I am truly incensed by the alterations to the routes and timetables of the First buses (and in the case of the No. 10, the cancellation of this bus service).
I live in the Itchen area of Southampton and in June of last year our route was changed to a No. 12. This meant for the first time in 20 years of working at Southampton General Hospital (Shirley area of Southampton) I was able to get one bus directly to work. Yippee!
My happiness has been very short lived, however. On January 5 First Bus saw fit to change the route of the No 12 and stopped it running through Spring Road and Itchen, rerouting it along Peartree Avenue.
Therefore, on the route I live runs the No 13 starting at Harefield and terminating at Southampton Central Station - easy you might think for me to get a connection to the General Hospital – but oh no,the No 13 stops on the Toys R Us side of the Station and the connections go from the Commercial Road side!
Also the times do not tie in for me to get a connection to get me to work on time – 0730!
The No 13 does not stop behind Primark anymore (where the No 12 and No 3 wait if they are a little early – and I used to be able to connect to a No 10 also ) but goes directly to the Station via West Quay.
I now have to walk to the Itchen Bridge (Woolston Link Road) (a good 12 mins walk) in the dark and wet to catch a No. 12 (which leaves the Bridge at 06.46) or a No. 3 (which leaves the Bridge at 06.58).
I was told by Customer Services that the No 12 was re-routed to stop it from being so late all the time! Why do they operate such a long route on this service if they cannot maintain the timetable?
Why can't they just run one bus from Townhill Park to the City Centre and another bus (with a different number) to run from the City Centre to Lordshill (via the route of the No. 12, making sure that the connecting times were in sync with one another)?
Surely that way there wouldn't be so many hold ups or delays? A couple of years ago they stopped the old route 17 running from Weston to Lordshill because the route was too long and changed this to two buses for the route.
I really would like to just ask the question – do the people who make these decisions actually travel on First Bus? I don’t think so!
I do feel I have a right to complain as I buy a monthly First Bus ticket and sometimes even then 50 per cent of my buses don't run on time or turn up!
Cheryl Lovejoy, Southampton