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Stagecoach South
Network Review
Stagecoach South

22 Sep 2015

Stagecoach South’s network review

Following a review of their bus network in Hampshire and parts of Surrey, Stagecoach South has made some route and timetable changes. These came into effect at the end of August. We’ve been looking at the impact these changes have had on routes that are of particular interest to us.

No. 7 (Aldershot – Reading)
The number 72 Fleet Buzz service used to run between Aldershot and Reading. This, however, ceased operating in 2014. The good news is bus users can once again travel between these two destinations on this new Stagecoach in Hants & Surrey service. The timetable is much the same as it was before.

Nos. 64/65 (Winchester – Alton – Guildford)
The Alton – Guildford part of this route was to cease operating from Sunday 30th August. Fortunately, it has received a stay of execution until July 2016. It’s a decision we wholeheartedly welcome.

The new timetable has a slight negative impact in that you arrive at Guildford a couple of minutes later than before. The last bus back from Guildford is also 10 minutes earlier. As opposed to not having any buses at all between Alton and Guildford — and it looked like that was how it would be at one stage — we won’t complain too much about that.

A point we must mention is that whereas before you could stay on the bus all the way from Winchester to Guildford (and vice versa) you now need to change buses at Alton. If your bus arrives late at Alton, you’ll miss the ‘connecting’ bus to Guildford (or Winchester, depending on your direction of travel), so be prepared to wait for up to an hour for the next one.

One positive is that the last route 64 bus from Alton (Rail Station) to Winchester is at 8.45 p.m., which is over an hour later than before.

No. 85 (Winchester – Andover)
Although this bus only runs every two hours, it is still an improvement on what went before. Prior to the start of this new service, most journeys along this route operated only when Peter Symonds College was open and in normal session.

No. 86 (Winchester – Basingstoke)
Sadly, Stagecoach in Hampshire has withdrawn this service. The good news is they have also made timetable changes to route 13 (Liphook – Alton – Basingstoke). As a result, bus users can now travel to Basingstoke earlier and come back over an hour later than before. If you’re travelling from Winchester, you can use the number 64 (see above) to get to and from Alton.

No. 94 (Camberley – Bracknell)
We’re looking forward to using this Stagecoach in Hants & Surrey service soon. A route previously run by First, you can now use your Discovery (or Dayrider Gold) ticket to travel to a third destination — the first two being Newbury and Reading — in Berkshire.

Bus World’s verdict
Overall, we’re very pleased with the changes Stagecoach South has made. The ones we’ve highlighted above are, in the main, very positive. Our biggest concern, however, is for the route 65 Alton – Guildford service run by Stagecoach in Hampshire. If the operator deems it no longer viable, next year we could lose a vital bus service. That would be a tragedy. We would therefore urge anyone who can use this bus to do so. That way we can show Stagecoach it’s a service they must keep.


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