More bus services set to run in Hampshire

Travelling by bus will soon become even more appealing for Hampshire residents when three bus companies introduce more frequent services on some of their commercially operated routes across the county

Hampshire County Council, as part of the Bus Service Improvement Partnership, has allocated £4.2 million Government funding to Stagecoach South, Go South Coast, and First Solent to enable them to increase service levels on 15 Hampshire bus routes – resulting in more day and evening services – as well as see three new services introduced on Sundays.  

The funding comes from Hampshire’s £7.2 million share of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus money and has been awarded in line with the DfT’s direction that the majority should be used to protect existing commercial services (that might otherwise see reduced timetables) and to fund more frequent services. 

Councillor Nick Adams-King, Executive Member for Universal Services at Hampshire County Council, said: 

“This is a significant boost for the bus network in Hampshire which will help more people to make the choice to leave the car at home and to travel more easily and economically to get to and from work, college, shops or for an evening out which, in turn, will help support the local economy. Coupled with the Government’s support in capping single journey fares to £2 a trip means this is a tremendous opportunity for more people to step on board, give bus travel a try and experience the convenience! 

“We have worked in partnership with local bus companies operating services across the county to identify those routes that have potential to see a good growth in passenger numbers. While the funding will be in place to support the improvements for two years, our collective ambition is for bus use to sufficiently increase over this time so that the improvements will continue long beyond this timeframe.” 

Additionally, the County Council has confirmed additional Bus Service Improvement Plan funding for promoting bus travel to encourage more people to take the bus for their everyday journeys.  

Bus operators will be introducing the additional services from April onwards. Seven bus routes will see an increase in daytime bus frequency, a number of other routes will see later or frequent buses in the evenings and a total of nine local bus routes will see services supported to continue at existing levels. 

James O’Neill, Commercial Director for Stagecoach South said: “We’re really pleased to see our partnership with Hampshire County Council start delivering some great improvements for bus customers in our region.  We’re working hard to make it easier to travel by bus throughout the week, especially later in the evening and at the weekend.  We look forward to welcoming new customers on board on these improved services as these are introduced”. 

Richard Tyldesley, General Manager at Bluestar said: “We are excited to be introducing more frequent bus services in April on our Bluestar 1 and 2 routes. It means these services will be even easier and more convenient for people living in Winchester, Chandler’s Ford, Fair Oak and Eastleigh to travel around their areas and into Southampton.  

 “More frequent evening services on the Bluestar 4 route between Romsey, North Baddesley and Southampton will also bring considerable benefits to these communities – helping improve connectivity and making bus travel a great choice.” 

James Eustace, Commercial Director at First Solent, added:  “We’re proud to be able to serve communities in the Fareham, Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent, Locks Heath and Lowford areas with increased frequency and better evening bus services from May onwards.  

“Working together with Hampshire County Council, bus travel is being transformed across our operating area, and these enhancements build on improvements introduced recently on our network, including earlier morning and late-night services on other routes, including the 3 and the Star 7 and 8.  

 “With electric buses on our routes entering service from April onwards this is just the start of even more exciting developments planned for 2024.” 


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