Thursday, 19 November 2015

Highfield & Regent's Park to be cut off?

BBC News is reporting that Southampton City Council is looking at cutting some subsidised bus routes in order to satisfy the government's budget cuts.

Particularly under threat are Wheelers W1 and Xelabus X12, which could potentially cut off people in Highfield and Regent's Park.

Age UK criticised the proposals, which is all well and good, but until they start campaigning for bus companies to be correctly reimbursed for accepting pensioners' passes, routes that primarily serve pensioners, like the W1 and X12, will become uneconomical for councils to continue to support.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Christmas & New Year: summary so far

So far we know the Christmas and New Year service changes from four of our local operators:

There's nothing too out of the ordinary so far, but there are a few points to note from Bluestar, our area's biggest operator:

  • The skeleton service on Boxing Day and New Year's Day will run across routes 1, 2, 4, 9, 12, 17 and 18. The New Year's Day service level will be significantly lower than that provided on Boxing Day. In previous years it has had the same service.
  • The newest route, the 17, will be running on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, but the 16 will not.
  • Bluestar 2 will have services running from Southampton into the evening on Boxing Day.
  • On the weekdays between Christmas and New Year, an enhanced Saturday service will run. Most of the enhancements are in the early morning, so for all intents and purposes it's really a Saturday service for most people.
  • As always, no early finish for Bluestar on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.

See Bluestar's leaflet which includes the Boxing Day and New Year's Day special timetables here.

No word yet as to what's happening on First, Salisbury Reds, Stagecoach or Wheelers over the holiday period.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

X11 to leave Hedge End / X14 cut / Round up

Xelabus have announced some changes, which will apply from 4th January. There will be minor changes to the X6, X7, X9. X10 and X15.

The X11 however will no longer serve Hedge End, bring to an end Hedge End's era of three bus operators running between there and Southampton, which of course began when Velvet A was first extended. Interesting that what started as a route extension also ends as an extension, just of another route. First 8 no longer serves the centre of Hedge End or Oaklands, so that leaves these areas to Bluestar 3 for people needing to get into the city. The 3 has had a few cuts of its own in recent years, so the end of direct competition will hopefully make it more viable.

The X14 between Bitterne and Bursledon Tesco is being withdrawn.

Xelabus have also announced their Christmas and New Year arrangements. As the other operators announce their plans, we'll compile them all on our forthcoming changes page.

Wheelers W1 has an amendment from 29th December. No further details yet, but it might just be a suspension of the link to Chilworth Science Park over the New Year.

First have registered some changes to the timetables of routes 7, 12 and 13 from 3rd January. More as we get it.