Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Key to reliability? / First new look

Bluestar have released the new timetable for the 1, which takes effect on 26th February. A full summary of the changes can be found over on the Hampshire Bus Changes blog. An anonymous commenter to an earlier post here mentioned that evening journeys are not changing and will still be affected by the unreliability issues.

Staying with Bluestar, and they have launched a smartcard that can be used for the Southampton and Network weekly and monthly tickets, called The Key. Full details on their website.

First's buses are about to get a makeover, but don't get too excited. This is how they'll look in Leeds:

Here's a mock up of how they might look here in Hampshire. Hardly seems worth it to me. What do you think?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Claypits calamity / Hamble uncut / Xela coming to Portswood

Some journeys on Bluestar 8 will be diverted in Applemore for four weeks from this Wednesday, due to the closure of Claypits Lane. The few journeys a day that run via Claypits Lane and Southampton Road will instead run via Challenger Way and Hythe Hospital, as most journeys on the 8 already do. I've doctored this map to make it a bit clearer:

First 16 gets an extra journey on Sunday evenings as of this Sunday 22nd January. The additional journey will run at 2030 from Southampton to Hamble and at 2105 from Hamble to Southampton. This is a partial reversal of the cuts that took place in December, but the 16 is still left finishing 2 hours earlier than it did before those cuts took effect. Anyway, here's the new full Sunday timetable:

Xelabus, fresh from launching the X4 and X5 as full fare-taking services in Eastleigh, have announced that they'll be running two new routes to serve the new Sainsbury's supermarket in Portswood when it opens in the Spring. We don't yet know exactly where the X13 and X14 will run, but we'll keep an eye out and will let you know.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Bluestar 1 hope / Diversions in Stubbington & North Baddesley

New timetables are coming to Stagecoach 69 from 19th February and Bluestar 1 from 26th February. No further details yet, but the changes to the 69 could just be minor amendments to those buses numbered 569 that serve Peter Symonds College in Winchester. The changes to Bluestar 1 should be a bit more substantial as Bluestar have been promising to do something about that route's recent poor reliability. We'll let you know as soon as we have more.

Two lots of diversions to advise you of:
  • This Sunday there's a road race in Stubbington, which will affect First 72. Details here.
  • On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week there will be a road closure in North Baddesley, causing diversions to Bluestar 4 and 5. Details here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Directory revamped / Meon misery

Scroll down the page and below the latest few posts you'll find a directory of all the bus routes in our region. It shows the route number, operator and places served and has now been updated so that many of the place names (including the end points of all routes) are now links. Click the link for a place and it will take you to that bus stop's Nextbuses page with details of the next buses that are due from that stop, often filtered to just show the route in question. We've found Nextbuses to be extremely useful since we discovered it, but it doesn't seem to be publicised much. Have a play around with it - it will show you the next buses due from any bus stop in the UK and is designed to work on any internet-enabled device.

We have a correction to make regarding Brijan Tours route 17. Back in the October cuts, we reported that it was being cut from 4 journeys a day to just 2 but would remain at 6 days a week. Brijan's website confirmed this at the time, but we now know this is not the case. The 17 now only runs two days a week: Wednesdays and Saturdays. This means it has been absolutely slashed from 24 return journeys a week down to just 4. We find it disgraceful that Hampshire County Council, who set the route and timetables on that route, did not advise of the change at all on their website; and that Brijan Tours published the following incorrect timetable on their website and then corrected it very quietly, hoping no-one had noticed their mistake:

The red corrections are mine and Brijan have since published the correct timetable on their website.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Xela to fill Eastleigh's gaps

Xelabus are about to launch two new routes:

From 10th January, the X4 runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between Fair Oak and Nightingale Avenue as per the Bluestar 2 route, but then turning right on Chestnut Avenue to terminate at Asda. the route is part funded by Asda and anyone who says that's where they are going travels for free. On the days of operation there are three journeys towards Asda and four going back the other way. Spot the grammar error from their online timetable:

From 16th January, Valley Park gets its link to Eastleigh back and Boyatt Wood gets a direct bus to Asda with Xelabus X5. Timetable here. It will run about hourly Mondays to Saturday daytimes to the following route marked in yellow:

It's not clear if the X5 is being supported by Asda or not, but either way Xelabus are to be congratulated for filling in a couple of major gaps in Eastleigh's bus network. Looking at ticketing, it doesn't look like Xela accept Plusbus or the Solent Travelcard, so some room for improvement there.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Back to normal / Stagecoach 46 new timetable tomorrow

The festive period is just about done so normal bus services resume tomorrow, Tuesday 3rd January.

If you use Stagecoach 46, don't forget that it has a new timetable starting tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Sunday service on bank holiday Monday 2nd January

Just a reminder that tomorrow (Monday 2nd January) is a bank holiday, so a Sunday service will be running on all routes that have one.

First's fares also go up tomorrow, so have some extra change ready if you need to use their buses.