Vital bus route reinstated after 600 residents fight to save it

Daily Echo: Victory for 600 bus-cut campaigners Victory for 600 bus-cut campaigners

IT’S a victory for people power as a vital bus service is reinstated after a campaign by hundreds of residents.

More than 600 people from a Southampton community who signed a petition to get a vital lifeline bus route changed are celebrating after bus chiefs decided to resurrect it.

As reported by the Daily Echo, residents from Lords-hill launched a campaign in November, after First Bus S1 service was taken over by Velvet – but cut out part of the route via Lordshill North and Lordshill District Centre.

Elderly and disabled residents said they had been left isolated by the move and, with the backing of their Coxford councillors Don Thomas and Keith Morrell, urged bus chiefs to rethink their plans.

Now bosses at the Eastleigh-based Velvet Bus Company will reinstate the route from January 6. Buses will now stop off at Buchanon Road, Mattheson Road, Sutherland Road in Lordshill.

The U-turn came after talks between Velvet and South-ampton City Council to come up with a solution that ended with a package being agreed to extend the S1 route.

Praising the campaign, Phil Stockley, managing director at Velvet Buses, said: “I think it shows that it is right for people to speak up if they think that things will be improved because if we know there is a problem we will listen to it and do what we can to help.”

Cllr Thomas said it was great news and added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 600-plus local Lordshill Residents for helping to make this happen.”

His views were echoed by Cllr Morrell who said: “A vote of thanks must go to Velvet Buses who listened to the residents and responded so positively and quickly to their concerns.”

Comments (6)

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11:30am Fri 20 Dec 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

I think the bus companies need to wake up to the needs of their passengers if they want to make routes viable, all too often they make "money saving cut backs " to routes, which only makes matters worse. Most of the routes have evolved around passenger needs, sometimes those needs change and the Companies should be constantly seeking what is required, then they might meet the needs and make money at the same time.
I think the bus companies need to wake up to the needs of their passengers if they want to make routes viable, all too often they make "money saving cut backs " to routes, which only makes matters worse. Most of the routes have evolved around passenger needs, sometimes those needs change and the Companies should be constantly seeking what is required, then they might meet the needs and make money at the same time. OSPREYSAINT

2:30pm Fri 20 Dec 13

sotonbusdriver says...

OSPREYSAINT wrote:
I think the bus companies need to wake up to the needs of their passengers if they want to make routes viable, all too often they make "money saving cut backs " to routes, which only makes matters worse. Most of the routes have evolved around passenger needs, sometimes those needs change and the Companies should be constantly seeking what is required, then they might meet the needs and make money at the same time.
600 residents may well have petitioned to keep the rote, but in any one week, you will only ever pick up a handful of people around that area....
Too often residents moan about no bus service, but only use it once a year, which doesn't actually pay for the cost of running the bus around those roads.
Bear in mind that it was those petitioners back in the 70' & 80's, that voted in a government to sell off all nationalised industries to save their rising tax bills, but no moan that under private enterprise the Company providing the service, actually have to make a profit to be able to stay in business....
I am sure those pensioners wouldn't want to fork out £10 every week, for someone to collect their pension from the Post Office, but by expecting the have a bus services running at a loss is no different.
[quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: I think the bus companies need to wake up to the needs of their passengers if they want to make routes viable, all too often they make "money saving cut backs " to routes, which only makes matters worse. Most of the routes have evolved around passenger needs, sometimes those needs change and the Companies should be constantly seeking what is required, then they might meet the needs and make money at the same time.[/p][/quote]600 residents may well have petitioned to keep the rote, but in any one week, you will only ever pick up a handful of people around that area.... Too often residents moan about no bus service, but only use it once a year, which doesn't actually pay for the cost of running the bus around those roads. Bear in mind that it was those petitioners back in the 70' & 80's, that voted in a government to sell off all nationalised industries to save their rising tax bills, but no moan that under private enterprise the Company providing the service, actually have to make a profit to be able to stay in business.... I am sure those pensioners wouldn't want to fork out £10 every week, for someone to collect their pension from the Post Office, but by expecting the have a bus services running at a loss is no different. sotonbusdriver

3:12pm Fri 20 Dec 13

loosehead says...

from those roads it's a short walk to lordshill centre where there are two possible stops so why are they saying they're isolated?
from those roads it's a short walk to lordshill centre where there are two possible stops so why are they saying they're isolated? loosehead

3:30pm Fri 20 Dec 13

FoysCornerBoy says...

This is good news and I hope that all relevant parties - bus companies, hospital authorities, the council - can continue to collaborate to ensure easy access to the City's health facilities. With NHS and social care edging towards a seven day service it will be important to ensure that those people who don't own a car and who need to attend hospital can enjoy access to a good public transport system.

What would also help if other folk would think twice before jumping into their car to make a short journey in town and consider taking the bus instead. Southampton boasts some excellent services (well on the west side of the river) and I particularly recommend the Uni Link bus service (not just for students) and, of course, the wonderful little Velvet community bus service.
This is good news and I hope that all relevant parties - bus companies, hospital authorities, the council - can continue to collaborate to ensure easy access to the City's health facilities. With NHS and social care edging towards a seven day service it will be important to ensure that those people who don't own a car and who need to attend hospital can enjoy access to a good public transport system. What would also help if other folk would think twice before jumping into their car to make a short journey in town and consider taking the bus instead. Southampton boasts some excellent services (well on the west side of the river) and I particularly recommend the Uni Link bus service (not just for students) and, of course, the wonderful little Velvet community bus service. FoysCornerBoy

6:53pm Fri 20 Dec 13

loosehead says...

FoysCornerBoy wrote:
This is good news and I hope that all relevant parties - bus companies, hospital authorities, the council - can continue to collaborate to ensure easy access to the City's health facilities. With NHS and social care edging towards a seven day service it will be important to ensure that those people who don't own a car and who need to attend hospital can enjoy access to a good public transport system.

What would also help if other folk would think twice before jumping into their car to make a short journey in town and consider taking the bus instead. Southampton boasts some excellent services (well on the west side of the river) and I particularly recommend the Uni Link bus service (not just for students) and, of course, the wonderful little Velvet community bus service.
Unless you (council) can come up with an Oyster card type scheme ( cheaper fares as well) like I suggested to Cathy Ewing(Mc?) a Labour councillor why should I pay for my wife & myself to use a bus when it costs nearly £7 return trip yet only costs me two - three pounds to park & I don't use £4 in petrol?
The busses (No 4 bluestar) is cut if a shortage of drivers for the No18 service.
At this moment in time to make up the fares lost through bus passes we the fare payers are charged way over the top so unless they can lower those costs we the payers will carry on driving.
FoyesCornerBoy I have nothing against bus passes but with a packed bus with only standing room left filled with bus pass holders the companies only getting a third of the revenue so please explain to me how you can solve this exhorbitant rate we the full payers have to make?
I suggested a reduced rate if you take out an Oyster card to say £20 a month then I would leave the car( Oh! I don't pay to park )
[quote][p][bold]FoysCornerBoy[/bold] wrote: This is good news and I hope that all relevant parties - bus companies, hospital authorities, the council - can continue to collaborate to ensure easy access to the City's health facilities. With NHS and social care edging towards a seven day service it will be important to ensure that those people who don't own a car and who need to attend hospital can enjoy access to a good public transport system. What would also help if other folk would think twice before jumping into their car to make a short journey in town and consider taking the bus instead. Southampton boasts some excellent services (well on the west side of the river) and I particularly recommend the Uni Link bus service (not just for students) and, of course, the wonderful little Velvet community bus service.[/p][/quote]Unless you (council) can come up with an Oyster card type scheme ( cheaper fares as well) like I suggested to Cathy Ewing(Mc?) a Labour councillor why should I pay for my wife & myself to use a bus when it costs nearly £7 return trip yet only costs me two - three pounds to park & I don't use £4 in petrol? The busses (No 4 bluestar) is cut if a shortage of drivers for the No18 service. At this moment in time to make up the fares lost through bus passes we the fare payers are charged way over the top so unless they can lower those costs we the payers will carry on driving. FoyesCornerBoy I have nothing against bus passes but with a packed bus with only standing room left filled with bus pass holders the companies only getting a third of the revenue so please explain to me how you can solve this exhorbitant rate we the full payers have to make? I suggested a reduced rate if you take out an Oyster card to say £20 a month then I would leave the car( Oh! I don't pay to park ) loosehead

11:46pm Fri 20 Dec 13

exforester says...

In Winchester, it's cheaper to park in the park & ride than to use the bus.
Makes a mockery of the council's urge to encourage people to use public transport. Where I live - just off the park & ride route - we get a bus once an hour - if we're lucky. The first two in the morning may be on time - after that it's a case of whichever clapped out bus is available - and when.
I worked out that, in one week, trying to get home with shopping on the 5:15 bus, I spent half a day waiting for late (or not running) buses.
Three times I've seen an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair have to get out, and struggle up 3 steps to get on the bus, whilst his wife struggled to get the (folded) wheelchair onto the bus - then there's nowhere to put it!!
Meanwhile ALL the park & ride buses are easy access.
Well done STAGECOACH and Hampshire County Council. I've seen some hypocrisy, but between you - you take the biscuit!!
In Winchester, it's cheaper to park in the park & ride than to use the bus. Makes a mockery of the council's urge to encourage people to use public transport. Where I live - just off the park & ride route - we get a bus once an hour - if we're lucky. The first two in the morning may be on time - after that it's a case of whichever clapped out bus is available - and when. I worked out that, in one week, trying to get home with shopping on the 5:15 bus, I spent half a day waiting for late (or not running) buses. Three times I've seen an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair have to get out, and struggle up 3 steps to get on the bus, whilst his wife struggled to get the (folded) wheelchair onto the bus - then there's nowhere to put it!! Meanwhile ALL the park & ride buses are easy access. Well done STAGECOACH and Hampshire County Council. I've seen some hypocrisy, but between you - you take the biscuit!! exforester

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