Thursday, 9 February 2012


It is nearly time for Eclipse to be launched, and First Hampshire & Dorset's second bus priority corridor to be launched. Eclipse is the redeveloped Fareham-Gosport connection link, using some of the former railway between Fareham and Gosport. 14 brand new Volvo B7RLEs have been purchased for the route, and the first one is ready. See the First Hants & Dorset facebook site for photos.

It has been reported that the start date will be Monday 23rd April. Branded as "Eclipse - Above and Beyond" this new bus priority corridor is far more impressive and expensive than the last corridor on the A3 (Portsmouth - Clanfield), and should mean traffic congestion around Gosport on the A32 is alleviated. Maybe, passenger numbers will rise so high more buses will have to be purchased!

Buses have wi-fi, wood effect flooring, leather seats, GPS, real time updates, luggage space and more - all the features you would expect across any of the more inner city high profile bus corridors.  

It looks like there are three main routes.

BRT1 - Fareham Bus Station - Fareham Rail Station - Bridgemary - Brockhurst - Elson - Forton - Stoke Rd - Gosport.
--- loosely a combination of routes 83 and 86 today, with added timing points.

BRT2 - Fareham Bus Station - Fareham Rail Station - Bridgemary - Brockhurst - Ann's Hill - Stoke Rd - Gosport
--- loosely a combination of routes 82 and 85 today, with added timing points.

BRT 3 - Fareham Bus Station - Fareham Rail Station OR the A32 - Bridgemary - Rowner - Privett - Stokes Bay - Alverstoke - Stoke Rd - Gosport --- loosely route 88 today.

There are several points of interest which will be revealed over the next few months - 

1. What route renumbering will take place? 

2. What will happen to the likes of route 33, 36 and 87 which still use the A32 but then head off to Newgate Lane? Will they use BRT to Palmerston Drive?

3. There still will be a service along the A32 to Gosport. Will this simply be the off peak BRT3 route, or will the 87 be increased in frequency? Will a brand new route appear?

4. What will the routes do to serve Gregson Avenue and Nobes Avenue in Bridgemary? It looks like BRT1 will be the only main BRT route to pass through Bridgemary.

5. Frequencies - what will they be? Routes 85/86 at present take about an hour (49 mins trip, with 10 turn-a-round time). Trips should be quicker on BRT - say 50 minutes - so a frequency of every 10 mins on BRT 1 and 2, with every 20 or 30 minutes on BRT 3? The service is already every 5 mins across the 82, 83, 85 and 86 in the weekdays and this probably won't be allowed to drop.

6. Which Darts will subsequently be withdrawn from Hoeford?

Ah well, all interesting and will be revealed in a few weeks. There is already a section for "Timetables" on the Eclipse website, but no link yet.


  1. The withdrawn Hoeford buses will be replaced is all Dennis Dart step entry buses but I don't know the SLF buses I'm afraid.


  2. mike.horsington@uwclub.net11 February 2012 at 23:26

    I can tell you that 46327,N327ECR,has been transferred from Hoeford to the Taunton depot of First Somerset and Avon.
    This is confirmed if you look at Steve.White's February 2012 webpage at:
    where you will find any transfers which have come from First
    Hampshire and Dorset,First Cymru,First Devon and Cornwall,as well as the depot transfers between First Bristol and First Somerset and Avon bus fleets.
    I hope this information is of help to interested followers of bus movements.

  3. Do Eclipse buses still accept PlusBus? I live on the 85/86 route and but not on the new E1 or E2 route and due to the evening timetable change from Fareham I now have to wait 40 minutes due to my train arrival time and the change to my regular bus departure time. I live about a 10 minute walk from the nearest E1 bus station, which I'm happy to walk in order to depart earlier, but would not be too happy as to an increased charge.

  4. I'm 99% sure they do accept PlusBus. Certainly the link was designed to provide Gosport residents a direct link to the train so it would make sense.