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Chandler's Ford 507 service taken on by Velvet
A bus route for schoolchildren has been saved – but at an increased price.
Hampshire County Council has announced it has secured a new provider for the council subsidised 507 service, which is used by pupils in Valley Park to get to Toynbee School, in Chandler’s Ford. It said this came after Xelabus Limited announced it was going to discontinue the 507 service because it considered the route no longer economically viable.
Now Velvet has agreed to take on the 507 service in Eastleigh, with the new service set to start on September 2.
But there will be a slight increase in fares to meet the new providers’ costs. A single fare will cost £1.30 and a return fare £2.20 – the current cost is £1.20 single or £2 return. A weekly ticket will also be available for £10.
Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council said: “The council had already informed the pupils affected that the route may discontinue, so it is with great pleasure that we are now able to announce that they will not see any disruption to the start of their new school year.”
Philip Blair, managing director of Xelabus, based in Eastleigh, said numbers had dwindled on the service in recent years and he did not feel it would be fair on students to increase the price to the level needed.
He said the company had suggested making the service five to ten minutes later, which would allow the bus to complete other journeys beforehand and still get children to school on time, but this had not been accepted.
“We’re very sorry that it’s had to change like this because we have been operating it for some time. We just felt we had to look at the long term viability to operate it,” he said.
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