Councillor encourages people to use the bus after Bluestar ‘complaints’

Councillor encourages people to use the bus after Bluestar ‘complaints’ <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Councillor encourages people to use the bus after Bluestar ‘complaints’ (Image: Newsquest)

A Southampton city councillor has encouraged residents to use the bus after passengers complained about delays on the Bluestar service.

John Paul, 37, was one of a number of passengers who criticised Bluestar, with frequent delays making him late for work in the morning while waiting for the 17-bus service in Aldermoor.

He said: “I pay £15 for a weekly ticket but it’s pointless if I’m going to have to pay £20 to get a taxi when the bus doesn’t turn up on time.

“I follow the bus service on the app, and it basically has to leave the depot along a straight route and pick me up at 6.15am when there’s hardly anyone on the roads.

“But sometimes you can see it’s five minutes late leaving the depot – which I don’t understand – and that has a knock-on effect.”

Responding to the criticism, Cllr Keogh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “The council and bus operators are working together through the new Enhanced Bus Partnership for Southampton to improve bus services in the city.

READ MORE: Southampton Bluestar passengers 'frustrated' over delays

Daily Echo:
Daily Echo:

"We have a joint plan to make this happen and are implementing measures (funded by Central Government) that include bus priority lanes to make journeys more reliable, ticket offers to make bus services affordable and service enhancements.

“We continue to push Government for additional funding to expand our plans. Bus travel is affordable with single bus journeys currently capped at £2 as part of the Government’s Help for Households initiative and our evening fares are just £1 after 6pm.

“We encourage people to use the bus more as it helps to make Southampton a fairer, greener and more attractive city.”

When asked about passenger’s experiences with delays since Bluestar took over from City Red in February, Southampton Itchen MP, Royston Smith said: “It's somewhat troubling to hear of passengers' poor experiences with Bluestar services.

"We had seen an improvement since Bluestar took over the operations of First Bus.

"I hope what some are experiencing currently is not a permanent feature of the city's bus service and Bluestar will take any action necessary to ensure services run on time and efficiently."