Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Xelabus X8, Bluestar 4: Timetable changes from Monday

Next Monday, Xelabus X8 has a new timetable:

Gone are the college day extensions to Barton Peveril and the 1635 weekday service from Horton Heath to Eastleigh is also cut. The whole route will run for the last time on 19th April. Keep coming back to see if it will be replaced by anything. Brijan 8 of course covers the whole route and more anyway.

Bluestar 4 also has some minor changes to early morning journeys, also from Monday. The weekday 0705 journey from Southampton to Romsey will now depart at 0700 and run 5 minutes earlier throughout. On Saturdays, the 0739 and 0814 short journeys from North Baddesley to Romsey will now run 1 minute later, departing at 0740 and 0815. All other journeys on Bluestar 4 are unaffected. Full new timetable here.

Xelabus X1, X2 and X4 are being rejigged again with new timetables from 22nd April. Full details as we get them.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Day out ideas: Beaulieu

UPDATE 23rd JULY 2014: More 112 becomes the Beach Bus and will serve Beaulieu National Motor Museum daily from 26th July until 1st September 2014. For details visit my more recent blog entry and the Beach Bus website.

The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu is well worth a visit, but as you may have guessed, isn't too easy to get to by public transport.

The only bus route serving Beaulieu village and the Motor Museum is the three-day-a-week (thanks to Hampshire County Council cuts in October 2011) More 112 between Hythe and Lymington. Timetable here. This route really is a shadow of its former self, but still offers some useful connections.

To go via Hythe, you'll first need to get over there if you're not already on the Waterside. You could use the Hythe Ferry from Town Quay or go by bus using Bluestar 8 or 9 or First 11, H1 or H2. Solent Travelcard is not valid as far as Beaulieu, so the best value way of doing this is to use Bluestar to get to Hythe and buy a Bluestar Explorer (£8 adult, £5 child, £18 group), which is also valid on More.

More 112 leaves Hythe Ferry Yard at 0907 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only, arriving at Beaulieu Garage at 0928.

From there, continue along past the garage, turn right into Hatchet Lane and the Motor Museum is 5 minutes walk on the right. To get back to Hythe, you'll need to be back opposite the garage at 1422 to get you back to Hythe Ferry at 1443.

The other option is to go via Lymington, where on its three days of operation, More 112 has some journeys that even run to the museum door. You can get to Lymington by train or by using Bluestar 6 from Southampton or More X1 & X2 from Christchurch or Bournemouth or the 119 from New Milton.

More 112 departs from Lymington Bus Station at 1010 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only, taking about 36 minutes to get to the museum. There's a later bus at 1220, but you won't be able to get back to Lymington again. It returns from the museum bus stop pictured above at the ridiculously early time of 1303, not much good if you intended to spend the whole day there.

From the end of June, Bluestar and More's New Forest Tour usually runs, offering extra connections to the museum, but until that starts again, you'll have to make do with the 112 or go somewhere else for a day out.

See previous posts (updated for 2014!) for how to get to Paulton's Park or Marwell Zoo by bus.

UPDATE 23rd JULY 2014: More 112 becomes the Beach Bus and will serve Beaulieu National Motor Museum daily from 26th July until 1st September 2014. For details visit my more recent blog entry and the Beach Bus website.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

City Council cuts: Buses will be affected

Southampton City Council has voted for major cuts to all publicly-funded services in the city. Details here.

As the Echo mentions, buses will be affected. In the next few months expect cuts to evening, Sunday and night services as well as to wholly subsidised routes like Bluestar P1, First S1 and Velvet S2.

We'll keep an eye out and will let you know the exact cuts to our city's buses as soon as they are announced.

In other news, Bluestar are having technical problems with Southampton Plus season tickets issued on The Key smartcards. Their advice is to print out proof of payment in order to make sure you'll be allowed on the bus.

Our advice to Bluestar is that they shouldn't be taking passengers' money on a flawed smartcard when they might be refused access to a bus journey they've already paid for. Suddenly First's lack of a smartcard doesn't look as foolish as it did when The Key worked.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Millbrook & West Totton diversions / First are last to Paypoint

The following bus stop is currently not being used due to roadworks at the junction of Millbrook Road and Regents Park Road:

Bluestar 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12 and First X2 and 11 are affected.

There are also diversions for about 3 weeks around Morrisons in West Totton. Bluestar 11 is reverting to its traditional route, missing out Morrisons altogether and terminating at Goodies roundabout:

The T3 and T4 are still serving Morrisons, but from Calmore Road, they are having to run via Calmore Corner and Goodies in order to get there. This will last about 3 weeks. More reasons to shop elsewhere!

Just as Bluestar have decided that PayPoint is old hat, opting instead for The Key smartcard with online top ups and mobile ticketing apps, First have decided to only now start selling tickets through PayPoint. First of course do have an app, but they haven't thought to sell tickets on it yet.

Oi, First, where's yer smartcard?!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Marchwood diversions: Mon & Tues overnight

On Monday and Tuesday nights, there will be diversions in Marchwood due to closures of Tavells Lane and Trotts Lane. Bluestar 8 and First 11 will be affected. Here's how they will divert:

The following stops won't be served during those times towards Hythe:

And these won't be served towards Southampton:

This diversion will be in place from 1900 to 0700 on both nights, so will affect some evening and early morning journeys on both routes.