Sunday 12 January 2014

Council check: Southampton City Council

Let's take a look at how Southampton City Council promotes the buses in its area.

Where do the buses go?

A full public transport map is provided, which includes all routes of all operators. It also has an enlargement of the city centre and all of the main district centres in the city. The only downside is that it is only updated once or twice a year and Southampton's bus routes change more often than that, so the map is rarely fully up-to-date. All of the major local operators also produce good maps, but they don't give you the overview that that the council does. 5 out of 5 in this category.


The council doesn't provide timetables themselves, but they do have links to most of the operators in the city, who of course do provide timetables on their websites. The only notable absences are Stagecoach, whose 46 runs from the General Hospital to Winchester, and Wheelers, who have recently launched three routes in the city. There is a link to Traveline South West, where you can find all of the city's bus timetables in one place. 2 out of 5 for Southampton.


As is often the case, there is no information on single fares at all. There are links to most of the operators' sites (see above) where you can find out about their own tickets. A ticket does exist that can be used on any bus - the Solent Travelcard - but shamefully Southampton City Council doesn't tell you about it. They also ignore the Southampton Plusbus ticket. So while the city has a good range of bus tickets to choose from, the council provides no help in deciding which is the best to buy. 0 out of 5.


So we have a good map, while timetables can be found on Traveline or the operators' websites, but no fares info at all (although you can find it elsewhere but you have to already know where to look). Southampton City Council scores a total of 7 out of 15.

Full information on all of Southampton's buses can be found on our sister blog, Southampton Bus Update.


  1. Apart from the score for the map,if you can find it on display anywhere apart from the stand in the library in Southampton,we can all see how the city council promote public transport.

  2. Precisely.

    What is the point if bus users and potential bus users cannot easily see and obtain copies of publicity. A large number do not want to use modern technology and prefer the printed copy.

    So much better when the TIC was closer to the City Centre shops and not in the basement of the library a further 5 minutes plus walk away. Which also of course means it is also further away from the historic tourist areas.

    1. Quite agree 100%. What's on offer in the library to visitor and citizen alike is a disgrace to the City of Southampton.

    2. The tourist information centre in the library closed down months ago!!!!

    3. Why are they not available in the racks at West Quay for example, alongside the UniLink and ferry timetables...

  3. It I not much different in most of the UK. Fares information is normally none existent except for weekly tickets etc where you may find some information

    Information as to the availability of tickets on services is pretty much never given. It is a black art. Sometimes tickets can be used on other operators services sometimes not but there is no way of finding out

    Frequently timetable information is incomplete with an operator only showing the services they operate

    Frequently getting hold of timetables on council subsidised routes and journeys is almost impossible

    The inability to buy a though ticket for your complete journey is another issue. You end up having to pay separate single of return tickets which make the journey so expensive it is cheaper by taxi or car

    Bus companies need to considerably increase, quality and standards and frequencies of services. People will not pay a premium for a third class very basic service. Bus companies also need to be far more innovative. Service are still run pretty much as they were in the 1920's and most routes are still pretty much the same other than they may have split them into two or three sections

    Unless bus companies raise their game there is little future for them outside of large towns and cities

  4. Oceans, which is situated where the old post office was in High Street Southampton, has some transport material on display, including the Southampton Council map.They are at present trying to obtain more timetables from all operators in Southampton, and are wishing to give out information to tourists and locals alike regarding how to get about by bus.


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