Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Velvet changes / Central Station diversions / Special ticket offers

Velvet have announced minor changes to just about all of their routes in our region from Monday 14th October:
Click here for the new timetables on Velvet's website. The biggest change is that Hiltingbury will be cut off from public transport on Sundays.

For three weeks from next Monday, West Park Road and Blechynden Terrace will be partially closed, so all westbound buses serving the north side of Central Station will have to divert. Bluestar have advised that they will divert via the Mayflower Theatre-bit of Commercial Road. First haven't said what they'll be doing.

Bluestar 16 is now more or less head-to-head with First 7 to Townhill Park. First are fighting back with a special £10 FirstWeek ticket valid only on the 7. The standard FirstWeek Southampton is £17. A Bluestar Southampton weekly ticket is £13 and you're not limited to just the 16, plus it's also valid on Unilink.

Bluestar have introduced a special £5 off-peak day ticket valid only on route 1 to Winchester to celebrate some brand new buses on that route. The offer is on until Christmas Eve.

If you have any comments about Bluestar 2 and don't want the convenience of phoning or e-mailing them, then you can go and chat to a real human from Bluestar on 4th October between 1000 and 1500 "outside Sainsbury's", or at Eastleigh Bus Station as bus people used to refer to that location.

Phil from Xelabus has revealed in a comment to a previous post on this blog that the new Xelabus website will have full information on fares for any journey with Xelabus. A big step forward! When that happens, it will leave First, Stagecoach and Brijan Tours as the only local operators to think you don't have a right to know how much any single and return fares cost. Bluestar, More and Salisbury Reds needn't look so smug either - they give some sample fares for key routes, but not every possible fare. The shining beacons for letting you know how much you need to pay before you travel are Unilink, Velvet and Wheelers.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Are they still running?

Changes were due to Xelabus's Eastleigh routes today. So which timetables are valid? A look on Xela's website give you this:

...meanwhile a look on Traveline's timetable search, filtering for Eastleigh, gives you this:

So, the X7 definitely has a new timetable, which is only available from Traveline. The X1 should have a new timetable, but Traveline still shows the old one as being current. The X2 seems to have disappeared altogther. The X4 should have been renumbered the X3, but instead that has disappeared too.

Xelabus are clearly passionate about what they do, but I do wish they would put a similar amount of passion into telling potential passengers where and when their buses run!

Bluestar and Unilink have now released the full timetables for all of their routes affected by the changes on 22nd September. See two posts ago for details.

Monday, 2 September 2013

S1 to be cut completely?

First have registered that the S1 will cease running from 13th October. Not sure of the reasons why, but as it's a tendered route, Southampton City Council might have something to do with it. It's also unclear whether it will continue with another operator, be replaced by another route or will leave people in Lordswood, Regents Park and Bedford Place stranded. We'll let you know as soon as we do.

Look out for diversions in Swaythling this Wednesday and Thursday affecting Bluestar 2, Unilink U1 and U6 and First 5 (yet no mention of this from First). Plus diversions to Bluestar E2 in Otterbourne from Wednesday until next Monday.