First changes in Southampton
A number of changes are being made to First’s bus services in Southampton as of 30 June. Some of the alterations are taking place following a re-tendering exercise completed by Southampton City Council, while other changes are being made by the operator to its own commercial network. The changes affect existing services; 1/1A, 2/2A, 5, 6, 7, 8/8A, 8B, 9, 10, S1 and X2, while a handful of new services are also being created. Where the commercial network is being amended, the changes are designed to ensure the company’s resources match the level of demand for services as closely as possible. The alterations also give the company the opportunity to fix some of the outstanding issues that arose following last year’s massive network change.
Regional Commercial and Business Growth Director for First in the South West and Wales, Marc Reddy, said, ‘We understand that any type of change can be unsettling and that some people are worried about the loss of some previously council-supported routes and journeys. We have looked carefully at this and where possible we have altered some of our commercial services to compensate for changes to council-supported ones. This has not been possible in all cases, but we have done what we can, for instance, to keep the evening service 3 running between Thornhill and Lords Hill despite the loss of funding for it. We will be holding a number of roadshow events in and around Southampton in the coming weeks, to enable people to ask questions about the changes and pick up timetables.’
‘At the same time as we are making changes to the supported routes, we are also altering our own commercial network. This follows on from last year’s big network review and is intended to help us fix some of the issues we have seen develop since then. For instance, our X2 Service has not carried as many people as we had hoped it would and so we are removing this service and amending service 2/2A too. The latter is being split into three separate routes, which from 30 June will be known as Services 2, 12 and 13.’