New Bluestar services launched

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Bluestar General Manager Richard Tyldsley (centre) with representatives from Bluestar and the Harefield Bus Campaign Group. GO SOUTH COAST

Representatives from Go-Ahead Group-owned Bluestar were joined on Tuesday 21 February by the Lord Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Jacqui Rayment, as well as Leader of Southampton City Council Satvir Kaur, and local residents at a special launch event in the city after the operator stepped in to provide additional services following First Bus’ decision to withdraw from the city (CBW 1564).

Bluestar launched six new services, and said that early indications showed they have been well-received by those living along the routes. “We are delighted to be celebrating the launch of these six routes, and can promise those living in and visiting Southampton that they can now look forward to an exciting new era in bus services here,” said Bluestar Managing Director Andrew Wickham.

“With more than 140 new drivers recruited in just two months, we are pleased to be expanding our offering here, and I am in awe of this incredible operation by my team to ensure our local community in all corners of the city is able to keep moving.”

Residents in the city’s Harefield area organised a surprise celebration for Bluestar representatives in celebration of the new routes. The local residents, who have long campaigned for improved bus services, welcomed Bluestar’s new route 13 with decorated bus stops. Members of the Harefield Bus Campaign Jen Davies, Emma Rowe and Barbara Hancock commented: “We’re delighted that Bluestar will now serve Harefield, bringing a much needed improved timetable with greater frequency, a Sunday service and some evening buses. At last, a night out or working late means getting safely back home again by Bluestar bus instead of an expensive taxi or taking a chance by walking part way in the dark.”

Bluestar’s General Manager Richard Tyldsley and his team worked with representatives of the Harefield Bus Campaign Group since First Bus’ withdrawal announcement. He added: “We’ve built an excellent relationship with residents in Harefield, and we’re hugely encouraged by the response we’ve had to our new Bluestar 13 route here. We will continue to consult with local people across the city, to ensure they can enjoy comprehensive and improved services across Southampton over the coming months and years.”

Lord Mayor of Southampton Councillor Jacqui Rayment with Managing Director of Bluestar Andrew Wickham, Leader of Southampton City Council Councillor Satvir Kaur and cabinet member for transport and district regeneration, Eamonn Keogh. GO SOUTH COAST