Evening buses axed from the timetable.

From the end of October it seems as if Whitchurch will be cut off for bus travel in the evenings as the last scheduled buses to and from Andover and Basingstoke have been removed.

Reduced timetable
The new timetable, which comes into force on Sunday October 30th shows that anyone spending an evening in Basingstoke or Andover, who is employed there in the evenings, or wishes to visit the Leisure Park will no longer have the No.76 bus back home.
Neither will anyone be able to use the bus to visit Whitchurch which will have an effect on people visiting friends or coming for a night out, causing loss to many of the already struggling pubs.

Other places which will have no link to or from Whitchurch (or to Basingstoke Andover) include Worting, Oakley, Deane, Freefolk, Laverstoke, Wells in the Field, Hurstbourne Priors, and Walworth. Anyone who visits or works in these places and does not drive will lose their evening transport link. At least Whitchurch and Overton still have a train link, but only to the main towns.

Who made the cuts?
It is understood these bus services were subsidised by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, although it is Hampshire County Council that carries out the negotiations with Stagecoach. The Conservative led County Council has been cutting bus services throughout the County leaving many people isolated.

At the present time it is uncertain who authorised these changes.

The new timetable shows:

Last bus from Basingstoke now 2020 instead of 2305
Last bus from Andover 1910 instead of 2205

OUTGOING (for anyone visiting Whitchurch)
Last bus back to Basingstoke 1930 instead of 2225
Last bus back to Andover 2057 instead of 2343

It was well-used
This evening, it was noted that the service was being well-used, especially by young people, with more than a dozen passengers joining the bus back towards Basingstoke.

We thank Cllr Keith Watts for highlighting this issue.

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