Thursday, 26 February 2015

First to launch direct Southampton to Marwell Zoo route

Marwell Zoo will be easier to get to by bus than it has been for several years, thanks to a new route from First.

The M2 launches on Sunday 3rd May and will run every Sunday and Wednesday during the summer between Lordshill and Marwell Zoo, via Southampton City Centre. More details on the exact route as we get it.

This is in addition to First taking over the Marwell to Eastleigh bus and rail stations route for 2015. It has run in previous years as Velvet M but will relaunch as First M1 on Good Friday 3rd April.

Passengers arriving at Marwell by bus will get 10% off admission to the zoo, so keep your bus ticket safe!

The M2 means it will be possible to get to the zoo using a FirstDay Hampshire ticket, which is considerably cheaper than Solent Go.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

New timetables tomorrow on Bluestar / W56 replaced / Marwell / Xela changes on the way

Bluestar have new timetables from tomorrow on routes 1, 2, 16 and 18. Full details and timetables here.

Some Bluestar tickets prices on The Key smartcard are changing too. Find details of them and all Bluestar/Unilink tickets here.

This Thursday just gone was the last day of Wheelers W56. From this coming Thursday 26th February, it will be replaced by two routes: Xelabus X56 and Brijan Tours 8B.

The route and timetable for Xelabus X56 can be seen here courtesy of Eastleigh Borough Council, but curiously not on Xelabus's website nor on Traveline. The route differs from the previous W56 route in that between Hedge End and Eastleigh it runs via West End and Mansbridge instead of via Horton Heath and Fair Oak.

Brijan Tours 8B is the new Thursdays-only route that fills in the other gaps left by the W56. It serves Botley, Boorley Green and Horton Heath before running along the same route as Brijan 8 via Fair Oak and Colden Common into Eastleigh. Timetable here. The 8B does appear on Traveline, so we have this route map:

Marwell Zoo has been connected to Eastleigh over the summer by Velvet in previous years. This year the honour goes to First, who will be running it from Good Friday 3rd April as route M1. We'll link to the timetable as soon as it has been released. The fact it's not gone to Bluestar means than anyone travelling by bus from beyond Eastleigh and connecting with the M1 will need a Solent Go ticket.

Xelabus have announced further route and timetable changes from 20th April. We'll cover these in more detail nearer the time, but you can see details here.