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These services will be withdrawn and replaced by a commercial service which is yet to be determined, but will probably stick to the core direct route between Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and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 Route E3 will be withdrawn, leaving Badger Farm with no direct link to Eastleigh.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 The Sunday service will be withdrawn.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This service will be withdrawn.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The Sunday service will be withdrawn, leaving Marchwood unserved.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The evening diversion to Marchwood will be withdrawn.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.

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