Support the No.7 bus: it’s a better service than you may think!

I moved to Littleton in 2014, and I rely on the no 7 Winchester/Sparsholt bus which I use twice a day, every day. I am pleased to report that the service is excellent, but I’ve been very sad to see the number of users decline. If we have ever lost a service I have always written to both Stagecoach and the Hampshire Council Transport department, and the answer is always the same: it’s because of reduced demand.

Why not join us on the bus to reduce your carbon emissions, save Winchester from congestion and pollution, join a group of friendly bus-users and keep our services going! This really is ‘use it or lose it’ time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Stagecoach need to see support for the service among Littleton residents if we want to keep it. It’s true that the signage is terrible, and I know individual journeys can seem expensive, and it’s not perfect for everybody, but if we don’t use what we have, we won’t get any better.

I buy a weekly pass for £15.50, which I think is incredible value. I find the only reliable timetable info is via the free Stagecoach app, and yes, that doesn’t suit everyone either, but it is accurate. I do print the timetable and put it in the bus shelter at the crossroads, and if you go online always use the Stagecoach website and check the date – plenty of old ones still lurk around online.

The no 16 survives with three subsidised services a day, and if that suits you better, I hope you’ll be encouraged to use it. But we must make sure the no 7 is not cut in the same way.

I do hope my experience will encourage you to try the bus and leave the car at home. It really is a very good service They were short of drivers over the summer, but this problem has eased. Of course, there are occasional delays, but ironically, they are nearly always because of traffic congestion. So come and use the bus to cut that congestion, save carbon, reduce air pollution and keep Winchester moving – and I hope to see you soon for a friendly chat on the bus!

Rachel Platt