Thursday, 9 September 2010

Southampton - Hamble route 16

As a bus enthusiast, one will always have fond routes that have either some historical or unique-individual importance to themselves. One such route for myself is First Hants & Dorset's route 16, from Southampton to Hamble. This route was the main way for me to photograph First Southampton buses when I was younger, involving a short hop to Hamble. These are a number of my photographs from Hamble over the years, which illustrate how route 16 has changed in 8 years worth of photography...

Back in 2002, the main buses used on the 16 were First Southampton's Leyland Atlanteans. Operating in their bright Southampton Red livery, they trundled down to the village at a frequency of every half an hour. Here is Leyland Atlantean 1269 (FTR269X) at the Hamble terminus

Replacing the Atlanteans were Dennis Arrows - which became the main vehicle type allocated to the 16/16A. Arrows wore a variety of liveries at Southampton, but most remained in either Capital Citybus Yellow or First London Red. Here demonstrating the former, is 553 (P424PVW), which has since been transferred up to Manchester. Pictured in June 2003.
Arrows increasingly were painted into corporate livery - first into Barbie 2 as illustrated here - and three even made it into the universal First livery. Having now also received a national fleet number, here is P424PVW again, now numbered 31924. Pictured in August 2004.
Summer 2005 saw the introduction of a 20minute frequency on the 16 and the arrival of 4 Dart MPDs specifically allocated to the service, purchased with funding from Eastleigh Borough Council. Here is 43848 (SN55CXE) down at the redesigned Hamble bus terminus- now on the opposite side of Hamble Lane. As can be seen by the image, these buses also carried branding for the 16. The 4 MPDs are now in service with First Essex.

2009 saw further investment, with 4 ADL Enviro200s replacing the MPDs. These Enviros were the first type of this bus in service with First Hants & Dorset. Here is 44510 (YX58HWJ) pictured in Hamble Lane, pictured on the new 16A variety of the route. 16A journeys continued to Hedge End at Hamble, replacing BlueStar's Red Rocket route A. Both of First's MPD and Enviro200 are available in Creative Master model form.


  1. An interesting post again, with more changes at Hamble due in October as the 16A section to Hedge End gets replaced by the 26, worked from Hoeford and therefore bringing some different vehicles to Hamble.

    Of course until the 1990s Hamble was Hants & Dorset, Hampshire Bus and the Solent Blue Line territory. If I remember correctly, CityBus took it over as part the a deal whereby Blue Line was given another area to themselves - was it when Blue Line took over the 47 from CityBus ???

  2. It was May 91 when Citybus took over the 16 and returned the 47 to its "proper" operator. It was all tied in with Blue Line losing their Hedge End base when the landlord Eastleigh Contracting Services - the privatised arm of Eastleigh B.C. - went belly up. In its latter days with Blue Line the 16 was run with awful "agricultural" Merc 811s which replaced deckers at an enhanced frequency.

    Hoeford have worked to Hamble before, in the early days of People's Provincial there was a 79 Hedge End - Hamble service (a HCC tendered route)and more recently the Thursday only 58 to Eastleigh.
    It is planned that the 26 will be run by some of the Solos recently transferred in from Devon & Cornwall