Today the new bus service for Whitchurch came into operation.

The bus leaves Whitchurch centre.

The bus leaves Whitchurch centre.

It has received much discussion on this site, both in the Comments sections and also on the local social media, to such an extent that a local ‘campaign group’ known as WASPS has been formed against the changes. Views are mixed so it was decided to try out the route on the first ever service bus to use Lynch Hill Park, albeit on a relatively quiet Sunday.

The journey starts
All that aside today’s journey went without any hitches. The bright and clean single decker No.76 from Andover arrived just two minutes after its scheduled 0852 and was already carrying a couple of passengers. It left the Church Street stop, turned left into Bell Street and collected a couple more.

The first test
Then came the first real test as a car driver was wanting to exit Lower Evingar Road as the bus was to turn right, but with a little friendly negotiation all worked out. Parked cars up Evingar Road can cause difficulties but not today, with the bus stop pull in being conveniently reached as a 4 x 4 wanted to descend in the opposite direction. Another passenger boarded and now there were eight.
An ambulance on blues overtook just before the railway station, again with no difficulty.

Misleading signage at top of Newbury Road

Misleading signage at top of Newbury Road

Misleading bus stop
Stagecoach need to change the signage at their stop at the top of Newbury Road as it still states the 76 goes to the town centre, but of course under this new routing that is now incorrect. For the centre, buses in the opposite direction need to be taken; this will probably not ‘feel’ intuitive.

The first service bus along Lynch Hill Park.

The first service bus along Lynch Hill Park.

The first service bus along Lynch Hill Park.
At Dances Lane the bus driver let two vehicles out onto Newbury Road before turning left and then continued along Lynch Hill Park, driving well-within the 20mph limit. A single parked car caused no difficulties and he soon reached the B3400, where with a left turn the journey towards Overton was continued where the bus arrived on time.

The bus meets the B3400.

The bus meets the B3400.

It was all a rather normal uneventful bus journey, but missing that turn at the White Hart and the congestion along London Street / Road with its considerable on-road parking.
Of course there are many other changes including removal of most services in London Road, cuts to the 86 Winchester buses and reduced access to the Railway station. In addition today was a Sunday with low traffic, so, as they say, ‘time will tell’.

For now, the 76 route is on a trial and is being monitored.

Comments (7)

  • alan barnard

    The 76 that I followed from Dances Lane along Lynch Hill Park stopped at the first bus stop adjacent to houses and on a bend with its engine running for just under one minute. No passengers got on or off. It then stopped outside number 16, turned off its engine and waited for just under two minutes before re starting and continuing. No passengers got off or on.

    If the bus is running ahead of schedule why did it not stop in the Bere Hill bus lay by? That way it would not cause an obstruction nor pollute a residential street when the engine is left running.

    Only three cars had to stop and pull in on three bends to allow the bus to pass.

    I was pleased to read that your bus kept well within the 20mph. Was this monitored by GPS or was it a subjective assessment?


    Edit note: The speed was measured by Speedometer.

  • Mike Stead

    Good grief Alan, is this the level of pedantry we are to suffer as the NIMBYs of Lynch Hill fight to exclude the poor people and their dirty bus from the wide, pristine and mostly desolate streetscape high on the hill?

    It just looks genuinely selfish. You’d rather see massive jams in the middle of town and vehicles all over footpaths.

    For shame, WaSPs, for shame.

  • Sandra Clifton

    Day number two and before 11am TWO double deckers have gone through …..
    Did Stagecoach not say they would only use the smaller buses for this route?

  • Sandra Clifton

    Sorry, it’s day number three (Tuesday 1st September)

  • Andy Thompson

    Day Four in the Big Brother House…

    Revelation – Buses were spotted on a bus route.

    How very dare they…

  • catladynell

    Please can anyone tell me if the 86 route has or is being monitored . I live at the top of Newbury Hill and have a long walk down a steep hill to catch the 86 to Winchester, then a long walk back up the hill. I’m afraid at 70 it is quite a task with a couple of bags of shopping. I have to say the change in the 76 route too is a challenge especially as I have to cross the Newbury road twice to get to the Bere Hill stop as there isn’t a footpath on the Kings Walk side of the road.
    I just wonder how other residents living at the Newbury end of town view this change ?

  • Sandra Clifton

    My point was they were double deckers, not the single ones that The bus company said they would use. Pointless comment but guess you thought it funny.

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