Sunday, 29 November 2009

Xmas and New Year buses / Maps

Bluestar & Unilink have announced their plans for Christmas and New Year. Click here for details.

One of the things that can put many people off using buses is that they aren't sure where they go. New at the bottom of this page is a list of bus routes in our region. Press Control and F and then type in the area you want to travel to/from and your browser will jump to the routes serving that area. Next you'll want to know exactly where in that area the buses run and for that you'll need a map. There are several to choose from, unfortunately not all are kept up-to-date. Here's a run-through of the maps you have at your disposal:

Hampshire County Council's county-wide map is out-of-date (June 2009) but useful for planning longer journeys outside the city. Just double-check with the bus operator before travelling.

The county council also have some town-centre maps with more detail covering the following areas in our region: Holbury, Blackfield, Fawley & Calshot, Eastleigh & Hedge End, Hythe, New Forest and Totton. Romsey has its own complete travel guide booklet. Some details on those maps are out-of-date, so double-check with the operator before travelling.

Southampton City Council's map covers all operators, but is out-of-date.

Eastleigh Borough Council's map is so out-of-date that I refuse to link to it. Use the County Council's Eastleigh & Hedge End map instead.

Standards vary hugely between the bus operators when it comes to mapping their routes in our region. Bluestar have an at-a-glance network map plus town centre maps for Southampton, Eastleigh, Hedge End, Totton, Hythe and Winchester. There is also a more detailed map for each individual route. First have this and that map, both uselessly and unprofessionally out-of-date. Unilink have this network map. Velvet uses hi-tech, zoomable Google maps to show us their routes. No maps however from Brijan Tours, Dorset Sprinter, Stagecoach or Wilts & Dorset covering their services in our area.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Diversions round up / Bluestar on Boxing Day

Bluestar 2 (City Centre-Fair Oak) and F (Eastleigh-Bishops Waltham) are back to normal in Bishopstoke.

First 26 (Hedge End-Fareham) is back to its normal route between Hedge End and Swanwick.

W&D 112 (Hythe-Lymington) is diverted between Dibden Purlieu and Beaulieu with a revised timetable throughout. It should be back to normal in mid-December. Watch this space.

First 72 (City Centre-Gosport) & 80 (City Centre-Fareham) are diverted in Titchfield due to roadworks. Details here.

First 3 (City Centre-Townhill Park) and Unilink U9 (Townhill Park-General Hospital) will be diverted from 24th December due to the partial closure of Cobden Bridge towards Portswood. Details of Unilink's plans here. First haven't yet advised what the 3 will be doing. Normality should resume on 11th January.

Bluestar have announced Boxing Day buses on routes 1 (City Centre-Winchester), 2 (City Centre-Fair Oak), 9 (City Centre-Waterside) and 18 (Millbrook-Thornhill). All will be hourly apart from the 18 which will run half-hourly. Timetable here.

Dorset Sprinter X5 (City Centre-Ringwood) will have a new route and timetable from 2nd January. More details to follow.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Temporary timetable on W&D 112

Due to road closures in the New Forest, Wilts & Dorset 112 (Hythe-Lymington) will be diverted and running to a temporary timetable from 9th November.

In other news, Bluestar have announced some intended timetable changes planned for February, with a view to guage public reaction. The most drastic proposal is to cut the frequency of Bluestar 3 (Southampton-Botley) to hourly outside the rush hours. You can see details of their other proposals and put your comment to Bluestar here.