HELP us get our bus back!

That is the message to Totton town council over a key bus service to the hospital that will be cut in the next few days.

It comes after First Hampshire announced its number 10 service from Totton to Southampton was being cut because it was no longer financially viable, which sparked anger from Totton residents who would no longer be able to access the hospital through public transport.

But Southampton City Council has agreed to fund a new £86,000 service linking the city centre, station and hospital at peak times, replacing some of the number 10 route.

Totton residents are still cut off from the new service, which runs between the city centre and St James Road, Dale Valley Road, Lordswood and Lordshill North.

Now Totton councillor Chris Lagdon is calling for town chiefs to team up with new provider Velvet to pick up the rest of the lost route.

Cllr Lagdon, who also sits on New Forest District Council, said: “The district council has a policy of not subsidising public transport. They are scraping the bottom of the barrel at the moment. But I plan to speak at the next town council meeting and see if there’s anything we can do to contact Velvet and ask if they are prepared to take on the Totton leg of the route with our help.

“I don’t know where we will find the money for it, but it’s got to be worth asking the question.

The idea of someone who wants to visit the General having to go to Shirley to get the bus is a joke.”

Totton Town Council currently subsidises two local Bluestar services.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We understand that many of our residents depend on bus travel between the city centre and Southampton General Hospital so we took swift action to restore a bus service along most of the routes covered by the First number 10 bus service withdrawn last year.

“I am sure that many residents will be grateful for the return of a bus service along this popular route as they continue to travel sustainably around our city. I would like to remind all residents planning to travel around the local area to use the new online MyJourney planner tool as it has all of the information needed for local travel by rail, bus or foot on one website.”

The city council recommends Totton residents wanting to go to the General should get the number three service from the Fourport Hill stop on Shirley Road, near Southampton Central Station.

Residents travelling to the General from Millbrook can still do so via the First number 12 service which runs every 20 minutes.