Monday, 30 December 2019

Micheldever & New Year changes

See details of our region's New Year buses at the end of this post.


We start in Micheldever village, quite some way from Micheldever railway station. Until now it's public transport has consisted of Mervyn's 95/95A/96/96A running the following timetable to and from Winchester on weekdays only:


Mervyn's final services ran today. Over the years, Hampshire County Council have gradually cut the subsidy to the point that most journeys are currently run commercially, which isn't sustainable for Mervyn's. From Friday, Stagecoach will be running a replacement 95/96 service, which will offer just 2 return journeys on Tuesdays and Fridays only:


As well as the drop from 5 to 2 days a week, the Monday link to Sainsbury's in Kempshott is gone, as are direct buses to Tesco in Winnall. Public transport no longer exists in Popham.

Wheelers 16 to the west of Winchester transfers to Stagecoach also, but there's no change to the timetable for now at least.

Stagecoach 64 had some minor timetable changes on 18th December, to account for the completion of a new bridge in Alton and also to offer better connections with trains.

Stagecoach 67 has a minor change from 6th January. The 0707 weekday service from Alresford to Petersfield is retimed and will no longer serve Warnford.

Minor changes from 5th January also on Stagecoach 37 (Havant-Petersfield), Stagecoach 39 (Havant-Wecock Farm) and Yellow 1a (Bournemouth-New Milton). There are also some fares changes on Stagecoach.



Here's now the region's buses are running over the next few days...


New Year's Eve 31st December 2019:
  • Bluestar: Full Saturday service on all routes, except for 6, 35, 36, T3/T4, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 9 and 12.
  • Damory: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1: Saturday service.
  • First Portsmouth, First Southampton: Saturday service with early finish.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service, except for route 6, which will have a weekday service. Extra late journeys on routes 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10.
  • More: Full Saturday service, except for routes X1, X2, X3, X6, X8, 24, 38, 112, 119, 125, 191, 193 and Ringo, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17. Night buses will run.
  • Salisbury Reds: Normal weekday service on all routes, except for Activ8, which will have a Saturday service, but no 2105 departure from Andover.
  • Southern Vectis: Friday service, complete with night buses.
  • Stagecoach Portsmouth: Saturday service with early finish, except for route 38, which will have a weekday service with early finish.
  • Stagecoach Winchester: Saturday service with early finish, except for routes 46 and 461, which will have a weekday service.
  • Unibus: Saturday service on route U3 only. No service on other routes.
  • Unilink: Saturday service with early finish. No night buses.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on routes X6, X7 and X15.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service with early finish, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service with early finish.


New Year's Day 1st January 2020:
  • BluestarSpecial timetable on routes 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 16, 17, 18 and 19 only. No service on other routes.
  • More: Sunday service on routes 5, 6, 16, 17 and X3. Special timetable on routes M1, M2, 8, 9 and 13. No service on other routes.
  • Salisbury Reds: Sunday service on routes X3 and Activ8. Special timetable on routes R1, R2 and X4. No service on other routes.
  • Southern Vectis, Stagecoach: Full Sunday service.
  • UnilinkSpecial timetable on route U1 only. No service on other routes.
  • Yellow BusesSpecial timetable on routes 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5a and 6 only. No service on other routes.
  • Damory, First, Unibus, Xelabus: No service.


Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd January 2020:
  • Bluestar, Damory, More, Salisbury Reds, Southern Vectis, Stagecoach, Unibus, Unilink: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1, First Portsmouth, First Southampton: Saturday service.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service, except for routes 4A, 6 and X54, which will have a weekday service.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on all other routes.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service.


Saturday 4th January 2020:
All operators: Normal service resumes.




Friday, 13 December 2019

Christmas & New Year bus services

All of the service amendments are in for the Christmas and New Year period. Here's how our region's buses will be running, day by day..


Monday 23rd December 2019:
  • Bluestar: Saturday service on all routes, except for 6, 35, 39, H1/H2, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 9 and 12.
  • Damory, Southern Vectis, Unilink: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1, First Portsmouth, First Southampton: Saturday service.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service, except for routes 4A, 6 and X54, which will have a weekday service.
  • More: Saturday service, except for routes X1, X2, X3, X6, X8, 24, 38, 119, 125, 191, 193 and Ringo, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17.
  • Salisbury Reds: Normal weekday service on all routes, except for Activ8, which will have a Saturday service.
  • Stagecoach Portsmouth: Saturday service, except for route 38, which will have a weekday service.
  • Stagecoach Winchester: Saturday service, except for routes 6A, 46, 63 and 461, which will have a weekday service.
  • Unibus: Vacation weekday service on routes U1 and U3 only. No service on U2 or U4.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on routes X6, X7, X15 and Bitterne Hoppa. Wednesday service on route X17.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service.


Christmas Eve 24th December 2019:
  • Bluestar: Full Saturday service on all routes, except for 6, 35, 36, T3/T4, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 9 and 12.
  • Damory, Southern Vectis: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1: Saturday service.
  • First Portsmouth, First Southampton: Saturday service with early finish.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service with early finish, except for routes 4A, 6 and X54, which will have a weekday service with early finish.
  • More: Full Saturday service, except for routes X1, X2, X3, X6, X8, 24, 38, 112, 119, 125, 191, 193 and Ringo, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17. No night buses.
  • Salisbury Reds: Normal weekday service on all routes, except for Activ8, which will have a Saturday service, but no 2105 departure from Andover.
  • Stagecoach Portsmouth: Saturday service with early finish, except for route 38, which will have a weekday service with early finish.
  • Stagecoach Winchester: Saturday service with early finish, except for routes 46 and 461, which will have a weekday service.
  • Unibus: Vacation weekday service on routes U1 and U3 only. No service on U2 or U4. No night buses.
  • Unilink: Weekday service with early finish.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on routes X6, X7, X12 and X15.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service with early finish, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service with early finish.


Christmas Day 25th December 2019:
  • BluestarSpecial timetable on routes 1X (Southampton-Eastleigh-WInchester) and 18 (extended to General Hospital and Lordshill) only. No service on other routes.
  • MoreSpecial timetable on routes M1 (extended to Royal Bournemouth Hospital) and M2 (extended to Christchurch) only. No service on other routes.
  • Southern VectisSpecial timetable on routes 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 only. No service on other routes.
  • Damory, First, Salisbury Reds, Stagecoach, Unibus, Unilink, Xelabus, Yellow Buses: No service.


Boxing Day 26th December 2019:
  • Bluestar: Full Sunday service on all routes except for the 6, which won't run.
  • First PortsmouthSpecial timetable on routes 1, 2, 3, Star 7 and Eclipse E1/E2 only. No service on other routes.
  • First SouthamptonSpecial timetable on routes 1, 2, three, 7 and 11 only. No service on other routes.
  • First WeymouthSpecial timetable on routes 1, 2 and 10 only. No service on other routes.
  • More: Sunday service on routes M1, M2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 40, 50, X3 and X8 only. No service on other routes.
  • Salisbury Reds: Sunday service on routes X3 and Activ8. Special timetable on routes R1, R2 and X4. No service on other routes.
  • UnilinkSpecial timetable on route U1 only. No service on other routes.
  • Yellow BusesSpecial timetable on routes 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5a and 6 only. No service on other routes.
  • Southern Vectis, Stagecoach: Full Sunday service.
  • Damory, First Bath D1, Unibus, Xelabus: No service.


Friday 27th December 2019:
  • Bluestar: Saturday service on all routes, except for 6, 35, 39, H1/H2, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 9 and 12.
  • Damory, Southern Vectis: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1, First Portsmouth, First Southampton, Unilink: Saturday service.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service, except for routes 4A, 6 and X54, which will have a weekday service.
  • More: Saturday service, except for routes X1, X2, X3, X6, X8, 24, 38, 119, 125, 191, 193 and Ringo, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17.
  • Salisbury Reds: Normal weekday service on all routes, except for Activ8, which will have a Saturday service.
  • Stagecoach Portsmouth: Saturday service, except for route 38, which will have a weekday service.
  • Stagecoach Winchester: Saturday service, except for routes 46 and 461, which will have a weekday service.
  • Unibus: Saturday service on route U3 only. No service on other routes.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on routes X6, X7 and X15.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service.


Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th December 2019:
All operators: Normal weekend service.


Monday 30th December 2019:
  • Bluestar: Saturday service on all routes, except for 6, 35, 39, H1/H2, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 9 and 12.
  • Damory, Southern Vectis: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1, First Portsmouth, First Southampton: Saturday service.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service, except for routes 4A, 6 and X54, which will have a weekday service.
  • More: Saturday service, except for routes X1, X2, X3, X6, X8, 24, 38, 119, 125, 191, 193 and Ringo, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17.
  • Salisbury Reds: Normal weekday service on all routes, except for Activ8, which will have a Saturday service.
  • Stagecoach Portsmouth: Saturday service, except for route 38, which will have a weekday service.
  • Stagecoach Winchester: Saturday service, except for routes 6A, 46, 63 and 461, which will have a weekday service.
  • Unibus: Saturday service on route U3 only. No service on other routes.
  • Unilink: Saturday service, but no night buses and no 0030 U1C from the Airport.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on routes X6, X7 and X15. Wednesday service on route X17.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service.



New Year's Eve 31st December 2019:
  • Bluestar: Full Saturday service on all routes, except for 6, 35, 36, T3/T4, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 9 and 12.
  • Damory: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1: Saturday service.
  • First Portsmouth, First Southampton: Saturday service with early finish.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service, except for route 6, which will have a weekday service. Extra late journeys on routes 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10.
  • More: Full Saturday service, except for routes X1, X2, X3, X6, X8, 24, 38, 112, 119, 125, 191, 193 and Ringo, which will have a weekday service. Extra morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17. Night buses will run.
  • Salisbury Reds: Normal weekday service on all routes, except for Activ8, which will have a Saturday service, but no 2105 departure from Andover.
  • Southern Vectis: Friday service, complete with night buses.
  • Stagecoach Portsmouth: Saturday service with early finish, except for route 38, which will have a weekday service with early finish.
  • Stagecoach Winchester: Saturday service with early finish, except for routes 46 and 461, which will have a weekday service.
  • Unibus: Saturday service on route U3 only. No service on other routes.
  • Unilink: Saturday service with early finish. No night buses.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on routes X6, X7 and X15.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service with early finish, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service with early finish.


New Year's Day 1st January 2020:
  • BluestarSpecial timetable on routes 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 16, 17, 18 and 19 only. No service on other routes.
  • More: Sunday service on routes 5, 6, 16, 17 and X3. Special timetable on routes M1, M2, 8, 9 and 13. No service on other routes.
  • Salisbury Reds: Sunday service on routes X3 and Activ8. Special timetable on routes R1, R2 and X4. No service on other routes.
  • Southern Vectis, Stagecoach: Full Sunday service.
  • UnilinkSpecial timetable on route U1 only. No service on other routes.
  • Yellow BusesSpecial timetable on routes 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5a and 6 only. No service on other routes.
  • Damory, First, Unibus, Xelabus: No service.


Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd January 2020:
  • Bluestar, Damory, More, Salisbury Reds, Southern Vectis, Stagecoach, Unibus, Unilink: Normal weekday service.
  • First Bath D1, First Portsmouth, First Southampton: Saturday service.
  • First Weymouth: Saturday service, except for routes 4A, 6 and X54, which will have a weekday service.
  • Xelabus: Saturday service on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11. Weekday service on all other routes.
  • Yellow Buses: Saturday service, except for routes 18, 33, 36 and 737, which will have a weekday service.


Saturday 4th January 2020:
All operators: Normal service resumes.


See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.


Friday, 6 December 2019

Election Special: Make it tactical

The general election is next Thursday and this one really will be pivotal for the course our country takes. The result will reverberate for decades. You, your children and your grandchildren will be affected by it.


This blog recommends a tactical vote designed to deny the Conservatives a majority. This will prevent the still existent threat of the economic disaster of a no-deal Brexit, which could still happen at the end of 2020 under the PM's current "deal", which only covers the immediate process of leaving, not of negotiating the necessary trade deals, which will take years, if not decades. On Brexit, Labour's approach is the best one - of negotiating a new deal with close alignment and then letting the people decide whether to leave with that deal or remain in the EU after all.

The Conservatives have become more and more extreme, alienating traditional one nation Tories like Sir Nicholas Soames (Winston Churchill's grandson), Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine. They've been in power since 2010, in which time we have seen homelessness skyrocket. Disabled people (including people who I know personally) have been subject to humiliating new tests specifically designed to leave them destitute. For those without cars, support for public transport has been cut, leaving more people isolated. We've seen the cuts for ourselves locally and they will continue if we do not get real change.

Then there's the most untrustworthy prime minister we've ever had. Boris Johnson lied during the referendum about £350m a week for the NHS if we voted for Brexit. He lied to the Queen about pro-roguing parliament in the autumn in an attempt to force through a Brexit to which parliament did not consent. He says that the report into Russian interference in our elections has no surprises, but won't let us read it, even though he is linked to several wealthy Russian donors. There's his affair with Jennifer Arcuri, while simultaneously helping her company to get you and me, the taxpayers of the UK, to subsidise it. He is a proven homophobe, racist and islamophobe. Then there is the rule of law: page 48 of the Conservative manifesto makes provision for the rule of law to be abolished if the PM of the day, whether that be Johnson or a successor, sees fit. Having lived in Germany, I've seen first hand evidence of what happens when there is no rule of law and it isn't pretty, especially for minorities. Then there's the dossier on the sale of the NHS to US companies after Brexit.

As much as you may dislike Jeremy Corbyn, you need the NHS and the rule of law more.

We therefore recommend a tactical vote as follows:


Vote Labour in:
Southampton Itchen (Simon Letts)
Southampton Test (Alan Whitehead)
Bournemouth East (Corrie Drew)
Bournemouth West (David Stokes)
Dorset South (Carralyn Parkes)
Fareham (Matthew Randall)
Gosport (Tom Chatwin)
Havant (Rosamund Knight)
New Forest West (Jo Graham)
Poole (Sue Aitkenhead)
Portsmouth North (Amanda Martin)
Portsmouth South (Stephen Morgan)
Salisbury (Tom Corbin)


Vote Green in:
Isle of Wight (Vix Lowthion)


Vote Liberal Democrat in:
Christchurch (Mike Cox)
Dorset Mid & Poole North (Vikki Slade)
Dorset North (David Chadwick)
Dorset West (Edward Morello)
Eastleigh (Lynda Murphy)
Hampshire East (David Buxton)
Meon Valley (Lewis North)
New Forest East (Bob Johnston)
Romsey & Southampton North (Craig Fletcher)
Winchester (Paula Ferguson)


Sunday, 10 November 2019

News round-up

Yellow 21 launched last weekend between Christchurch and Bransgore via Somerford and Burton.

From today, First Discover D1 has a new timetable between Salisbury and Bath.

Xelabus have revealed their Christmas service levels. As usual, we'll compile Christmad and New Year service changes across all operators as and when they release details.

And from 17th November, Go South Coast (trading as Bluestar, More, Salisbury Reds, Southern Vectis and Damory) have a round of fare rises.



See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

C1 ends: What are Burton & Somerford left with?

Southbourne C1 runs for the last time this Saturday 26th October. It only started on 4th March, so didn't even make it to a year. It was a circular route serving Christchurch, Burton and Somerford.


It ran at a useful half-hourly frequency between 9 and about 2, with a couple of evening rush-hour journeys.

Burton reverts to having to rely on:

  • Yellow 1/1a with only school time journeys extending to Burton.
  • Yellow 21, a new weekday only service between Christchurch and Bransgore from 4th November, generally with between 2 and 4 journeys a day.
  • More 24 with 4/5 weekday only journeys to Christchurch and Fairmile.
  • More 125, the Christchurch-Ringwood shoppers' service, 2 journeys each way on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.


Somerford is well served on the main roads, but Hunt Road is left with:

  • Yellow 1b with peak hour journeys only now running this side of Christchurch.
  • Yellow 21, a new weekday only service between Christchurch and Bransgore from 4th November, generally with between 2 and 4 journeys a day.


Here's a look at the route that Yellow 21, which is not yet mentioned on Yellow's website, will take when it launches on 4th November:



See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.


Saturday, 21 September 2019

New routes launch this Sunday

This Sunday sees the launch of two new routes in Southampton:

First City Red 1 Southampton-Calmore, in direct competition with Bluestar 12.

Bluestar 19 Central Station-Thornhill, in direct competition with the eastern half of First three.


We also have timetable and route changes on the following routes:

First Weymouth 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, X51, X53, X54, More 3, 4, 5/6, 8/9, 13, 16, 17, 38, 40, 50, 60, Unilink U1, U2, U6, Unibus U1, U3

First Weymouth have a new timetable booklet detailing their changes. Details of changes on More here, Unibus here and Unilink here.

Unilink U2 reverts to its old route on the terminus loop, turning left at the top of Lobelia Road instead of right, no longer serving Swaythling.

Being withdrawn at the end of the summer season are First Weymouth 55 and More 30 and 70.

Yellow Buses have some fare changes. It looks like they now charge a penalty if you want to save time by paying your fare via their app. Has this always been the case? Most other operators give a discount for using their apps.


See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Summary of changes this weekend

Here's a whizz around the region with details of all bus services changing timetables this weekend...


In Southampton & Eastleigh, we have new timetables on the following routes, mainly with Bluestar:

Bluestar 4 - Southampton-Romsey - Complete timetable recast with more Sunday services
Bluestar 5 - Romsey-Eastleigh-Boyatt Wood - Minor changes
Bluestar 8 - Southampton-Calshot - Minor changes
Bluestar 9 - Southampton-Waterside - Minor changes with more evening services via Marchwood
Bluestar 11/12 - Southampton-Calmore/West Totton - Minor changes
Bluestar 16 - City Centre-Townhill Park - Minor changes
Bluestar 17 - Weston-City Centre-Adanac Park - Minor changes
Bluestar 18 - Millbrook-City Centre-Thornhill - Minor changes
Salisbury Reds X7/X7R - Salisbury-Southampton - Minor changes
Xelabus X10 - Southampton-Bishops Waltham - Minor changes
Stagecoach 46/461 - Winchester-North Baddesley - Minor changes
Stagecoach 66 - Winchester-Romsey - Revised times
Stagecoach 69 - Winchester-Fareham - Evening service introduced three nights a week between Winchester and Waltham Chase


In Bournemouth & Poole, we have changes on More and Yellow Buses...

More X3 - Bournemouth-Salisbury - Minor changes
Yellow 1/1b - Poole-Somerford - Fewer evening services to Poole. Somerford Estate cut off
Yellow 1a - Bournemouth-New Milton - Extra buses to New Milton
Yellow 2 - Bournemouth-Castlepoint - Minor changes
Yellow 3 - Westbourne-Bournemouth-RBH - Evening changes
Yellow 4/4a - Bournemouth-Bearwood/Castlepoint - Minor changes
Yellow 5/5a - Bournemouth-Kinson - Revised times
Yellow 6/6b - Bournemouth-Wimborne - 6a withdrawn. Revised times.
More Purbeck Breezer 50 - Bournemouth-Swanage - Reverts to mid-season timetable with ferry closure amendments
More Purbeck Breezer 60 - Rockley Park-Poole-Sandbanks - Seasonal change
More Purbeck Breezer 70 - Poole-Bournemouth - Now runs weekends only until 22nd September


In Portsmouth, Havant and Fareham, we have several changes on First, who have issued a new timetable book, plus on Stagecoach...

First D1 - Waterlooville-Hambledon - Route change
First D2 - Waterlooville-Denmead - Minor changes
First Eclipse E1/E2 - Fareham-Gosport - Minor changes
First F2 - Fareham-Highlands - Minor changes
First 1 - Southsea-The Hard - Minor changes
First 3 - Southsea-Fareham - Minor changes
First 13/14 City Centre-Baffins - Minor changes
First 20 - Fareham-Wickham - Minor changes
Stagecoach 20 - The Hard-Havant - Route change around QA Hospital
First 21 - Fareham-Hill Head - Minor changes
Stagecoach 21 - The Hard-Havant - Minor changes
Stagecoach 23 - Southsea-Leigh Park - Saturday daytime frequency cut to 12 mins, Sunday daytimes increased to 15 mins
Stagecoach 30/31 - Havant-Hayling Island - Minor changes
Stagecoach 39 - Havant-Wecock Farm - Minor changes
Stagecoach 69 - Winchester-Fareham - Evening service introduced three nights a week between Winchester and Waltham Chase


In Winchester, Stagecoach have some changes...

Stagecoach King's City Spring - City Centre-Springvale - Minor changes
Stagecoach King's City 1 - Stanmore-City Centre-Winnall - Fewer evening services to Winnall
Stagecoach King's City 3 - City Centre-Harestock - Minor changes
Stagecoach King's City 4 - Highcliffe-City Centre-Teg Down - The 0829 from Teg Down is cut
Stagecoach King's City 5 - City Centre-Badger Farm - Minor changes
Stagecoach King's City 7 - City Centre-Sparsholt - Minor changes
Stagecoach 46/461 - Winchester-North Baddesley - Minor changes
Stagecoach 64 - Winchester-Alton - Minor changes
Stagecoach 66 - Winchester-Romsey - Revised times
Stagecoach 67 - Winchester-Petersfield - Minor changes
Stagecoach 69 - Winchester-Fareham - Evening service introduced three nights a week between Winchester and Waltham Chase
Stagecoach 85 - Winchester-Andover - Minor changes
Stagecoach 86 - Winchester-Whitchurch - Minor changes


Changes on Salisbury Reds...

Salisbury Reds R1 - District Hospital-City Centre-Bemerton Heath - Minor changes
Salisbury Reds/Stagecoach Activ8 - Salisbury-Andover - Minor changes
Salibury Reds X4/X5 - Salisbury-Larkhill/Swindon - Revised times
Salisbury Reds X7/X7R - Salisbury-Southampton - Minor changes
Salisbury Reds 44 - Salisbury-Woodfalls - Revised times
First Discover D1 - Salisbury-Bath - Minor changes


On the Isle of Wight, Southern Vectis has these changes...

Southern Vectis 2 - Newport-Ryde - Additional schoolday morning service to Newport
Southern Vectis 38 - Newport circular - Minor changes



We don't cover changes to routes run specially for schools and colleges, so check with the relevant operator or educational establishment for details on those.


See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.




Wednesday, 14 August 2019

The clash of Calmore

First have retaliated to the planned launch of Bluestar 19, which duplicates their Three, with the announcement that on the same date, 22nd September, First will launch City Red 1 to Calmore, designed to take custom away from Bluestar 12.


This brings First back to Totton for the first time since 2014. Our verdict: It won't last, but Bluestar 19 probably will. First haven't successfully taken a route over from Bluestar in the past, but Bluestar have made a success of routes that First have given up on.

Over in Portsmouth, First have some minor changes from 1st September.





See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.


Saturday, 27 July 2019

Bluestar 19 to take on First Three


Bluestar have announced a new route, the 19, which will start on 22nd September competing directly with the eastern half of First's Three.


This is significant for several reasons.

  1. The first is that this half of the Three is First's last high frequency route in Southampton that does not face direct competition from Bluestar. This further weakens the economic viability of First Southampton.
  2. The second is that in September 2015, First launched their then route 10 directly duplicating this side of Bluestar 18 to Thornhill via Bitterne. They wanted to kick Bluestar out of Thornhill and run both routes themselves. They stopped serving the Thornhill via Bitterne route in January 2018, seemingly content with just the Three running the Fairfax Court via Woolston route. Now the shoe is on the other foot and Bluestar is coming for the Three.
  3. The third is that First at a corporate level is in disarray. It wants to separate its UK bus division from the rest of the business, but nobody seems clear how this is going to happen. They've recently sold a depot up in Manchester to Go Ahead and one in Bolton to Rotala (to jubiliation from locals I should add - the First brand is tainted in many areas), so nothing can be ruled out. This is the time for Bluestar to make a grab for territory before another company with possibly more ambition (even if it's still First Bus, just legally separated from the rest of First Group) takes over.


So what happens now? It really depends on what happens at a corporate level with First.

  • If the bus business is merely spun off into a separate entity, they could decide to close unviable operations, which Southampton may by then have become. 
  • If it's sold in one big job lot, then it depends who buys and how much they think they can make a go of what First couldn't - National Express might be in a position to revitalise the operation and would face few regulatory concerns as their existing bus operations tend not to overlap with First elsewhere in the country. Or another company from outside the UK or outside of the transport sector could fancy their chances.
  • If it's broken up bit by bit, then anything could happen. On its own, Southampton is probably unattractive to potential buyers in its current state, but if it's bundled up with Portsmouth and/or Weymouth, then there's hope of it surviving. 

For now I'd say it's 50/50 whether Bluestar will still face a serious competitor in Southampton in 2 years time.


Stagecoach 700 has a new timetable for the section between Portsmouth and Flansham from tomorrow. Details here. The main changes are to early morning journeys.


In Bournemouth, Yellow Buses have new timetables on many routes from 1st September. The full timetables are yet to be published but some details can be found here. The 1a's extension to New Milton is doubled in frequency and the 6's extension to Wimborne also stays.

There will be changes at the start of September on many routes of Bluestar, First Portsmouth, Stagecoach Winchester and Southern Vectis too. More on them as we get it.



See all upcoming changes across the region at-a-glance here.