A PLAN to reduce the frequency of buses in Basingstoke has been labelled as "completely the wrong message".

As previously reported, Stagecoach South will reduce the frequency of bus services on some Basingstoke routes from Tuesday, January 4.

The company have blamed 'staff shortages', and it will affect services 1, 2 and 6.

But Cllr Andy McCormick (Labour) has said that the reduction is the wrong thing to do.

Cllr McCormick, who represents Brighton Hill, which is served by the number 1 bus, told The Gazette: "It sends completely the wrong message.

"I can appreciate that they might have difficulty getting hold of staff but it is a retrograde step."

"There will inevitably be a loss of revenue" for Stagecoach, he added.

"I am disappointed because I think it will have a negative impact getting people to get out of their cars."

It comes after the Centre Shuttle, a non-Stagecoach service funded by BDBC and runs between the Leisure Park, town centre and Basing View, was axed in April because of low passenger numbers.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, and have ambitious targets to make the council climate neutral by 2025, and the borough by 2030.

Getting more people to use public transport is seen as a key element of reducing carbon emissions.

Stagecoach South said in a post that the changes mean it will be able to "deliver your services as reliably as possible".

A summary of the changes are:

  • Service 1 (Basingstoke to Brighton Hill) will run approximately every 12 minutes at the busiest times and every 15 minutes at other times.
  • Service 2 (Basingstoke to Baughurst) will run every 15 minutes throughout the day.
  • Service 6 (Winklebury to Basingstoke to East Popley) will run every 15 minutes throughout the day.
  • Service 7 (Basingstoke to Chineham) will have a new timetable but with similar frequencies to now.

The reduction in services will affect the weekday timetable.

A post from Stagecoach South said: "We wanted to let you know that we’ll be making some changes to some of our bus services in Basingstoke from the New Year, with timetables on the 1, 2 & 6 routes seeing a slightly reduced daytime frequency.

"In common with many industries we are experiencing staff shortages and these changes will mean we can continue to deliver your services as reliably as possible during the current very challenging conditions."