Thursday, 13 January 2011

Sleepy January

I find January is always the quietest month for bus enthusiasts. You have the post Christmas and FoKAB hangover, where for the rest of the month, very little seems to happen as we draw closer to the new registration mark in March, and the end of the financial year and budgets are assessed. January is also a quiet month for bus service changes, as most of Hampshire's tenders are done in February. Therefore, January in Hampshire is very much a case of same old, same old...

One of the things that is changing is the shape of FHD's Saturday network. Recent timetable changes have indicated that poorly used Saturday journeys - especially those early in the morning - are being withdrawn, along with some other marginal routes. On a larger scale, the X42 which is the main South Downs College service is cut from Saturdays completely.

With the increased use of cars and Saturday revolving around shops' opening hours, maybe this marks the beginning of Saturday and Sunday services becoming similar - albeit with Saturday receiving more buses running slightly later and earlier. Sunday only operates along the core network - Saturday only seems to bolster this with the addition of a few more areas served, such as Hill Head, Whiteley and Denmead. With ever decreasing buses and increased pressure on bus companies, 2011 will be an interesting year for Saturday bus services, and a usually quiet January may mark the beginning of a regular pattern across bus companies throughout the year.

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