Thursday, 27 August 2009

All buses free in Southampton city this weekend / Bluestar strike next Thursday

Travel will be free on ALL buses within the City of Southampton on Saturday and Sunday from start of service until 6pm, regardless of operator. It's paid for by Southampton City Council and is in aid of the 9 cruise liners festival. You will still need to tell the driver where you're going and be issued with a free ticket. This is so that the bus companies can tell the council how many have travelled on each bus. Bluestar/Unilink and First have published lists of where on their routes you will be able to travel for free. Velvet's only route in the city is the A, which will be free from Haskins Garden Centre on Mansbridge Road to the Airport. No mention from the minor operators Wilts & Dorset, Stagecoach and Brijan Tours, so best to check with them before travelling to make sure they're free. Links to their websites are in the panel on the right, below the current diversions.

London Road in the city centre will be closed from 1500 on Sunday and all day on Bank Holiday Monday. Bluestar 1 & 2 and Unilink U1 & U2 will divert via Brunswick Place and Dorset Street. First 7 will also be affected, but they haven't bothered to advise where that will be diverting.

Bluestar have advised of possible strike action by the RMT on Thursday 3rd September. They say they will be drafting extra drivers in from elsewhere to try and run a full service. Unilink will not be affected.

A reminder that Unilink U1 will have a new timetable as of 27th September.

Looks like some night buses will be transferring to Unilink from 2nd October. A U1N service is planned to run on Friday and Saturday nights between Leisure World and the Airport.

Brijan Tours will have new timetables on the 7 (Southampton-Bishops Waltham) and 17 (Bishops Waltham-Petersfield) from 4th October. More details when they are released.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Free travel within the city this weekend!

You'll be able to travel for free on Saturday and Sunday before 6pm on Bluestar and Unilink within Southampton's city boundary. Their website mentions funding from Southampton City Council, but the council's website has no information and neither do First, so it looks like First (and the others) will still be charging on those days.

Velvet have confirmed a Sunday service on their routes for Bank Holiday Monday 31st August, which means Stagecoach running the A and C1. Bluestar and Unilink have also confirmed a Sunday service, as have Wilts & Dorset. First's website still mentions only the May bank holiday - they had a Sunday service then so I presume they'll do that on Monday too - their website really is appallingly unprofessional considering the size of the company behind it. Stagecoach aren't very clear on their website either, but thanks to Velvet, we know they'll be running a Sunday service too. Brijan Tours won't be running as they don't have a Sunday service.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Southampton bus round-up

The Bishopstoke roadworks originally programmed to start on 10 August are now expected to start on 24 August, and should last for about 4 months. During this time, Bluestar 2 will not be able to serve Spring Lane, Hamilton Road or Sedgewick Road. Instead, it will run via Church Road and Stoke Park Road. The bus stops on Spring Lane and Sedgewick Road will be closed.

First revamp their Fareham and Gosport routes on 30th August. For us that means the 78 and 79 disappear to be replaced by an increased frequency on the 80, which will be rerouted to run via Woolston instead of Bitterne. There will also be a new timetable on the 72.

Do The Docks for free on 30th August.

Bank holiday 31st August: Sunday service on Bluestar & Unilink.

The new X5 Southampton-Ringwood operated by Dorset Sprinter (Travel Guest) starts on 7th September. Connections to Bournemouth on service X55 from Ringwood.

Timetable changes to Unilink U1 and U6 on 27th September.