Friday, 7 January 2022

Update for January 2022

 We've been offline through much of the pandemic, but are back with an update...

Starting in Southampton & Eastleigh, where Bluestar cut frequencies on some routes from Monday 4th January due to staff shortages. Details here.

First City Red's last timetable change was on 12th December, when the 2 and 11 were merged into a new 2 running cross-city between Millbrook and Weston. The 1 to Calmore no longer runs on Sundays.

While we've been away, First City Red have introduced Tap & Cap, an innovative way to pay by contactless card when you board the bus and to have your total payments capped at the price of a daily or weekly ticket, meaning you don't need to know your travel plans in advance in order to get the best ticket price. It only works within the Southampton zone, so don't rely on it if you're travelling further afield, but still this is a huge step forward. It was only a few years ago that the only way to pay on the bus was using dirty, old-fashioned cash.

In Bournemouth & Poole, Yellow Buses no longer serve Somerford Estate, so More have introduced a new route, the 23, to replace them.

Yellow have reduced many services from 4th January due to staff shortages.

In Portsmouth & Fareham, First Solent have new timetables on some routes from this Sunday 9th January, including on the Eclipse E1/E2 services which last month started serving the new bit of the extended Fareham-Gosport busway.

Stagecoach have cut the frequency of the 700 due to staff shortages. Details here.

In Salisbury, Salisbury Reds have also been changing the way passengers pay for their travel. They now have a contactless ticket-free option, where you tap on and tap off the bus, with their ticket machines calculating and charging the correct fare automatically. Don't forget to tap off when you leave the bus otherwise you'll be charged for a longer journey than the one you've made.

First Bath have announced that their Discovery D1 service, which currently runs between Salisbury and Bath will be curtailed to only run between Warminster and Bath from 30th January. As it will no longer serve Salisbury, this blog will stop covering it, so anyone wanting stay up to date with that service should stay in touch with First Bath. This of course means that Salisbury loses its bus link in that direction, however much of it is duplicated by the train service towards Bristol. If you need to get anywhere that way that's not near a railway station, you'll need to either drive all the way or take a taxi from the nearest railway station. There is still Beeline 56, which provides a shoppers' service three days a week with one journey each way between Warminster and Salisbury on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays only, giving you a couple of hours in Salisbury before the return journey - not much use to most people but means access to the shops in Salisbury is retained for most of those with no other option.

In Winchester, Stagecoach are reducing some services from Monday 10th January due to staff shortages. Details here.

Don't forget that Bluestar 1 is also affected by staff shortage service reductions.

We've also had the news that Stagecoach is merging with National Express, with most of the management decisions presumably to be taken in the future by current National Express staff, so this could mean a major change in the way services are managed in Winchester, Portsmouth and Havant. More as we get it.

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  1. It's good to have you back.

    Between this site and hantsbus blog we now have two sites reviewing and informing us of the latest news. I hope you both stay and continue to provide us with information, both your efforts have been much appreciated by a great many people and as it seems more challenging and changing times are probably ahead for public transport, these blogs are even more valuable than ever.

    1. I understand Hants Bus Blog was only temporary

    2. It was, but SotonBus was away longer and longer.

  2. Southampton Minilink started in September 2021

  3. Fantastic to have you back! We appreciate you.