Sunday, 30 September 2012

Summary of changes from 1st October

The following changes take effect tomorrow, Monday 1st October 2012:

Velvet A: New timetable. Evening services will end earlier, but will now run Mon-Sats rather than just Thurs-Sats. The last bus from Eastleigh will be at 2330 on Friday and Saturday evenings only, with a gap of nearly 3 hours before it. Journeys to/from Hamble are renumbered/lettered as route B and only one per weekday will run through to Eastleigh - the other will terminate in Hedge End.

Brijan 7: New timetable with only minor changes.

Brijan 8: New timetable with minor changes. The current 0730 Mon-Sat journey from Fair Oak to Bishops Waltham will now depart at 0723 and will only run on schooldays.

Velvet 46: Transfers back to Stagecoach. No change to times.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Focus on Townhill Park / Bluestar 16 launches this weekend

Choice comes to Townhill Park this Sunday in the shape of Bluestar 16. To commemorate the occasion, here's a summary of what the choice will be.

Here's a map of First's routes in the area:

The 2 runs to town via Bitterne, Merry Oak and Woolston every 20 mins Mon-Sat daytimes, 30 mins Sunday daytimes and hourly in the evenings - timetable here. The 7 runs via Portswood and Bevois Valley every 10 mins Mon-Sat daytimes, 20 mins Sunday daytimes and hourly in the evenings - current timetable here, although the frequency will be increased from 7th October. On top of that you have the 8/8A/8B along Townhill Way (the blue line above) and the 2A turning off at the Big Cheese roundabout.

Bluestar 16 will run to this route and this timetable. with a frequency of every 20 mins Mon-Sat daytimes, 30 mins Sunday daytimes and 30 mins Mon-Sats early evenings. No late evening services however.

Turning now to the fares. Single fares have long been protected by the Official Secrets Act, so we can only compare the day tickets that are available to Townhill Parkers from each company:

Also this weekend, there are new timetables from Sunday on Velvet C1, C2 (minor changes) and E8 (the Sunday service is increased to hourly).

More changes follow on Monday (see the green panel on the right). More details on those in the next post.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

46 back to Stagecoach / First extend City zone

In the run up to the launch of Bluestar 16, First have extended the validity of their FirstDay City ticket to include all of Townhill Park, Harefield and Thornhill. FirstDay City has a smaller zone and is cheaper than the FirstDay Southampton ticket. Zone details here.

Brijan Tours 7 and 8 both have new timetables from 1st October.

Also on 1st October, Velvet 46 does return to Stagecoach after all, albeit initially only until January.

The part of Above Bar Street between Pound Tree Road and New Road will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 2000 meaning diversions to all routes that normally run there.

Then on Thursday evening after 2000 Bernard Street will be closed, meaning diversions to First 1, 2, 2A and 3.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

HCC Waterside contract changes in November

There are quite a few changes coming up in November, mainly due to Hampshire County Council contract changes. The following take effect from either 4th or 5th November.

Bluestar H1, H2 and H3 are all transferring to First.

Bluestar 10, 11 and 12 are being merged into one route, the 11.

There are also timetable changes on Bluestar routes 1, 3, 4 and 6, plus the T1 and T2 might be disappearing altogether.

Salisbury Reds 36 will transfer to Stagecoach.

Full details as we get them.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Waterside: Retaliation?

Even before First 11 to Hythe launches, Bluestar are planning their response. They have registered route and timetable changes to their main Waterside routes, the 8 and 9, to take effect from 4th November. The biggest change is that the 8 will be extended to Calshot.

Will the 8 still serve Marchwood though? Surely Hampshire County Council will be withdrawing their subsidy from the 8 now that First has decided to serve Marchwood commercially. Also, the extension to Calshot could suggest a change to the H3. We've heard whispers (as yet unconfirmed, I should add) that the H1, H2 and H3, currently operated by Bluestar under contract to Hampshire County Council, might soon be passed by HCC to First.

More as and when we get it.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Bluestar 16 timetable published

Bluestar have released the timetable for new route 16 to Townhill Park, which launches on 30th September. The main thing that jumps out at me is that the last bus from town in the evening will leave at 2030, meaning anyone who wants to stay in town later than that will have an incentive to stick with First.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

New timetables tomorrow on Bluestar 5, Salisbury Reds 34 & Stagecoach 69

New timetables start tomorrow on three routes in our region:

Bluestar 5: The 1535 weekday journey from Romsey to Eastleigh is retimed to run at 1525 and will no longer divert to serve North Baddesley School.
This is only an extract. Click the link above for buses on Saturdays and towards Romsey.

Salisbury Reds 34: The 0900 weekday journey from Romsey to Salisbury will now also run on school holidays.
This is only an extract. Click the link above for buses towards Romsey.

Stagecoach 69The first journey from Bishops Waltham to Winchester now runs 7 minutes earlier. There is an additional journey in each direction between Waltham Chase and Winchester on Saturdays.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

First 11: It's Marchwood! / Bluestar mobile ticketing

First have released the timetable for route 11 to Hythe, starting 7th October. It will run via Marchwood and Hythe Hospital, even on Sundays. They've also published new timetables from that date for the 7 (in retaliation to Bluestar 16, which coincidentally doesn't have a timetable yet) and the Bitterne Hoppa routes, which are amended to serve North East Road in Sholing.

Bluestar are launching mobile ticketing, enabling smartphone users to buy and store tickets on their phones.

Stoneham Lane will be partly closed for 5 days from Monday, meaning diversions to Bluestar 2.

Next weekend, Bluestar's New Forest Tour will not be serving Beaulieu's National Motor museum, due to an event taking place there and the expectation of heavy volumes of traffic. Can't help thinking they're missing a trick: Maybe traffic wouldn't be so heavy there if people had an alternative to their cars to get them to the museum. It seems barmy to run fewer buses than normal to a destination that lots of people obviously want to go to, especially when the excuse given is that so many people want to go there!