Latest round of bus wars ends

Latest round of bus wars ends

Latest round of bus wars ends

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

THEY were over almost as suddenly as they began.

A fresh round of bus wars has come to an end in Southampton after Bluestar agreed to stop competing with Black Velvet Travel over city centre routes.

As reported by the Daily Echo, Bluestar and Velvet were both operating the S1, S2 and B4 routes after the latter returned to the road just 48 hours after announcing it had ceased trading.

It led to passenger confusion when vehicles from both companies arrived at bus stops at the same time.

But now Bluestar has withdrawn from the route after being asked by the city council to do so, leaving the way clear for Velvet.

A Bluestar spokesman said: “It was at the request of the council that Bluestar take on those routes to make sure there was a consistent service for commuters. The council directly requested we do that and the reason we continued to do that when Velvet returned was because we were waiting on word from the council.

“As soon as it became clear that Velvet was back the council asked us to stop running those services and that is what we have done. There is no bus war, we were just there to make sure that commuters had buses available.”

Other rival companies Wheelers and Xelabus took on services after Velvet’s initial announcement but as previously reported Wheelers withdrew from the A route between Hedge End and Southampton while Velvet are not returning to the X4 and X7 Hedge End and Chandler’s Ford services now run by Xelabus.

The city council has confirmed it is working with all the companies to ensure all Southampton routes are maintained.

A spokesman said: “The council was made aware that Velvet would not be operating services following Wednesday, July 16 and made appropriate arrangements to fill the gap left by non-operation.

“We are aware that Velvet has re-commenced operations and over the next few days we will liaise with all concerned to ensure contracted services operated for Southampton City Council are maintained.”

Meanwhile mystery still surrounds the identity of the company that is taking over Velvet, with administrators Chantrey Vellacott refusing to reveal the name claiming it could jeopardise the buy-out process.

Velvet and Bluestar previously clashed in 2008 and 2009 after a long-running battle for routes and passengers across the Eastleigh borough.

Comments (7)

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5:26am Thu 24 Jul 14

sah367 says...

What Bus Wars??? Poor reporting AGAIN.

Bluestar took their services off of the road on the Saturday.
What Bus Wars??? Poor reporting AGAIN. Bluestar took their services off of the road on the Saturday. sah367
  • Score: 6

6:45am Thu 24 Jul 14

freakout says...

Velvet have awful Buses ,And a very rude driver .Unreliable service .Wheelers have taken on rude drivers to mainly ones sacked from First Bus,simular situation with Xelabus, ! To many small companies popping up ,Eventually there will be Bus wars ,
Velvet have awful Buses ,And a very rude driver .Unreliable service .Wheelers have taken on rude drivers to mainly ones sacked from First Bus,simular situation with Xelabus, ! To many small companies popping up ,Eventually there will be Bus wars , freakout
  • Score: -10

6:53am Thu 24 Jul 14

Quentin Heslop says...

So, not really a bus war at all.
So, not really a bus war at all. Quentin Heslop
  • Score: 3

7:19am Thu 24 Jul 14

__KTF__ says...

There never was a 'bus war'. Other operators stepped in to cover Velvets routes when they went under.

Once it was realised that they had started trading again, the other operators stopped covering the routes.
There never was a 'bus war'. Other operators stepped in to cover Velvets routes when they went under. Once it was realised that they had started trading again, the other operators stopped covering the routes. __KTF__
  • Score: 4

7:20am Thu 24 Jul 14

Muppet Destroyer says...

freakout wrote:
Velvet have awful Buses ,And a very rude driver .Unreliable service .Wheelers have taken on rude drivers to mainly ones sacked from First Bus,simular situation with Xelabus, ! To many small companies popping up ,Eventually there will be Bus wars ,
Velvet do have a very rude & nasty driver i agree its the bloke with the bald head & evil face who treats passengers like a bit of rubbish but they also have some of the very best drivers in the area & Wheelers also have a couple of very nice polite very friendly drivers as well. I feel sorry for these really good drivers when other drivers at their companies continuously let them down with Velvet i would say to the new owners get this driver out of your company before he wrecks it like he did with Velvet before!
[quote][p][bold]freakout[/bold] wrote: Velvet have awful Buses ,And a very rude driver .Unreliable service .Wheelers have taken on rude drivers to mainly ones sacked from First Bus,simular situation with Xelabus, ! To many small companies popping up ,Eventually there will be Bus wars ,[/p][/quote]Velvet do have a very rude & nasty driver i agree its the bloke with the bald head & evil face who treats passengers like a bit of rubbish but they also have some of the very best drivers in the area & Wheelers also have a couple of very nice polite very friendly drivers as well. I feel sorry for these really good drivers when other drivers at their companies continuously let them down with Velvet i would say to the new owners get this driver out of your company before he wrecks it like he did with Velvet before! Muppet Destroyer
  • Score: 0

8:04am Thu 24 Jul 14

Hastagger says...

If I were councillor I would ban buses, they are always driving around nearly empty, apart form on a few routes, this is not environmentally friendly.

People should buy a car or walk!
If I were councillor I would ban buses, they are always driving around nearly empty, apart form on a few routes, this is not environmentally friendly. People should buy a car or walk! Hastagger
  • Score: -10

11:00am Thu 24 Jul 14

*ay*carumba* says...

All the Velvet drivers on the bus I catch are genuinely polite. It was quite funny during the "bus wars" when I caught the Bluestar bus, the driver must have known about Velvet's reputation for polite drivers and feigned politeness through gritted teeth.

During the "bus wars" I noticed that the rival drivers smiled and waved at each other as they passed, so Velvet drivers are even polite during a "war".
All the Velvet drivers on the bus I catch are genuinely polite. It was quite funny during the "bus wars" when I caught the Bluestar bus, the driver must have known about Velvet's reputation for polite drivers and feigned politeness through gritted teeth. During the "bus wars" I noticed that the rival drivers smiled and waved at each other as they passed, so Velvet drivers are even polite during a "war". *ay*carumba*
  • Score: 4

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