Friday, 31 May 2013

First publish new timetables

You can find them here.

We'll analyse them before they come into effect on 30th June. Major changes that haven't been previously mentioned are as follows:

Lordshill North left with no bus service apart from Stagecoach 46.

8A withdrawn between town and General Hospital and replaced by a rerouted 10 which will run on weekdays only.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Back to Ringwood

Velvet have registered a new route, the 300, to restore the missing link between Southampton and Ringwood from 22nd July. We'll let you know as soon as the timetable's out. Route M to Marwell Zoo is amended from the same date.

First have another new route from 30th June: the R1 will serve Jurds Lake Way and looks like a shuttle between Woolston and Weston only. Jurds Lake Way isn't far from town, so I'm not sure how many people are going to be tempted out of their cars at the prospect of having to change at Woolston in order to get to town.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

New First timetables preview

First haven't published their new timetables that take effect on 30th June yet, but they have registered them with the authorities, so most of them are viewable on Traveline. Here's what I found:

No timetables yet for the 1 and new 11.

New 2 will run every 6 mins weekday daytimes and run to the exact same route as Bluestar 18 between town and Millbrook. This takes the Millbrook bus war head-to-head.

New 12 will run to the same route as old 2 between town and Townhill Park and old 2A between town and Lordshill.

New 13 will replace old 2A between town and Hightown via Harefield.

The 5 is rerouted to serve The Avenue and London Road again instead of Banister Road and Bedford Place.

The 9 loses its evening service.

The 10 will no longer run on Saturdays.

The S1 will continue, but with a new route to partially replace Velvet S2. More on that as we get it.

To see the new timetables for most of the above routes, use the journey planner at Traveline to plan a journey for after 30th June and click on the timetable button next to the route you need in the results.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

W1 route details / Summer solstice special

You may have noticed in the panel on the right that a new service, Wheelers W1, starts running between Southampton and Romsey from 1st July. We now have more details of its route. Councillor Asa Thorpe (Labour, Millbrook) is Southampton City Council's cabinet member for environment and transport and has revealed on his blog that within the city, the W1 will replace Bluestar P1, which is being withdrawn. The W1 will therefore run via Westwood Road and Highfield Lane before proceeding to Chilworth and then on to Romsey. It's not yet clear whether it will run via Glen Eyre, but that area is already served by Unilink U2. More on the W1 as we get it.

Salisbury Reds have revealed their plans to get you to Stonehenge for the summer solstice, should you want to go. You can find their special timetable for the night of Thursday 20th June here.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Plusbus online price cut for June & July

Buy a Plusbus ticket online (from participating websites only, including that of South West Trains) for travel during June or July and it will cost just £2.

The Southampton Plusbus zone is included, but the Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford zone is not. Most towns and cities around the country are in on the offer though.

Plusbus is a bus add-on ticket that you buy with rail tickets to certain stations.

Full details of the offer here.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Unilink U6 to go double deck and avoid Swaythling Arch

Unilink U6 is being upgraded to double decker buses from 16th June. Its route in Swaythling is changing in order to avoid the low railway bridge, Swaythling Arch. Here's how the U6 currently runs through Swaythling. Swaythling Arch is the red circle:

And here's how it will run from 16th June:

It will no longer serve Wessex Lane or Langhorn Road, both of which will still be served by the U1. It will however serve High Road and Swaythling's part of Burgess Road in both directions.

There will also be a new timetable, both on the U6 and U2, from that date. We'll let you know as soon as that is out.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Ticket deals: Wiltshire Day Rover

Not many people have heard of the Wiltshire Day Rover, but it's well worth knowing about. It's a day ticket, backed by Wiltshire Council, which gives you unlimited travel on just about any bus route in Wiltshire, regardless of operator.

What's more, it is valid on most routes that cross the county border, making it easy for us outsiders to explore Wiltshire by bus. It can be bought and used on Salisbury Reds X7 from Southampton and 34 from Romsey. Full details of the ticket, including a map, here.

Major routes to take you beyond Salisbury are:
Salisbury Reds 2 to Devizes.
Salisbury Reds X5 to Marlborough and Swindon (Stagecoach 5 on Sundays)
Wiltshire Buses 24 to Warminster, with connections for Bath

It's even valid on routes to Oxford, Bath and Cirencester! Use Traveline to work out which buses you'll need to use.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

New timetables for Lymington routes

There are a couple of changes coming soon on the major routes to and from Lymington.

From Sunday 26th May, there's a new timetable on More X1 and X2, plus a changed route at the Bournemouth end. Several other More routes have changes from that date - full details here.

Then on Tuesday 28th May, Bluestar 6 to Southampton has some of its timings changed. The full new timetable isn't yet on Bluestar's website, but can be viewed on Traveline, from where I got this:

For a day out in Lymington without a 1735 last bus curfew, there's always the train, which runs well into the evening. Timetable here. The train doesn't cost too much more either, for those of us not entitled to free bus travel at least. A standard class adult day return from Southampton Central to Lymington Town is £8.20 off peak or £8.30 anytime, compared to £7.80 on the bus for a day return or £8 for a Bluestar Network Dayrider.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Bluestar round up: Nights, New Forest & Winchester

Bluestar have some changes to their night buses from 7th June. The city centre route is being harmonised across all of the services and some extra journeys will run on certain routes. It's not yet clear whether this also affects Velvet N6 and N8. More as we get it.

Go Ahead's New Forest Tour relaunches on 29th June and looking at the number of routes that have been registered, it promises to be bigger and better than before.

Bluestar 1 is affected by evening roadworks in Winchester all this week.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

First revamp, council cuts & battle moves to Thornhill?

Southampton City Council's bus subsidy cuts kick in from 30th June with the withdrawal of First S1 and Velvet S2.

First are also revamping their own network on the same day. The X2 to Millbrook is withdrawn. All of their remaining routes in the city get a new timetable and some get a route change. With the council cuts, this is likely to mean fewer buses in the evenings and on Sundays.

Three new routes are announced though:
11 City Centre to Weston. This is probably a replacement for either a curtailment or rerouting of the 1 and 1A on that side of the city. Not to be confused with the old 11 to Marchwood and Hythe, which ends on 26th May.
12 Lordshill to Townhill Park (via Shirley and Bitterne). I'm guessing this is just a renumbered 2, but I could be wrong.
13 City Centre to Thornhill (via Bitterne). This looks like it could be a head-on attack against Bluestar 18.

Full details as we get them.