Future of Southampton's free City Link bus service in doubt

A City Link bus at Southampton Central Station

A City Link bus at Southampton Central Station

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

THE future of Southampton's free city centre shuttle bus has been plunged into doubt with key funding set to be withdrawn.

Cash-strapped Southampton City Council has announced proposals to cut funding for the City Link service from April.

And that means an uncertain future for the City Link, with negotiations now underway over its future.

Labour council chiefs' proposals to remove £110,000 of annual funding for the service are expected to be approved by the full council next Wednesday.

The service, which runs between the central railway station, the WestQuay shopping centre and the Red Funnel terminals at Town Quay, has run since 2005.

Now its remaining funders and operators Bluestar will meet to discuss whether it will continue to run or not.

A spokesman for WestQuay owners Hammerson said: “Hammerson has been a contributor to the funding of the City Link service for many years.

“Following the proposal to remove the council subsidy, we are in discussions with the operators of the service and other interested parties about the future viability of the service.”

Comments (20)

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2:18pm Thu 6 Feb 14

aldermoorboy says...

aa
aa aldermoorboy
  • Score: -14

2:54pm Thu 6 Feb 14

befriendly says...

Walking ten minutes to West Quay from the ferry terminal will probably do me some good.
Walking ten minutes to West Quay from the ferry terminal will probably do me some good. befriendly
  • Score: 9

3:26pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Beer Monster says...

Not good, many people rely on this service for their commute to work. As it happens, I'm travelling down from Scotland on the sleeper train tomorrow night and will be using the shuttle bus to Hythe Ferry if the weather is as gash as the forecasters say it will be.
Not good, many people rely on this service for their commute to work. As it happens, I'm travelling down from Scotland on the sleeper train tomorrow night and will be using the shuttle bus to Hythe Ferry if the weather is as gash as the forecasters say it will be. Beer Monster
  • Score: 13

3:29pm Thu 6 Feb 14

ToastyTea says...

Would be big blow to lose that service, used by lots of people.
Would be big blow to lose that service, used by lots of people. ToastyTea
  • Score: 15

3:34pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Dasal says...

A free service for visitors coming by rail & sea into the heart of the city.
WE CAN'T KEEP THAT, CAN WE.
Well done Southampton CC - Another nail in the heart !!!
Although, I suppose, in fairness West Quay retailers COULD contribute more.
A free service for visitors coming by rail & sea into the heart of the city. WE CAN'T KEEP THAT, CAN WE. Well done Southampton CC - Another nail in the heart !!! Although, I suppose, in fairness West Quay retailers COULD contribute more. Dasal
  • Score: 14

4:07pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Outside of the Box says...

I'm sure if people want to use it, they won't mind paying for it, why should everyone in this fine city subsidise others from outside the city. Yes people from the city will lose out but if you it pay for it.
I'm sure if people want to use it, they won't mind paying for it, why should everyone in this fine city subsidise others from outside the city. Yes people from the city will lose out but if you it pay for it. Outside of the Box
  • Score: 7

5:21pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Donald2000 says...

Outside of the Box wrote:
I'm sure if people want to use it, they won't mind paying for it, why should everyone in this fine city subsidise others from outside the city. Yes people from the city will lose out but if you it pay for it.
Others from outside the city happen to work in the city and contribute to the local economy, so your post has not been well thought out. If you worked in London, you would expect them to pay for the buses up there, would you not, Mr Dumdums?
[quote][p][bold]Outside of the Box[/bold] wrote: I'm sure if people want to use it, they won't mind paying for it, why should everyone in this fine city subsidise others from outside the city. Yes people from the city will lose out but if you it pay for it.[/p][/quote]Others from outside the city happen to work in the city and contribute to the local economy, so your post has not been well thought out. If you worked in London, you would expect them to pay for the buses up there, would you not, Mr Dumdums? Donald2000
  • Score: 4

6:00pm Thu 6 Feb 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

So it costs just over £2,000 per week. It must bring West Quay's retailers far, far more than that in revenue every week, a significant proportion of which will be lost to them if it goes. So, West Quay retailers - there are 150 of them - could fund this by paying £735 each PER YEAR.

Come on West Quay - this is small change to you, and makes financial sense. If you think you'd lose more than £14 each PER WEEK if the service is axed, then it makes sense to fund it. And you'd be helping the city in cash-strapped times - everybody wins.
So it costs just over £2,000 per week. It must bring West Quay's retailers far, far more than that in revenue every week, a significant proportion of which will be lost to them if it goes. So, West Quay retailers - there are 150 of them - could fund this by paying £735 each PER YEAR. Come on West Quay - this is small change to you, and makes financial sense. If you think you'd lose more than £14 each PER WEEK if the service is axed, then it makes sense to fund it. And you'd be helping the city in cash-strapped times - everybody wins. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 15

7:36pm Thu 6 Feb 14

03alpe01 says...

Here comes the Congestion Charge!
Here comes the Congestion Charge! 03alpe01
  • Score: 2

8:58pm Thu 6 Feb 14

iow-is-red-and-white says...

WalkingOnAWire wrote:
So it costs just over £2,000 per week. It must bring West Quay's retailers far, far more than that in revenue every week, a significant proportion of which will be lost to them if it goes. So, West Quay retailers - there are 150 of them - could fund this by paying £735 each PER YEAR.

Come on West Quay - this is small change to you, and makes financial sense. If you think you'd lose more than £14 each PER WEEK if the service is axed, then it makes sense to fund it. And you'd be helping the city in cash-strapped times - everybody wins.
The £110k subsidy from the council is a contribution towards the running costs, not the total cost
[quote][p][bold]WalkingOnAWire[/bold] wrote: So it costs just over £2,000 per week. It must bring West Quay's retailers far, far more than that in revenue every week, a significant proportion of which will be lost to them if it goes. So, West Quay retailers - there are 150 of them - could fund this by paying £735 each PER YEAR. Come on West Quay - this is small change to you, and makes financial sense. If you think you'd lose more than £14 each PER WEEK if the service is axed, then it makes sense to fund it. And you'd be helping the city in cash-strapped times - everybody wins.[/p][/quote]The £110k subsidy from the council is a contribution towards the running costs, not the total cost iow-is-red-and-white
  • Score: 2

9:14pm Thu 6 Feb 14

loosehead says...

how many companies operate in West Quay & the city centre? you also have Ikea so if every shop contributes towards it would it be enough to keep the service?
could it be you have to have some sort of proof you've bought something in the shops on the outward journey?
Maybe it is a bit wrong the city subsidising people who use the Hythe Ferry then get a free bus journey when we hear all this Anti southampton rhetoric from waterside groups?
I don't use it so why should I pay towards it?
how many companies operate in West Quay & the city centre? you also have Ikea so if every shop contributes towards it would it be enough to keep the service? could it be you have to have some sort of proof you've bought something in the shops on the outward journey? Maybe it is a bit wrong the city subsidising people who use the Hythe Ferry then get a free bus journey when we hear all this Anti southampton rhetoric from waterside groups? I don't use it so why should I pay towards it? loosehead
  • Score: 1

11:27pm Thu 6 Feb 14

dolomiteman says...

Dasal wrote:
A free service for visitors coming by rail & sea into the heart of the city.
WE CAN'T KEEP THAT, CAN WE.
Well done Southampton CC - Another nail in the heart !!!
Although, I suppose, in fairness West Quay retailers COULD contribute more.
Bit its not that is it, it is used by daily commuters going from red funnel to the train station of to/ from west quay by people who work there.
Its a short walk to west quay and the train/ ferry commuters don't stop to spend any money in Southampton after paying for the ferry and train so why give them a free bus ride?
[quote][p][bold]Dasal[/bold] wrote: A free service for visitors coming by rail & sea into the heart of the city. WE CAN'T KEEP THAT, CAN WE. Well done Southampton CC - Another nail in the heart !!! Although, I suppose, in fairness West Quay retailers COULD contribute more.[/p][/quote]Bit its not that is it, it is used by daily commuters going from red funnel to the train station of to/ from west quay by people who work there. Its a short walk to west quay and the train/ ferry commuters don't stop to spend any money in Southampton after paying for the ferry and train so why give them a free bus ride? dolomiteman
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Thu 6 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

The shopping centre should have been built over the top of central station so only a lift or escalator was needed. A small, reasonable charge would probably save the service.
The shopping centre should have been built over the top of central station so only a lift or escalator was needed. A small, reasonable charge would probably save the service. BeyondImagination
  • Score: -3

11:37pm Thu 6 Feb 14

timewaster1 says...

I know someone who lives just below the Bargate. She does walk to work sometimes but she does use the bus because it's free. There are other buses that would take her to work but she wont use them because she has to pay. I know someone will say that she pays her council tax in Southampton so she is entitled, but so do I and I have to pay to use a bus. No free bus rides for me to get to and from work.
I know someone who lives just below the Bargate. She does walk to work sometimes but she does use the bus because it's free. There are other buses that would take her to work but she wont use them because she has to pay. I know someone will say that she pays her council tax in Southampton so she is entitled, but so do I and I have to pay to use a bus. No free bus rides for me to get to and from work. timewaster1
  • Score: 1

6:38am Fri 7 Feb 14

loosehead says...

timewaster1 wrote:
I know someone who lives just below the Bargate. She does walk to work sometimes but she does use the bus because it's free. There are other buses that would take her to work but she wont use them because she has to pay. I know someone will say that she pays her council tax in Southampton so she is entitled, but so do I and I have to pay to use a bus. No free bus rides for me to get to and from work.
she sounds a lazy b+gger
[quote][p][bold]timewaster1[/bold] wrote: I know someone who lives just below the Bargate. She does walk to work sometimes but she does use the bus because it's free. There are other buses that would take her to work but she wont use them because she has to pay. I know someone will say that she pays her council tax in Southampton so she is entitled, but so do I and I have to pay to use a bus. No free bus rides for me to get to and from work.[/p][/quote]she sounds a lazy b+gger loosehead
  • Score: -2

8:25am Fri 7 Feb 14

gilbertratchet says...

loosehead wrote:
how many companies operate in West Quay & the city centre? you also have Ikea so if every shop contributes towards it would it be enough to keep the service?
could it be you have to have some sort of proof you've bought something in the shops on the outward journey?
Maybe it is a bit wrong the city subsidising people who use the Hythe Ferry then get a free bus journey when we hear all this Anti southampton rhetoric from waterside groups?
I don't use it so why should I pay towards it?
There are plenty of services you use that you don't pay for. You just take them all for granted. You really think the poxy pittance you pay in tax goes anywhere near paying for the benefit you get out of our infrastructure and services? Pffffffffft think again. Whenever you go to ANY other town or city, you're benefitting from what the council tax payers have stumped up for there. You contribute exactly zilch to the maintenance of - pick any town you like where you don't live, but do visit - but you're happy to use their roads and pavements and facilities. Think about it.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: how many companies operate in West Quay & the city centre? you also have Ikea so if every shop contributes towards it would it be enough to keep the service? could it be you have to have some sort of proof you've bought something in the shops on the outward journey? Maybe it is a bit wrong the city subsidising people who use the Hythe Ferry then get a free bus journey when we hear all this Anti southampton rhetoric from waterside groups? I don't use it so why should I pay towards it?[/p][/quote]There are plenty of services you use that you don't pay for. You just take them all for granted. You really think the poxy pittance you pay in tax goes anywhere near paying for the benefit you get out of our infrastructure and services? Pffffffffft think again. Whenever you go to ANY other town or city, you're benefitting from what the council tax payers have stumped up for there. You contribute exactly zilch to the maintenance of - pick any town you like where you don't live, but do visit - but you're happy to use their roads and pavements and facilities. Think about it. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 6

12:09pm Fri 7 Feb 14

loosehead says...

gilbertratchet wrote:
loosehead wrote:
how many companies operate in West Quay & the city centre? you also have Ikea so if every shop contributes towards it would it be enough to keep the service?
could it be you have to have some sort of proof you've bought something in the shops on the outward journey?
Maybe it is a bit wrong the city subsidising people who use the Hythe Ferry then get a free bus journey when we hear all this Anti southampton rhetoric from waterside groups?
I don't use it so why should I pay towards it?
There are plenty of services you use that you don't pay for. You just take them all for granted. You really think the poxy pittance you pay in tax goes anywhere near paying for the benefit you get out of our infrastructure and services? Pffffffffft think again. Whenever you go to ANY other town or city, you're benefitting from what the council tax payers have stumped up for there. You contribute exactly zilch to the maintenance of - pick any town you like where you don't live, but do visit - but you're happy to use their roads and pavements and facilities. Think about it.
i know all; that but I was remarking on how there are certain people who post on here very Anti Southampton rhetoric who say they're speaking for the waterside.
now when I go to these other towns I use their shops or pub,hotels & restaurants so I am contributing to that city/town.
A person who lives on the waterside gets a ferry across free bus service to the train station & up to London is putting nothing into this city what so ever they're just taking aren't they?
[quote][p][bold]gilbertratchet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: how many companies operate in West Quay & the city centre? you also have Ikea so if every shop contributes towards it would it be enough to keep the service? could it be you have to have some sort of proof you've bought something in the shops on the outward journey? Maybe it is a bit wrong the city subsidising people who use the Hythe Ferry then get a free bus journey when we hear all this Anti southampton rhetoric from waterside groups? I don't use it so why should I pay towards it?[/p][/quote]There are plenty of services you use that you don't pay for. You just take them all for granted. You really think the poxy pittance you pay in tax goes anywhere near paying for the benefit you get out of our infrastructure and services? Pffffffffft think again. Whenever you go to ANY other town or city, you're benefitting from what the council tax payers have stumped up for there. You contribute exactly zilch to the maintenance of - pick any town you like where you don't live, but do visit - but you're happy to use their roads and pavements and facilities. Think about it.[/p][/quote]i know all; that but I was remarking on how there are certain people who post on here very Anti Southampton rhetoric who say they're speaking for the waterside. now when I go to these other towns I use their shops or pub,hotels & restaurants so I am contributing to that city/town. A person who lives on the waterside gets a ferry across free bus service to the train station & up to London is putting nothing into this city what so ever they're just taking aren't they? loosehead
  • Score: -2

6:17pm Fri 7 Feb 14

j1306 says...

why should a private company get 1.32 million over 12 tears of council tax payers money ? most of the people that use the bus leave southampton anyhow people don't mind paying for a train fare or a ferry fare both unsubsidised why would someone object to paying for a short bus ride do southampton tax payers get a free bus on the island ? no is the answer I'm sorry but providing a free bus is not the responsibility of us as a southampton tax payer i would rather see an old folks home kept open and make bus passengers pay there own fares
why should a private company get 1.32 million over 12 tears of council tax payers money ? most of the people that use the bus leave southampton anyhow people don't mind paying for a train fare or a ferry fare both unsubsidised why would someone object to paying for a short bus ride do southampton tax payers get a free bus on the island ? no is the answer I'm sorry but providing a free bus is not the responsibility of us as a southampton tax payer i would rather see an old folks home kept open and make bus passengers pay there own fares j1306
  • Score: 1

9:23pm Fri 7 Feb 14

loosehead says...

j1306 wrote:
why should a private company get 1.32 million over 12 tears of council tax payers money ? most of the people that use the bus leave southampton anyhow people don't mind paying for a train fare or a ferry fare both unsubsidised why would someone object to paying for a short bus ride do southampton tax payers get a free bus on the island ? no is the answer I'm sorry but providing a free bus is not the responsibility of us as a southampton tax payer i would rather see an old folks home kept open and make bus passengers pay there own fares
I was looking to leave my car at home to go to my gym but I pay £20 a month in petrol & get free parking for two hours.
now if I get a monthly pass for the bus it's over £50 a month & I can't go straight to my gym now this council are pumping £200,000 into meachers to take lorreies off our roads wouldn't it be better spent lowering bus pass prices?
how many can you get on a bus? cheap reliable busses could take hundreds of cars off the roads £50+ a month isn't going to get many switching to the bus is it?
But then to hear watersiders & islanders are getting a free bus service paid for by us is a real slap in the face to all those trapped in traffic jams
[quote][p][bold]j1306[/bold] wrote: why should a private company get 1.32 million over 12 tears of council tax payers money ? most of the people that use the bus leave southampton anyhow people don't mind paying for a train fare or a ferry fare both unsubsidised why would someone object to paying for a short bus ride do southampton tax payers get a free bus on the island ? no is the answer I'm sorry but providing a free bus is not the responsibility of us as a southampton tax payer i would rather see an old folks home kept open and make bus passengers pay there own fares[/p][/quote]I was looking to leave my car at home to go to my gym but I pay £20 a month in petrol & get free parking for two hours. now if I get a monthly pass for the bus it's over £50 a month & I can't go straight to my gym now this council are pumping £200,000 into meachers to take lorreies off our roads wouldn't it be better spent lowering bus pass prices? how many can you get on a bus? cheap reliable busses could take hundreds of cars off the roads £50+ a month isn't going to get many switching to the bus is it? But then to hear watersiders & islanders are getting a free bus service paid for by us is a real slap in the face to all those trapped in traffic jams loosehead
  • Score: -2

10:19pm Fri 7 Feb 14

timewaster1 says...

loosehead wrote:
timewaster1 wrote:
I know someone who lives just below the Bargate. She does walk to work sometimes but she does use the bus because it's free. There are other buses that would take her to work but she wont use them because she has to pay. I know someone will say that she pays her council tax in Southampton so she is entitled, but so do I and I have to pay to use a bus. No free bus rides for me to get to and from work.
she sounds a lazy b+gger
Not making excuses for her but she does work the Mayflower side of the railway station. Not a pleasant walk in this awful weather we are having but if she was getting a bus, there is no reason why she shouldn't pay for it.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]timewaster1[/bold] wrote: I know someone who lives just below the Bargate. She does walk to work sometimes but she does use the bus because it's free. There are other buses that would take her to work but she wont use them because she has to pay. I know someone will say that she pays her council tax in Southampton so she is entitled, but so do I and I have to pay to use a bus. No free bus rides for me to get to and from work.[/p][/quote]she sounds a lazy b+gger[/p][/quote]Not making excuses for her but she does work the Mayflower side of the railway station. Not a pleasant walk in this awful weather we are having but if she was getting a bus, there is no reason why she shouldn't pay for it. timewaster1
  • Score: -1

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