Public transport boost for Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford as new bus service launches

A new bus service has begun, operating between Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford which will also serve communities in Hiltingbury, Fryern and Velmore, following an agreement between Hampshire County Council and Chandler’s Ford Parish Council

Jul 19 2023

Operated by Community First, the number 44 mini-bus service replaces the Xelabus X6/X7 routes that ended last October when the operator could no longer provide the route within the budget available. 

The County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Universal Services, Councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to work jointly with Chandler's Ford Parish Council to fund this new service so that people in Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford can once again benefit from a bus service that will link the two areas. This came after the commercial operator was unable to run the route at a viable cost. We are also grateful for the support of Eastleigh Borough Council in coming to this solution.

“Nationally, and here in Hampshire, bus passenger numbers are still below the levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic. This is making it more challenging to deliver services, especially when coupled with increased operating costs and driver shortages. I am urging people to take advantage of our bus network as every extra journey helps to keep services going.”

The 44 service will offer nine daily Monday to Friday roundtrips to Chandler’s Ford, Hiltingbury, Fryern and Eastleigh. It will also run a morning and afternoon peak-time service (Monday to Friday) linking to Velmore when the Bluestar 23 is not operating.

The service will run for one year to review passenger usage, with an option to extend the contract.