Not enough room on bus to hospital

Police have closed a section of the M3

REGIONAL: Stretch of M3 closed after spillage

PATIENTS and staff from Queen Alexandra Hospital are being left out in the cold - because a bus service is too full.

The X42 service runs from The Hard to the Cosham hospital.

But some patients and staff say they find the bus is full of students as the service also goes on to South Downs College.

As customers are unable to stand on the bus because it runs on the motorway, they are often left waiting at the bus stop.

Margaret Cowell has been working at the hospital for two years after being transferred there from Haslar Hospital in Gosport.

The receptionist says the bus is often full and she risks being late for work.

The 59-year-old, from Jade Court in Gosport, said: 'Most of the people that get on the bus start work at 9am.

'If you are down at the main bus stop people aren't getting on because it's packed with students before it gets there.

'When it first started it was supposed to be an express bus to get you to QA.

'But they tend to use it now as a school bus.

'Sometimes the staff and patients can't get on.

'If they're going to use it for students they should put on an extra bus for the times they start and finish and then the staff and the patients would be able to get on the bus.'

Mrs Cowell said she often has the same problem on her journey home and is left stranded at the bus stop with other patients.

First Bus told The News it has received three complaints about the service since September last year.

It said it would consider adding an extra service if there was demand for it.

Karen Baxter, a spokeswoman from First Bus, said: 'Buses to and from the QA hospital and South Downs College are always well subscribed.

'There are, however, lots of services running in this area calling at both the hospital and the college.

'While services to and from the hospital remain popular we have not noted any significant issues with customers being left behind, or buses being oversubscribed.

'If the level of demand warranted an additional or duplicate service we would naturally look at this.'