MAJOR changes to the bus routes in Basingstoke are planned by Stagecoach – and a company chief has admitted that not everyone will be happy with them.

Following extensive research and consultation with customers, Stagecoach has overhauled the network in the town, and is planning to start running it on February 16.

The company has revealed that many services have been replaced completely by new routes – but it will not yet say what these are.

Stagecoach believes the changes will result in improvements on most routes with better frequencies, better train connections or faster routes to the town.

The majority of town routes will run between every eight and 15 minutes during the daytime. Rural routes to Alton, Baughurst, Bramley and beyond will not be affected.

However, Steve Thorpe, marketing officer for Stagecoach, said the company is unable to confirm the details of the changes because the company is still finalising content on the timetables and network map, which is due to be complete by tomorrow, and will be published online.

Andrew Dyer, managing director for Stagecoach South, has admitted that not everyone will be happy with the new network.

He said: “It goes without saying that a small number of customers will be disadvantaged. All of our customers are important, and we’ve tried hard to make sure that the minimum number of people will be inconvenienced.”

He added: “The aim of the review was to provide a network that better serves modern travel patterns. We have spent a number of months looking into where people live, where they want to go and how we can make their journey better. We really want to attract new passengers to try our services.”

Several of the new services were trialled during last year, and Stagecoach saw an increase in the number of passengers in some areas.

Mr Dyer said: “Our experience of these changes, coupled with all the data we hold on passenger trends, have been analysed in great detail. Our understanding of this research has helped us to rethink the network.”

In the lead up to the changes, Stagecoach will carry out a door drop and media advertising campaign to make people aware of the new routes.

Stagecoach has yet to confirm the exact details but is in the process of setting up a website page which will include a map of the network route and timetables.

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