Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Whiteley whippet / September changes summary / Unruly Purbeck pensioners

There's a lot to catch up on across the region, so let's get cracking.

A new route starts in Fareham on Saturday: First W1 will be a Saturday-only shopper service between the town centre and Whiteley Village. In Fareham it will pick up from stop D at the Bus Station and stop Q at the Railway Station. Here's the timetable:
...and here's where the W1 stops in Whiteley, as well as an idea of what's there:
From our end, you can get to Fareham on First X4/X5 using a FirstDay Hampshire ticket at £6 for an adult, which is also valid on the W1, or you could take the train to Fareham and buy a Fareham Plusbus ticket with your train tickets for use on the W1. On weekdays, you can get to Whiteley on First 28/28A (timetable), but be careful as the last bus back to Fareham is at 1859, while on Saturdays the last W1 leaves Whiteley at 2310.

Many routes are changing right across the region in the first week of September. We don't have all of the details yet, but here's a summary of what we do know:

  • Xelabus: X3 withdrawn. X6 rerouted to serve Asda. Other changes on X4, X7 and X9. Full details here.
  • First: Changes to Southampton routes X4, X5, 2, 7, 9, 10, 13 and Portsmouth/Fareham routes X4, X5, 3, 7, 16, 17, 18, F1.
  • Bluestar: Changes to routes 6, 8, 9.
  • Wheelers: Changes to routes 16, 87/87A, W16
  • More: Changes to routes X1, X2.
  • Salisbury Reds: Changes to routes R4, X5, X7/X7R, 66
  • Stagecoach: 6A, 46 and 63 withdrawn. Changes to 21, 36, 37, 66, 67, 69, 85, 86. New routes 68 and 691.
  • Yellow: 41 withdrawn, changes to 26/26A.

We'll have more on those as we get it and in our monthly regional round up.

And finally, our region is lucky to have one of the most scenic bus routes in the country, More 50 between Bournemouth and Swanage. It's so noteworthy that our sister website, Great British Bus Routes, has covered it. But the Telegraph reports that it's been blighted by rude pensioners who think nothing of pushing children out of the way in order to bag the best seats. Maybe More could consider allowing fare payers to board first before those with free passes.


Friday, 8 July 2016

Change at Southampton Central

Here's a special post aimed at visitors to our city stepping off the train at Southampton Central railway station.


Here's a map of the nearby bus stops, marked with their two-letter stop name:

Next, which bus routes do you need for major destinations around our city, direct from Central Station?




Here's a closer look at which routes serve each of the stops:

Stop SA:
This is the stop for cross-city services to East of the Itchen...
Live departure board

First three from stop SA
to Thornhill (Fairfax Court) via City Centre, Woolston, Sholing

  • Turn up & go with a bus at least every 10 mins Mon-Sat daytimes, every 15 mins Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful for Woolston & Sholing railway stations in case trains towards Fareham aren't running from Central.
  • Last bus towards Thornhill at 2339 Mon-Sats and 2343 on Sundays.


Bluestar 18 from stop SA
to Thornhill (Hightown) via City Centre, Northam, Bitterne

  • Turn up & go with a bus at least every 10 minutes Mon-Sat daytimes, every 15 mins Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful for St. Mary's Stadium, Bitterne Station in case trains aren't running across the river and for Bitterne itself.
  • Last bus towards Thornhill at 2354 Mon-Sats and 2254 on Sundays.
  • Adult single fares: City Centre £1.50, Bitterne (Lances Hill) £1.90, Thornhill £2.


Stop SA is also served by some routes that terminate just up the hill in the City Centre.


Stop SB:
Several stops have been merged into one here, serving all westbound buses, including those heading to Shirley, Totton or the Waterside peninsula...
Live departure board

First three from stop SB
to Lordshill via Shirley, General Hospital

  • Turn up & go with a bus at least every 10 minutes Mon-Sat daytimes, every 15 mins Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful for Shirley High Street and the General Hospital.
  • Last bus towards Lordshill at 2356 Mon-Sats and 2250 on Sundays.


Bluestar 4 from stop SB
to Romsey via Shirley, Lordshill, Rownhams, North Baddesley

  • Half-hourly Mon-Sat daytimes, Hourly Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful as an alternative route to Romsey in case the trains aren't running that way, but bear in mind that the bus terminates at the bus station in the centre of Romsey and doesn't serve the railway station.
  • Last bus towards Romsey at 2324 Mon-Sats and 1825 on Sundays.
  • Adult single fares: Shirley Precinct £1.50, Lordshill £2.30, North Baddesley £4.50, Romsey £5.30.


Bluestar 6 from stop SB
to Lymington via Totton, Ashurst, Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst

  • Hourly Mon-Sat daytimes, every 2 hours Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful for visiting the New Forest and connecting with the New Forest Tour open top buses.
  • Also useful for getting to Brockenhurst or Lymington Town railway stations if the trains aren't running.
  • Last bus towards Lymington at 1849 daily.
  • Adult single fares: Ashurst £3, Lyndhurst £4.60, Lymington £6.20. 


Bluestar 9 from stop SB
to Langley or Fawley via Applemore, Dibden Purlieu, Hythe, Holbury

  • Every 20 minutes Mon-Sat daytimes, hourly Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful for visiting Hythe without having to take the ferry, plus for changing there for the New Forest Tour open top bus.
  • Last bus at 2314 daily (earlier for Fawley, check the timetable before travelling)
  • Adult single fares: Applemore £4.60, Langley £5.50.


Bluestar 17 from stop SB
to Lordshill via Shirley, General Hospital

  • Turn up & go with a bus every 10 minutes Mon-Sat daytimes, every 20 mins Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful for Shirley High Street and the General Hospital.
  • Last bus towards Lordshill at 2340 daily.
  • Adult single fares: Shirley Precinct £1.50, General Hospital £2, Lordshill Centre £2.30.


Salisbury Reds X7/X7R from stop SB
to Salisbury via Totton, Ower & occasionally Paulton's Park and/or Romsey

  • Hourly Monday-Saturday daytimes. No evening or Sunday service.
  • Direct buses to Paulton's Park entrance departing at 0919 and 1019 when the park is open.
  • Useful as an alternative route to Salisbury if the trains aren't running that way.
  • Last bus towards Salisbury at 1739 on weekdays, 1719 on Saturdays.
  • Adult single fares: Totton £3.20, West Wellow £4.70, Salisbury £6. Bluestar tickets valid.


Other local services from stop SB:

  • First 1 to Adanac Park via Shirley, Coxford, Lordshill
  • First 2 to Millbrook via Shirley
  • Bluestar 8 to Calshot via Totton, Marchwood, Hythe
  • Bluestar 11/12 to West Totton or Calmore via Totton
  • First 12 to Lordshill via Shirley, Millbrook, General Hospital
  • Bluestar 18 to Millbrook via Shirley
  • Xelabus X11 to Lordshill North via Upper Shirley, General Hospital



Stop SD:
Still under construction when the photo was taken, this stop is only used by buses that terminate up the hill in the City Centre, so if that's as far as you need to go, any bus from this stop will do.
Live departure board


Stop SF:
Use the platform 4 exit for the south side of Central Station and stop SF for buses to the university, airport and Woolston as well as buses to the Isle of Wight ferries.
Live departure board

Unilink U1 from stop SF
to Airport via Portswood, University, Swaythling
or to National Oceanography Centre

  • Turn up & go with a bus at least every 10 minutes Monday-Saturday daytimes and every 15 mins Sunday daytimes.
  • Useful for the University and the Airport, especially if the trains aren't running through to Southampton Airport Parkway.
  • Some daytime buses terminate at Wessex Lane and some late night buses extend to Eastleigh.
  • Last bus towards the Airport at 0005 daily.
  • Adult single flat fare: £2 any distance. Bluestar tickets valid.


Also from stop SF:




Tickets
If you are arriving or leaving by train, then you can buy a Southampton Plusbus with your train ticket. It costs £2.30 for an adult and is valid all day on any bus (except Xelabus) within the city boundary:

If you're not travelling by train, then buy a ticket on the bus. Each bus company has its own range of tickets valid on their own services only - see their websites (links in the panel on the right) for details. Bluestar tickets are also valid on Unilink and Salisbury Reds.


If you need to use the buses of more than one operator, then use a Solent Go ticket at £5 for the Southampton City version or £8 for the regional version valid as far as Winchester, Havant, Ashurst and Calshot.



So we finish back at Southampton Central with a few useful links:





Sunday, 3 July 2016

Solent Bus Update: Regional round up

Here's our monthly look at the bus changes coming up across the wider region, including Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury and Winchester. Click the route numbers to see the new timetables:

16th July:
First W1 Fareham-Whiteley NEW ROUTE
Saturday shoppers' service to Whiteley village

17th July:
Stagecoach 85 Winchester-Andover

Stagecoach 86 Winchester-Whitchurch (School services extend to Hatch Warren)
More buses between Winchester and Whitchurch

Stagecoach/Salisbury Reds Activ8 Salisbury-Andover

24th July:
More 3 Poole-Wimborne-Merley
Route extended beyond Wimborne to Merley.

More 4 Poole-Broadstone-Merley
Daytime journeys curtailed to run between Poole and Broadstone only, with evening journeys extended to Wimborne and Merley.

More 32 Poole-Bournemouth
Minor timing changes

More 112 Lymington-Hythe
Increased frequency and amended route for the summer holidays

The next Solent Bus Update will appear on 7th August, by which time we should have more information on the following:

7th August:
Yellow 24 Bournemouth-Alum Chine

3rd September:
Stagecoach 6A Winchester-Abbots Barton WITHDRAWN

Stagecoach 46 Winchester-North Baddesley WITHDRAWN

Stagecoach 63 Winchester-Owslebury WITHDRAWN

Stagecoach 36 Winchester-Romsey-Lockerley

4th September:
Stagecoach 67 Winchester-Petersfield

First X4 Southampton-Portsmouth

First X5 Southampton-Gosport

First 3 Portsmouth-Fareham

First 7 Southsea-Wecock

First 16 Portsmouth Hard-Eastney

First 17 Southsea-Tipner

First 18 Southsea-Paulsgrove

First F1 Fareham-Highlands



Here are links to the websites of the bus operators serving the wider region:



Wider region local transport authorities:

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Blue to the zoo? Noo!

In a couple of weeks time, many zebra sculptures will start appearing in and around Southampton as part of a summer-long promotional event by Marwell Zoo.


What does this have to do with buses? Well, Bluestar are ever so proud to be sponsoring one of the zebras, which will indeed be bright blue.

This new tie up means that if you fancy a day out at Marwell Zoo, surely a Bluestar bus is the obvious way to travel. Except they don't go there. The only bus route to run right to the entrance of Marwell Zoo is First M1.

The nearest Bluestar will get you is the top of Sandy Lane on the 2, which is a 40 minute walk away, much of it on narrow lanes without footpaths. Awkward!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

New Forest Tour / First price freeze / 46 to go

This weekend sees the launch for the summer season of the New Forest Tour, again with three circular routes which between them cover most of the forest. The easiest way to access them from Southampton is by using Bluestar 6 to connect in Ashurst, Lyndhurst or Lymington; or Bluestar 8 & 9 or the Hythe Ferry to connect in Hythe:


First have decided to continue with the promotional price of £9.50 for their FirstWeek Southampton ticket. The equivalent Bluestar/Unilink weekly ticket for the city is £15 from the driver or £14 on The Key or their app, although their network does cover more of the city.

More 112 becomes the Beach Bus again from 24th July, running more often between Hythe and Lymington, with some journeys via Lepe Beach and Beaulieu National Motor Museum. See the new timetable here. The new summer route:


Hampshire County Council cuts loom in September: Stagecoach is withdrawing the 46 and the 36 is revised from the 3rd. This will probably leave North Baddesley and Valley Park with no direct link to Winchester. More as we get it.