The Southampton-based company will fill the missing link vacated by First Hampshire’s route 12 service, which will no longer run between Lordshill, Southampton General Hospital, Millbrook and the city centre.
“At Bluestar we listen to the views of local people about their requirements for travelling across Southampton,” said Andrew Wickham, Bluestar managing director. “Our response is to enhance our services wherever possible.
“In this case, we’re working closely with Southampton City Council to preserve services for customers living along a large part of the number 12 route - particularly since another operator is ceasing some of its operations in this area.
“From Sunday 21 January we will extend our Bluestar 7 service, subject to approval from the Traffic Commissioner. It will follow the same route as the 12 - making it the only bus service in Oakley Road, Cumbrian Way and Coxford Road. In early February, we will alter it slightly - to service Lords Hill Way, rather than Aldermoor Road. Our customers won’t lose out because the Bluestar 17 service already covers that area.
“Our aim, throughout this exercise, has been to minimise the impact of change on our customers. We welcome the opportunity to prove our commitment to ensuring comprehensive bus operations across Southampton and look forward to bringing our new route to the city in January.”
The new Bluestar 7 will run every 30 minutes - with early evening and Sunday services.
“Our latest timetable for this service is currently being finalised,” added Andrew. “Customers wishing to plan their journeys should check bluestarbus.co.uk next week for full details.”