Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Chapel correction & other diversions

Chapel is still being served by First 5, contrary to the last post. Apologies for any confusion caused. I blame the vague description on First's website:

To help make sense of it, look at the map. Saltmarsh Road and Canute Road could be interpreted as travelling towards Queens Park as per the other Woolston routes. But what is actually meant is this:

The usual route is in blue and the diversion is in green. OK, it does serve Saltmarsh Road but then it turns left heading into town onto Canute Road (all other routes turn right). First forgot to mention that it continues onto Endle Street before turning right onto Albert Road North and resuming its usual route. Thanks to PAC, whose comment on the last post pointed me in the right direction!

Other diversions are in operation in Thornhill, the top end of Swaythling, Fair Oak and ... what's this? According to Bluestar, Saltmarsh Road is closed for a few days so all of their Woolston buses (that'll be the 3) are running via Central Bridge. Anyone know what First 5 has been doing there since Monday?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

No buses through Chapel until May?

CORRECTION: This post is incorrect. See this more recent one for the actual route being taken by First 5.

First have advised of a long-term diversion to their 5. Albert Road North is closed for roadworks until May 2014, so the 5 will run via Ocean Village, the same way as First's other Woolston routes.

Here's how the 5 currently runs (inbound) and will do again once these shenanigans are done:

While the work is on, this is where it will stop heading out of town towards Sholing:

Ignore Vincent's Walk, it'll probably still use its usual stop (BP) at West Quay.

...and heading into town from Sholing:

Again, ignore Vincent's Walk, it's stop CE on Pound Tree Road you need for Bassett Green.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Boyatt Wood & Hiltingbury get direct links to Southampton

Wheelers have revealed the full details of their new routes launching 18th November via Traveline. Here are the details:

W2 will provide a direct link between Southampton and Hiltingbury via Central Station, Hill Lane, Bassett and Valley Park. Rather than direct competition for Bluestar 1, this restores some direct links that were lost years ago. It will only run hourly weekday daytimes between the peaks for now, but hopefully it will expand in the future. Here is the route map, timetable and stop listing:

EDIT: the W2 timetable originally published here and on Traveline was incorrect. This is the correct one:

W3 will provide a link from Eastleigh Bus Station to Boyatt Wood then via Fleming Park to Parkway Station, down Wide Lane, along Wessex Lane then through Portswood and Bevois Valley to the City Centre. Again it'll initially only be hourly between the peaks on weekdays. Here are the route maps, timetable and stop lists:

This timetable starts from 18th November 2013:

W4 is a once-per-weekday link between Winchester and Salisbury, just outside our coverage patch.

W5 will provide one journey a day between Romsey and Stockbridge, designed for people from Stockbridge and Kings Sombourne to visit Romsey for a couple of hours. Here are the route map and timetable:

 This timetable starts on 18th November:

To see a full stop listing for the W5, visit Traveline, search for the W5, open the pdf timetable and scroll to the last page. Stop listings for all bus routes not just in our region, but across the South and the Midlands can be found in the same way.

Rather than unnecessary duplication, these routes open genuinely new links, particularly between central Southampton and Boyatt Wood, Valley Park and Hiltingbury. Those three in particular are served during the same hours by Xelabus services to Eastleigh. Wheelers could be making a good gamble that people in those areas are more likely to choose the bus if it goes right into the city rather than only to Eastleigh. Time will tell whether they are successful enough to extend their operating hours. We wish them the best of luck.

In other news, First have cut the price of a Family FirstDay Hampshire to £10 for the duration of the half term holiday. It's normally £13.50 but will be at the lower price until 2nd November. To get the best value out of it, take the sprogs on the X4 for a day out with our dear neighbours in Portsmouth, who don't rub it in our faces at all that they have a gleaming tower on the waterfront and we don't.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Velvet route changes from Monday

Most of Velvet's routes get new timetables from Monday. See the full details on their website.

The biggest change is to the S1, which Velvet take over from First, and the S2, both of which have a change of route and timetable.

See the new S1 route here and see a full stop listing and timetable here.

See the new S2 route here and a full stop listing and timetable here.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Wheelers expands

Wheelers have announced some new routes starting 18th November. Full details of the routes are yet to be announced, but here is what we know:

  • W2: Competition for Bluestar 1 between Chandlers Ford and Southampton via Bassett.
  • W3: Competition for Bluestar 2 between Eastleigh and Southampton via Portswood.
  • W4: New route between Winchester and Salisbury via Stockbridge, just outside this blog's patch.
  • W5: New route between Romsey and Stockbridge. Possibly just a school run.

More as we get it. While we wish them well, if the W2 and W3 in particular are mere duplications of Bluestar routes, then it's only a matter of time before Bluestar retaliate. Assuming that is, they're not pre-occupied with the war on First currently in full swing in Millbrook and Townhill Park. One can't help thinking that the Swaythling corridor in particular is already rather crowded with First and Unilink already running alongside Bluestar. If the W3 is going to run fast along the A335 between Portswood and Eastleigh, it might have a chance, but then again Velvet have already tried that and found out that the train is the established quick choice for Eastleigh folk heading to Southampton.

Google Blogger haven't sorted out their bugs, so the panel that was on the right, which I can no longer update, has to go. Instead, it'll appear on a separate page accessible from a link at the top of the panel on the right.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Totton diversions / First 3 to change

First 3 gets a new timetable from 24th November. I can't add it to the panel on the right due to an error with Google Blogger. Hopefully they'll have it sorted out soon otherwise I'll have to remove the panel.

There are diversions to routes through Totton after 2000 each night until 12th October. Bluestar 8 and 12 will be affected. Bluestar mention the 11 too but it doesn't run after 2000 so will not be affected.