More bus services set to run in Hampshire

Travelling by bus will soon become even more appealing for Hampshire residents when three bus companies introduce more frequent services on some of their commercially operated routes across the county

Mar 19 2024

Hampshire County Council, as part of the Bus Service Improvement Partnership, has allocated £4.2 million Government funding to Stagecoach South, Go South Coast, and First Solent to enable them to increase service levels on 15 Hampshire bus routes - resulting in more day and evening services – as well as see three new services introduced on Sundays.  

The funding comes from Hampshire’s £7.2 million share of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus money and has been awarded in line with the DfT’s direction that the majority should be used to protect existing commercial services (that might otherwise see reduced timetables) and to fund more frequent services. 

Councillor Nick Adams-King, Executive Member for Universal Services at Hampshire County Council, said: 

“This is a significant boost for the bus network in Hampshire which will help more people to make the choice to leave the car at home and to travel more easily and economically to get to and from work, college, shops or for an evening out which, in turn, will help support the local economy. Coupled with the Government’s support in capping single journey fares to £2 a trip means this is a tremendous opportunity for more people to step on board, give bus travel a try and experience the convenience! 

“We have worked in partnership with local bus companies operating services across the county to identify those routes that have potential to see a good growth in passenger numbers. While the funding will be in place to support the improvements for two years, our collective ambition is for bus use to sufficiently increase over this time so that the improvements will continue long beyond this timeframe.” 

Additionally, the County Council has confirmed additional Bus Service Improvement Plan funding for promoting bus travel to encourage more people to take the bus for their everyday journeys.  

Bus operators will be introducing the additional services from April onwards. Seven bus routes will see an increase in daytime bus frequency, a number of other routes will see later or frequent buses in the evenings and a total of nine local bus routes will see services supported to continue at existing levels. 

Service enhancements from April and May 

From the 14 April by Bluestar 

The Bluestar 1 between Winchester and Southampton will run every 15 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays (current frequency is: every 20 minutes). 

Bluestar 2 linking Southampton, Eastleigh and Fair Oak will run every 15 minutes during the day on Saturdays (current frequency is every 20 minutes) to match the current weekday frequency on this busy route. The Bluestar 2 will also get evening service improvements on Mondays to Saturdays from the same date. 

On the Bluestar 1 between Winchester and Southampton there will be additional evening weekday services and new late-night services in each direction on Friday and Saturday evenings. Additional evening services will operate on the Bluestar 4 between Romsey and Southampton. Bluestar are also set introduce an earlier outbound journey on the Bluestar 4 from Southampton to Romsey on weekdays. 

From May onwards by Stagecoach 

In Farnborough, buses will run more frequently to and from the Prospect Estate throughout the daytime, and earlier in the morning and later in the evening on Sundays.  Extra evening buses will also run to Pinewood Park and Hawley Lane. 

Buses between Newbury, Kingsclere and Basingstoke will run later into the evening and on Sundays for the first time, as well as more frequently at weekday peak times.  These changes are in partnership with West Berkshire Council. 

Service 66 between Romsey and Winchester will improve to every 30 minutes, Monday to Saturday daytime. 

In Andover, more buses will run to and from East Anton throughout the week, with extra trips during the day as well as into the evening and on Sundays.  Service 76 between Andover, Whitchurch and Basingstoke will improve to every 30 minutes, Monday to Saturday daytime. 

In partnership with Surrey County Council, service 65 between Alton, Farnham and Guildford will move to a new hourly timetable, running seven days a week. 

These changes will be delivered alongside other planned commercial improvements to Stagecoach bus services across Hampshire over the coming months. 

From May onwards by First Solent

New late evening services will begin on First Solent routes E1/E2 (providing a service every 20 minutes) and 9/9A between Gosport and Fareham (providing an hourly evening service)   

There will be improvements to the daytime frequency of bus services on the First Solent X5 corridor between Fareham and Gosport via Stubbington.  

The First Solent X4 route from Southampton to Portsmouth via Fareham will see later evening services running every hour (Monday to Saturday). 

The First Solent F1 service will be extended from the town centre to also serve Sainsburys. 

Find out more about getting around Hampshire by public transport online at and 


 Bus Operator Comments

James O’Neill, Commercial Director for Stagecoach South said: 

“We're really pleased to see our partnership with Hampshire County Council start delivering some great improvements for bus customers in our region.  We're working hard to make it easier to travel by bus throughout the week, especially later in the evening and at the weekend.  We look forward to welcoming new customers on board on these improved services as these are introduced”. 

Richard Tyldesley, General Manager at Bluestar said: 

“We are excited to be introducing more frequent bus services in April on our Bluestar 1 and 2 routes. It means these services will be even easier and more convenient for people living in Winchester, Chandler’s Ford, Fair Oak and Eastleigh to travel around their areas and into Southampton.  

 “More frequent evening services on the Bluestar 4 route between Romsey, North Baddesley and Southampton will also bring considerable benefits to these communities - helping improve connectivity and making bus travel a great choice.” 

James Eustace, Commercial Director at First Solent, added: 

“We’re proud to be able to serve communities in the Fareham, Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent, Locks Heath and Lowford areas with increased frequency and better evening bus services from May onwards.  

“Working together with Hampshire County Council, bus travel is being transformed across our operating area, and these enhancements build on improvements introduced recently on our network, including earlier morning and late-night services on other routes, including the 3 and the Star 7 and 8.  

 “With electric buses on our routes entering service from April onwards this is just the start of even more exciting developments planned for 2024.” 


About the Hampshire Bus Service Improvement Plan

The Hampshire Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) sets out Hampshire County Council’s and local bus companies’ shared vision for growing and improving bus services in line with the Government’s National Bus Strategy.  

The Plan aims to implement activity and measures that will encourage more passengers to use the bus. It is being delivered through an Enhanced Partnership that was set up in April 2022 between Stagecoach South, Go South Coast, First Solent and Hampshire County Council.  

The Hampshire BSIP aims to increase bus usage in the county by increasing bus services, promoting good value fares, investing in bus priority measures to make bus travel faster and journey times more reliable, as well as bus fleet investment.  

The Hampshire BSIP has already delivered a Passenger Charter, new cross-boundary bus and rail network maps, joint marketing campaigns and in partnership with Stagecoach has submitted a funding bid for new electric buses with even more exciting developments planned for 2024/2025. More information can be found on our website.