Sunday, 10 March 2019

First fare tweeks / Yellows to New Milton & Wimborne / Round up

First have introduced a new fare structure for their services in and around Portsmouth and Fareham. Details here.


In Southampton, First have reduced the price of their FirstWeek Southampton ticket to £8. It was previously £11.


More have brought in extra peak hour journeys on the M1 to relieve overcrowding between Bournemouth and Poole.


Stagecoach have released the new timetables for the 37 and 38 Havant-Petersfield-Alton services, which take effect from 1st April. Cuts are enduced by Hampshire County Council cutting their subsidy, continuing the government's austerity agenda. There are no more through journeys between the 37 and 38, so a change of bus in Petersfield will be needed and timetables no longer necessarily match up.


Yellow Buses have new timetables on most routes from 7th April. The 1a is extended to New Milton and the 6 is extended to Wimborne. Further details here. Some of the new timetables are on Traveline, but not all.

On the Isle of Wight, Southern Vectis have launched their scenic Needles Breezer service for the summer season.


Islanders visiting one of Southampton's hospitals can now use Southern Vectis Rover and Freedom tickets on Bluestar 17 to get to the General and Unilink U6 to get to the Royal South Hants at no extra cost. You'll still need to pay for the ferry I'm afraid.

First 503 (Weymouth-Overcombe) resumes for the summer season from this coming Friday 15th March. Timetable here.


Sunday 17th March sees changes to More's Purbeck Breezer services 40, 50 and 60.



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



135 comments:

  1. Needles Breezer has returned too soon with the wet and gusty weather forecast for this week.

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    Replies
    1. Bit difficult to plan for the weather 70 days in advance!

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    2. Not really considering March weather is pretty poor most years and I would have waited till April to start it.

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    3. The operating dates seem to be the same as the Needles Battery opening dates

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  2. Plenty of breeze for the Breezer then! Ideal for thrill-seekers as it's probably more exciting than a rollercoaster, and much better value.

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  3. Changes to More 40, 50 and 60 are all about the Sunday timetable (introduction on route 60, improvements on routes 40 and 50).
    First in Portsmouth love to complicate things.
    If you travel to most Eastleigh borough bus stops you will notice there are still “Farezone” flags. Are they really still in use? If not, I think they should just disappear.
    And for those who travel from Upper St Helens Road bus stop in Heath House Lane, I’m afraid the bus stop is closed due to the gas works. Alternatives are Foord Road for Bluestar 3 and Xelabus X4 and Sunday’s Hill for Xelabus X15.

    By the way, Xelabus X15 may have changes to route and/or timetable from Monday 25th March (it says so on the Xelabus Booklet)

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  4. Mother`s travel for free with every child rover on Southern Vectis this Mother`s Day.

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    Replies
    1. Bluestar have now announced a similar offer.

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    2. Which means First will likely follow suit too.

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    3. First are probably waiting for the nod from Aberdeen as we speak.

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    4. On the IOW I expect quite a number have bus passes anyway. :)

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  5. Change to the Bluestar 5 coming in may

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    Replies
    1. I may be totally wrong but it will be just the journey that goes from Wellow to Eastleigh via BP College. I think all routes that serve BP College will change on May 13th, and it won’t be anything major

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    2. The Monday only variation is temporarily withdrawn during the exam season - all BP College services will do the same. Back to normal in late June.

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  6. Revised timetable for the 5, that's all it is.

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  7. All new YB timetables are up on their site (except the seaside shuttle). Few things of note:

    The 19 might (shock) actually be useful, running into the evening with the last bus back at 10.30pm. It also runs to Bournemouth station, which I didn't realise.

    The 1 extending to Poole on Sundays seems to come at a small cost. The 1b extension to Westbourne and short 1 journeys from Westbourne are gone.

    The Beach Bus would seem to not just be a summer thing - the timetable has it running the current 7 timetable from the end of September

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fact that the extension to Sandbanks and Boscombe pier as a summer only thing makes me think whether the route is that profitable. I’d rather just run seasonally the western side of the route (Alum Chine to Sandbanks) and keep the Eastern side (Town to Boscombe Pier)


      I am thill a bit skeptic regarding all these changes, but it is a good effort.

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    2. I seem to recall that when Bournemouth council withdrew the subsidy for the West Cliff & Alum Chine route, there was a lot of outcry about losing it. YB agreed to keep it on commercially (albeit with an hourly service between the peaks and a lunch break). I assume it's been a profitable enough core for them to base the "Beach Bus" on.

      I think I mentioned before that it's a bit of a risk, because the summer route 12 (and it's variants) hasn't been profitable since the mid-90s, if not earlier. It was in decline most years, and when Transdev took over, it was rerouted to the train station with the Boscombe Pier, Southbourne and Christchurch Quay parts gone completely.

      Everything after that lasted only a year. One year it was run as a vintage route. One year, they made it route 40 between Bournemouth Pier and Hengistbury Head. Various things were tried and failed to the point that they closed up the open toppers for good. It was only three years ago, I think, they got in those ex London ones to run on various routes. I guess it must have been fairly well-received as they came back and now they must be thinking that the seafront route will be worth running.

      Personally, I hope it does well. I have many happy memories of days out on the 12, back in the days of the Fleetlines. Was a great value summer day out for young Alice!

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    3. Too many OAP's and no decent revenue More 50 has the same problem

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    4. I think additionally though, the 50 (and to a lesser extent the 40) also makes a bit off commuters from Purbeck to Bournemouth and Poole

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    5. Regarding Yellow Buses new sections of both route 6b, Bearwood to Wimborne and 1a, Somerford to New Milton - they do NOT seem to be on VOSA either in those new sections of routes or when one searches Wimborne or New Milton.

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  8. The new revised timetable for Bluestar 3 is now shown on Traveline.Provides interesting reading

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    1. Hi I am back here just to say: I know there is someone working for Traveline who likes to comment here often! Can you update the description of routes on Bluestar 3 and 17?
      B*3 will run to Eastleigh, not just Boorley Green
      B*17 does run from Weston to Adanac Park, not just City centre to Lordshill
      It is so annoying your lack of professionalism!

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    2. New Southern Vectis timetables are up on Traveline too.

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    3. Hi Claudio, As I'm the only Traveline person who comments on here I'm sorry you feel I lack professionalism in the descriptions of the Bluestar services in HAMPSHIRE.
      Oh wait a minute, I am the DORSET data co-ordinator (as I put in my signature.) I will however let my colleague in Hampshire know of your concerns. I am sure she will make the changes when she returns from her holiday.
      Ken Traveline DORSET

      Delete
    4. Well said Ken.
      It is so annoying the lack of professionalism shown by Cl**dio.

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    5. On this matter actually I am on Claudios side: the extension of the 17 is on since November and no one on Hampshire or Dorset (sloppy shoulders Ken), or whatever manage to correct routes description. Actually claudios website is far more clean and far more descriptive than this blog. Perhaps you have something to learn from him. Keep going, claudio. You are doing a good job!

      Delete
  9. Her holidays have been lasting since November. You are lazy, and I am sure you could at least send an internal email to solve this, instead of trying to sweep away the problem to someone else. So Ken, I think Traveline needs to know about this, and perhaps your job is now at risk. I can ensure I will identify any driver and take them to their employer so they can face justice instead of using alias, attack and bully me. New times are coming!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, who is bullying who?

      Threatening someone with their job because their colleague has not (In your eyes) been accurate?

      I appreciate, as you have stated many times, that English is not your first language. That does not excuse your bullying threats against Ken.

      I think you need to take your thoughts and attempts at self promotion elsewhere.

      Delete
    2. Wow, Claudio, of all your comments to delete - this is the one.

      Ken has been providing us on this site (and others) with useful information for years. He doesn't have to, it's not part of his job, but he does. And everyone on this site appreciates this, apart from yourself and your anonymous friend who always posts within minutes of your posts with the same writing style (I know they're nothing to do with you, you've told me before).

      As to your original complaint, everyone makes mistakes, even as part of their job. It does not mean a lack of professionalism (that comment on your initial post was out of order). As to your follow-up post that should have been "Thankyou Ken, apologies no offence meant", not what you wrote. If you spot a mistake then it's fine to point it out, what's not fine is the threatening abusive behaviour you've displayed here.

      As I've said before, I appreciate the information you bring here, I appreciate your opinions and speculation when it's identified as such. These posts are interesting, informative and positive. But you can't keep swanning in here, abusing people with personal attacks, claim that you're being bullied, and swan off again. It's wrong, and it toxic. Stop it.

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    3. Too late, a complaint has been made to Traveline.

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    4. Poor Ken at Traveline Dorset and His collegue in Hampshire having to take all this flack over a minor mistake in the headings for Bluestar 3 and 17.Still it makes a change from him continually attacking Xelabus management and staff,which must be a welcome restbite for them.Even when they have offered to meet Him to discuss issues He has rudely rejected their offer.All I see is an individual who relishes in making trouble for others together with an odd one or two who support His antics

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    5. I just want to reiterate how appreciative I am (as I think we all are) with Ken's contributions to this blog!

      When there's an error with the Traveline data it's only right for it to be pointed out so that it can be corrected.

      However there's absolutely no need to be rude, let alone as rude as you were Claudio. What's more, it's plainly ridiculous to make a ruddy complaint about it!

      Mistakes like this happen from time to time, all it takes, from my experience, is a polite mention for it to be fixed.

      I shan't bleat on about this, for fear of being labelled a bully, but, in my opinion, the only one being a bully on here is you, Claudio.

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    6. Claudio, I suggest you go and don't come back, before somebody sues you for defamation. You're nothing but a troll.

      Delete
  10. I have to ask, but who do you think is bullying you Claudio? I personnaly often disagree with comments that you make, and I certainly disagree with the way you flit in and out of this site, whenever you get upset with something that has been said. I have also admonished you, when I feel that you have been too strong with others, or even disrespectful. Does that make me a bully, in your eyes? I would dare to suggest that you are a very sensitive soul, who gets too upset over things that others may see as minor. So is this a problem with everyone else, or could it be yourself that has the issues? Just asking in a respectful and friendly way!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. New timetables for April now up on blue star website

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  12. I am bemused by the timing of Yellow's 1A between Somerford, Sainsburys and Shelley Close- 3 minutes. The distance is 50% longer than that between timing points on a local route near me,that doesn't have to contend with croaking an extremely busy A35.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe that as Shelley Close isn't a timing point, Traveline gives its best guess of how long it would take to travel there (based on the distance between all the stops between two timing points).

      Google Maps says you can do it in three minutes (0.9 miles in 3 mins = 18 mph average speed) - though there are three roundabouts to contend with en route.

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    2. A quick comparison with More X1 shows Yellows timings between Highcliffe and New Milton (Whitefield Road/Station) are 11 minutes compared to 17 minutes for More, which runs the same route (I think).

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    3. The X1 goes via Barton on Sea with the X2 running via Walkford.

      The 1a will follow the same route as the X2 between Highcliffe and New Milton - but with 1 minute more running time (10 mins on X2 -vs- 11 mins on 1a)

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    4. I got my X1 and X2 mixed up there! I stand corrected

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  13. I'd have thought there'd be intermediate timing points as well

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  14. New HCC timetables for Andover and Havant as from 31st March 2019 now being displayed on their website

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  15. Early days but does anyone know how Southbourne Buses C1 has been received by the locals?

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    Replies
    1. The few journeys I have seen recently seem to be around half full. Mainly pass holders but is taking quite a few fare payers too.

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  16. Southern Vectis April changes are just minor timing tweaks to improve reliability so nothing to get excited about.

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  17. This blog is a great source of information, although it is now getting tiring reading constant swipes and personal attacks. We are mostly enthusiasts who love our hobby. Can we focus on what we enjoy and what unites us please? Can blight moderators please deal with this?

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Sorry, I meant 'site' moderators. Automatic spell correction doesn't always help....!

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  20. I’m sorry but Claudio is the one bullying people
    Here. I am sick to death of
    Reading you attacking people here.
    Moderator - please start moderating as many of us here are going to not visit this blog anymore unless something is done.

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  21. I would not term some commentators on this site bus enthusiasts,but more as those who seem to take pleasure in destroying the bus industry in petty comments too those who try to promote the industry on the site.You will never get a message across if rude about someone and plenty of that lately on this site by a few so called enthusiasts

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  22. It's very clear what's happening and none of us need to name any names as that just adds more fuel to the fire. Can we have some feedback from the site owner/moderator now please to resolve this? A code if conduct would be one idea, then one strike and you're out. Let's all get back to enjoying what this blog should really be about please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Downside KB is that anyone can simply log out of Blogger and post anonymously... so no strikes will matter.

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  23. I have been told by a driver at Empress Road that First Southampton have plans for route expansions.

    With one route operating to Totton with the route likely to be serving Calmore Estate as well as plans to operate a route to the New Forest.

    Also TheThree is expected to be rebranded CityRed 3 when the Max Streetlites in Portsmouth casade to Southampton to replace the 09 reg Volvos with one bus expected to be in a Retro style City bus Livery.

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    Replies
    1. Oh please stop it! They have been peddling this route expansion rubbish to try to retain their drivers for years. Some of the new drivers may swallow it, but the reality is that it never happens. It is just a line that they troll out, to try to keep their demoralised workforce motivated. I personally watch as they fail to invest, as Aberdeen won't let them. More second hand buses, because their lack of profitability will not justify new ones, and that's if it happens at all. The threatened New Forest route must be a joke surely? More often send a solo through there, because of lack of demand. Blue Star would defend Totton to the death, resulting in yet another massive loss for First. I confidently predict that neither of these proposals will ever happen.

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    2. Ah ! I wondered where the Bluestar Fan Club had been with some high volume "First bashing" - suggest you pipe back down again and just comment nicely as - its really not difficult you know !

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    3. A First supporter??quick get them stuffed!

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    4. Bluestar fan club?no actually someone with a brain and not afraid to engage it.

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    5. I quite fancy a S'oton to Bournemout/ Poole route linking Waterside, Lymington New Milton, Highcliff etc. Not going to happen though.

      IMO the S'oton to Ringwood service needs bringing back first as It's exceedingly difficult to move between the 2 ATM. Slightly more chance of that happening, still not going to place a bet though.

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    6. Many different operators have tried running a service between Southampton and Ringwood over the years and they have all failed, sadly.

      There's no HCC funding either (apart from for the Taxishare 35) so would have to be an entirely commercial venture - which is sadly even less likely to succeed.

      In the peak of Summer you do have the Red Tour running from Ashurst & Lyndhurst into Burley & Ringwood - so you can connect from the B*6 at that time of the year.

      The most recent attempt, if I remember correctly, was Velvet with the 35 (stopping) and 300 (non-stop) but they were funded by HCC who reduced the funding so the routes ceased.

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    7. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if First *did* have plans for expansion. I presume that they've cut routes in order to minimise losses or increase profit, and now that the network is more or less stable, they can look at expanding out again.

      I doubt, however, that a New Forest/Ringwood route would be on their list. As Andi says, so many operators have tried and failed the Ringwood route (there are still bus stops here in Bournemouth with Dorset Sprinter stickers on!). National Express run coaches between the two roughly 2-hourly, and I doubt many people from Ringwood would want to go to the small villages in between the two.

      Totton, however, I could see happening. Yes, Bluestar would defend it heavily, but it's not beyond the realms of possibility. Whether it would actually happen or not, I don't know, but if they are going to expand, I could see Totton in the mix.

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    8. Or even better - bring back the Brock - Ringwood rail line!

      BTW the weather is lovely today in cloud cucko land.

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    9. To be fair, John, the weather's not too bad here in the real world today!

      We've seen how hard Bluestar are prepared to protect the Totton and Waterside corridors from incursion - look at First's brief spell on their "Watersider" service.

      I can't see how First would be able to compete with Bluestar in Totton - given that Go Ahead have 9 buses an hour between the city and Totton - First won't be able to compete with that.

      They could look to duplicate the B*12 - but, again, Bluestar would defend that to the hilt!

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    10. Something between Hythe, Totton and the General Hospital/Shirley could be a winner, for Bluestar or for First. I see plenty of requests of this type on their social media pages. Particularly as anyone from Hythe/Totton have to come all the way to Central station to change for a bus back to the Hosp.

      Delete
    11. First did indeed have a Waterside service yrs ago which then fell by the wayside. Don't forget that strange route to Millbrook which didn't go via Shirley Rd etc.
      First also had that 6 route which went between Totton & almost every part of So'ton!
      Silly question but can anyone recall why that 6 was pulled?

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    12. Something to Do with running costs if I remember I had only just started going to Secoundary School when it was withdrawn.

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    13. @Beanbag

      What about Bluestar merging the 4 with either the 8 or 9 and diverting along Coxford and Olive road to serve the hospital, giving 1 long route from Hythe to Romesy along pretty much the same route?

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    14. First 6 went from Totton to Weston via a very long route-However the route connected just about most areas up within Southampton.It was a very useful route and was well used.Then First in their usual manner started changing it bit by bit until in the end it became useless and what was left of it before its final death became route 10.I have witnessed over the years many usefull routes that were once operated destroyed by First's management.Continual changes led to all confidence by the public being lost.Still on the upside the little they have left makes it difficult to destroy anymore.Once over a fleet of 100 and more buses has now almost halved.To suggest as someone on here has they might expand out into the New Forest area in some form beggars belief

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    15. "To suggest as someone on here has they might expand out into the New Forest area in some form beggars belief"

      It does - but where's the harm in playing fantasy buses.

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    16. First 6 went through many incarnations (there was even a 6a at one point). One time I decided to go home from town to Redbridge the long way round...even the driver got lost!

      In my last years of Southampton, it was a much shorter route. But I also seem to recall a long period of roadworks on the A35 where they ran a shuttle bus between Millbrook Roundabout and Totton - punctuality was almost non-existent on the route by that point. Can't have done it much good.

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    17. The service 6 First ran on the Waterside was subsidised by the council as they won the tender at a lower price. All of a sudden Bluestar could do the service on a commercial basis, so the council contract stopped.

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    18. Anon @07:52-think your getting confused with the 11 to Marchwood that First ran.

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  24. As usual nothing much exciting happening at Empress Road.They spend more time continually switching buses round between Depots up and down the Country than trying to improve the services to the public they run.I see no point in branding the operation City Reds when many routes see standard colour First livery buses on them where they keep switching between Depots.As most in Southampton are all Streelites what's the point in exchangeing one from one Depot for another

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  25. Also I have been told First want to start up a Bus Operation in the Isle Of Wight but this won't be for a few years or so.

    Also my mate who is a driver at Empress Road hopes to work at the Isle of Wight to help set up the bus operation but it's unclear what routes they plan to run on the Iow, Or where they plan to open up the new depot.

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  26. Again Reece, it is all nonsense. I think your mate may be trying to spin you a yarn. Has he told you about the triple deckers and the alloy wheels they are fitting too? Sorry, I don't mean to appear rude, but you must stop listening to all these fanciful stories. It's all made up rubbish.

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    Replies
    1. Yes-It's a laugh a minute from Reece and His mate

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    2. Southern Vectis would stamp out any competition on the island straight away as they did in the 80`s.Southampton Citybus said they were considering starting operations on the island many moons ago but it never happened.

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  27. My mate "Pissed Dave" told me last week (after eight pints or so) that he intends to start up a bus company and tender for a load of Bluestar routes. He's got bids on ten buses on Ebay at the moment and is training drivers as we speak using his Nissan Micra whilst he waits for the auctions to end.

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    Replies
    1. I`m sure Reece will be taking you seriously.

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  28. Either way he has done well to own an Olympian at such a young way.

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  29. Interesting noises coming from Southampton City Council regarding their "Connected Southampton 2040" plan. One of the points is the "The Southampton Mass Transit System" with "a united system that allows people to make and pay for their journeys seamlessly".

    https://transport.southampton.gov.uk/connected-southampton-2040/

    Angling themselves for legislation allowing them to set the routes and tender out, similar to TfL?

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    Replies
    1. Would seem to be. In the full report, they say
      "The aim would be for the SMTS to be marketed as one public transport entity applying a unified brand"

      Also they seem to be heavy on the tram/metro/BRT modes too - "Potential Rapid Bus corridors could include along Redbridge–Millbrook Roads, Shirley Road, Portswood Road & St Denys Road, Northam-Bitterne-Bursledon
      "Road and Portsmouth Road and extend into Hampshire."

      Delete
  30. I expect by 2040 Drivers behind the wheel of a bus will sadly be a thing of the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who are you going to talk to then?

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    2. Passengers perhaps but I will be 47 by the time 2040 arrives

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    3. I remember the 47, ran between Southampton and Winchester before the renumbering to create duplicate service numbers

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    4. No reason why companies should not have their own service numbers.Most people can seperate one company from another.

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  31. ... just as well, as a bit too crowded.

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  32. New timetables for Bluestar 3 and 17 now available from their Travel Shop.These are on display,however if you want a timetable for H1/H2 T3/T4 35,36,39 ask for one and they will provide one from over the counter.The 3 timetable shows the compllete route when it runs via Boorley Park later this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are Hs Ts 35,36 and 39 all in the Same Leaflet?

      Delete
  33. VOSA show xelabus route & timetable amendments today for various services. All changes happen on 6/5/19

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  34. PH1098723/85 Registered
    XELABUS LIMITED
    Route: Southampton Bargate to Bishops Waltham Square via West End, Durley
    Service number: X10 ()
    Service type: Normal Stopping
    Effective date: 06 May 2019

    PH1098723/86 Registered
    XELABUS LIMITED
    Route: Eastleigh Bus Station to Bishops Waltham Square via Colden Common, Hedge End, Botley
    Service number: X9 ()
    Service type: Normal Stopping
    Effective date: 06 May 2019

    PH1098723/38 Registered
    XELABUS LIMITED
    Route: Eastleigh Bus Station to Hiltingbury, Ashdown Road via Velmore, Chandlers Ford
    Service number: X6 (X7, )
    Service type: Normal Stopping
    Effective date: 06 May 2019

    PH1098723/61 Registered
    XELABUS LIMITED
    Route: Eastleigh Bus Station to Hedge End, Freegrounds via West End
    Service number: X4 ()
    Service type: Normal Stopping
    Effective date: 06 May 2019

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  35. Just looking on the Stagecoach site at the revised timetable for basingstoke service 14.What a complete balls up this is in viewing it.Does no one anymore check before they publish

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    Replies
    1. Well... if they think they can do Bishop Challenor to town in 5 minutes on a Saturday then good luck to them!

      Delete
  36. Good to see Bluestar leading the way and running a Saturday service on Good Friday-time First stepped up to the plate.

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    Replies
    1. First are largely irrelevant in Southampton in 2019 and would hardly be missed with it`s poor service,crap buses and a general lack of interest in Southampton.

      Delete
    2. With the little First now run in Southampton,for most of the day all their services run very well and quite reliable.As for buses I note no complaint from normal travelling public of whom I am one of them.It would seem reading this blog only fanatic so termed bus enthusiasts have a problem with their vehicles.It's more than likely also there is by local management interest in Southampton,but any improvements are overuled by someone sat in Aberdeen who has a different prospective on matters

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    3. Exactly only the Enthusiast moan about the buses First provide in Southampton

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    4. As a regular Millbrook traveller with a oap pass i get on the first bus to come along. However the Bluestar buses are a much more comfortable journey than City Red streetlites which are a very poor ride.

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    5. At First I have got to meet some friendly drivers through Travelling on the First Buses here in Southampton

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    6. Reece-but they aren`t offering the Saturday service on Good Friday like Bluestar.

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    7. Reece-I`m sure the forgotten residents of Harefield will be happy with only one days bus service out of the four day break AGAIN.

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    8. Residents of Harefield have long given up with buses and most now have their own transport.If looked at off peak the few customers are nearly all older pass holders.I'm surprised First have not yet cut the frequency once again to finaly kill the route off.Although it will run just one day over the Easter break,if it didn't run at all hardly anyone would notice.

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    9. Most of these residents turning to car use instead flys in the face of all the efforts to get people to use public transport and cut car use and is due to the fat pigs at First having their faces in the trough and just cherry picking the really lucrative routes and leaving Bluestar to pick up their discarded routes.

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    10. First have since increased the 13 back to every 30 minutes and they have also started recently running the evening service which is slowly increasing with passenger numbers so they have no intention of killing off the route

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    11. And Yes I know First are not offering Saturday services on Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday but that is not the drivers faults at all.

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  37. https://wonderfulengineering.com/luxembourg-is-making-all-public-transportation-free-for-commuters/

    This might interest some of you

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  38. Yes.However We are not in Luxembourg and the top brass Government wise in this Country have little interest in public transport or in recent events Brexit wise any view the British public might have.Not much point in increasing the 13 after they reduced it.I can't imagine at First any drivers observations as too any improvements anywhere on the local system would even be considered management wise.To add insult to injury they now part run the SWR franchise which has in their hands become one of the worse rail operating companies within its first year.I also can't imagine many customers on the evening 13's put back on.Why put them back on after they took them off because they didn't carry many in the first place.Seems to Me there is some sort of Psyco in the planning department determined to cause misery to the general public

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    Replies
    1. It seems to me that anything First get involved with outside of Scotland turns into a shambles. They are a Scottish company and they should sick to it IMO.

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    2. John: you seem to be very out of touch. Apparently most of head office is now in London, so I dont think your statement holds true anymore

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    3. The statement wasn't based on anything apart from personal experience.

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  39. Last night I got the 2132 City Red 9 from Woolston to Bitterne with 11 other passengers on the Bus but only 2 left when I got off at Bitterne.

    Also the driver on the 13 told me he was doing over time on the 3 when he took the bus back to Empress Road due to a shortage of drivers.

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    1. The reason they are short of drivers is probably to do with them all going to Bluestar .

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  40. The 9 only had 9 left on board at Bitterne for I suspect Sholing due to the fact Bluestar 7 doesn't run that late.If the Bluestar 7 ran later i suspect those left on the 9 would be on the Bluestar 7

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    1. That 9 I Was on at Bitterne Shops only had 2 passengers left bound to Sholing

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  41. Good to know the Bluestar fan club are back, live and kicking, with some First bashing. I have to chuckle to myself as one commentator on here said "Most of these residents turning to car use instead flys in the face of all the efforts to get people to use public transport and cut car use and is due to the fat pigs at First having their faces in the trough and just cherry picking the really lucrative routes and leaving Bluestar to pick up their discarded routes." - I am not sure City centre to Weston is a discarded route ?

    I dont mind either operator to be honest - both have good and bad points.

    First has always operated a Sunday service on Good Friday for a long time, so don't really see what the issue is here. I have also picked up information from Bluestar drivers that the company has told them that the route they have picked up from First in the last couple of years are not as great as intended, so we should expect to see a push on with publicity on these routes - we must wait and see

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  42. Should not take much notice of driver gossip as quite a few drivers of all companies take great pleasure in winding the public up in particular bus enthusiasts who are frail and tend to believe everything they are told.Due to a transport act way back introdued by a then prime Minister who detested Public Transport is a main reason why today all is such a mess.Even after this Prime Minister departed no government of any party in office has done anything about it.All most normal people want to do is to get from A to B when they want too,and have very little interest of who the operator is.As long as I can get where I want the operator is of no interest to Me and if two run the same route I get on like most other people the first bus that comes along.I don't care what make the bus is,what sort of seats it has,whether it has stop announcements,what colour it is,whether it has Wifi or any other modern day gadgit fixed to it

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  43. Also that night on the 9 when speaking to the driver on the way to Bitterne I was told 5 drivers are Leaving in the space of a week due to other jobs outside of buses

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    1. I'm regularly seeing one of the Stagecoach training buses out and about ATM, so I'm not sure that staff turnover is a good indication of a failing operator.

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    2. It's nothing new I see Salisbury Red trainers in Southampton

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  44. must be the same 5 drivers which are leaving Bluestar too :-)

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    1. I know 1 driver is coming back to first from Bluestar due to them offering to many hours with loads of 12 your shifts

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    2. Wasn't so bad at First then after all.Some drivers are never satisfied wherever they work.The bus industry has always been th same with individual drivers switching from one operator to another,with some complaining how bad they were treated by management,then you find a few years later they are back with the operator they complained about in the first place.Always amazes me how many drivers think buses only run Monday to Friday and they should not have to work weekends.A large proportion also think any day they should not have to work after 1900.Another major problem in the bus industry is sickness which must cost operators a fortune during the year to cover duties on overtime.

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    3. Two comments in two comments work together.

      "coming back to first from Bluestar due to them offering to many hours with loads of 12 your shifts"

      "Another major problem in the bus industry is sickness"

      Simple explanation is that people will burn out on 12 hour shifts, likely with a large proportion of driving to cover the short staffing.

      As those people go sick with burn out, other people will be pressured into working longer shifts with more driving, who will then burn out and go sick.

      This is where the National Minimum Wage has caused issue. Employers use the NMW as a guide stick and so artificially maintain low wages.

      If it was demand and supply, and the wages went up; maybe costs and fares would go up, but you would get more drivers and companies would be able to pick from a large pools of skills.

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    4. As a weekday has two rush hours and a lot of the buses are on the road from about 7am and 7pm the result at almost all bus companies is a lot of shifts about 12 hours long.

      They will either be split shifts (work 4 hours in the morning go home unpaid for a few hours then come back for another 4 hours later on) or all day shifts with up to 10 hours driving (legal maximum) and usually two breaks of about an hour or so each.

      Bluestar don't do split shifts so they do have a lot of the long all day shifts. They arent everyones cup of tea but many drivers do love them as they mean a four day week so either lots of time off or the opportunity to earn more by doing overtime on the fifth day. First on the other hand have the split shifts.

      It hasn't really got much to do with staff shortages, it has always been like it. Just different union agreements and preferences at the different companies.

      I don't think the minimum wage has much to do with it either as bus driving wages are a long way above the minimum.

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  45. Refurbed Volvo 7900 buses from Berkshire due for The Three upgrade in July.

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    1. Is there any proof to this?

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    2. Did I not read somewhere recently that sometime this year Streetlites were supposed to be replacing what at present is used on The Three?

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    3. I very much doubt the 7900s are coming to Southampton for the three. There are 17 "the three" branded Eclipses (though I think one is now in Marwell Zoo livery?) whereas there are only 15 Volvo 7900s in Slough.

      What's more, and even more convincing that this isn't happening, is the fact the 7900s are in the middle of a refurbishment project - all being repainted into a new livery for the 7 (Slough | Langley | Heathrow Airport) and having retrimmed interiors with BLUE seats.

      First wouldn't be stupid enough to repaint and retrim route branded buses just before transferring them to another route in a completely different colour...

      I think the most likely option is that the "The Star" branded Streetlites (which are due for replacement in the Autumn with E200 MMCs) will transfer to Southampton just like the old 40/41 branded Eclipses did. Unconfirmed though!

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  46. Regarding Yellow Buses new sections of both route 6b, Bearwood to Wimborne and 1a, Somerford to New Milton - they do NOT seem to be on VOSA either in those new sections of routes or when one searches Wimborne or New Milton.

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    1. Both these extensions were done on the existing Winton to Bearwood and Christchurch to Somerford registrations rather than new ones. It is often the case that Vosa don't change the registration descriptions.
      Ken Traveline Dorset

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    2. Thanks Ken. Appreciated, as always.

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