Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas


I'd like to wish all of my visitors a very Merry Christmas and I wish everyone all the best for 2013. Thank you for your continued support throughout the year - I've really enjoyed posting to the blog and having various discussions, even if I have found it difficult to post regularly for the last month or so. 

Merry Christmas

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sunday Lost Scenes - Sunday 4th November

As I'm on a bit of an Olympian theme at the moment, here's another one...

First Devon & Cornwall 30065 - A167VFM - Bude Strand - 5th August 2006

Today, the only route that First Devon & Cornwall operate into North Cornwall is route 76/76A. The route is operated by Plymouth depot and primarily sees Volvo B6BLEs make the trip up to Bude via Saltash, Callington and Launceston. It is now First's only route in Bude after the X9 was given up earlier this year.

Back track 6 and a half years ago, and First operated many routes into Bude - the route to Plymouth was the X8, supported by the X9 to Exeter, the 128 town service, the 285 to Holsworthy and the 319 to Hartland. 

There was a regular early Saturday morning departure from Bude which was always booked to be an Olympian. I woke up and managed to grab the shot, and on Saturday 5th August it was former PMT DOG A167VFM. It was the only one of these that I ever caught in service with Devon & Cornwall - we had two at Hoeford depot (30050 and 30056) too.I remember this bus being immaculate. The presentation was excellent. It had recently received the willow leaf First livery, which was just being rolled out across the whole fleet as opposed to simply the best low floor buses. 

I'm not sure if Olympians get up to Bude much on the 76 these days - if they do, send me a link to a photo because I'd like to see it.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

An unexpected return home

In 1996, Southampton Citybus received 6 Volvo Olympians from stock dealership, to upgrade services in the city from Leyland Atlanteans. In 2003, having passed into First ownership, all 6 moved to First Devon & Cornwall, to upgrade their X80 (Plymouth - Paignton and Torquay). I thought I'd lost the chance to photograph them again when they moved up to Manchester two years later. However, as a result of Olympic cascades, P295KPX has unexpectedly returned home to Hampshire.

Ok, so not exactly *home* because 34295 has entered service at Hoeford rather than Southampton. Incidentally, it was never allocated to Empress Road, having left Portswood long before the new depot was even dreamed up. It is quite a smart bus externally - some panels could do with a quick brush up (such as the front black grills) but all in all she looks good.

I'm not sure why, but she seems to be spending an awful lot of time in Stubbington at the moment, on routes 33, 34 and 35. She has made it to Portsmouth too- and has been photographed on the circuit routes 17 and 18. These buses left just before I started photographing widely - I've only got photos of sisters P293KPX and P296KPX from 2003, and these are lost in the depths of fotopic at the moment... still not long until "J" comes around on the username download!

I'm not sure how long she will be around for, or whether more are coming. Sources within First are publicly stating they want around 7 or 8 low floor double deckers for the X4 (Portsmouth - Southampton), although I'm sure Volvo Olympians aren't what was envisaged.

The Hampshire Olympian allocation are as follows:

At Southampton - 34079, 34128, 34129, 34130
At Hoeford - 34016, 34017, 34022, 34059, 34060, 34071, 34295, with 34033 on site VOR

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Lost Scenes - Sunday 28th October

With BlueStar soon to receive brand new double deckers for route 1 (Winchester - Southampton), I thought we'd remember what went before...

Solent Blue Line 732 - H732DDL - Fryern Hill - 29th February 2008

The Scania Omnicity double deckers for route 1 arrived towards the end of the year, but at the start of 2008 route 1 was an eclectic mix of all types of Solent Blue Line buses. The intended operation was to use the Volvo B7TLs, but in reality anything including Tridents, Volvo and Leyland Olympians, Volvo B10B single decks or Mercedes-Benz Citaros could operate on the routes. The sight of 732 trundling between Southampton and Winchester was not a rare sight. 

With BlueStar's allocations now fairly established, I look back to 2008 and realise that I did not make the most of the variety that was on offer to the bus enthusiast. The 7 Scania Omnicities are rarely off route, and you seldom find anything else on route 1. This is excellent for BlueStar's image, meaning that the service is always of consistent quality and reliable for the customer.

I'm not sure what the new deckers for route 1 will be at the turn of they year. I've heard Enviro400s mentioned but that was just a rumour. The 58-plate Scania Omnicities will, apparently, then move onto route 2, cascading the Volvo B7TLs to school services. I'll hope to bring you photos of these buses when they arrive.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sunday Lost Scenes - Sunday 21st October

Today's Sunday Lost Scenes come from Plymouth in summer 2009...

Plymouth Citybus 132 - M132HOD - Plymouth (Brentonside Bus Station) - 10th August 2009

Back in 2009, I made my one and only visit to Plymouth. As I am located in Hampshire, Plymouth is just that bit too far for a day trip, meaning that I haven't been back since. For 2013, Plymouth is high up on my to-do list, especially with the Go Ahead growth and First uncertainty.

We go back to what feels like a quieter year here. Plymouth Citybus were still under the ownership of the council, and First's Ugobus initiative was in its infant stages, run with Darts and Volvo B6BLEs. Citybus still operated a number of Merc 709Ds and step entrance Darts, where First's fleet was actually looking pretty good - with the Olympians tucked away for the summer, the fleet was 95%-ish low floor on the day of my visit. 

How times have changed. Plymouth Citybus have since removed all step entrance buses from regular service work, where First have been developing the age profile of Plymouth's fleet by introducing Leyland Olympians. One wonders what is going on behind the scenes at First in Plymouth, as surely the recently redistributed North Devon Tridents would have gone straight to Plymouth instead of Southampton. Furthermore, Darts are now being repainted in white rather than the new livery. Something appears to be imminent - whether it is, or whether the bus users will have to put up with more Leyland Olympians remains to be seen.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Go Ahead Tridents in new lands

Two of Go Ahead's premier companies - the Oxford Bus Company and Brighton & Hove - have been cascading some of their older Dennis Tridents around the more recently acquired companies. This post specifically focuses in on a couple of Tridents at Thames Travel.

First up, we have former Brighton & Hove 806 - T806RFG - now number 915 with Thames Travel. It is pictured outside Reading railway station - the large scale developments and rebuilding work at the station can be seen in the background. It is one of three Tridents of the same type acquired from the Sussex fleet. 915 is pictured on the X39, an express route connecting Oxford and Reading. The service is hourly and takes just over an hour most of the time. Weekday loadings have steadily increased over the past few years, which brings greater capacity to the corridor.

Secondly, we have 109 (T109DBW) - one of a large batch of Dennis Tridents acquired by the Oxford Bus Company for park and ride routes. These buses have an interestingly coloured interior! 109 retains the two-tone base of the Oxford Park & Ride livery, but has Thames Travel blue at the bottom. It is an example of the two local Go Ahead companies working together. As well as this, four Mercedes-Benz Citaros moved to Thames Travel along with the X2 route. Therefore, the Didcot - Oxford corridor is now operated by Thames Travel - the Citaros look great in this livery too.

Thames Travel is a particularly interesting company. Something changes on every visit to the area. If you would like any more information on Thames Travel or bus services in that area, please visit the excellent Bus Zone website.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Good and The Not-So-Good of First Berkshire

This was the First Berkshire post pulled a few weeks ago. The 41 readers who read it the first time may note there have been some changes to the original wording.

First Berkshire are an interesting company. On the outskirts of London, First Berkshire is the former Beeline operation, operated under management from First London at Paddington. The fleet is a mixture of premier interurban services, and run down local services.



Let us start with an area First Berkshire appear to be very strong in - the GreenLine contract. First operate route 702 from London to Slough, Windsor Legoland and Bracknell, using a variety of Volvo B9TL double deckers and coaches. All of the buses are immaculately turned out. Three brand new Volvo B9TLs also arrived last year. Pictured to the left are two of the double deckers used on the service. Firstly, 37986 (BJ11ECY) in service on the 702 in Windsor. Secondly, we have one of the 2008 delivery of Volvo B9TLs, 37276 (LK58EDL) pictured heading for London as it leaves Slough.

Furthermore, First Berkshire operate the Reading to Heathrow rail air link. The fleet operate a variety of coaches on the route - the eldest being 9 year old coaches and the youngest just a year old. There is also a fleet of Hybrid coaches on order, due to replace the existing stock over the next year. For these two areas of First Berkshire, the future looks bright. One wonders if these high profile routes are earning more of the money for First Berkshire, and therefore almost subsidising the other local routes.

Now for the 7 series. Slough's most high profile set of routes, connecting Heathrow with the towns around Slough. Routes 71, 75, 76 and 77 are operated by a large fleet of these Mercedes-Benz Citaros, which have been acquired between 2003 and 2008. The only problem with them is the appearance. When you start to look at them in detail, you notice glass panels with branding not replaced, and panels without branding replaced. It will be interesting to see the long term future for this route with First. This branding is now nearly 6 years old. A new brand that is slightly more panel-friendly wouldn't go amiss, and possibly would breathe new life into the route.

The 190 between Reading and Bracknell is in the hands of these former London Dennis Tridents. While the appearance of these buses is excellent (not to sure with the red on yellow First logos left over from London though...), Bracknell depot in terms of routes has been run down over the past few years. 
With all of the tendered work moving to Thames Travel, Bracknell depot now only operate town routes 155, 171 and 172, along with the 190 to Reading, 191 to Windsor and the 194 to Camberley. Bracknell depot does also operate buses for Greenline, and is the nearest First depot to the Reading Rail-Air routes. All Bracknell town routes are operated by Scanias or Dennis Tridents.

Finally, we come to the rather run down Slough town services. Dart SLFs new in 2000 and cascaded buses from London form the majority of the fleet (along with a fleet of dedicated Solos). The Marshall bodied Dart SLFs show all the signs of a hard life - certainly the ones I saw still have their original seat cushions. Moreover, the ALX200 bodied Darts new in 2000 now are looking a little bit tired. For example, we have 42344 (X244AMO) below. Some of the interiors look a little bit worn, and panels have not been repainted when they have been replaced. The X---AMO batch of buses would look great in the new livery, and with new style branding for the 58 from Britwell to Uxbridge, would show investment and pride in the fleet. 

Certainly First Berkshire do things very well. The Greenline routes and RailAir services are very well presented. All the buses I saw, regardless of panel condition, had spotless exteriors and looked fantastic. In addition, the fleet have received cascaded Tridents and Citaros from London recently, indicating a desire to improve services. However, the condition of many of the buses lets the side down. A number of panels are due replacement - once a long term problem at FHD's Portswood depot but no longer. Furthermore, the brand on the Mercedes-Benz Citaros seems to be a little worn, with branding not being replaced when altered. Finally, as we write there are no buses in the new fleet livery.

 The common consensus with First at the moment is that any fleets not showing investment could be up for sale... it will be interesting to see if the former Beeline fleet is operated by First in a year's time. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

From Devon, with love

Southampton and Weymouth have been the beneficiaries of a number of buses previously in service at Barnstaple depot. They new arrivals, which are predominantly Dennis Tridents and Dennis Darts, bring up the average age of the fleets around the south coast and add more variety. Details of the transfers are below...

IN
* 32751, 32752, 32753, 32754 (X501 / 2 / 3 / 4BFJ) to Weymouth
* 32755 (WJ52SYE) to Weymouth
* 32764, 32765, 32767, 32768 (WJ55CSO / CSU / CTE / CTF) to Southampton
* 32874 (HIG1524) and 32954 (X954HLT) to Weymouth
* 42457 (R457CCV) to Southampton
* 42925 (SN05EAC) to Weymouth

OUT
Confirmed Leyland Olympians 34336 (H136FLX), 34623, 34628 and 34629 (K623 / 8 / 629LAE) to Plymouth
Pending Dennis Dart SLF 40784 / 40787 (R288 / 291GHS) withdrawn from Southampton

Pictured above - one of Southampton's newly acquired Dennis Tridents in service on route 5 in Portswood. The bus is 32768 (WJ55CTF). The four Tridents instantly become the second youngest batch of double deckers with First Southampton.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sunday Lost Scenes - Sunday 14th October

With the launch of First's first commercial route into Hythe this week, I thought I'd take the time to remember an old favourite...

First Hants & Dorset 34990 - E290HRV - Hythe (Ferry Yard) - 14th September 2007

In 1987, Southampton Citybus purchased two East Lancashire bodied Leyland Olympians. Fitted with coach seats, the buses were primarily allocated to the X27/X47 Portsmouth - Southampton service, Redline coach-style services, and standard service work. For their entire history, the two buses - E289HRV and E290HRV - have always been special.

The only time I ever caught one in service was in Hythe on an Asda bus service. It had just been repainted into First livery, from the previous First Southampton red livery. The dot-matrix-style electronic number display had been a feature of the bus since it was new. The coach seats were still in place, and, having ridden one of these, I can say they were very comfortable buses. 

They were two buses I just couldn't photograph. I once found E289HRV heading through Portswood on a route 3 - the only time in all my years in Southampton I saw one - and I couldn't get the camera out quick enough. The sun was perfect, too...

Hythe's new route - the Watersider - brings state of the art Volvo B7RLEs to the Hampshire town. The Watersider Volvo B7RLEs were new to West Yorkshire in 2007, but have also seen service in Plymouth as Ugobuses. I hope to bring you photos of these buses over the next few weeks.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Twilight of the Dennis Darts

With the Fareham and Gosport network changes planned for next month, accompanied by the forthcoming arrival of a batch of brand new Enviro200s for Southampton over the new year, the step entry Dennis Darts may finally be withdrawn at the end of the year.

These buses seem to have been excellent survivors. The first "batch" was culled from the fleet in 2009, when Hilsea received the then brand new Volvo B7RLEs for routes 40 and 41. This saw off all of the Wright bodied Darts, and a large number of the younger L and M reg Darts.

The second large scale withdrawal came at the start of the year, when the Hoeford Eclipse buses were introduced. This left only a handful of step entry Darts in service around First Hampshire. Two examples are the buses illustrated. Firstly we have 46322 (M322YOT), a bus that was initially withdrawn earlier this year, only to be resurrected for Fareham town services. It is pictured heading under the former relief Meon Valley line railway bridge, as it heads for Fareham on route 94. Pictured to the right is 46367 (N467ETR) - all 4 9.8m Pointer bodied Darts that were acquired by Southampton Citybus are still in service, although one has had a holiday in Cornwall.

The new Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport network sees a reduction in PVR which will see off a couple of the Darts. Following this, the arrival of the new Southampton Enviro200s will see the cascade of a number of SLF Darts to replace those left, if any are left. 

We've said it before, but if you are missing any photos of these buses, get them soon!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Fareham - Gosport corridors

New Page 1

Today's blog entry compares the frequency of services in and around the Fareham and Gosport area. Please note, not all of the workings have been confirmed - thus we still await some of the exact routes of the new services.

The average Monday - Saturday daytime service

Frequency has been increased            Frequency has stayed the same       Frequency has been decreased

Corridor Frequency of Existing Network Frequency of New Network
Fareham - Gosport (all services) 17 buses per hour (E1, E2, 34, 83, 85, 87, 88) 18 buses per hour (E1, E2, 5, 6, 9, 9A, 10, 11)
Fareham - Stubbington 3 buses per hour (33, 34, weekdays 35) 3 buses per hour (5, 5A, weekdays 21)
Fareham - Hill Head 2 buses per hour (33, weekdays 35) 2 buses per hour (5A, weekdays 21)
Fareham - Lee on Solent 2 buses per hour (34, 36) 3 buses per hour (5, 6)
Fareham - Brockhurst 2 buses per hour (83) 4 buses per hour (9A, 10, 11)
Fareham - Stokes Bay 2 buses per hour (88) 2 buses per hour (9 I think)
Fareham - Alverstoke No buses 2 buses per hour (9)
Fareham - Rowner 1 bus per hour (87) 4 buses per hour (9, 9A)
Fareham - Bridgemary (Gregson Avenue) 3 buses per hour (85) - also 8 per hour on BRT 5 buses per hour to Gregson Avenue (9, 9A, 10) - also 8 per hour on BRT
Fareham - Bridgemary (Nobes Avenue) 3 buses per hour (85) - also 8 per hour on BRT 1 bus per hour (10)  - also 8 per hour on BRT
Fareham - Fareham College 4 buses per hour (34, weekdays 35, 83) 4 buses per hour (5, 5A, 9)
Fareham - Highlands about 6 buses an hour (26, 28, 93, 93A, 94, 95, 95A) about 6 buses an hour (6, 6A, 20, 26, 28)
Stubbington - Lee on Solent 2 buses per hour (4, 34) 2 buses per hour (4, 5)
Gosport - Lee on Solent 3 buses per hour (4, 34, 87A) 4 buses per hour (4, 5, 6)
Gosport - Elson 6 buses per hour (E1, 83) 7 buses per hour (E1, 9A, 11 possibly)
Gosport - Privett Road 4 buses per hour (4, 34, 88) 6 buses per hour (4, 5, 6, 9)
Gosport - Alverstoke 1 bus direct (30) 2 buses per hour (9)
Gosport - Royal Clarence Yard 1 bus direct (29) 1 bus per hour (11)
Fareham - Wych Lane BRT 8 buses per hour (E1, E2, peak X88s) 9 buses per hour (E1, E2, 10)
Fareham - Warsash 1 bus per hour (4A) 3 buses every 2 hours (4A, 28)

 

The average Sunday daytime service

Frequency has been increased            Frequency has stayed the same       Frequency has been decreased

Corridor Frequency of Existing Network Frequency of New Network
Fareham - Gosport (all services) 10 buses per hour (E1, E2, 34, 83, 85, 88) 8 buses per hour (E1, E2, 5, 9, 9A, 11)
Fareham - Stubbington 1 bus per hour (34) 1 bus per hour (5)
Fareham - Hill Head No buses No buses
Fareham - Lee on Solent 1 bus per hour (34) 1 bus per hour (5)
Fareham - Brockhurst 2 buses per hour (83) 2 buses per hour (9A, 11)
Fareham - Stokes Bay 1 bus per hour (88) 1 bus per hour (9 I think)
Fareham - Alverstoke No buses 1 bus per hour (9)
Fareham - Rowner No buses 2 buses per hour (9, 9A)
Fareham - Bridgemary (Gregson Avenue) 2 buses per hour (85) - also 4 per hour on BRT 2 buses per hour to Gregson Avenue (9, 9A) - also 4 per hour on BRT
Fareham - Fareham College 1 bus per hour (34) 2 buses per hour (5, 9)
Fareham - Highlands 1 bus per hour (93, 95A) 2 buses per hour (6, 6A)
Stubbington - Lee on Solent 2 buses per hour (4, 34) 2 buses per hour (4, 5)
Gosport - Lee on Solent 2 buses per hour (4, 34) 2 buses per hour (4, 5)
Gosport - Elson 6 buses per hour (E1, 83) 6 buses per hour (E1, 9A, 11 possibly)
Gosport - Privett Road 3 buses per hour (4, 34, 88) 3 buses per hour (4, 5, 9)
Gosport - Alverstoke Infrequent service 1 buses per hour (9)
Gosport - Royal Clarence Yard Infrequent service 1 bus per hour (11)
Fareham - Wych Lane BRT 4 buses per hour (E1, E2) 4 buses per hour (E1, E2)

Thanks for viewing - any comments or updates please let me know.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Corridor Comparison

New Page 1

Following requests, I've done a frequency break down of the Portsmouth section of the new changes. Again I can't promise everything to be correct, as I have no inside knowledge of First Hants & Dorset. I've colour coded the boxes to indicate whether they've stayed level (no change, or +1/-1), improved (at least +2 buses per hour), or decreased (at least -2 buses per hour).

 I'll move onto Gosport and Fareham later on next week.

You're average Mon - Sat daytime frequency

Corridor Frequency of Existing Network Frequency of New Network
Fareham - Portchester 7 (ish) buses per hour (1A, X4, 5, 63) 6 buses per hour (3, 3A, X4)
Fareham - QA Hospital Monday - Friday about 1 bus per hour (63) 4 buses per hour (3, 3A)
Fareham - Cosham 4 buses per hour (1A, 5) 4 buses per hour (3, 3A)
Fareham - Portsmouth City Centre 6 buses per hour (1A, X4, 5) 6 buses per hour (3, 3A, X4)
Fareham - The Hard 4 buses per hour (X4, 5) 6 buses per hour (3, 3A, X4)
Fareham - Southsea 4 buses per hour (1A, 5) No buses
Paulsgrove shops - Portsmouth City Centre 6 fast (1, 1A, 5) and 4 slow (1C) 12 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A)
QA Hospital - Portsmouth City Centre 3 fast (weekdays X42, 45A), 4 buses per hour (slow) - (1C) 14 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A, X9)
QA Hospital - The Hard 2 fast (weekdays X42) 14 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A, X9)
Waterlooville - Portsmouth City Centre 12 buses on weekdays (40, 41, X42, 45, 45A) 12 buses per hour (7, 8, X9)
Cosham - Portsmouth City Centre (direct) 16 buses per hour (1, 1A, 5, 40, 41, 45, 45A) 20 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A, 7, 8)
Cosham - Southsea 6 buses per hour NOT via City Centre (1C, 3) 10 buses per hour via City Centre (1, 1A, 5, 40) 6 buses per hour (7)
Portsmouth City Centre - The Hard 26 buses per hour (X4, 5, 14, 15, 17, 18, 41, X42) 27 buses per hour (1, 2, 3, 3A, X4, 8, X9, 15)
Portsmouth City Centre - Southsea shops 10 buses per hour (1, 1A, 5, 40, plus infrequent route 19) 12 buses per hour (1, 7, plus infrequent 19)
The Hard - South Parade Pier 4 buses per hour (6) 6 buses per hour (1)
Portsmouth City Centre - Fratton 9 buses an hour direct (13, 18) 8 buses an hour (1, 13)
Portsmouth City Centre - Eastney 10 buses an hour (1C, 17) 12 buses an hour (1, 2)
Old Portsmouth - City Centre infrequent service on route 19 6 buses an hour (1)
Southsea shops - Fratton 2 buses an hour (3) 2 buses an hour (Zero)

 

You're average Sunday daytime frequency

I've colour coded the boxes to indicate whether they've stayed level (no change), improved (by any amount), or decreased (by any amount).

Corridor Frequency of Existing Network Frequency of New Network
Fareham - Portchester 1 bus per hour (5A) 2 buses per hour (3, 3A)
Fareham - QA Hospital No buses 2 buses per hour (3, 3A)
Fareham - Cosham 1 bus per hour (5A) 2 buses per hour (3, 3A)
Fareham - Portsmouth City Centre 1 bus per hour (5A) 2 buses per hour (3, 3A)
Fareham - The Hard 1 bus per hour (5A) 2 buses per hour (3, 3A)
Fareham - Southsea 1 bus per hour (5A) No buses
Paulsgrove shops - Portsmouth City Centre 3 fast (1, 5A) and 2 slow (1C) 6 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A)
QA Hospital - Portsmouth City Centre 2 slow (1C) 6 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A)
QA Hospital - The Hard No buses 6 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A)
Waterlooville - Portsmouth City Centre 6 buses per hour (40, 41) 6 buses per hour (7, 8)
Cosham - Portsmouth City Centre (direct) 9 buses per hour (1, 5A, 40, 41) 12 buses per hour (2, 3, 3A, 7, 8)
Cosham - Southsea 3 buses per hour NOT via City Centre (1C, 3) 6 buses per hour via City Centre (1, 1A, 5, 40) 3 buses per hour (7)
Portsmouth City Centre - The Hard 13 buses per hour (5A, 13, 14, 16A, 17, 18, 41) 12 buses per hour (1, 2, 3, 3A, 8)
Portsmouth City Centre - Southsea shops 6 buses per hour (1, 5A, 40) 6 buses per hour (1, 7)
The Hard - South Parade Pier 3 buses per hour (6, 16A) 4 buses per hour (1, 16)
Portsmouth City Centre - Fratton 4 buses an hour direct (13, 18) 4 buses an hour (1, 13)
Portsmouth City Centre - Eastney 5 buses an hour (1C, 17) 6 buses an hour (1, 2)
Old Portsmouth - City Centre 1 bus per hour (16A) 4 buses an hour (1, 16)
Southsea shops - Fratton 1 bus per hour (3) 1 buses an hour (Zero)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Corridors...

This is a rough and estimated guide to the frequencies of buses in and around Portsmouth, following the changes. I reserve the right to have made mistakes. When a map is released, I'm sure all will be clear.

Please note: these are the frequencies on the new First network. I haven't taken into account Stagecoach services.

The Hard - Old Portsmouth - 6 an hour (route 1)

The Hard - Southsea, South Parade Pier - 12 an hour (route 1, short via Old Portsmouth, long via City Centre)

The Hard - City Centre - 27 buses an hour

The Hard and Portsmouth City Centre - Fareham - 6 buses an hour (2x X4s, 3x route 3s with a 3A also)

Portsmouth City Centre - Cosham - 22 buses an hour

Portsmouth City Centre - QA Hospital - 12 buses an hour (route 2, route 3/3A, route X9)

The Hard and Portsmouth City Centre - Paulsgrove shops - 8 buses an hour (routes 2 and 3)

The Hard - Eastney - 18 buses an hour

Portsmouth City Centre - Eastney - 19 buses an hour

Fareham - QA Hospital - 4 buses an hour (route 3/3A)

Fareham - Havant - 0 buses an hour

Fareham - Portchester - 6 buses an hour (3x route 3s, and 2x X4s. One 3A also goes to Portsdown Inn)

Fareham - Cosham - 4 buses an hour (route 3/3A only)

Southsea shops - Fratton - 2 buses an hour (route Zero)

Southsea shops / South Parade Pier - Fareham - 0 buses an hour

South Parade Pier buses in any direction - 12 route 1s, 6 route 7s

Portsmouth City Centre - Waterlooville - 12 buses an hour (route 7, route 8, route X9)

Interesting times ahead!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The new Portsmouth network


The new, long-awaited Portsmouth network has been announced. Copied below is the press release from First Hampshire & Dorset...

Some of the key features of the changes are: 
More frequent services on key corridors, making it easier to catch buses without having to remember to consult timetables;
More interchange points. The regions three transport hubs - The Hard, Commercial Road South and Cosham - will be better used. Many buses will pass through these points and customers will be able to transfer easily onto other services, as required, from them;
Emphasise is being placed on timing buses, where possible, to create better interchanges with the Gosport Ferry; 
Some new links between key destinations will be established, many following customer requests - for instance improved access to the QA Hospital from Fareham and Gosport;
Overall there will be more buses operating on a commercial basis during the evening, replacing, in many respects, some of the journeys that were lost when local authority funding for evening journeys was reduced in 2011. 

Specifics of the changes in East Hampshire:

While Services 4/4A/X4,15, 19/19A, 26, 52, 145, 649, 651/ 652, X40, X41 and E1/E2 will remain as they are, the following services will all change: 1/1A/1C, 3, 4, 5/5A, 6/6A, 8, 9, 11/11A, 12, 13 14, 16A, 17/18, 28, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41, 45/45A, 53, 63, 83, 85, 87/87A, 88, 93/93A, 94/94A, 95/95A, X42, X88. Instead of these the following will be created: 

Service 0: A new Service 0 will be created. Operating between Hilsea / Tipner, North End, Copnor Bridge, Southsea and Fratton it will provide a link between most parts of Portsea Island with St Marys Hospital, and will also establish a new link between Tipner and Fratton. Buses will run every 30 minutes in each direction during the day (Monday to Saturday), and every 60 minutes in each direction on Sundays and weekday evenings. 

Service 1: Operating between The Hard, the City Centre, Fratton, Eastney, Highlands Road, South Parade Pier, Southsea and Old Portsmouth, buses will run every 10 minutes during the day (Monday to Saturday), every 20 minutes on Sundays and every 30 minutes during the evening. It will offer a frequent service linking a number of the main shopping districts, and evening journeys will be timed to connect with both the arrival and departure of the Gosport Ferry. 

Service 2: Serving The Hard, the City Centre, Albert Road, Eastney, Copnor, Hilsea, Cosham, the QA Hospital, Paulsgrove and Hillsley Road, buses will operate every 10 minutes during the day (Monday to Saturday), every 20 minutes on Sundays and every 30 minutes during the evening. There will be a direct link between St Marys Hospital and the QA Hospital and evening journeys will be timed to connect with both the arrival and departure of the Gosport Ferry. 

Service 3/3A: Buses will operate between The Hard, the City Centre, Lake Road, North End, Hilsea, Cosham, the QA Hospital, Paulsgrove, Portsdown Inn / Portchester, with some journeys on Service 3 extended to Fareham, via White Hart Lane and journeys on 3A extended to Fareham via North Portchester. Buses will run every 10 minutes during the day Monday to Saturday (every 20 minutes to Fareham on Service 3, and hourly on Service 3A), every 20 minutes on Sundays (hourly to Fareham) and every 30 minutes during the evening (hourly to Fareham). As a result the frequency of buses serving Portsdown Inn will be improved, while regular journeys will also operate between Fareham and the QA Hospital and between Paulsgrove and The Hard " responding to passenger demand for services in these areas. In addition the combination of Services 2 and 3/3A will collectively improve the frequency of buses between Paulsgrove and Cosham as a whole, with buses running along common sections of the route every five minutes during the day Monday to Saturday. 

Service 5/5A: Serving Gosport, Cherque Farm, Lee-on-the-Solent, Stubbington, Greyshott Avenue and Fareham, the new Service 5 will follow the same route as the current Service 34. Taken in tandem with the new Service 5A though, which will operate between Fareham, Greyshott Avenue, Stubbington and Hill Head, customers will find buses between Stubbington and Fareham running every 30 minutes during the day.

Service 6: Running between Highlands, Fareham, Asda, Cherque Farm, Lee-on-the-Solent and Gosport, Service 6 will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday. On Sundays buses will run hourly between Fareham and Gosport only. The introduction of this route vastly improves the frequency of buses to Lee-on-the-Solent as, when seen in combination with the existing Service 4 (Gosport - Warsash - Southampton) and the new Service 5/5A (as detailed above), it will increase the number of buses serving the area (from three buses an hour to four buses an hour). The new Service 6 will also provide a direct link from Highlands to Asda, Lee-on-the-Solent, the War Memorial Hospital and Gosport, and will connect more effectively with the ferry service. 

Service 6A: Operating between Highlands and Fareham, the new Service 6A will combine much of the existing Services 95 and 95A. It will run in the opposite direction to Service 6 and will help to maintain a 15 minute frequency of buses to and from Highlands. 

Service 7/7C: Operating between South Parade Pier, Southsea, the University of Portsmouth, the city centre, Lake Road, North End, Cosham, Crookhorn, Waterlooville and Wecock Farm, Service 7 will be the new number assigned to what is, at present, Service 40. Buses will operate every 10 minutes during the day (Monday to Saturday), every 20 minutes on Sundays and every 30 minutes during the evening. The changes constitute an improvement in frequency from one bus every 15 minutes, to one bus every 10 minutes. When taken in conjunction with the new Service 3 the two routes will offer a combined frequency of one bus every five minutes between Cosham, North End and the City Centre. Additionally Service 7C will also provide a dedicated link between South Downs College and Cosham, running every half an hour during the college day.

Service 8: Serving The Hard, the City Centre, Stamshaw, Cosham, Waterlooville, Cowplain, Horndean and Clanfield, the new service 8 will operate every 15 minutes during the day Monday to Saturday and every 20 minutes on Sundays. In the evenings buses will run every 30 minutes between The Hard and Cosham, extending to Clanfield on an hourly basis. 

Service 9/9A: A new Service 9/9A is being created to serve West End, Fareham, Bridgemary, Rowner, Alverstoke, Elson and Gosport. Buses will operate every 15 minutes during the day (Monday to Saturday) along core sections of the route, with buses running every 30 minutes on Sundays and during the evening. The changes mean that a new link between Alverstoke and Fareham is being created, and that the frequency of buses between Rowner and Fareham will improve, from one bus every 30 minutes at present, to one bus every 15 minutes from 18 November onwards.

Service X9: Running between The Hard, the City Centre, along the M275, to the QA Hospital, to Purbrook, Waterlooville, Denmead and Hambledon, the new Service X9 will provide a fast, frequent connection six days a week. Designed to appeal to commuters and those who want to get in and out of the city quickly, buses will operate every 30 minutes throughout the day (Monday to Saturday). Every other journey will be extended to serve Hambledon, giving residents there an hourly service. Service X9 wont operate during the evenings or on Sundays. 

Service 10: Serving Fareham, Bridgemary, Rowner Road, Spring Garden Lane and Gosport buses on this service will operate on an hourly basis Monday to Saturday daytime. The route, which will run in addition to the highly successful and popular Eclipse BRT service, which operates close by, is intended to complement the other bus routes in the area - specifically Services E1 and E2 - and give people a choice over which service they catch. The company considers though that majority of commuters will prefer to catch services E1 and E2 if they wish to travel to Gosport or Fareham though. 

Service 11: A new Service 11 is being created to serve Fareham, Royal Clarence Yard and Gosport. Operating via the A32, buses will operate hourly during the day Monday to Saturday. The route will work in conjunction with Service 10 (detailed above) to provide buses every 30 minutes between Gosport and the Brockhurst Roundabout though. The creation of the service establishes a new bus link between Royal Clarence Yard and Fareham. 

Service 12: Operating under contract to Portsmouth City Council this service will provide a link between Port Solent, Paulsgrove, the QA Hospital, Cosham and Highbury. Buses on Service 12 will operate every 30 minutes throughout the day Monday " Saturday and hourly on Sundays. 

Service 13/14: Following the route of the existing Service 13/14 there will be fewer changes here for customers to get used to. Service 13 will continue to serve the City Centre, Fratton, Milton, St Marys Hospital while Service 14 will operate between The Hard, the City Centre, Arundel Street, North End, Copnor Bridge and Baffins. The frequency of buses will change slightly though as both services will run every 30 minutes Monday " Saturday daytime, and every hourly on Sundays from 18 November. The change in frequency represents a slight reduction (from one bus every 20 minutes to one bus every 30 minutes) for people who currently use the existing Service 14.

Service 16: Operating on Sundays only, under contract to Portsmouth City Council, Service 16 will serve The Hard, Old Portsmouth, Clarence Pier, South Parade Pier, Eastney and the Hayling Ferry on an hourly basis. Buses will no longer serve Commercial Road South on this route (as the current Service 16A does) but instead customers wishing to travel to that part of Portsmouth will need to change buses at The Hard to connect with any of the following: Services 1, 2 or 3. 

Service 20: Serving Fareham, Highlands, Funtley, Knowle and Wickham, Service 20 will be the new number assigned to what is, at present, Service 94/94A. Buses will, however, follow a slightly revised route from the current Service 94/94A calling at Knowle Village on all journeys before travelling on from Knowle to Wickham via the A32. The frequency of buses will remain roughly the same, with buses running hourly throughout the day Monday " Saturday. Notably one morning and afternoon journey will be extended to serve Wickham School, as per the current arrangement. 

Service 21: Serving Fareham, Newgate Lane, Stubbington and Hill Head, Service 21 will cover what is, at present, Service 33. It will operate during the off peak only (ie between circa 0920 and 1905 hours Monday to Friday). 

Service 22: Serving Farlington, Drayton, Cosham and on an alternate basis either Medina Road or the QA Hospital, Leominster Road and Paulsgrove Shops, this new service will provide a regular, half hourly service (Monday " Saturdays) along common sections of the route. On Sundays buses will operate between Farlington and Paulsgrove Shops only, running hourly throughout the day. 

Service 28: Taking into account customer feedback First is amending its existing Service 28 route, which operates between Fareham, Highlands, Whiteley and Locks Heath, and is extending the route to also serve Warsash. In doing this it has also included a loop around Church Road (taking into account the local residents requests for it to do so) and similarly has created some journeys that operate both earlier and later in the day than at present. Overall the frequency of buses remains roughly the same with buses running every two hours during the day Monday to Saturday. 

To support the launch of the new East Hampshire network First intends to hold a number of customer-facing events in Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham over the October half term (week commencing 29 October); details of these events will be made available on this website in the coming weeks, and will be publicised locally through the Travel Shops.

We'll be looking at more of how the changes affect key corridor frequencies, and remembering the existing network over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Lost Berkshire Post

Hi all,

I've just pulled a post about First Berkshire. We've recently had a discussion on the FHD forum about speculation and I feel that parts would be unwelcome. It may return later. A replacement post may be posted later this week,

Thanks for viewing,
James

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sunday Lost Scenes... Sunday 23rd September

There really is only one place to remember today - and that is to mark the end of First services in North Devon.

Lynton, 2004

Bude, 2004
Bideford, 2004

 Great Torrington, 2006
Bideford, 2006
South Molton, 2007

Bude, 2008
Appledore, 2010

Bideford, 2010

A very apt photo for the end of services in North Devon, as the X9 Exeter to Bude Atlantic Coast Express comes off from Bude, to head back to Stratton outstation for one last time. This view was actually taken in 2010, but the sentiment is the same.