Southampton's Buses 2019
Since our previous DVD programme featuring
Southampton’s buses - “Southampton’s Buses 1991 – 2015” you will see that many
changes have occurred in the city affecting the contemporary bus scene. The main operators are still Go South
Coast with their ‘Bluestar’ and ‘unibus’ operations and Firstbus
with their ‘City Red’ branded buses for services within the Southampton
area. It is proposed that Southampton
will become a clean air zone, so the bus operators are preparing by updating
their fleets with compliant vehicles.
With this in mind Bluestar have adapted one of their ADL Enviro200
single deckers, 2740 (HF65 CXN) with equipment fixed to its roof to absorb pollutants
to help clean the air in the city. This
bus can be seen on this programme on two occasions, but with different units
We begin this programme, not in
Southampton, but in Birmingham at the NEC that was hosting ‘Euro Bus Expo
2018’. Here we see the launch of one of
Bluestar’s 20 Alexander Dennis Enviro400 City double deckers – 1235 (HF68 DXZ),
which will operate route 18 in the city.
This DVD programme was filmed throughout 2019, with our cameras making
visits during February, May, September and November. Filming takes place at over fourteen
locations including Castle Way, Bargate Street, Vincents Walk, High Street,
Shirley High Street, Wyndham Place and even Winchester city centre to name but
a few. There is plenty of action to
enjoy as we see the smart buses running in service. Many more double deckers have been introduced
to Southampton by Go South Coast. The previous ‘unibus’ fleet of ADL Enviro400
double-deckers have been replaced by a new fleet of ADL Enviro400MMC, both
types with dual-door bodywork. The older buses have been cascaded to the main
Bluestar fleet mostly for operation on the busy 17 route in the city. During
our November visit you will see 1004 (YN56 FFK), one of a number of former
Brighton & Hove Scania N94UD – East Lancs Omnideckers which seat 88
passengers, that have recently transferred to Bluestar. Firstbus now operate an entirely single-deck fleet in the city with
most painted in a two-tone red livery laid out in the Firstbus corporate style.
Vehicle types are Wright Streetlite 10.8m single deckers and Volvo
B7RLEs with Wright Eclipse Urban bodies.
During our May visit we were invited to film at the large Bluestar depot
at Barton Park, Eastleigh. As the filming
took place on a Saturday, many of the buses were out in service, but it was an
opportunity to see the depot as well as a number of interesting vehicles that
were not in service. One of these was
one of the last VDL SB120 single-deckers with a Wright Cadet B39F body.
There is plenty to see on this programme
including a glimpse of some the independents that operate in the Southampton
area, namely Wheelers and Xelabus. We
would like to thank Go South Coast for their help in the making of this
programme and we hope you enjoy viewing it.