Monday, 24 October 2016

Changes this weekend

UPDATE 25.10.: Bluestar have now admitted on their website that they will indeed be running routes 36, H1/H2 and T3/T4 from Monday. You could be forgiven for thinking that Go South Coast rely on this blog to remind them when they're taking on new routes. Glad to be of service!

Here's a summary of the changes to our region's bus services taking place this weekend:

See the previous post for changes to Yellow Bus routes in Bournemouth, including the replacement of the A1 airport service with new route 14 via Winton.

  • First A Eastleigh-Hedge End

This council subsidised Sunday counterpart to the Mon-Sat Xelabus X4 service is being withdrawn, signalling the final end of route A. It ran for the last time this Sunday just gone, having been run by First for years and Stagecoach before them. Does anyone know how far back we have to go to find the Sunday service between Eastleigh and Hedge End in the hands of the same operator as the Mon-Sat service?
Passengers needing to get between Eastleigh and Hedge End on a Sunday will now need to either take the train (replacement bus services will be running this coming Sunday due to engineering works) or use Bluestar 2 to Southampton and change there to Bluestar 3:
An end-to-end journey of almost two hours. The A used to do the trip in half an hour.

  • Xelabus X4 Eastleigh-Hedge End

The X4 will continue to run Mondays to Saturdays, but with a new timetable. The last two journeys of the evening are cut, so the last bus from Eastleigh will now be at 1845, with the last bus from Hedge End at 1908.

  • First E1/E2 Eastleigh-Winchester

These routes transfer to Stagecoach and have a new timetable from Monday. There are a couple of extra early morning journeys towards Eastleigh - 0647 weekdays Allbrook Knoll to Eastleigh and 0727 weekdays (0737 Saturdays) Twyford to Eastleigh - plus a later journey from Eastleigh at 1805 Mon-Sats to Twyford. The Portswood extension is withdrawn.
This is good for those needing to use other buses in the Winchester area, as Stagecoach already operates most of those, meaning Stagecoach's own tickets such as the South Hants DayRider at £6.60 becomes available to passengers in Eastleigh, who might previously have had to use a Solent Go ticket at £8.

  • Xelabus X10 Southampton-Bishop's Waltham

Only a minor change to the timetable. The 0741 weekday service from Waltham Chase to Southampton will now depart 10 minutes earlier at 0731.

  • Xelabus X15 Eastleigh-Hamble

An additional journey will run at 1543 weekdays from Eastleigh to Hamble. New timetable here.

  • Stagecoach 36 Winchester-Lockerley

Transfers to Salisbury Reds (who have no mention of it on their website) Bluestar and is curtailed to run between Romsey and Lockerley only, with the timetable on that section of route remaining unchanged. Will still run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only.

  • Wheelers H1/H2 Hythe-Applemore

Transfers to More (again, no mention on their website) Bluestar, with no change to the timetable (H1/H2). Still only runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • Wheelers T3/T4 Totton-Cadnam

Transfers to More (no mention on their website, shamefully) Bluestar, with no change to the timetable (T3/T4). Still only runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

All of these changes are from Sunday 30th October.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

All change for Bournemouth Airport

Southampton's airport really is spoilt for public transport, what with its own railway station and the frequent Unilink U1 bus service running from the terminal door several times an hour.

Bournemouth Airport, in comparison, is a poor relation. The local rag gleefully prints pictures of men in suits in front of a bus as it breaks the news that Yellow Buses' A1 express service is being replaced with a slower service from 30th October.

Currently the A1 takes about 20 minutes to get from the town centre to the airport and 30 mins to get back, thanks to a detour via the Aviation Park. When the 14 takes over, journey times will soar to about 50 minutes each way, as the new route takes the slow road through Winton.

No, not that Winton.

For early flights, the A1 can currently get you to the airport at 0641 each morning. From 30th October, the first 14 of the day will get there at 0656 - not much later, but might be enough to push some early flyers in to taxis.

Those arriving on late flights in to Bournemouth Airport currently have a mad scramble for the last bus into town at 2031. After 30th October, the last bus to Bournemouth will leave at 1908, so if your flight is due in after 1800, you can't really count on the bus to get you home any more.

See the timetable for the 14, along with the other Winton routes 4a, 4b and 4c here. From the same date Yellow 24 also has a new timetable.

On the plus side, Yellow Buses have produced a clear new network map: