Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Jubilee Holiday Services

Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June are bank holidays for the Queen's platinum jubilee. On those days, all operators except for Go Ahead will be running a Sunday service. Click these links to see what Go Ahead will be doing, including a Saturday service on most of their routes in Southampton and Bournemouth:

Other changes coming up:

Bluestar 3 has a new timetable and route change in Boorley Park from Sunday 29th May

Unilink have restarted their U1N night service on Friday and Saturday nights, ending it's pandemic hiatus.

First Wessex launch their summer timetables on Sunday 29th May, including a snazzy new pdf timetable booklet.

More have many route and timetable changes from Saturday 28th May. The M1 is extended from Castlepoint to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. The 3 and 4 are rationalised and the 8/9 into Poole via Upton have their frequencies cut. The usual summer routes also crank up for the peak tourist season.

Southern Vectis start their summer timetable from Sunday 29th May.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Easter services

There's generally a Sunday service on both Good Friday 15th April and Easter Monday 18th April across all operators. The exceptions to this are as follows:

Bluestar: Good Friday: Saturday service on all routes except 6 and Quay Connect, which will have a Sunday Service.

More: Good Friday: Saturday service on all routes except for X1, X2, X8 and 23 which will have a Sunday service. No service on routes ONE, 7A-7C, 10, 20, 32, 38, Ringo and 898.

Salisbury Reds: Good Friday: Saturday service on Park & Ride routes, R1, R8 and X3. Sunday service on all other routes. Easter Monday: Special public holiday timetable on Park & Ride routes. Sunday service on all other routes.

Xelabus are increasing single and return fares from Sunday 24th April, but their day tickets and period passes remain unchanged.

Stagecoach have reduced the prices of Family DayRider tickets, perfect for days out around Winchester, Portsmouth and Havant, over the Easter holidays. The all zones Gold Family DayRider is currently £12 for a family of 4 (2 adults max).

Yellow Buses have launched their summer tourist routes. There's Buster's Beach Bus between Alum Chine and Hengistbury Head and the New Forest Explorer between Christchurch and Ringwood.

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Covid cuts / Sunday Breezers / Yellow changes

Despite the government's dubious proclamations that the Covid pandemic is over, here in the real world both Salisbury Reds and Southern Vectis have had to cut frequencies on several routes from today in order to be able to offer a reliable service with so many people still falling sick.

More have introduced increased Sunday frequencies from today on their Purbeck Breezer 40 Poole-Swanage and 60 Poole-Sandbanks services.

Sunday 3rd April sees many changes on Yellow Buses in Bournemouth. The main changes:

  • The 1 extends to Poole Quay, with the 1b no longer running on Sundays.
  • The 4 is extended to Somerford Mon-Sats and the 4a and 31 are withdrawn.
  • New service 727 from Boscombe to the Airport, one journey daily designed for people who work at the Airport.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Wiltshire Rover price increase / Needles Breezer resumes

Salisbury Reds have increased frequencies on their Salisbury Park & Ride services from 28th February. Details here.

On the Isle of Wight, Southern Vectis have relaunches their Needles Breezer service for the summer from 5th March. See details of that and all of their seasonal scenic routes here.

First have announced that they'll be running a Sunday service on Good Friday and Easter Monday on all their services in our region.

Staying with First, and minor timetable changes from 10th April on First Solent 28/28A Fareham to Whitely and the First Wessex X53 Weymouth to Axminster.

Finally, the multi-operator Wiltshire Rover ticket becomes more expensive from Sunday 20th March. These are the new prices for the ticket that is valid for use on all buses throughout Wiltshire and on selected routes as far afield as Southampton, Oxford and Bath:

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Fares up / Timetable boost

Fares rise today, Sunday 27th February, on Salisbury Reds and on Tuesday 1st March on Stagecoach.

Also from today, Bluestar are boosting routes 1, 2 and 16 to their pre-Covid frequencies. Timetables here.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

More fares up / First to Marwell / Minilink mornings for Chartwell Green

Fares are going up on More from Sunday 20th February. Details here.

will not now be going to Marwell. First have officially registered to run the M1 service this year starting on 9th April. More on that as we get it.

Minilink are instead now planning to run a service from 4th April between Southampton City Centre and Chartwell Green, via Woolston, Merry Oak and Bitterne. Looking at the planned timetable, it doesn't seem much use to anyone other than morning shoppers with the first bus getting to the City Centre at 0946 and the last one leaving town at 1255. It's not yet registered, and frankly I'd be surprised if it does actually run. Again, watch this space.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Fares up / Marwell

Fares are going up soon across several operators. First Solent go up on Thursday (!) 3rd Feb and Bluestar, Unilink and Southern Vectis all go up from Sunday 6th Feb.

First Solent are also withdrawing some ticket types, such as the 3 monthly and annual tickets. While Go Ahead's subsidiaries are steering everyone towards their mobile apps for the best prices, and away from The Key smartcard, which is now the most expensive way to buy your tickets - even paper tickets bought on the bus with cash are cheaper. Surely only a matter of time now before The Key is withdrawn as mobile apps have really made it obsolete.

Bluestar & Unilink Southampton zone ticket prices from 6th Feb: Time to switch from The Key to the app for the best prices!

New kid on the block Southampton Minilink have announced that they will be running the Marwell Zoo M1 service from Southampton and Eastleigh this year, starting from Saturday 2nd April. Details here, although plans could change as it doesn't appear to have been officially registered yet. We'll keep an eye out.

Don't forget that Marwell can be reached all year round on Sundays from Winchester on Stagecoach 69.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Reductions in Salisbury & Weymouth / Mini Link fills a gap

First of all, thanks for your kind comments to the previous post welcoming this blog back.

Thanks also to the Hampshire Bus Blog, which popped up while we were away, to fill the gap. Looking at its posts, it's doing a fantastic job and I hope it keeps going even though the initial intention was for it to be temporary. It covers the local bus scene in similar way to this blog, but also adds some extra analysis and insight that this blog, being written from outside the region, cannot do, so I encourage all my readers to bookmark it and check it regularly.

A couple of actual bus updates too:

Salisbury Reds have temporary timetables on most of their city routes as of last Sunday 16th January. These are mainly frequency reductions due to staff shortages.

In Weymouth, First Wessex have new timetables from today, Sunday 23rd January, on route 4, which has a weekday daytime frequency reduction to every half-hour due to staff shortages, and on the Jurassic Coaster X51/X53 in order to better connect with the trains in Axminster.

In Southampton, we have a new operator since October, in the shape of Southampton Mini Link. The Hampshire Bus Blog has been covering them since they launched. It's run by Simon Gard, who previously ran Gardbus of Ringwood and then Southbourne Buses in Bournemouth. True to form, they tried to revive a route between Southampton and Ringwood but alas, it has already been suspended. It would be good to see such a route succeed, but Ringwood and Southampton have been without a direct bus connection for so long now, that most people travelling between the two will have made alternative arrangements long ago and any new service will need to run consistently for at least a couple of years in order to gain any traction.

Mini Link's only service for now is the 13A, which provides a Sunday service between the City Centre and Harefield, via Woolston, Merry Oak and Bitterne. First City Red 9 and 13 cover the route Mon-Sats but neither runs on Sundays, so for Harefield and Merry Oak especially, the 13A is a real improvement. From 5th February, it will be running on Saturdays too, despite City Red 9 and 13 also running. Again we wish it well, but realistically, most passengers will probably stick with First on Saturdays. Here's the route of the 13A: