Bus Stop smAround 30 residents called into the Saturday morning ‘Buses Chat’ in the Town Hall to discuss and share views on the forthcoming service changes.

Stagecoach are cutting back on the 86 service to Winchester, increasing the frequency of the 76 Basingstoke – Whitchurch – Andover route, and making changes to routing and bus stops throughout the town.

Improvements in communication needed
The Drop-in session was arranged by local Town Councillor John Buckley who believes communication and consultation between the bus company, the County Council and users needs to be improved.
“The changes that come in at the end of August were only discovered from an informal conversation with a driver and there has been a serious lack of any official communication, not just from Stagecoach but also from the local authorities” he said. “When livelihoods rely on bus services we deserve better”.

Borough Councillor Keith Watts has also been working hard behind the scenes to ensure local views can be considered. He has been actively lobbying for improvements and is setting up meetings to discuss this.

Reasons for change
Stagecoach have stated the changes are necessary on commercial and operational grounds with some services being uneconomic while some routes have become too dangerous and congested.

Vehicles often mount the pavements in London Street.

Vehicles often mount the pavements in the town centre.

Issues raised by local residents included concerns over cuts on the 86 Winchester service, the loss of bus stops on London Street and at Kings Walk, the risks to pedestrians and property of buses mounting pavements in the Town Centre, the dangers of using Lynch Hill Park for buses and the removal of a service from the south of the town to the railway station. Parking controls, HGV movements and the town’s future growth were also raised as factors that need addressing.

LHP Bus Stop smNew Bus stops
Meanwhile Driver Training has been undertaken by Stagecoach on the revised routes; the timetables are being produced and new bus stops have been installed on Lynch Hill Park and on the Station Road/Evingar circuit.

A short Questionnaire was used to collect comments which will now be collated and the main issues will be presented to Stagecoach.

The Questionnaire can be downloaded from here: Bus Questionnaire Aug 2015, and can be dropped into the Town Hall.

Comments (4)

  • helen hughes

    Considering the total lack of information and consultation on this subject , I can’t help wondering if we will be receiving any information about timetables.
    Will residents have to take a chance and hope a bus will come along ? I found out by chance the changes about to take place and was wondering if all residents know what is going on ?
    The rerouting cuts the town in half and is in different ways disadvantaging the whole town . I just wonder if the people who sanctioned the changes ever left their desks.
    I can see most of the concerns raised above are valid. I hope there won’t be too many accidents, because there are much sharper corners and hazards coming.

  • Maria Spain

    I agree with Helen. I knew nothing about any changes to the bus service. It is the same with everything, we are the last to know, we do not have a say, when we question we are not listened to and things go ahead anyway. The laws that be, decide, organise and put into practice exactly what they want, we the residents are of no consequence.

    I have been given four differing versions of the so-called new plans. What will actually happen lies in the lap of the Gods (who never leave their desks and do not even know where Whitchurch is!)

    The buses have always run down Newbury Street and managed the turn into London Street, for as long as I have lived here – ah – but that was before juggernauts clogged up the road and street parking prevented easy access. We had a by-pass built for just this reason, to release the heavy traffic through our town, didn’t we?

    I look forward to the bus desperately turning up into Dances Lane and its return onto Newbury Street, especially when it is icy – whoops – many a slip there. This will be much worse than turning traversing London Road.

    What about those wishing to access the Railway Station? Many people living on Micheldever Road, Winchester Road, London Road, who cannot walk the distance to the Station will be deprived of any kind of travel.

  • Mike Stead

    “The rerouting cuts the town in half”

    How? Buses can still be boarded or left just off The Square – which is right in the middle, as are the current stops. The *only* stops that will be lost are on Newbury Street and London Road, and it’s a maximum 500 yard walk in either direction from The Green to get a bus.

    Hardly a long journey, and shorter than many people already face if they live off Winchester Road.

  • Helen Hughes

    You obviously live in your own little bubble!
    What about the 86 route?
    Residents living in Evingar Road, Bere Hill, Lynch Hill, Kings Walk and all the side streets will have a long walk up and down a steep hill to get to the nearest stop. There are a high percentage of older people plus the nursing home. Maybe you didn’t know the people up the hill ever went to Winchester!

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