Thursday, 30 July 2009

Bishopstoke back to normal... for now

BlueStar have advised that the 2 and F are now back to their normal routes in Bishopstoke after the recent roadworks ended early. Another diversion comes into force on 10th August though. Details a few posts below.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Timetable changes and diversions announced

Wilts and Dorset will have new timetables on the following routes:

34 Eastleigh-Romsey-Salisbury from 1st September
112 Hythe-Beaulieu-Lymington from 3rd September

More details when the new timetables are published.

Velvet C1 will be affected by the closure of Flexford Road between Hiltingbury and Valley Park on Saturday 1st August only. It will run as normal between Eastleigh and Hiltingbury but will then divert via Hursley Road and Bournemouth Road directly to Asda. It won't be able to serve Valley Park, which will have this free replacement bus.

Velvet C2 is being diverted by the closure of Park Road in Chandlers Ford for about 2 weeks. In both directions it is running as normal until Sutherlands Way, then it turns left and runs via Hursley Road and Valley Road, resuming its normal route at the junction of Valley Road and Park Road. Should end 12th August. There is a temporary bus stop at the bottom of Sutherlands Way to replace the stop at the Monks Brook.

First 72 will be diverted in Gosport due to the closure of Browndown Road from 3rd August. From Southampton it will run via Privett Road, Gomer Lane, turn around at Stokes Bay Road roundabout, Gomer Lane and Privett Road towards Gosport. The diversion will be in both directions until about 14th September.

Stagecoach 63 will not be serving Shawford or Compton Street for 3 months from 17th August due to the closure of Shawford Road. It will instead run directly between Badger Farm and Twyford.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

First publish new timetables & BlueStar confirm diversion

BlueStar have confirmed that the diversions in Bishopstoke from Monday 27th July will also affect BabyBlueStar F. Until 10th August from Eastleigh, it will run via Bishopstoke Road, Fair Oak Road and Sayers Road, rejoining the normal route on Hamilton Road. After 10th August, the F will probably go from Eastleigh via Bishopstoke Road, Riverside, Church Road, Stoke Park Road, round the Stoke Common loop and then along Underwood Road towards Fair Oak. Diversions after 10th August are still to be confirmed, so watch this space or follow Bluestar's Facebook page. They're not the only local operator to make the most of technology: Velvet are on Facebook and Twitter.

First have put their new timetables online. They take effect on the 9s, 10s, 16s and 17s plus the new 1s on Sunday 26th July. A summary of the changes is a couple of posts below. Here are a few more details:

1/1A City Centre-Weston
Replacing the 17/17A on this part of the route. Victoria Road and Jurds Lake Way are cut down to 2 weekday daytime buses and just 1 Saturday daytime bus an hour on the 1A (was 3 an hour on the 17A), while Archery Road and Weston Grove Road jump up to 4 an hour on the 1 (was 3 an hour on the 17). Combined Saturday daytime frequency drops from 10 to 12 minutes. Sunday service stays more or less the same, half hourly 1 throughout, with the last bus from town 30 mins later than before at 2347.

9/9A City Centre-Thornhill
Extended to Hightown. Fewer buses for Chessel Avenue, served only by the 9A every 20 minutes between approximately 1000 and 1500 Mon-Sat. 9 operates via Bitterne Road West outside those hours. Evening services are introduced, meaning the last bus from town is now at 2203Mon-Sat/2208Sun (was 1920Mon-Sat/1708 Sun).

10/10A Lordshill-City Centre-Thornhill
No more through services to Harefield, now served by the later running 9. Minor changes to times. 10A to Thornhill stops running earlier, with last bus via North East Road leaving town at 1802MF/1818Sat/1654Sun (was 1913Mon-Sat/1654Sun).

16 City Centre-Hamble
16A City Centre-Hamble-Hedge End

Route change in City Centre. No major changes to times. 2134 from City Centre to Hamble no longer runs on Saturdays, leaving a 2 hour gap before the last bus at 2234.

17/17A City Centre-Lordshill
No longer runs to Weston, replaced by 1/1A. Minor changes to times. Sunday daytimes see an increase from 2 to 3 buses an hour (every 40 minutes on each route). Last 17 to Lordshill via Mansell Road West and Lower Brownhill Road now leaves town at 1830MF/1832Sat (was 1925MF/1926Sat) with no change on Sundays. The last Sunday bus on the 17A is now 28 minutes later at 2331.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Forthcoming diversions in Bishopstoke

BlueStar 2 and BabyBlueStar F will be affected by road closures in Bishopstoke for a few months from Monday 27th July. First of all Riverside and Spring Lane won't be usable, so buses will divert via Fair Oak Road, Sayers Road and Hamilton Road to Sedgwick Road. That ends on 10th August, when buses will not be able to use Spring Lane, Hamilton Road or Sedgwick Road - from Eastleigh the route will be Bishopstoke Road, Riverside and Church Road joining the usual route on Stoke Park Road. Both diversions will be in both directions. The BlueStar webpage doesn't actually mention route F in the diversion, but it uses the affected roads, so I think it's safe to assume it will be diverted too. All should be back to normal around 10th October.

I've checked First's website again to see if the new timetables taking effect on Sunday (see below) have been published - and they haven't. I'm also not impressed that First don't provide an e-mail address on which to contact them, only a long form asking for lots of personal information. Anyone would think they don't want potential customers to approach them with questions and comments.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Changes to First 9s, 10s, 16s & 17s this Sunday

First have announced some big changes taking effect on Sunday 26th July:

9 City Centre-Thornhill
Route 9 will no longer continue as the 10 when it arrives in Thornhill. It will instead continue to Hightown, presumably to compete with Bluestar 18. Chessel Avenue will see a reduction in service: it will be no longer be served during the rush hours or in the evenings. The rest of the time, only certain journeys, numbered 9A, will serve Chessel Avenue. It's not yet clear how often the 9A will run - my guess is hourly because the combined 9/9A daytime frequency will remain every 20 minutes. A limited evening service on the 9 is to be introduced - current last bus from the City Centre is at 1920 Mon-Sat. More when the timetable appears online.

10/10A Lordshill-City Centre-Thornhill
Route 10 will no longer continue as the 9 when it arrives in Thornhill. Instead it will just turn around at Fairfax Court. 10E will be withdrawn, leaving Harefield to the new evening buses on the 9. The daytime 10/10A frequency will remain every 10 minutes. More when the timetable appears online.

16 City Centre-Hamble
16A City Centre-Hamble-Hedge End
Routes 16/16A will be rerouted in the City Centre. Instead of serving Queensway, they will now run from Vincents Walk via Hanover Buildings, Bargate Street, West Quay and Castle Way. Times are not expected to change.

17/17A Lordshill-City Centre-Weston
Routes 17/17A will stop running to Weston after goodness knows how many years. They will instead only run between the City Centre and Lordshill. In town, they will run in a circle from Central Station via Portland Terrace and West Quay, Bargate Street, Hanover Buildings, Vincents Walk, Pound Tree Road and back out towards Shirley via the current route along Above Bar Street. 17E is withdrawn, expected to be replaced by 17A in the evenings. The historic last 17A to Weston leaves the City Centre at 2340 on Saturday night.

1/1A City Centre-Weston
This is what replaces the part of the 17/17A being withdrawn. 1 will use the current 17 route via Weston Grove Road and Archery Road and 1A will replace the 17A via Victoria Road and Jurds Lake Way. Still every 10 minutes in the daytime. It's not yet clear what the evening service will look like. More details when the timetable appears online.

The above all take effect on Sunday 26th July. And First haven't yet put the new timetables online. The words 'piss up' and 'brewery' spring to mind.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

New bus services, changes to First routes to Fareham and diversions in Chandlers Ford

Velvet C1/C2 will be diverted in Chandlers Ford from 27th July. Bodycoats Road will be closed near the junction with Oakmount Road. Buses will divert via Craven Road and Hillcrest Avenue, serving temporary bus stops in those roads. This will also affect the Sunday C1 operated by Stagecoach. The diversion is expected to last until around 7th September.

All current diversions are now displayed in the panel on the right, to save you scrolling through several previous posts to see which ones are still active.

In other news, First plan to amend the routes and times of some of their Fareham services, including the 72 and 80 to Southampton as of 30th August 2009. The 78 and 79 may be withdrawn and replaced with new services. More details to follow.

Travelguest plan to run the X5 between Southampton and Ringwood as of 7th September 2009. It will run to what looks like the same route as the defunct Velvet 300 via Millbrook Roundabout, Picket Post and Poulner. There will probably be 4 journeys a day Monday to Saturday excluding public holidays. Details to be confirmed.

Monday, 6 July 2009


Southampton's buses are confusing. There are more companies than before operating them and the routes and timetables change more often than ever before. To keep up with them all, you need to check with the relevant company and/or council regularly. But we don't all have time for that. That's where this page comes in. It will be updated whenever any changes to Southampton's buses are announced, regardless of which service is affected.

I have to admit the blog is mainly inspired by First, who have two maps of their Southampton routes on their website, both of them out of date. A newcomer to our city would rightly be confused. Even Southampton City Council's public transport map (on their website, link on the right) is inaccurate.

To get the blog running, let's have a quick summary of the most recent changes to bus services in Southampton:

First fiddled with some of their routes on May 4th, including cuts to the 4, 5 and 14A. A new route, the 7A, is a part-time hourly extension of the 7 from Swaythling to Millbrook Tesco via General Hospital and Shirley. First's website makes it difficult to post links to individual timetables, not helped by the fact that you also have to wade through lists of Portsmouth services to find the one you want. Did I mention their maps are out of date? It really is quite shoddy.

As of June 14th, BlueStar's day and season tickets are now also valid for travel on the UniLink network. BlueStar tickets cannot however be purchased on board UniLink buses.

Also on June 14th, there were timetable changes to BlueStar 1, BlueStar 2 (short journeys between Eastleigh and Fair Oak withdrawn), BlueStar 3, BlueStar 4, BlueStar 8, BlueStar 9 and BlueStar 18 as well as First 26, 72, 78, 79 and 80. BabyBlueStar F is withdrawn on Sundays, no longer serving Marwell Zoo (despite what the timetable says) and is replaced by this seasonal free bus.

On 20th June, the New Forest Tour started running for the summer. Integrated ticketing is available from Southampton City Centre on Wilts & Dorset 56 & 56A to Lyndhurst.

From 2nd July, UniLink U9 only has one journey a day in each direction, weekdays only.

Every weekend until the end of August, train tickets to Brockenhurst can be used on Wilts & Dorset 56 for free travel to and from Lyndhurst.

If you live in Eastleigh, Velmore, Chandlers Ford or Hiltingbury, Hampshire County Council are running a consultation as they decide how to replace the C1 and C2 services, which will soon be changed. Take part and influence how the council subsidises buses in your area.

Diversions appear in the panel on the right.