Concern Over Forthcoming Bus Changes

There will be changes to bus services in Ventnor from the beginning of September.

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

April Bus Changes in The Ventnor AreaThere 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.

Sunday, 2nd August, 2009 9:48am



Filed under: Bus, Business, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, South Wight, Travel

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25 Comments on "Concern Over Forthcoming Bus Changes"

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Sailor Sam
It was’nt the council which withdrew the concessionary scheme for ‘tourist’ buses… it was the govenment. The scheme was never intended to include open top buses as they are regarded as a tourist attraction rather than an essential local bus service. The fares set by Southern Vectis to travel on these services is very high and the council have to pay 48% of that fare every time… Read more »
Stuart George
It’s not true to say the government withdrew the concession – they allowed councils the choice to exclude tourist bus routes and ours jumped at the chance whereas most others are still carefully considering their position. When asked, our council admitted they had no idea how much money they might save by doing so. If you want to see what the government actually said, look at paragraphs… Read more »

The council subsidise tourists on the Doto-trains don’t they, which is in effect a bus service.

I shouldn’t put a lot of faith in the ombudsman if were you, they are there to cover up for their mates (In my personal opinion that is, along with a lot of other people who were naive enough to assume they were impartial)

Sailor Sam
No, the dotto train is operated by Southern Vectis under tender from IOW council but it is regarded as a tourist attraction rather than a bus service. Concessionary fares and passes have never been accepted on any of the dotto trains. I see David Pugh is trying to re-instate concessionary fares and passes on the open top services which would mean the local tax payer again subsidising… Read more »
Sailor Sam
The govenment excluded tourist buses from the scheme as a lot of authorities were complaining of ‘grey issues’ in which type of bus service were covered. Yes, it still allowed the council to continue subsidising the open tops ect but why should they? The dotto train (which is also operated by Southern Vectis) has never offered free travel under the scheme. The National concessionary scheme was intended… Read more »
George Rayner
The IW Council is in a fix of their own making over concessionary ‘bus fares. It might have been a vote-winner to allow free travel at ALL times, when all the Government will pay towards is “off-peak”, but there is a cost. In addition there is free travel for Isle of Wighters on the trains as well. Doubtless everyone who is 60, but not retired, finds free… Read more »

southern vectis are the worst bus service in history if you live anywhere on the no.6 route there may as well not be a bus . not to mention the extortionate prices

Perhaps a little reminder is in order here – The free fare for pensioners is a huge boost to many restricted incomes and is ultimately being paid for not by the government or the council but by our generous fellow citizens. For which,many thanks.It’s certainly got me out of the house a whole lot more And George Rayner’s comment about the overall Island bus service has take… Read more »
Sailor Sam

Yes Dod, it may be your ‘generous fellow citizens’ who altimately pay for your free travel…but do we have a choice?

Stuart George
Considering this is the Ventnor Blog, I’m surprised that most replies have picked up on road trains and free travel on open-tops as Ventnor has neither of these. My main purpose was to publicise the reductions to service 6 so that people would be aware of the changes. Just one question for anyone in the know. Are the IW Council reducing financial support for bus services in… Read more »

“Its not just about Ventnor”
or should that read
Its not just about Vestas


it is getting lots of coverage as there are 600 families worrying how to feed their families on mere jobseekers allowance.

Sally Perry

The name might be ‘Ventnor’Blog, but we’ve been covering Island news for over three years now, so very pleased to see people discussing issues outside of our lovely town.

Yes correspondent, we’ve been pretty strong on our coverage of the Vestas Sit-In, but it’s one of the biggest things to hit the Island in the last 20 years, so (we believe) worthy of the extensive coverage.


Its was only a facetious quip in reference to Vestas not being in Ventnor either.
No offence intended.

Sally Perry

No offence taken correspondent.


Hello Stuart
I forwarded your info re No6 to families/Young People in Chale that I know and have urged them to contact appropriate councillor.Suze


there used to be a couple of open-top services – one between ventnor and shanklin and one going from ventnor to sandown zoo if my memory serves me correctly – this was in the 1960s.


What a joke. It’s a travesty!

Sod paying for any of this – freedom and rover tickets require extra cost? So, how are us students meant to afford to travel?

You want us to do well, yet you screw the services up and then grossly over charge us!

Gah, f*^k it, this island is really going down the pan.


That has frustrated me – on a less rant-like note, any news on the no2 route?

Stuart George

No.2 changes:
0645 withdrawn,
1745/2325 terminate Sandown.
0645 from Sandown withdrawn,
2245 terminates Shanklin,
extra bus at 2350 from Ryde to Shanklin to provide connection off 2315 Fastcat from Portsmouth.


I take it you don’t plan to get old,Sailor Sam.And you surely have choice.Vote for the been-nowhere,done-nothing, no- experience -of- anything sixth form Eton shoolboy next time. Then see everyone’s standard of living tumble.Except that of his mates of course

Sailor Sam

Dod, how does any council tax payer have a choice on the funding of the concessionary scheme? I don’t see what me getting old has anything to do with it because I never indicated that I was for or against the scheme. The simple fact is that it is very poorly administered and funded. But then again what can you expect from a labour idea!

Was I a bit sharp,Sailor Sam? If so,sorry. The point I had in mind was that once we’ve elected a government,we have no say in any of the ways they spend (waste?) our money. And as an OAP I’m very sensitive about the various ways our Glorious Leaders choose to augment our meagre pensions -schemes designed to both show how open-handed they are to the old folk… Read more »
Sailor Sam
The problem is Dod, I think the scheme was invented as a carrot to tempt older people to vote labour. I’ve worked in the bus industry since 1982 and know a little of how concessionary travel is funded and what it costs. The funding from the govenment is inadequate to cover every local authority in the country so each one has to meet the shortfall to pay… Read more »

looks like the good times may be over (for the middle-classes!) :

Sky News Report