Bus users criticise new timetables

A bus pulls up at QA Hospital.
A bus pulls up at QA Hospital.
Breakdown workers preparing to haul out of the sea one of the cars involved in an accident on the Havant by-pass

THIS WEEK IN 1970: Havant by-pass cars plunge into the sea

Have your say

BUS users have voiced frustration with changes to timetables across the area as they wait for connections and try to come to terms with new routes.

Operator First Hampshire and Dorset Ltd introduced a new timetable system across the network on Sunday which has seen most bus routes running through Portsmouth, Havant, Waterlooville, Fareham and Gosport replaced with entirely new services.

First claims the changes are aimed at improving services, but some felt the changes had the opposite effect.

Pat Muncaster, 53, of Childe Square, Stamshaw, said: ‘The changes are rubbish, especially for the pensioners in Stamshaw.

‘They now have an hour’s bus ride to get to North End – it was only two stops on the old number six but now they have to get a zero which goes all the way down to Eastney and Fratton before going to North End. ’

Amy Morgan, 18, of Centaur Street, North End, is a mature student at South Downs College, Waterlooville, and attends several evening classes.

She said: ‘The changes have made it harder for me to get to college and on the way back I have to wait an hour for my bus home.

‘I’m sure the changes will be OK once everyone is used to them but it’s all a bit confusing just now.’

Others complained of having to take two buses on routes which used to be direct and of being unable to get to specific destinations.

A group of school children waiting for the 3A on Lowestoft Road, Wymering, were at the stop for more than 40 minutes after two services in a row were delayed, meaning they were late for registration at King Richards School, Paulsgrove. And an error on all buses going to Gunwharf Quays meant the buses said they were going to ‘Gunwharf Queys’.

Despite the hiccups, a spokeswoman for First said: ‘The first few days of the new East Hampshire network have gone reasonably well.

‘A change as big as this was always going to present a challenge, with both customers, and drivers getting used to the new routes and service numbers. In the main though we think the roll-out has been successful.

It will take a few days for things to properly bed in and once this has happened we’ll have a much clearer picture of what is working well, and what could benefit from a few tweaks here and there.’

,First would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused through the change of timetable or delays on the roads. The misspelling of Quays should be corrected today.’