Yellow Buses is revising its timetable from tomorrow (Thursday, March 26) in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
The Bournemouth-based, locally owned bus company is rationalising services to reflect the current situation.
Yellows will operate what it describes as an emergency timetable across the network every day until further notice.
Commercial Director Simon Newport said: “With the country on virtual lockdown we, like all public service transport networks, are experiencing a downturn in passenger numbers.
“However, it is also our responsibility to maintain a good level of operation to ensure that key workers providing critical services are able to get to their places of work across the conurbation.”
Timetables are expected be available in the very near future.
Mr Newport added: “The safety, health and well-being of our passengers and staff come first. We are continuing to carefully monitor the situation as it develops and ensure we are taking every action possible to reduce the impact and risk to our passengers.
“On top of our existing rigorous cleaning processes, we have introduced an intensified cleaning regime across our fleet and premises with all poles, handrails, seats and other key areas of our vehicles disinfected regularly. We are also in the process of issuing all of our drivers with hand sanitisers.
“With passenger numbers down and the likelihood that some staff will be self-isolating, we want to ensure our customers continue to have reliable bus times by creating a sustainable service robust enough to hopefully withstand any further disruption.”
In a separate move, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council concessionary bus passes can now be used before 9.30am and after 11pm after restrictions were lifted this week. The move will help ensure vulnerable people can take advantage of dedicated opening hours at some supermarkets.
Yellow Buses was acquired by its management team – David Squire, Managing Director, Simon Newport, Commercial Director, and Phil Pannell, Service Delivery Director – from RATP Dev in a management buyout in July 2019 for an undisclosed sum.
See www.yellowbuses.co.uk for coronavirus updates.
Yellow Buses is pulling out of Poole bus station and will serve the town’s railway station instead.
The company is blaming anti-social behaviour at the bus station for its decision, as well as a desire to serve Poole Quay and the historic old town.
The move is included in a raft of service changes being introduced from Sunday, February 23 2020.
Simon Newport, Yellow Buses Commercial Director, said: “We have been concerned about problems of anti-social behaviour in the bus station for some time.
“The safety and comfort of our customers and staff is paramount and we took the decision that we could serve Poole better with a different route.
“The bus station was not working for us in a number of ways and we felt we could link better with the railway station and provide customers with a more convenient service.”
Yellows will be re-routing the number 1 Poole to Christchurch service to start at Poole railway station, serving Falkland Square and the town centre, before stopping at the Lord Wimborne in North Street, and using Lagland Street, Old Orchard and stopping at Asda before continuing unchanged.
This will allow better connections to be made to Poole Quay for the summer. Buses will run every 30 minutes from the shelter on Old Orchard which is short walk from the Quay.
The company will be introducing revised timetables on most routes in order to add more time to journeys in order to cope with the extra congestion on the roads in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
The timetables for routes 1, 1a, 1b, 2 and 3 are being rewritten to cope with the extra congestion and improve punctuality.
Mr Newport added: “The roadworks through Pokesdown and Boscombe and delays around Cooper Dean have caused considerable disruption to our services.
“We felt it imperative that the timetables should reflect the delays caused by this extra congestion in order that we continue to provide the best possible and most reliable service for passengers.
“The congestion has also led to a loss of revenue due to some customers deciding to travel in different ways. This needs to be offset against savings elsewhere along with the additional cost of adding more time to journeys.
“As a result we have tried to come up with a robust set of timetables to last for the foreseeable future or until the traffic problems get worse again.”
Three services will be withdrawn. The school bus 111 between Hurn and Twynham School will be provided by another operator under BCP Council tender after the February half-term.
Both routes 19 and 2h were experimental services, route 19 operating on Saturdays to Tower Park and the 2h provided a journey in either direction between Christchurch and Royal Bournemouth Hospital Monday to Friday.
Mr Newport said: “Unfortunately, usage of both services has not really taken off and therefore they will be withdrawn. We hope to work in conjunction with our stakeholders again in the future to provide new links where appropriate.”
All of the new timetables can be found on the Yellow Buses website and downloaded. The company hopes to have timetable booklets available from the travel shop from February 17.
The additional summer open top routes run by Yellows will be advertised separately when they start at Easter.
A joint initiative between Yellow Buses and the Sleepsafe project is helping to get rough sleepers off Bournemouth’s streets and into accommodation and work.
The Bournemouth-based, locally-owned bus company is providing and helping to fund Smartcards to enable people to travel to Sleepsafe venues, appointments or even job interviews.
Sleepsafe is a seasonal, October to March area-wide project involving many different organisations and administered by Winton-based Faithworks Wessex.
This year Sleepsafe, which costs £70,000 a year to run, has already helped 16 people off the street into more secure accommodation in two months – following success with 48 guests during the 2018 project.
The organisation has more than 300 volunteers on the project this year, with 16 churches across town opening their doors for a week at a time, serving a hot meal, giving space to wash, putting up 12 beds and providing a decent breakfast.
Alistair Doxat-Purser, Chief Executive of Faithworks Wessex, said: “The travel passes that Yellow Buses provide and help to fund make a massive difference to helping Sleepsafe guests to move on away from the streets.
“The travel passes are a key aspect of enabling guests to make that transition off the street – they can now leave their bags at the Sleepsafe site and then get out to appointments at the Jobcentre Plus to sort their benefits, or at the doctors, or to other much needed support.
“The guests are so grateful and it means that another barrier is removed and they can start to believe in a better future. Standing shoulder to shoulder with partners like Yellow Buses is restoring hope for those in crisis.”
Fiona Harwood, Marketing and Sales Manager of Yellow Buses, said: “We are a locally-owned bus company at the heart of the community and we wanted to give something back to the community we serve.
“We were really keen to get involved with the Sleepsafe initiative and would encourage any individuals or businesses looking for an extremely worthwhile cause to support in this season of goodwill to consider lending a hand.”
To find out more about Sleepsafe visit the website https://bcars.org.uk/sleepsafe-homeless-project/ or call 01202 429037. You can donate at https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/11692. All the support for rough sleepers is now listed in one place at www.streetsupport.net.
One Sleepsafe client said: “Before Sleepsafe I slept in a bin liner under a hedge – Sleepsafe saved my life and turned my life around.”
Yellow Buses was acquired by its management team – David Squire, Managing Director; Simon Newport, Commercial Director and Phil Pannell, Service Delivery Director – from RATP Dev in a management buyout in July 2019 for an undisclosed sum.
Stephen Gill, Managing Director, Bournemouth Airport. The airport has published its Fly Bournemouth 2020 preview, detailing flights for 2020.
Holidaymakers looking to fly from Bournemouth Airport for travel convenience have two new sunshine destinations for Summer 2020.
The stunning Greek islands of Skiathos, in the Aegean Sea, and Zante, in the Ionian Sea, are now among 30-plus international routes available from the airport.
Skiathos, a filming location for the hit Abba-themed movie Mamma Mia!, and Zante, home to turtle nesting beaches, are run by TUI from May to October and May to September respectively.
TUI is also introducing new 10 and 11 night holidays to mid-haul hotspot Antalya, on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, and providing more duration options for customers.
Details of flights from Bournemouth Airport, which saw 708,869 passengers go through the terminal over 12 months to March 31, are now available in the Fly Bournemouth 2020 preview.
Still regarded with affection by many, the electric trolleybuses replaced Bournemouth’s former tramway system in 1933 and ran for 36 years.
They followed a network of electrically-charged overhead lines suspended above the road. The silent and emission-free trolleybuses were popular with holidaymakers and residents alike. At their height, the trolleybus network extended to 29 miles and was served by 127 vehicles. In the year ending March 1937, the trolleybuses carried 26.3 million passengers. Ten years later the figure had risen to 42.7 million.
The trolleybus era came to an end in 1969 with a closure procession and civic ceremony marking the last day of scheduled services on Saturday April 19. In their place came diesel buses. Yellow Buses has now updated its ‘history bus’ as a tribute to the trolleybuses. The ADL E200 single decker contains display panels with archive pictures tracking the proud 117-year history of Bournemouth Transport. But now external vinyls have been added with old time film spools showing electric trolleybuses in action from 1933 to 1969.
Yellow Buses also welcomed former driver Keith Burbidge to its Yeomans Way depot in Bournemouth. Keith and his wife, Carol, have built their own mini-trolleybus, based on a reconditioned mobile scooter, as a tribute to what many still regard as Bournemouth’s favourite mode of transport. The replica is accurate down to the last detail, including a scaled-down driver’s tea flask on the dashboard.
David Squire, Yellow Buses’ Managing Director, said: “We’ve proudly served the people of Bournemouth, and beyond, for 117 years but, without doubt, the trolleybus era was one of our finest periods. “It’s amazing how even 50 years on so many people remember the trolleybuses with genuine affection. The ‘history bus’ is our tribute to what has gone down as one of the finest chapters in our long and proud history.”
During his visit to Yeomans Way, former driver Keith also brought along original tickets from the last day of trolleybus services. He said: “We’ll be using our trolleybus to promote, and raise funds, for the Bournemouth Vintage Bus Rally in June. Both Carol and I travelled on the last trolleybus and this is our tribute to that time.”
Yellow Buses has announced plans for a revised network from April.
Following the introduction in January 2017 of eight colour coded lines, including new route numbers, Yellow Buses conducted a major public consultation.
The exercise involved 1,200 street surveys, focus groups and other passenger feedback mechanisms.
In response, Yellow Buses is fine-tuning its network to offer greater service to the people of Bournemouth and surrounding area.
The revisions include the restoration of through buses from Poole to Christchurch. Limited services to some outlying areas, which are not viableand the local authority does not wish to support, will be withdrawn.
The routes have been registered with the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain and will take effect from Sunday April 8.
David Squire, who was appointed Managing Director in October, said: “We will be keeping some very successful elements of last year’s network change such as the colour coded routes.
“The changes we are making will ensure a simple to understand, high frequency network that is both punctual and reliable at an affordable price. The majority of our customers will see the same or better frequency, as a result.
“We will be delivering this from April. Put simply our message to passengers is: You’ve spoken and we’ve listened.
“Yellow Buses is a great company with a huge history and an iconic brand but like any business we cannot rest on our laurels.
“We are in a highly competitive market, with challenges from cars, congestion and sometimes the climate and so must keep evolving to retain the loyalty of our customers and win new passengers onto our excellent services. I’m confident these changes will provide a solid foundation for that success.
“We will be focussing our resources in the revised network to offer the best possible services, as expressed by the surveys we’ve undertaken, that are financially sustainable for the long-term. We shall be looking to extend these further in due course, although this will depend on the evolution of transport policy in the wider conurbation,” said Mr Squire.
Ahead of Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme’s plans, funded by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership*, to carry out improvements on the A338 and Blackwater Junction, various preliminary works will be undertaken in the area in January.
Site clearance of vegetation will take place at Blackwater West junction starting on January 9 for two weeks ahead of bird nesting season in the spring. Single lane traffic management may be needed in the first week to ensure the safety of those working on the verge.
The second phase of works will begin on Monday 23 January for six weeks on the A338 between Blackwater and Cooper Dean. The first three weeks will result in a lane closure and a 40 mph speed restriction. The second three weeks will involve work away from the highway to carry out exploratory works for the Wessex Fields scheme and is not expected to impact on road users.
The A338 improvements form part of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s BIG Programme, an ambitious economic growth plan aimed at improving connectivity, easing congestion and opening up employment opportunity sites in and around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields, behind the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
Ian Kalra, Head of Transportation Services, said:
“Ahead of making improvements to the road layout in the area, it is necessary for us to carry out some preliminary works including site clearance and surveying. In some cases, this may mean traffic management being used, to ensure the safety of the workforce, but this will be kept to a minimum wherever possible.”
The BIG Programme’s first major transport scheme – the £22 million major renewal of the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road between Ashley Heath and Blackwater – was successfully completed on time and under budget in May 2016.
The next phase of works schemes, being delivered by Bournemouth Council in partnership with Dorset County Council, consist of three elements including:
Construction is set to start on the Blackwater Junction in autumn 2017.
Yellow Buses’ new-look service will pick up passengers from the airport’s arrivals terminal as well as the ever-growing Aviation Business Park.
The new service has been designed to bring direct connections to many more people; it continues to serve Bournemouth Square and the railway station, but will now be serving Winton, Moordown, Northbourne and Parley Cross.
It will run from 6am through to 7pm every day of week, including weekends and bank holidays. The deal between Bournemouth’s brightest bus company and Bournemouth Airport will see the service change from the A1 to the 14, bringing the service into Yellow Buses’ wider network. This means that passengers will benefit from cheaper prices, with a single ticket to the airport from anywhere on the route costing no more than £2.40, and a day return ticket costing no more than £3.70.
Regular users wanting to access the growing job market at the Aviation Business Park will benefit from Yellow Buses’ Glo cards, making the daily commute more affordable.
Andrew Smith, Managing Director of Yellow Buses, said: “This is a renewed contract but we’ve widened out the service. It will go to the airport passenger terminal and around the business park, as well as providing passengers from the Winton and Moordown area with a direct bus to and from the airport. We are opening up the service to meet the wider market and another benefit is that the service will be run on our own fare structure meaning it will be even better value for money. We’re particularly excited about our new-look app, which not only helps passengers plan their journey with real time departure information at their fingertips, but also allows them to buy their bus tickets.”
Paul Knight, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said: “Ryanair has doubled the size of their winter programme this year, so we will be seeing even more passengers using the airport – many of whom will benefit from this improved service. The new route will also be a huge boost for those working on the Aviation Business Park which currently supports over 200 businesses, employing 3000 people.”