Monday, 28 January 2013

Bluestar ticket changes

Bluestar are revamping their ticket range from Sunday 3rd February. The biggest change is to the zones in which their daily, weekly, 30 day and 90 day tickets are valid. Here's how the zones currently look:

Southampton City forms a zone and Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Hedge End form another zone. Those two zones and the rest of the network is the Solent zone, except beyond Ashurst on the 6 and beyond Testwood on Salisbury Reds X7, which is the Explorer or Network zone.

Here's how it looks from Sunday:

Gone is Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Hedge End's own zone, which becomes Southampton Plus, an extension of the Southampton City zone and also includes Totton. The rest is still left with the Network offering. So what does this mean for each area?:

Southampton City: Little change. Dayrider is up from £3.40 to £3.50. Weekly Southampton Freedom tickets are up from £12 to £13 (£11 on The Key). 30 day Southampton Freedom is up from £45 to £50 (£42 on The Key). 90 day Southampton Freedom stays at £115 (£105 on The Key). An annual ticket is available only on The Key for £349.

Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Hedge End: No longer their own zone, but an extension of Southampton's. Good if you're travelling into and out of the City, not so good if you usually remain in the old zone. Here's how the old and new fares compare:

Totton, Testwood and Calmore currently only have Network tickets, but from Sunday they'll also be part of the Southampton Plus zone, representing a cut in fares for passengers heading into the city:

The rest of the network has not such a good deal from the change. The Waterside, Romsey and Winchester are outside the new zones and still have nothing but the Network zone tickets:
A change that won't go unnoticed, especially on the Waterside, where First offer a day ticket which includes Southampton for £5.70. The Solent Travelcard (valid on all operators) at £7.50 will now be cheaper than a Bluestar-only day ticket.

How will this affect you? Let us know. Leave a comment.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Bluestar changes from this Sunday

Bluestar have a few changes from Sunday, so let's summarise what they are:

1: Weekday morning peak journeys are retimed to improve reliability. Moves to stop CU on Hanover Buildings.

2: Moves to stop CT on Hanover Buildings.

11: Early evening journeys that currently terminate at Goodies will continue round the loop to Calmore Corner.

16: Weekday peak journeys are retimed to improve reliability. Moves to stop CT on Hanover Buildings.

18: Rerouted to serve Kingsway again on journeys from Hightown towards Millbrook.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Subsidy cuts / Hiltingbury consultation

Cuts are on the way to services that are subsidised by Southampton City Council. The Daily Echo reports that Bluestar P1 is for the chop and that First S1 and Velvet S2 will be merged and reduced. There will also be cuts to evening services within the city boundary, mainly operated by First. Full details as we get them.

Here's a quick summary of what changes we know are on the way:

14th January: Stagecoach 32 and 33 in Romsey will be diverted due to roadworks at Cupernham Lane. For 14 weeks, the 33 will be suspended and the 32 will have a temporary timetable. Full details here.

20th January: Bluestar will have a few timetable changes to routes 1, 11, 16 and 18, plus a change of which routes run from which stops in Hanover Buildings in town. CU will be used by the 1 and CT will be used by the 2 and the 16.
The dotted line is Above Bar Street precinct. Snipped from a map published by Southampton City Council.

21st January: Tavell's Lane in Marchwood will be temporarily closed, causing delays to Bluestar 8, First 11 and night buses on Bluestar 9. Full details nearer the time.

30th January: Xelabus are holding a passenger survey along with representatives from Hampshire County Council, who subsidise several routes including the C3 and C4. You can give them your feedback at the Fryern Hill Waitrose bus stop between 1000 and 1200 and at the Ashdown Road Shops stop in Hiltingbury between 1300 and 1500. Hampshire County Council are also running an online consultation into the future of subsidised bus routes to Hiltingbury - you have until 15th February to give your views.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Buses on Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th January

From Wednesday 2nd January, most bus services return to normal service levels.

Most, that is, except for First. Route X2 is still suspended. Routes 4/4A/X4, 26, B1/B2/B3, H1/H2 and S1 are back to normal. All other First routes are still running to a reduced timetable.

It's all back to normal from Sunday 6th January. Even First X2 will be running again.