Friday, 27 March 2020

Coronavirus: Changes this weekend

It seems that not a day goes by without some pretty major changes in our bus service at the moment. Remember...

  • Please only travel if absolutely necessary, otherwise stay at home
  • Check the bus operator's website to make sure what level of service they are running
  • Please don't use cash. If you can, pay by contactless, smart card or mobile ticketing app

Here are the latest changes:

All Xelabus services are temporarily suspended after Saturday 28th March. This is sad to see, as Xelabus are the great survivor of Southampton's independent operators. Hopefully they'll be back on the road after the current restrictions are relaxed and will still be around in another ten years.

This does leave some significant gaps in the public transport network, mainly around Eastleigh and Bishops Waltham, but also in Lordswood and Bellemoor. Maybe another operator might step in to provide a skeleton service on the key routes.

Bluestar are further reducing services from Monday. There are new temporary timetables on routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 17 and 18. Routes 3, 4 and 7 are sticking with the temporary timetables from 23rd March. The 6 and other minor routes are still running a normal school holiday timetable.

First are moving generally to a partially enhanced Sunday service every day from Sunday (see our previous post). This would have meant the 13 in Southampton would be suspended, but First have listened and will now be running an emergency timetable on the 13 on weekdays only, meaning Peartree and Harefield are not cut off.

First Bath have a temporary timetable on the Discovery D1 service between Salisbury and Bath from Monday.

Unilink in Southampton reduced services yesterday. See the new timetables here.

Also reducing yesterday to generally a daily enhanced Sunday service is Yellow Buses of Bournemouth. See their full temporary timetables here.

Salisbury Reds and Stagecoach are reducing service on their joint Activ8 service between Salisbury and Andover from Sunday. See the new timetable here.

Stagecoach have until now been running a standard school holiday service in Winchester, Portsmouth and Havant. From Monday, that changes with the introduction of temporary reduced timetables on all routes. See the details for Winchester here and Portsmouth/Havant here.

Stay safe out there. Stay home unless your journey is absolutely essential.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Coronavirus: Further changes today, tomorrow and Sunday

In a very fast changing situation, the following changes have taken effect today:

More X3 and X6 have moved to temporary timetables offering generally an enhanced Sunday service.

Southern Vectis have moved to temporary timetables on routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 37. Other routes (except 51/52) are still running normally.

Xelabus are moving to a Saturday service across the board, with the X6/X7 running between Eastleigh and Velmore only. Route X15 is now suspended. All services are suspended on Sundays.

From tomorrow,

Unilink in Southampton are introducing temporary timetables, which haven't yet been published on their website. Check with them before travelling.

From Sunday..

First are moving to generally a Sunday service every day across all of their bus operations in Southampton, Portsmouth and Weymouth.

More as we get it.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Coronavirus: Further changes

The following additional changes apply from today:

Bluestar have some early morning changes on routes 9 and 17, following feedback from key workers, making it easier to get to the General Hospital for a 0730 shift.

More are moving to an enhanced Sunday service on routes M1, M2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17. A weekday school holiday service remains on routes 7A, 7B, 7C, 10, 11, 15, 20, 24, 32, 38, 40, 50, 60, RouteONE, Ringo 1, Ringo 2, X1, X2, X3, X6, X8, X8A, 112, 119, 125 (Wednesday and Friday only), 191 and 193. Routes 3, N1 and N2 are temporarily suspended.

Xelabus is suspending the X12 and Bitterne Hoppa until further notice.

First Wessex is running a weekday service on the X54. They had initially said it was suspended, which is now not the case.

Following last night's announcement, more changes are inevitable, so watch this space and check the operators' websites before travelling.

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

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Coronavirus: Service reductions from Monday 23rd March

The Coronavirus is affecting all areas of our lives, despite the selfish and deluded hopes of those who foolishly crowded into pubs on Friday night, well aware of the reason they were being closed.

Current government advice is to only make essential journeys.

This means that demand for bus travel has plummeted, and bus companies are starting to respond. They clearly cannot afford to run nearly-empty buses for long.

If you are using the bus, please avoid using cash if at all possible, in order to minimise the opportunities for the virus to be transmitted between bus workers and other passengers. All of our major operators and most of the minor ones now accept payment by contactless card. Some also have smartcards and/or mobile ticketing apps that all help to reduce the need to use cash. If I was running a bus company, I would stop accepting cash immediately, but so far no operator has chosen to take that step to protect their staff and passengers.

Let's get on with those service reductions, kicking in from Monday across our region. Brace yourselves...

Southampton & Eastleigh:


  • Enhanced Sunday service will run Mon-Sats on most routes from Monday.
  • Route 19 (Central Station-Thornhill) withdrawn with immediate effect.
  • Weekday school holiday service on routes 3, 5, 35, 36, 39, H1/H2, T3/T4, X7 and Quay Connect.
  • The 6 will have a weekday schoolday service on Monday, then school holiday weekday service from Tuesday.

First Southampton/City Red:



  • Saturday service on weekdays on routes X4, X9, X10 and X11.
  • Normal weekday service on routes X6, X7, X12, X15 and Bitterne Hoppa.
  • Service suspended indefinitely on route X17 (Eastleigh-Petersfield).


Bournemouth & Poole:

Yellow Buses:

  • Saturday service on weekdays from Monday on all routes except 21, which will have a normal weekday service. 
  • Additional journeys on 8 and 737
  • No service on night routes N1 and N5.



  • Emergency timetable on U1.
  • Saturday service on U3 on weekdays.
  • Routes U2 and U4 suspended until further notice.

Portsmouth, Fareham and Havant:

First Portsmouth:






Salisbury Reds:


First Bath:


First Wessex:

  • Saturday service on most routes on weekdays from Monday.
  • Overnight services on route 1 suspended.
  • Route X54 (Weymouth-Poole) suspended until further notice.

Isle of Wight:

Southern Vectis:

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