When Hiltingbury Councillors Colin Davidovitz (HCC) and Mike Hughes (EBC) heard that Velvet was withdrawing from their loss making commercial bus service in Chandler's Ford they immediately got in touch with Public Transport Officers at Hampshire County Council and Eastleigh Borough Council and set about working with them to get a replacement service in place with enough taxpayers funding to subsidise it.
A Public Meeting to seek the views of local residents was organised by Mike Hughes and officers have taken on board the comments received from the Councillors and those raised at the meeting. The meeting was held on 7th November at Hiltingbury Junior School.
There followed a high level meeting with the County Council Cabinet Member Mel Kendal who is responsible for Environment and Transport together with the Council's Head of Public Transport at which the final details were thrashed out.
As a result, officers have now been able to provide a plan of operations similar to the previous route operating via Merdon Avenue and Park Road, rather than Kingsway shops. In the light of this decision the route of the evening and Sunday C1 services that the Borough Council supports will follow suit, minimising further confusion for the travelling public. These will otherwise remain unchanged, operated by Velvet.
This formed the basis of a tender and the funding for it has been now been authorised.
A contract has been now awarded to Xelabus to operate the circular C3/C4 route on an hourly basis throughout the day. At Fryern the route will convert to/from an X7 enabling through connections with Eastleigh along the traditional route via Bodycoats Road, Central Precinct and Velmore.
The C3 will operate anticlockwise from Fryern around Hiltingbury before running as X7 into Eastleigh. X7s arriving at Fryern from Eastleigh will convert to the clockwise C4. Hiltingbury residents wishing to travel into Eastleigh should therefore familiarise themselves with the timetable for the C3.
Eastleigh Borough Council has made a contribution towards the operation of C3 / C4 services before 09:00 and after 15:00. This has enabled a full day service to be provided rather than just an off peak service, which would otherwise have been the case.
Click here for the timetable that will be introduced with effect from Monday 26th November.
The C3/C4 timetable is a six month contract pending a further tendering exercise in due course. Xelabus are now undertaking comprehensive publicity measures as outlined below and County Council staff may also be able to assist in this over the coming two weeks, should the need arise.
1) Roadside timetable displays will be updated
2) Timetable leaflets (showing through travel to/from Eastleigh on X7) will be produced
3) Velvet will help in distributing these to passengers w/c 19th November
If you would like further information, please don't hesitate to reply to this message which will be passed on by Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine or contact Colin direct via email@example.com and Mike direct via firstname.lastname@example.org
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