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From Sunday 7 February First Hampshire and Dorset will be revising some bus services in Southampton. Some of the changes being introduced are being made as a result of customer feedback, while others are being introduced following a review of tendered journeys by Southampton City Council.
From Sunday 7 February First Hampshire and Dorset will be revising some bus services in Southampton. Some of the changes being introduced are being made as a result of customer feedback, while others are being introduced following a review of tendered journeys by Southampton City Council. In some places the frequency of services is being reduced to better match resources to current levels of demand.
Richard Soper, Managing Director of First in Hampshire and Dorset, explains: “During this recession we have seen a real change in the way people are travelling. People have been making fewer journeys to the shops and changes in the job market have meant that fewer people are commuting to and from work. In light of this, we’ve adjusted some services.
“While we understand that service changes can be confusing, it is important that the frequency of buses matches the level of demand for them. We also need to ensure that our buses are as punctual and reliable as they can be - so from time to time we need to alter the timetables for this reason too, building in more time where we need it, or taking it out where we find we have much. Our schedulers work very hard to understand and improve individual routes though, trying to strike the right balance between allowing time for possible delays and keeping the journey time as short as possible, creating what we hope will be a better bus service for all our customers.”
Specific Service Changes (effective from 7 February)
Service 3 (Southampton City Centre - Townhill Park / Midanbury via Portswood): From 7 February the timetable will be revised to improve the overall punctuality of the service. Following customer feedback and the revisions to journey times, services will now run via Above Bar in the city centre, instead of running via West Quay.
Service 4 (Southampton City Centre - Totton): From 7 February one early morning journey from City Centre will be withdrawn. In addition, the two last journeys from Totton (Monday – Friday) will terminate at Aldermoor, while the two last journeys (Monday – Friday) from the city centre will terminate at Shirley Park Street*. These changes reflect the fact that fewer people are now travelling as a result of the recession. Similarly, the frequency of buses on Saturdays will reduce to hourly throughout the day to reflect the fact that fewer people are travelling. On Sundays, services will terminate at Millbrook Tesco instead of Millbrook roundabout.
(*buses in both directions will still call at Southampton General Hospital).
Service 5 (Southampton City Centre - Lords Hill North): From 7 February some early morning and evening journeys are being withdrawn. The frequency of buses on Saturdays is also changing to reflect the fact that fewer people are travelling. From 7 February buses on Saturday’s will run hourly.
Service 8/8A/8E (Lords Hill - City - Midanbury / West End): Some minor changes are being made to the Saturday evening timetable, specifically on Saturday evenings services will be extended to Hedge End superstores instead of terminating at the Rose Bowl.
Service 9/9A (Southampton City Centre - Thornhill via Harefield): The evening timetable of Service 9 is being altered to work in conjunction with Service 10, providing connections with Sholing, Woolston and the City. Those journeys interworking with Service 10 will be renumbered Service 9B. Service 9B will cease to serve Hightown in the evenings only. As a result of this change (prompted by customer feedback) there will be new later departures to Harefield from the city centre and Ocean Village at 22:34, 23:04 and 23:34 giving customers from Harefield the opportunity to enjoy a later night out. The timetable for Saturday morning journeys is also changing with a bus every 30 minutes before 9am.
Service 10/10A (Lords Hill - City - Thornhill): The evening timetable of Service 10 is being altered so that it works in conjunction with Service 9 with some evening journeys being extended to call in Harefield and Bitterne. Those journeys working in conjunction with Service 9 will be known as Service 10B as far as Thornhill, then as a 9B to Harefield, Bitterne and back to City Centre via Northam.
Service 11A/11C (City - Sholing - City) and Service 12A/12C (City - Sholing - City): A number of changes are being made to Services 11 and 12 which are designed to simplify the timetable for customers. From 7 February all evening buses between 18:30 and 20:30 (including those which previously ran as Service 13 between 18.30 and 20.30) will be renumbered as Service 11A or 12C (depending on the exact route they take)
In addition, on Sundays service 11A and 12C will run hourly between 08:00 and 20:30 replacing service 13 as the Council has cut the funding that previously provided an alternate half hour service.
The frequency of buses on Saturdays is also changing, with buses running a combined 20 minute service before 9am and every 15 minutes thereafter.
Service 21/21A (RSH Hospital - Nursling via Lords Hill): Some minor changes are being made to the timetable and the route is being altered slightly. From 7 February buses will call on Luccombe Road instead of Hill Lane and will no longer extend into Nursling Industrial estate but will call at the entrance.
Changes to tendered services (decisions regarding these services have been made by the Council)
Service 13 (Southampton City Centre - Sholing): Following a reduction in the funding from Southampton City Council service 13 will be withdrawn, but early evening and Sunday services will be replaced by an extended Service 11A (Sholing - Southampton City Centre via Bitterne) and 12C (Southampton City Centre - Sholing via Bitterne), which First Hampshire & Dorset runs on a commercial basis.
Service 14/14A (Southampton City Centre - Bitterne via Mansbridge): Following a review of tendered bus services by Southampton City Council this route will no longer be operated by First from 7 February. A third party operator will provide services instead. The 14A morning journey has been withdrawn. First season tickets will continue to be valid on replacement services.
Service 154 (Thornhill - Springhill School): This service will run for the remainder of the academic year, but beyond that a decision has not yet been taken (the service is currently under review).
Service 22 (RSH Hospital - Lords Hill): Following a review of tendered bus services by Southampton City Council this service will be run by a new operator from 7th February. It is currently operated by A2B on behalf of First. First season tickets will continue to be valid for travel on the new services.
The changes to this tendered bus also mean that the route will be changing slightly. Service 22 will no longer serve the RSH Hospital, General Hospital, Lordswood, Lords Hill, Hillyfields or Nursling. First Hampshire and Dorset’s Service 21 (RSH Hospital to Lords Hill and Nursling) will provide customers with alternative means of travelling though.