus routes seems to be shrinking in Andover with Stagecoach getting back more services.I wonder just how much longer they will be running bus services?

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  14. Selected fare changes on Southampton City Reds from 22nd July 2019 I note

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    Replies
    1. Targeting routes with no competition from BS.

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    2. Raising the minimum fare to £2 makes BS cheaper then for short journeys in the city.

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  15. The Wheeler's changes appear to be imminent as, for example, service 15 timetable on Traveline is shown as "until 21/07/19". But who is taking over and, as there is no listing on Traveline of service 15 for another operator, presumably with a new number?

    Also, I have noticed there is no timetable for Xelabus's X12 on their website? I presume though this is just an error as Traveline shows the current timetable as "until further notice".

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  16. I agree the 15 seems to have gone.Perhaps Traveline could advise if this is so.Why the x12 is not shown on their website is a mystery.Depending where you look the Bitterne Hoppa also is shown as X1-X2-X3 or B1-B2-B3 or H1-H2-H3.Also in the bus timetable for Xelabus no mention in index to places served of the X11

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    Replies
    1. The 15 in Andover is now shown on Traveline after 21st July 2019 still operated by Wheeler's

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    2. Also the X12 is now shown on Xelabus website I note

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  17. Digging a little further about the changes in Andover, Stagecoach has a service update at https://www.stagecoachbus.com/service-updates/serviceupdatesarticle?SituationId=ID-11/07/2019-16:34:13:957 which suggests Wheeler's has lost at least two services as well as Cango.

    As for the 15, it interworks with the 16 and 87 whose timetables on Traveline SW are shown as "until further notice". Hmm!

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  18. You will also notice if you plan a journey on Traveline that the 15 does not exist after 21st July 2019.In fact options are only shown after this date for a long way round to get between the two points

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  19. Does anyone know what is happening to the 46 / 461 this September ???

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    1. Only revised morning times to suit Peter Symonds college.

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    2. Does that mean the 46 from Winchester Bus station at 12.20 pm will still be at 12.20 pm ???

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    3. As someone has informed you only revised times for Peter Symonds college,I must presume the new timetable is shown on Traveline or on the Stagecoach website

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    4. No. It is not on either of them. That's why I was asking.

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    5. The new timetables for PSC are available on the college's website: https://www.psc.ac.uk/docs/content/stagecoach.pdf

      Doesn't include the full 46 timetable though (only the 461 times)

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    6. Andi. Thanks for the information.

      Traveline now shows the new times for both the 46 and the 461. The lunchtime bus will now leave Winchester Bus Station at 12.45 pm. As from the 2nd September.

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  20. Morebus M2 extended to Christchurch & Somerford from the September 2019!

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    1. Interesting.

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    2. It looks as if x1&2 also getting a frequency increase

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    3. I thought it wouldn't be too long before that happened, though the Somerford extension does surprise me. Even to Christchurch is going to require a good few more vehicles and drivers.

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    4. Will this at the expense of a reduced frequency on other routes ? At present journeys are cancelled due to to staff shortages regularly

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    5. With the amount of services cancelled due to staff shortages I'm surprised they can even contemplate such an extension at present

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    6. Realistically I wouldn't think the X1/X2 need a frequency increase on the current routes as they don't cover the entire YB 1a extension - it is the direct New Milton to Somerford section that needs addressing - perhaps extending the 119 directly ( I know it HCC paid for - but I'm sure that can be negotiated) through to Sainsbury's at Somerford to join up with the extended M2. Thus all options from New Milton are covered - whether for Boscombe centre/Hospital

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    7. The Yellows 1a is only hourly, making the X1/X2 more frequent even at their current rate, so I can't see any reason why a frequency increase would be beneficial - although an increase on Sunday frequency might be welcome (I'm not sure what patronage is like on Sundays)

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    8. W&D did try a Sunday increase when the X1 was the 123 and X2 was the 121. This was when they decided to run open tops on the route and decided to run 4 return journeys on the 121 (plus evening short journeys between Bournemouth & Highcliffe) along side the 4 return journeys on the 123. If my memory serves me correctly, this lasted one summer and wasn't repeated.

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    9. As I thought, there's probably not the demand. The X1 and X2 have to compete with the faster (and cheaper) train as well, so that's probably why

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  21. Where has the M2 extension been confirmed - DVSA Bus Registrations ?

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  22. There are some changes in both Bournemouth and Southampton from September 1st:
    Yellow buses will have changes to nearly all their services, no details available but I just expect some timetabling tweaks;
    Morebus with changes on services X1/X2, 112 and some school routes (no indication as yet about the M2 extension rumour)
    Bluestar with changes on services 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16 and 18, and it is likely to be timetabling tweaks as well.

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    1. I'll find it interesting to see whether the 1a and 6 will keep the extensions introduced in the summer timetable, or if they will turn into "summer only" things.

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    2. On VOSA, they did not update the terminus of both routes 6 and 1a, so it is hard to tell.
      You can check for yourself the changes on vosa
      Bournemouth Transport PH0005070
      GoSouthCoast PH1121126

      Changes are under “variations” section

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    3. Looks as though the change to Bluestar 1 may not be happening after all it would seem

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    4. Why would you say that Reece? Autumn is the only clue that we have, as to when the upgrade will come, and that depends on both new vehicles and staff being in place by then. There may also be far bigger projects afoot, of which we currently have no knowledge, but fun to speculate on!

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    5. Well I for one still want this to happen but maybe it won't happen in September

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    6. 1B being extended to Burton too

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    7. I can't see any reason for Bluestar wanting to increase the frequency on their 1.At present it can be very hit and miss on a 15 minute frequency.Why an earth Reece would want an increased frequency beats Me.is He using it daily?

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    8. The only reason for needing the increase in frequency is to slam the door shut on any incursion by Stagecoach, IF they were to show an interest in Firsts interests in Southampton, which still looks doubtful. They would want a link between Southampton and Winchester so Bluestar are defending their territory to deter them.

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    9. Interesting that Yellow Buses will no longer run the school service 50 (Bearwood - Merley - Poole Grammar School). It will be run by Morebus as service 450 and start from the University instead.

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    10. Oh dear Reece,all this continual chatting with bus drivers when your on a bus.some seem to spin you yarns into what's going to happen in the future.Some bus drivers are the busiest gossips going and it's always advisable to let the operator publish any changes then you know it's accurate

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    11. No I never wanted the 1 to be increased to every 10 minutes this is a change that Bluestar want to make and they will make a success of it :)

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    12. Most drivers enjoy chatting to me a new driver who just started at First has allready got to know me very well including one that was on the Driver Training bus that I waved to a few times and I allready met him propelly on his secound week of starting.

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  23. The 4 (504,654) amended route & timetable & addition of 654 service?
    18 is revised timetable from 01/09 & the 16 is revised timetable from 02/09

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    1. The amended route sometimes just refers to some bus stops served are changing, that’s all, no major changes I believe.

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    2. Route change will cover the addition of the 654.

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  24. Take note.Bluestar 19 starts in September.See their website for details

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  25. Just seen the 19 announcement on Twitter, subject to traffic officer approval. Isn't this a direct rival to First's three service?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe, apart from the service is only running between 7am-7pm?

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    2. Take note: I wouldn’t be surprised if, at any point in time, the western section of the 7 (City - Lordshill) is transferred to this Bluestar 19.
      I also notice that Woolston is already overbused (especially at Bridge Link Road) and 4 extra buses an hour in Woolston will be going over the limit, creating extra chaos in that specific area, off the eastern side of Itchen Bridge.
      Monday to Friday, and counting both ways
      First:
      X4, X5, 6, 9, 13: 4 buses an hour each
      The three: 15 buses per hour
      11: 24 buses per hour
      Sub-Total: 59 buses per hour
      Bluestar:
      7: 4 buses per hour
      17: 12 buses per hour
      19: 8 buses per hour
      Subtotal: 24 buses per hour
      Total: 83 buses per hour

      On average, one bus every 43 seconds.

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    3. I already defended a reduction in frequency on both services 3 and 11 from First
      Going down both routes to 10 minutes. The same with service 2.
      That would release 10 extra buses an hour to create a new route somewhere in Southampton to compete with Bluestar, for example, a more direct service to Eastleigh.

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    4. Well there should be no customer complaints in getting between Woolston and City or vice versa.puts a question on the matter of saving the enviroment though.Still with no journeys on 19 after 1900 that should help the situation

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    5. You have a direst service to Eastleigh that being the train

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    6. Having re-read the press release it states it will be every 15 mins between 7am and 7pm, it does not say that it will only run between these hours.

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    7. Well looking at the press release the timetable should soon be shown on their website.the route map is already shown although in what I have seen a little hard to read on line

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    8. The route is the same as First 3 apart from going the same way as the 17 to Woolston.

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  26. As someone who lives up the road from Woolston, I have no complaints about getting to/from the city - apart from the lack of night buses beyond midnight (connecting with the last trains or buses of the day can be impossible).

    Since moving to the area, over four years ago, I have never seen a bus head through Woolston without picking up passengers (heading towards the city) unless there's already a bus on stand.

    That's a lot of cars off the road - so the "overbussing" won't be harming the environment, quite the opposite in fact.

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    Replies
    1. Very few people round after midnight.do what most do and use a Taxi

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  27. What Depot will do the Bluestar 19

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    Replies
    1. It will be Eastleigh Reece. As I speculated above, another near duplicate on part of the First network, making me even more certain that Bluestar are planning a complete representation on every route, to make a takeover easier to navigate through the regulator!

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  28. Does anyone else think Bluestar can smell blood and by the way they plan to increase it to every 10 minutes next year

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    Replies
    1. Yes, absolutely they smell blood. They have set their course to wipe out First by the end of 2020 at latest.

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    2. Good wipe out the losers at First.

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  29. Just the first 7 left now to attack.I would think no interest in 6-8-9-13 although the 6 is pretty boyant at times as is the 8.The dead duck is the 13

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    Replies
    1. the 13 needs to be incorporated in one bus route, otherwise it is not worth serving the area. good for Xelabus and its X10.

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    2. You would think so-However loadings on X10 most times are pretty poor-Strangely enough the X10 loadings seem to be better on Saturdays

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    3. That`s because it is less frequent on Saturday`s.

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    4. Well most services that have an hourly Monday to Friday service which drops to two hourly Saturdays don't usualy do that well on the Saturday.Even when the Saturdays were hourly the loadings on some journeys were always better than on the Monday to Friday ones in observation as it passes right by My door

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    5. Regarding First's 7 as being their only high frequency route with no direct competition, it's already got the U1/B*2/U6 to deal with south of Portswood, while the B*16 is generally quicker to city from Townhill. It really leaves the Cobden Bridge as the only section with no competition, although I'm not sure how Bluestar would go about it, having previously operated their 16 route that way. Frequency increase of the U9 anyone?

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  30. New routes with variation on GoSouthCoast:
    X3 - Morebus
    X7/X7R - Salisbury Reds
    1, 17 - Bluestar (I only checked these two, the 17 will have a change from September 1st, The 1 from September 9th

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    Replies
    1. Expected to be the 10 minute Frequency on the 1 :)

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    2. More changes on the 17 what the hell

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  31. BBC News website reports that Wrightbus, having had two rounds of staff redundancies within the last year, are now "looking for investors or a buyer". How will this affect our local operators?

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  32. No business is safe in the Uk.This is due to poor government and will just get worse.Never seen the country in such a state.Now the laughing stock of the World.Not one political party anyone can trust anymore.No wonder the majority of the population are so fed up in paying for their mistakes

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    1. Oh dear, you are having a negative political day. Just to cheer you up, remember that this tiny stable island is the fifth biggest economy in the world! Very few conflicts, earthquake events etc and almost full employment.

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  33. Bluestar 19 timetable is up on their site and yes the buses do stop running around 7pm each day.

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    1. Most bizarre if it`s to compete with First 3.

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    2. Not really, use the 19 to hoover up the busy daytime trade and leave First to battle on with the quiet, less profitable evenings..after having a quiet day from ex-customers jumping on the 19 instead of the 3.

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    3. Yes-all quite sensible.not much trade after 1900 until close of service

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    4. If that was the case then why did First increase the frequency of the three in the evenings to every twenty minutes?

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    5. That was most likely to protect the three from the Bluestar 17 to the west of the city.

      The Woolston to Thornhill section of the three isn't the most popular compared to the rest of the route.

      Bluestar starting with a "limited" timetable is very similar to what they did with the 17 - let is build over time and it can support a 20-hour operation with buses running up to every 10 mins!

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    6. Bluestar 17 had an evening service from the onset unlike the 19!

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    7. The 17 was serving the hospital which makes a difference with shift workers needing the evening services. The 16 didn't have a proper evening service until recently.

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    8. Bluestar 17 "vary route and timetable". Wonder what change they'll make to route then?
      Bluestar 1 "vary timetable".

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    9. Hehehe, calm down, it is probably one little change on bus stops served, nothing else... :)
      I expect little changes on Bluestar services, the ones due to change will be only little timetable tweaks.

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    10. One thing noticeable on the upcoming Bluestar network map is that the U2 loop around Bassett Green is not shown. Does this suggest that the route is being amended to only run between Southampton - University?

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    11. Yes-a noticable change.Does this mean finally no buses round the Flowers Estate

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    12. When you look at the map does not seem to be any U1W,U9 either and no service to Glen Eyre Halls of residence

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    13. That map looks incomplete. I hear there are some Unilink changes coming up but not the cuts that the map shows.

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    14. The map does show the U9, just not in a very clear line. There are still arrows showing around the flower estate showing that the U2 will likely continue serving the flower estate.
      Lastly with the U1W, it will just show under the U1 route, just like the U6, it does now show U6C/U6H. The reason why the U1E/N shows is because they run different routes.

      So there will be no major changes to Unilink routes.

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  34. Firs put back on evening services on their 9 and 13.In what I have seen both are poorly used.Also Bluestar evenings on their core routes run pretty poorly.They are certainly at times not the shining service across Southampton they profess to be

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    1. Must be plenty of call for the evening services as First wouldn't run the two and three every 20 mins in the evenings.

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    2. First do so many perculiar things.I can't imagine the 3 from City to Thornhill section needs a 20 minute service evenings.The 2 more than likely does as the Bluestar 18 can be hit and miss on its 30 minute service.Also the bluestar 17 has taken much off the 3 between City and Lordshill in the evening

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  35. Yellow's 1a New Milton extension increased to every 30 minutes

    Look like Mr Gard will have Somerford Estate to himself during the off-peak

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    1. There are changes to route and timetable on services 4, 6 and 8. I am wondering what they are planning to do.

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    2. Nothing on their website about the 8 at present

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    3. Indeed, it does appear that Southbourne Buses have done well with the C1. Strange to think that the Somerford Estate until recently had a Yellow bus every 20 minutes (and every 15 minutes sometimes), yet now is down to a few peak hour journeys.

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  36. Some early doors tweeking & some tea time Sunday frequency changes on Stagecoach Coastliner 700 Portsmouth - Bognor section coming next week. Coastliner 700 - Timetable Changes from 28 July 2019

    Following a review, a revised timetable will be introduced on journeys between Portsmouth, Chichester & Bognor Regis.

    Summary of changes

    Mondays to Fridays
    The 0545 & 0645 from Portsmouth Harbour will start from the City Centre.

    Due to low patronage, the 0545, 0625 & 0645 from Havant to Portsmouth are withdrawn.

    Saturdays
    The 0637 from Chichester to Portsmouth will run 10 minutes earlier throughout, whilst the 0717 from Chichester to Portsmouth will run 10 minutes later throughout.

    Sundays
    Revised timetable from 4pm to reflect passenger demand.

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  37. I am still wondering about that RUMOUR regarding the extension of the M2 to Christchurch.
    If they want to keep the running times exactly the same with the M1 (both take one hour from
    Poole to Southbourne Crossroads/Castlepoint), they may have to extend the M1 to the Hospital or even Iford Roundabout.
    This is me wondering, Morebus will know better than anyone else what to do.

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    Replies
    1. Extending the M1 would probably be quite popular, but it would also likely mean removing some of their advantages over the 3. The departure from the stop inside Castlepoint would no longer be possible (they'd probably stop serving it entirely and move to the stop outside the library), and also going to the hospital means that it would get caught up in peak hour traffic.

      I don't think that it could support both the 3 and the M1, though it would definitely be a popular idea!

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  38. With today being the warmest day of the year, it was only natural to make the most of it, and what better way to do so than experience the open top bus tours on the Isle of Wight.

    The views from the Needles and Downs Breezers were just stunning. It's surprising the Island Coaster doesn't operate using open toppers too as that could potentially attract more custom. Riding these spectacular routes has given me ideas for new summer 'Breezer' services operated by GSC which could be successful.

    CRANBORNE BREEZER
    Circular open top route taking in the breathtaking views of the Cranborne Chase and Dorset Downs. Start and ends in Wimborne. Intermediate stops at Horton Inn, Cranborne, Sixpenny Handley, Tollard Royal, Cann Common, Shaftesbury, Melbury Abbas, Blandford, Tarrant Keyneston and Kingston Lacy.

    CATHEDRALS BREEZER
    Circular open top route connecting the Cathedral cities of Hampshire and Wiltshire. Starts and ends in Winchester. Intermediate stops at King's Somborne, Stockbridge, Kentsboro (Army Flying museum), Middle Wallop, Over Wallop, Figsbury Ring, Salisbury, Alderbury, Whaddon, Grimstead, Dean, Lockerley, Dunbridge, Mottisfont, Timsbury, Harold Hillier Gardens, Ampfield and Hursley.

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  39. Back in the real world the new 19 timetable now on the bluestar website

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    1. Has been for last couple of days.

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