Hope for replacement bus service for Bishop’s Waltham area

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A bus route used by many schoolchildren which may be about to disappear could be replaced – if the county council agrees.

The X10 Xelabus route, which runs from Southampton to Waltham Chase via Bishop’s Waltham, could be replaced with the 49 service from April 3rd if the county council approves the contract.

Previous conversations between Xelabus and the county council about the future of the X10 route established that the bus company would continue to operate the service until at least October 2023.

However, in January, Xelabus gave its final notice informing that its last operational day will be March 31rd 2023. The company issued a previous notice on May 2022.

On Monday the executive lead member for universal services Cllr Nick Adams-King may approve the contractual arrangements to provide the new bus service between Waltham Chase/Bishop’s Waltham and Hedge End.

If approved, it will be financed from the public bus budget at a maximum annual cost of £153,200 for four years, a maximum of £612,800 – with the option to extend for two more years.

Since the X10 route is under the council’s “Home to school” policy for eligible children attending Swanmore College, if approved, children’s services agreed to make a maximum annual contribution of £43,400 towards the new 49 bus service.

The remaining contract cost will be met through the public bus budget up to a maximum annual cost of £153,200.

The new service would offer five round-trip opportunities to Bishop’s Waltham, Swanmore, Waltham Chase, Durley, West End, Botley and Hedge End.

There would also be journeys at school times (am and pm) for eligible children only; and one daily round-trip for Hamble, Bursledon, Netley and Butlocks Heath residents.

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