Saturday, 31 May 2014

First timetables change this Sunday / Velvet B4 starts Monday

Don't forget that tomorrow, Sunday 1st June, is when most First routes in Southampton get a new timetable and some also have route changes.

See all of the new timetables on First's website, as a PDF booklet or on Traveline.

The major route changes have already been mentioned in our previous post here.

From Wednesday, there's a new link between Bitterne and Bursledon in the shape of Velvet B4. It will run via Harefield, Thornhill and Sholing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, providing a new direct link to Tesco Extra in Bursledon. See the timetable here and full details here.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Velvet timetable changes from Tuesday

Tuesday 27th May sees new timetables on Velvet A and S1.

See the new timetable for the A here. The biggest change is the cut to the Southampton-Hedge End Velvet Sunday service.

The new S1 timetable is here. Minor changes all round. Most significant is a weekday morning peak journey from Lordshill is extended to start back from Lordshill North. In fact all journeys that don't currently run to/from Lordshill North will do so from Tuesday.

Don't forget that it's a Sunday service across all operators this Bank Holiday Monday 26th May.

Monday, 19 May 2014

First new timetables out

First have published their new timetable booklet taking effect from 1st June. See it here.

It now includes route 26 from Hedge End to Fareham but bizarrely the 4/4A/X4 services have been removed from the Southampton booklet. The index page refers to them thus:

It also includes some fares info for major destinations, but stops short of providing the full fares table that you can find online. Maybe they didn't want to confuse people, but the fact that it only takes two images (taking up potentially no more than two pages of their booklet) to work out the single or return fare for any journey on their network is something they really should be shouting about.

We've already covered the major changes here. The biggest one is that the 8/8A to Hedge End are halved in frequency, becoming just the 8, and will no longer serve the village centre. This will send many much needed passengers the way of Velvet A and possibly Bluestar 3 too.

Extract from First's new network map showing the major changes in the east of the city.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Solent Travelcard price chaos / First managers online

First are holding another online 'Meet the Manager' event for their Southampton routes next Wednesday between 1700 and 1900 on Facebook and Twitter.

The Solent Travelcard has been around for a few years now, making it easier and cheaper to make journeys that involve more than one bus operator. But how much does it cost? According to the card's dedicated website, the one-day version is £7.50:

But passengers have reported to the ticket's Facebook page of being charged £8 for the ticket. Indeed, a look at First and Bluestar's websites confirms that they are now charging £8 for the ticket:

Meanwhile Velvet's fares page and Brijan Tours still give the price as £7.50:

Xelabus agree, with a scrolling banner on their homepage advertising £7.50:

Neither Stagecoach nor Wheelers appear to promote the ticket, despite the ticket's own website listing them as partners.

So does the Solent Travelcard now have two prices and you pay the one set by the operator from which you purchase it? If so, is there a risk of Bluestar and First drivers rejecting tickets purchased on BrijanVelvet or Xelabus?

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Sunday buses to Paultons Park & Ringwood

Just weeks after Ringwood yet again lost its direct bus link with Southampton, Gardbus have announced that they are to give it another go. Route 139 will only run on Sundays and bank holidays from 29th June, but will also serve Paultons Park, restoring another lost Sunday link.

Ringwood's most recent link was run by Velvet, but Gardbus have tried before: route 39 ran between July and September 2011.

We'll let you know as soon as the timetable is out.

In other news, our sister blog, Great British Bus Routes, has run a feature on Bluestar 6 to Lymington, detailing things to see and do all along the route. It also contains other posts about interesting bus routes from all around the country.