Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas & New Year buses / Changes on the way

Christmas is almost upon us, so don't forget that bus services run differently over the festive period. We'll have updates over the next two weeks so that you always know what level of service is being provided by all of our local bus operators. There's an overview of service alterations here.

There are some other changes coming soon too:

Wheelers W1 has a route change in Romsey and a new timetable from Tuesday 29th December.

Xelabus X14 between Bitterne and Bursledon runs for the very last time on Wednesday 30th December.

First have new timetables on several routes from Sunday 3rd January. Click on the route number to see the new timetable:

Xelabus has new timetables from Monday 4th January on the following routes. See the timetables for them all here:

  • X6
  • X7
  • X9
  • X10
  • X11 - No longer running to Hedge End. City Centre-Lordshill North only.
  • X15


  1. Basically First are cutting back on Saturday frequencies from the new year!

    1. I only use Bluestar,out of principle,as they are investing in Southampton bus routes,while First continue to cut journeys and frequencies,except where they are in direct competition with Bluestar.

    2. The First changes are yet another example of where their planners just can't stop tinkering around with things every few months.It would seem now, that where they have reduced most of the non red routes over the years to in some areas being almost usless to anyone,now they have started in a small way to make inroads on the red ones

    3. I can only wonder on three points, and I hope someone from the firm can answer this, for the benefit of all their customers:

      1) Do they actually still WANT to run in the Southampton area?

      2) Are the management - not necessarily at Empress Road, but more likely in Aberdeen - utterly incapable of settling on a service pattern before having the staff dream up another shuffle?

      3) If the answers to 1 and 2 above are NO and YES respectively, when are they planning to leave, and hand over the operation to someone more in tune with local needs?

    4. I think it's general throughout First.I note that in Bristol there are changes from 10th January 2016 which in the main are to correct the changes made in August 2015.Here one route they cut off one area from another,but how now decided to reconnect it again.I note in other areas where they have withdrawn completely new operators such as Stagecoach seem gradually to be making a far better job of it in correcting the past mistakes by First.

    5. Anonymous19 December 2015 at 23:45. I presume you don't use the GSC 18 route or are you happy to regularly wait 25 minutes and then have 3 18s arrive together.........

      If we are talking about timetable changes why do GSC not reflect routine peak hour delays in the 18 timetable like First do on all their City routes.

      Ans: because the 18 timetable is a complete work of fiction anyway and no-one takes any notice of it anyway.

      Nice shiny new buses on the 18, but same cr*p service because management can't be bothered to try to regulate the service when it gets disrupted. First are not AT ALL great but at least they make an effort to keep the service on track when it is badly disrupted, but Bluestar/GSC don't seem to bother in Southampton. P*ss poor management; I don't blame the drivers.

    6. @anon 11;06.I use the BS17,which i might add is very reliable.
      Firstbuses can regularly be seen waiting ages at the Central Station stop,as First have given them way too much running time,between the City Centre and Central Station.
      As i`m sure anon will be aware,traffic conditions vary and no one operator can get the time allowance right.If BS18 buses do bunch up from time to time ,it`s normally due to delays along Shirley rd,added with the fact it`s a high frequency service.Even with First`s regulating,you can still find three First no.3`s bunching together.Buses bunching up will soon right themselves as one overtakes the other .

    7. As with many other Towns and Cities up and down the Country private car ownership has reached almost saturation point,and there is no bus company that can plan a timetable that's more or less reliable for the whole day.You may be able to regulate a service somewhat that has a problem,but this normaly means missing part of the service out.First do regulate their services, but in doing so miss out lots of trips,and then get complaints as to it not running.Bluestar don't regulate them like First so they all run together and cause large gaps in the service,and then they get complaints.It's a no win situation whatever either company does.I'm sure that either company would be more than delighted with any suggestion from any source to help the situation,but I don't think anyone is clever enough to supply an answer.

    8. There's the usual lack of insight and misreporting regarding First. In Bristol, the 81 is extended back to Hanham as South Glos Council have decided to subsidise such a facility. SGC have also withdrawn support on another route so journeys are axed.

      As for Stagecoach, First ran some tendered stuff but with their attack on Rotala, they used the resources on that and surrendered those Gloucestershire CC accordingly.

      Aberdeen don't come into settling service patterns. It is devolved. What they do is agree budgets etc just like Stagecoach.

      Please get it right

  2. Quite a change to the W1 in the Romsey area.Could it be due to the fact that Stagecoach 66 now serves more of the Cupernham area? where the W1 seems to have been cosiderably reduced,particularly on Saturdays. I wonder what will happen should SCC take the subsidy away from the Highfield area of Southampton?

    1. I fear the short answer may be "Goodbye".

    2. Maybe the subsidy is for daytime only (ie not peak hours)? But the W1 also provides a useful and used service to the Science Park, and for University people living in Romsey, so its not just about Highfield and Cupernham. Stagecoach has yet to publish a revised 66 timetable from when the bus gate to Abbottswood comes into use so further changes are still to come