Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Velvet timetables out / Hedge Enders

Velvet have released the new timetables for routes A, C1 and C2, which come in to effect from Sunday 16th October.

On the A, there will be no evening buses on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. The last bus from Eastleigh will be at 1840. An evening service will run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays operated by Velvet and extending to serve Oaklands, which was previously only served in the daytime. Boorley Green loses some afternoon services and the core half-hourly frequency between Eastleigh and Hedge End drops back to hourly after 4pm on weekdays and 3pm on Saturdays. As has already been mentioned, the Sunday service transfers from Stagecoach to First and also has a new timetable, details of which are helpfully included on Velvet's.

The C1 and C2 will now offer a combined half-hourly service in the daytimes before 3pm between Eastleigh, Velmore, Chandlers Ford and Hiltingbury. As has previously been mentioned, the C3 is being withdrawn (seemingly without replacement, leaving Valley Park with neither a link to Eastleigh nor Chandlers Ford). Evening services on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are withdrawn, with the last bus from Eastleigh being the C1 at 1820. Evening buses continue on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. It's already been mentioned that Xelabus will be running the C1 on Sundays, but some confusion has arisen. According to Velvet's timetable, Xelabus's first Sunday is the 16th, but according to the Department of Transport, it's the 23rd. Fingers crossed Velvet and Xelabus won't be expecting each other to run on the 16th and leave people stranded at bus stops.

Brijan Tours start running between Hedge End and Hamble on Monday 17th October, replacing the section of route that is being dropped from First 26. Confusingly though, it looks like Brijan will also be calling their route the 26. So there could be two separate route 26es in Hedge End running to different destinations and run by different operators. I know this is already the case with several route numbers in Southampton (see the route directory at the bottom of the page). Surely such instances defy common sense and only serve to confuse and deter potential passengers. Maybe that's the idea. Maybe Hampshire County Council, who are subsidising the service, have dictated which route number must be used in order to keep usage low so that they then have an excuse to cut funding completely next time they check the passenger numbers. Good luck Brijan, you'll need it.

On the same day there are timetable changes on Brijan's existing routes 7 and 17. It is expected that the 17 will be cut to running just two days a week, which is bad news for anyone in the Meon Valley. Full details when we have them.

Xelabus appear to be planning to cancel either some or all of their X12/X13 journeys between Southampton and Eastleigh from Friday 11th November. More to follow.

There will be some kind of change to Bluestar 2 from Monday 14th November. We'll keep an eye on this and will let you know if the change is significant.


  1. Something in the public transport business has gone terribly wrong.

    At the same time you see places with no bus at all there are places like Milbrook with an average of a bus every 3 minutes ( mostly underused ).

    That is a complete waste of resources and in my opinion the councils should step up and plan a proper bus network to avoid overlapping of different operators.

    This might come real with the implementation of the new ticket machines to accept smart cards

  2. I don't think a sensible council-planned system is on it's way to our patch anytime soon. Apparently West Yorkshire are trying to bring back regulation so that they can plan and franchise routes, similar to what happens in London, but central government is standing in the way.