Friday, 30 September 2011

Cuts: First & Stagecoach release full timetables

First and Stagecoach have released timetables for those of their services affected by the Hampshire County Council cuts. Here are the details:

First services changing from Sunday 16th October (Click for full timetables):

A Eastleigh-Hedge End
The Sunday service transfers from Stagecoach to First, is extended to Maypole and has a new timetable with the same number of journeys operating. First will no longer run the Mon-Sat evening service. It is expected, but not yet confirmed, that Velvet will run the evening service, which will operate on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings only.

5 City Centre-Lordshill North
Only minor timing changes.

8A City Centre-Hedge End Station
Route extended to Central Station in the city centre. Mon-Sat evening journeys extend beyond Hedge End Station to Botley. A knock-on effect is that Bluestar 3's evening journeys to Botley will be withdrawn. The big question is will they just be cut back to Hedge End or withdrawn altogether? Bluestar, it's over you...

16 Southampton-Hamble
The weekday peak hour services running via City College rather than Ocean Village are renumbered 16A.

Stagecoach services changing on Sunday 30th October (Click for full timetables):

32/33 Romsey circular
Services will start later and finish earlier than before (approx. 0930-1630, previously 0835-1720). Reduced from 3 to 2 buses an hour, but sections of route stay with 3 buses an hour due to integrated timetable with route 66.

46 Southampton-Winchester
Route cut back to only run between General Hospital and Winchester. Saturday service completely withdrawn. Weekday service towards Winchester cut from 7 to 5 journeys a day, with some timings changed by an hour. Service towards General Hospital is less changed. Chilworth Village and Nursling cut off from public transport completely.

66 Romsey-Winchester
The late evening journeys on Friday and Saturday evenings are withdrawn. There is no replacement so there's a risk of an increase in drink-driving. Otherwise, just minor timing changes.

69 Winchester-Fareham
Sunday service withdrawn, making Bishops Waltham a bus-free zone on Sundays and cutting Marwell Zoo off from public transport entirely. Some timing changes Mon-Sats.

Your last chance for the foreseeable future to go to Marwell Zoo by public transport is therefore Sunday 23rd October. If you fancy doing just that, you can get Bluestar 2 from Southampton City Centre at 1020 or Eastleigh Bus Station at 1056, arriving at Fair Oak Square at 1115, before getting Stagecoach 69 at 1134, dropping you off at Marwell Zoo at 1143. Return from Marwell on the 69 at 1608, arriving Fair Oak at 1617, exactly when the 2 leaves for Eastleigh & Southampton. If you miss the connection, the next 2 leaves Fair Oak at 1717. Maybe stop off for a pint (The George and the Cricketers Arms are near the bus stop). You can do the whole journey using a Solent Travelcard, which is also valid on all other buses of all operators in most of South Hampshire.

Talking of last chances, Gardbus 39 to Ringwood ran for the last time today. If you want to get to Ringwood from now on, your only option is National Express.

More on the upcoming changes as and when we get more details.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Timetable changes on Bluestar

More timetable changes coming up, this time on Bluestar routes 1, 14 and 18 from Sunday 23rd October. More details as and when we have them.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Cuts to First routes to Hamble, Hedge End, Fareham & Gosport

The first post-cut timetables have been released by First. They take effect on Sunday 16th October, but are only for three routes in our region so far, with more to follow. Here are the details that are confirmed:

26 Hamble-Hedge End-Fareham
This route is being cut back to only run between Hedge End and Fareham. How the section between Hedge End and Hamble will be replaced is anyone's guess. The remaining section is being cut from 8 to 7 journeys a day on weekdays. On Saturdays the cut is to 7 journeys towards Hedge End, but only 6 towards Fareham. As you may have guessed, there will still be no Sunday service.

72 Southampton-Gosport
The Sunday service is being cut from 5 journeys at 2-hour intervals to 4 journeys at 3-hour intervals. Although this is an overall cut, the first journey will be earlier and the last journey later than they currently are.

80 Southampton-Fareham
The Sunday service is being slashed from 6 journeys at hourly intervals to just 3 journeys at 3-hour intervals. Although this is an overall cut, the first journey will be earlier and the last journey later than they currently are.

No confirmation so far of what changes are happening to the other First services due to take effect on the same day. We'll keep you posted.

Don't forget Unilink U6 has a new timetable starting today. Don't be fooled by the timetable section of their website, which still links to the old one, now invalid.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Stagecoach confirm cuts

Stagecoach have confirmed that the Hampshire County Council-induced cuts will take effect on their routes as of Sunday 30th October. As well as many Winchester local routes, the following routes in our region are affected:

32/33 Romsey circular
46 Southampton-Winchester
66 Romsey-Winchester
69 Winchester-Fareham

The changes are summarised in previous posts. Once Stagecoach make the full new timetables available, we'll analyse them and will recap the major points.

So far no mention on the websites of Velvet, Xelabus, W&D, Bluestar, Brijan Tours or First of the cuts which are coming very soon to those of their routes which are subsidised by HCC. We'll keep an eye on them all for you. To make this flood of cuts easier to follow, the panel on the right (which always appears at the top of the page, unlike previous posts) will be constantly updated with a list of all known upcoming changes in chronological order.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Changes confirmed for October: Eastleigh cuts

Some more details on the forthcoming changes due to cuts being imposed by Hampshire County Council on behalf of Nick & Dave:

Velvet/First A: New timetable from Monday 17th October, no longer serving Boorley Green. Instead the daytime service will run between Eastleigh and either Oaklands or Botley. The evening service is expected to only continue running on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Velvet C1/C2: These routes will get a new timetable and a route change from Sunday 16th October. The Sunday C1 service will be operated by Xelabus from Sunday 23rd October. Timetable details have not yet been released.

Velvet C3: Withdrawn after close of service on Saturday 15th October, leaving Valley Park cut off from Eastleigh.

Wilts & Dorset X1, X2, X7: New timetables with reduced services from Sunday 23rd October.

First 5, 8A, 16, 26, 72, 80: New timetables with reduced services from Sunday 16th October.

More details when the new timetables are released.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

U6 frequency increase / Fix my transport

Some good news for a change: Unilink U6 will have its frequency increased to every 20 minutes weekday daytimes from Sunday 25th September. New timetable here.

If you've ever wanted to complain about public transport, but haven't been sure how, a new website is here to lend a hand. Fix My Transport allows you to make a complaint, suggestion or give praise relating to any public transport service in the UK. So far the only entry regarding our area's buses is someone reporting the lack of a timetable for routes E1/E2 at a bus stop in St Cross.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cuts are coming: more details

The coming cuts are worse than we thought. According to a Hampshire County Council document we've seen, the following cuts are almost certain to be imposed, as well as those listed in the previous post:

H1/H2/H3 (Hythe local services)
These will no longer run on Saturdays. Some weekday journeys will also be cut.

W&D X7 (Southampton-Salisbury)
Some rush hour journeys will be cut.

Bluestar 6, 10 and 11 (Southampton-Lymington & Southampton-Cadnam)
These will all be cut to one bus an hour (that's just one on the combined 10/11, half the current frequency) and they could be combined into one hourly route running via Cadnam to Lyndhurst and Lymington. This would cut Rushington, Foxhills and Ashurst off apart from the off-peak Totton shopper route T2, which only has three journeys a day and doesn't run at weekends.

Bluestar 12 (Southampton-Calmore)
Sunday evening journeys will be withdrawn.

W&D 34/36 (Romsey-Salisbury)
These will be severely cut to cater for schools and shoppers only. The 34 will no longer run through to Eastleigh on Saturdays (the 65 will run every 2 hours). The 36 will be slashed to run on a maximum of 4 days a week.

Stagecoach 46 (Southampton-Winchester)
Several journeys will be cut, the Saturday service will be withdrawn completely and the route will be curtailed to only run between Winchester and the General Hospital. Chilworth and Nursling will be cut off from public transport, but might be offered a taxi share scheme.

W&D 65 (Eastleigh-Romsey)
Several journeys will be cut.

First 72 (Southampton-Gosport)
Several journeys will be cut, particularly on Sundays.

First 80 (Southampton-Fareham)
Several journeys will be cut, particularly on Sundays.

W&D 119 (Lymington-Pennington)
The frequency of this already part-time service will be halved to just hourly.

No date has yet been set for these to take effect but it should be by the end of November. We'll let you know as soon as we have more.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Widespread cuts due by Christmas

The rumours going round about possible cuts in Hedge End prompted us to dig a bit deeper. We came across a decision report from Hampshire County Council (HCC), dated a few weeks ago, which details several possible cuts to our region's bus services. They don't affect the City of Southampton, which is now independent of HCC and has already cut many of the bus services it subsidises this year. They do affect the areas immediately surrounding the city that are within our coverage area. The cuts will apply to many services that are currently run with a subsidy from HCC. They are yet to be finalised, but have been decided by the council. These are the bus services under threat:

Velvet A (Eastleigh-Hedge End-Boorley Green)
The Boorley Green section will be cut and replaced by a taxishare scheme. Route A will probably still run to Botley.

First A (Eastleigh-Hedge End)
The evening service will be cut back to only run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

Velvet C1/C2/C3 (Eastleigh-Chandlers Ford-Hiltingbury)
These services will be withdrawn and replaced by a commercial service which is yet to be determined, but will probably stick to the core direct route between Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Hiltingbury. Valley Park will be left with no direct bus to Eastleigh and will be offered a taxi share scheme. The current evening C1 service will be cut to run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings only.

Baby Bluestar E1/E2/E3 (Eastleigh-Winchester)
The combined frequency will be cut to hourly. Route E3 will be withdrawn, leaving Badger Farm with no direct link to Eastleigh. The E1 will be rerouted to serve Stanmore and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. The Sunday service will be withdrawn.

Baby Bluestar F (Eastleigh-Stoke Common-Bishops Waltham)
This service will be withdrawn. Stoke Common will get a taxi share scheme. Much of the rest of the route is duplicated by Brijan 8.

W&D X1/X2 (Lymington-Bournemouth)
Some evening and Sunday journeys will be cut.

Bluestar 6 (Southampton-Lymington)
The frequency will be halved from half-hourly to hourly.

Bluestar 8 (Southampton-Marchwood-Hythe)
The Sunday service will be withdrawn, leaving Marchwood unserved.

Bluestar 9 (Southampton-Waterside)
The evening diversion to Marchwood will be withdrawn. The section of route to Heather Road in Blackfield will also be cut.

Brijan 17 (Bishops Waltham-Petersfield)
Will be cut from a 6 days a week service to only run on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

First 26 (Hamble-Hedge End-Fareham)
Some journeys will be cut. Low floor buses will be moved to other routes, making it more difficult for wheelchair and pushchair users to get about.

W&D 30 (Romsey-Halterworth)
The Saturday service will be withdrawn.

Stagecoach 32/33 (Romsey circular)
The frequency will be cut from 3 to 2 buses an hour.

W&D 34/36 (Romsey-Salisbury)
Several journeys will be cut.

W&D 35 (Romsey-Braishfield)
The Saturday service will be removed.

Stagecoach 69 (Winchester-Fair Oak-Fareham)
The Sunday service will be withdrawn, leaving no way of getting to Marwell Zoo by public transport.

W&D 112 (Hythe-Lymington)
Will be cut from 6 days a week to 3 days a week, with the exception of schools journeys.

W&D 119 (Lymington-Pennington)
Several journeys will be cut.

Meanwhile just outside our patch, in Winchester, no subsidised buses will run after 2130, even on Fridays and Saturdays.

The proposed cuts are quite far-reaching, although there is no mention of any cuts to Bluestar 3. We'll let you know as dates are announced for the implementation of these changes. In the meantime, leave a comment and let us know how these cuts will affect you.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Ringwood coach, fares up & Hedge Enders

We have confirmation from the Department for Transport that Gardbus 39 will be withdrawn after close of service on Friday 30th September, yet again cutting Ringwood off from Southampton's bus network.

So where does this leave people needing to get between Southampton and Ringwood? National Express run several coaches a day between the two. There's no ticket interavailability with other bus companies in the region, but if you book in advance you can get a good deal. Their website is currently offering that journey tomorrow from £3.10 single. They now also make it easy to see timetables for other routes they operate. From Southampton they are: 032 to London, 203 to Fareham & Portsmouth or to Winchester, Basingstoke & Heathrow Airport, 300 to Salisbury, 315 along the South Coast from Penzance to Eastbourne and several services daily to Ringwood, Bournemouth and Poole or to Newbury, Oxford, the West Midlands and the North West. From Monday 26th September, route 206 will connect us with Gatwick Airport.

Bluestar have put most of their fares up. The only ones that haven't changed are most singles and returns for journeys that are entirely within the City of Southampton. Unilink have also increased the prices of their season tickets.

An anonymous commenter to the last post asks if Bluestar 3 is soon to be withdrawn and replaced by an extension to First 8A. We cannot confirm this. We also cannot rule it out. A weekday daytime frequency of just one bus an hour can't exactly be endearing Bluestar to Hedge Enders, especially after yet another fare increase. First 8A runs every 20 minutes Mon-Sat daytimes, so I'm sure anyone living near both routes will have been at least tempted to give First a go. We'll keep an eye on the situation there. Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.