Friday, 26 September 2014

Wheelers W2 is no more

Wheelers W2 ran for the last time today. It has run since 18th November 2013.

The most direct route between the city centre and the General Hospital is now once again First three.

Stagecoach 46 still connects the General with Valley Park and Hiltingbury.

Valley Park and Hiltingbury no longer have a direct link to Southampton. The nearest direct route is Bluestar 1 through Chandlers Ford.

Monday, 8 September 2014

First roadshow / Xelabus X4 rerouted / Gardbus 139 to run on Saturdays

First have held a few public 'Meet The Manager' sessions recently and another is to follow this coming Saturday 13th September at the Bargate between 0900 and 1600. Full details here.

Xelabus X4 was due to be rerouted from 17th September but it looks like that has been brought forward to today. The change is in Hedge End: Wildern Lane is no longer served with all X4 buses in both directions running via Turnpike Way and Upper Northam Road. No mention of this on Xelabus's website, but the new route and timetable are on Traveline. To confuse things even more, First A on Sundays is sticking to its existing route via Wildern Lane. Here's a helpful map of how Xelabus X4 now runs in Hedge End:

I've edited this map, the original of which is from

Thanks to PAC for leaving a comment to draw my attention to that one and also to the fact that Gardbus 139 will start running on Saturdays from 11th October. It currently runs on Sundays only and provides the only bus link between Southampton and Ringwood, plus an alternative to Salisbury Reds X7 for visitors to Paulton's Park. Here's the new timetable, which applies from Sunday 5th October: again

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Guilty but free - thanks to purple 'Get out of jail free' card

Adam Smith, also known as Paul Jones, would be in jail today were it not for the fact that he owns Velvet buses.

Adam Smith/Paul Jones's picture taken from Buses Excetera's website

As the Daily Echo reports, he first denied but later pleaded guilty to handling counterfeit banknotes.

A 16-month jail sentence was suspended for 2 years because people's jobs at Velvet depended on him and because Velvet owes £140,000 in tax, which it would be unlikely to be able to pay back had Smith/Jones been jailed. He will have to do 150 hours community service and pay £700 of genuine money in costs and surcharges.

Smith/Jones claimed that Velvet was in good hands, but admitted that he had been "stupid".

Velvet ceased trading on 16th July under the ownership of its founder, Phil Stockley, and would have entered receivership had Smith/Jones not bought it just days later, enabling its buses to resume operation.