Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sunday service on bank holidays / M1 route / Changes next week

Don't forget it's a Sunday service from all operators on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

This Thursday, the 24th, is the final day of First running the Bitterne Hoppa routes. Does anyone know when they started? They've certainly been running for as long as I can remember.

Good Friday is the first day of First M1 running to Marwell Zoo this year. Here's the route for those journeys that start from Southampton City Centre:

and here's the list of stops served towards Marwell:

The Bitterne Hoppa routes resume after a makeover with Xelabus on Wednesday 30th March. Details of the route changes and new timetables here. They will now only run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Next Tuesday, there are new timetables on Xelabus routes X9, X10 and X12, with the X12 being cut to run on just two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Marwell, Harefield and cricket

First have released the timetable of the M1 for 2016. That's the summer seasonal link between Eastleigh and Marwell Zoo. New for this year is that a couple of journeys a day are extended from and to Southampton City Centre via Portswood. See details and the timetable here.

First 13 to Harefield is getting some extra journeys from 11th April. Details and timetable here.

First 8 is to get an extra Sunday evening journey to cope with the cricket-watching crowds at the Ageas Bowl. It will depart from Hedge End Station at 1850 each Sunday and starts on 10th April.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Out of town in 1978 / Fareham routes then & now

From the 1978 Southampton public transport guide I found the other day, here's how the routes beyond the city's borders used to run:

Here's a close up of Eastleigh's bus network in 1978:

...and as a comparison, this is how it looks now:

A commenter to the previous post asked for the 1978 timetables of routes serving Fareham and Gosport from Southampton. Happy to oblige. We start with the equivalent of today's First X4, which back in 1978 was the limited stop Solenteer X71 running all the way to Southsea via Locks Heath and Fareham. Today's X4 only runs as far as The Hard in Portsmouth, but the rest of the route is fairly similar:

There was no direct motorway express service to Portsmouth in 1978, as that stretch of the M27 still hadn't been built. Today, the motorway bus to Portsmouth is long gone, but the motorway is still there and you can get to Portsmouth fairly quickly with National Express. Plus there's always the train.

For Gosport, you'd use First X5 today, which runs via Fareham. Until recently, buses to Gosport were more direct and that was certainly the case in 1978 with a dedicated express route, the X70 via Bitterne and Locks Heath:

For Fareham, the options are far simpler now, a combined 15 minute daytime frequency on First X4/X5. In 1978 however, you also had the 78 and 80 stopping services running via Woolston and Locks Heath:

The 80 route number was still in use on this very stretch, albeit with a few tweaks, by First until April 2014.

In 1978, you had another two routes running to Fareham, the 53 and 76, both via Bitterne, Hedge End and Botley, where they split with the 53 continuing via Curdridge, Shedfield and Wickham and the 76 going via Park Gate and Catisfield, both terminating in Fareham.

Bluestar 3 is the direct modern day equivalent as far as Botley. To go further, you could have caught First 26 between Hedge End and Fareham via Park Gate until it was withdrawn in January 2015. Now that part of route beyond Botley is unserved. There be dragons!

Any more routes from 1978 you'd like to see?

Monday, 7 March 2016

Blast from the past: 1978

Cleaning out some cupboards, I've found this old Southampton bus timetable from 1978:

More pages of it to follow, but to whet your appetite, here are some extracts of maps showing how our city's bus routes ran back then:

Nothing serving Lordswood I note.

The 18 still went to Thornhill back then!

Any requests as to which routes' timetables from 1978 you'd like to see. More maps to follow...

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Higher frequency for Harefield

First have announced that the 13 will be doubled in frequency from 10th April, to half-hourly weekday daytimes.

This is after they cut it from every 20 minutes to hourly back in September.

Harefield will remain without any evening or Sunday services.

The reason they give for the backtrack is that one of their buses is freed up from them losing the City Council contract to run the Bitterne Hoppa services.

The Bitterne Hoppa transfers to Xelabus from the end of March and is cut from five to three days a week.