SWT slash funding for rail-link buses

FUNDING is being withdrawn by South West Trains for the rail-link bus between Romsey and Winchester.

The company has blamed poor usage of the route for making the decision.

On July 28, five of the seven services backed by South West Trains will disappear from the schedule.

Bus operator, Stagecoach, which has run the additional services, will continue to operate two which still make money, the 0740 from Winchester to Romsey and the 0807 from Romsey to Winchester.

Meanwhile, the 0615, 0645 and 2145 Romsey to Winchester services and the 2010 and 2110 from Winchester to Romsey will be withdrawn.

South West Trains' area manager, Chris Haresign, said: "We have been talking to local authorities and user groups every step of the way to inform them of our plans.

"We realise that those who do use it will be disappointed and we are sorry that they will now have to look for alternative ways of getting to the city centre."

A working group was set up last December to see how many people were using the service, and if the subsidies should continue.

It included members from Hampshire County, Winchester City and Test Valley Borough Councils. Stagecoach and South West Trains were also represented.

The remaining daytime hourly X66 services run by Stagecoach will be unaffected by the changes.

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