Many thanks to Stuart George of the IW Bus Users Group for details of changes due to take place top bus services in September. There are some pretty worrying changes particularly for those using the No.6. Ed
There will be changes to bus services in Ventnor from the beginning of September, with reductions in IW council funding for public transport in the South Wight resulting in reduced peak services.
The only routes to retain their full current service levels are Wightbus route 31 which serves Bonchurch & Wroxall, and the Island Coaster.
Southern Vectis service 3 has some minor reductions which will make it less convenient to travel to Newport in the early evening, but otherwise largely retains the present service.
Wightbus rail-link service 16 sees the last journey from Shanklin terminating at Ventnor instead of St.Lawrence, so that the last buses to serve St.Lawrence will be at 1604 instead of 1804.
The major reductions are on Southern Vectis service 6 connecting Niton, Whitwell & Chale to Ventnor & Newport. At present there are 3 morning peak services from Ventnor to Newport, at 0642, 0732 & 0802, but from September only the 0732 will continue to run.
In the late afternoon the 1640 service from Newport to Ventnor will be cut, with a gap of over 2 hours before the last journey at 1745, causing problems for children attending school in Newport who wish to stay on after school finishes. In the other direction the last bus from Ventnor to Newport at 1737 will disappear, with the last journey leaving at 1632.
Anyone wishing to complain about these reductions should contact their local IW councillor.
There is a later Island Coaster bus from Ventnor at 1655 but the council withdrew concessionary fares and Student Rider tickets from this service last May, so all those using it instead will have to pay full fare.
The IW Bus Users’ Group are referring this decision to the local government ombudsman as it believes the IW council has acted improperly in withdrawing such concessions.
Finally, because Southern Vectis & the IW council have been unable to agree on future funding for the scheme, holders of Freedom & Rover tickets will no longer be allowed to travel on Wightbus services without charge from 1 September. In future they will be charged a flat fare of £1 per journey.