Solent Blue Line

Solent Blue Line

Solent Blue Line is the internal and official legal company name of a bus company operating in central Hampshire, England. Originally the name that the company traded under, from 25 February 2008, all of its bus services were rebranded and now operate under the Bluestar brand. To the public, the Solent Blue Line name has disappeared.


Solent Blue Line was started by Southern Vectis in 1987. Along with Southern Vectis, they were purchased by the Go-Ahead Group in 2004.

Since late 2005, the management and head office functions of Solent Blue Line, Southern Vectis and Go-Ahead's existing Wilts & Dorset operation have been consolidated at Wilts & Dorset's Poole headquarters, as part of the Go South Coast division.

On 24 October 2006, Solent Blue Line acquired Marchwood Motorways (Southampton) Limited and Marchwood Motorways (Services) Limited (together, "Marchwood Buses") for £3.0m, with the assumption of £1.4m of net debt at completion.

After the withdrawral of the Red Rocket brand on 25 February 2008, all of the company's services began to run under the Bluestar brand, with the exception of the New Forest Tour.


Solent Blue Line services ran under a number of brand names. On 25 February 2008, service changes meant that most services now run under the Bluestar brand.


Originally a brand for the premier Solent Blue Line routes, in 2008 the majority of Solent Blue Line routes were changed to trade under the Bluestar name.

Please see the main article for route details.

olent Shuttle

This is an express coach link between Portsmouth and Southampton. This service was originally run by Southampton City Bus and later First in Hampshire and Dorset as services 727 and 747. It has had a number of other operators since, prior to the Solent Blue Line attempt it was branded as the Solent Clipper and run by Tellings-Golden Miller, they retained part of the original Southampton City Bus route numbers with the services becoming X27 and X47. The SBL service was due to terminate on 2 June 2007 due to financial funding from the local councils being taken away, but it is now being continued due to popular demand, with a revised timetable from 2 July 2007. The Solent Blue Line name change to Bluestar has not greatly affected the service, with it still operating as it did before, just with details now in Bluestar publicity

The New Forest Tour

This circular open-top bus service was started in 2004, using distinctively branded yellow and orange Bristol VRs (in the same livery as the old Southern Vectis open-top services.) The service was reversed in 2005, to run in the opposite direction. For the 2006 season, two low-floor Volvo B7TL/East Lancs Myllenniums from Wilts & Dorset were used, retaining the Wilts & Dorset livery but with 'New Forest Tour' vinyls added. In 2007 the buses passed to Solent Blue Line and were repainted in a new green and orange livery, with ponies on the side. Again, this is similar to the Southern Vectis livery which that company uses on their open-top buses. As with the Solent Shuttle, the Solent Blue Line name change to Bluestar has not greatly affected the service either, the only change being that details of the service now appear on the Bluestar website.


On 20 March 2008, Solent Blue Line announced to its staff that it had received notification from Southampton University that they intend to award the company the contract to operate the Uni-link service. Solent Blue Line took over the service at the start of the 2008/09 academic year. Solent Blue Line intends to run Uni-link as a separate unit within the company.

Previous brands

Red Rocket

Red Rocket was launched on 3 September 2006 and was a high frequency network centred on Eastleigh, extending to Winchester in the north and Hamble in the south. Red Rocket services were either withdrawn or re-branded to Baby Bluestar on 24 February 2008, to enable Solent Blue Line to trade under the Bluestar name. [ [ Red Rocket changes] ]

The routes were are:

*A: Eastleigh - Hedge End - HambleThis service was withdrawn by SBL on 23 February 2008, but was continued by another operator, Velvet.

*B: Eastleigh - Boyatt Wood This service ceased on 23 February 2008.

*C: Eastleigh - Velmore Estate - Chandler's Ford - Fryern Hill - Hiltingbury This route became Baby Bluestar C1 on 24 February 2008 and now runs between Eastleigh, Velmore, Chandler's Ford and Fryern Hill.

*D: Eastleigh - Valley Park - HiltingburyThis service ceased on 23 February 2008.

*E1: Eastleigh - Boyatt Wood - Otterbourne - Compton - Stanmore - Winchester
*E2: Eastleigh - Boyatt Wood - Colden Common - Twyford - St Cross - Winchester
*E3: Eastleigh - Boyatt Wood - Otterbourne - Compton - Badger Farm Sainsbury's - WinchesterThis route became Baby Bluestar E1/E2/E3 with minor timetable changes.

*F: Eastleigh - Stoke Common - Fair Oak - Bishop's Waltham - Swanmore - Waltham ChaseThis route became Baby Bluestar F with possible minor timetable changes.

Do the docks

This was an open top bus tour of Southampton docks. It used open top buses from the New Forest Tour and a debranded Wilts & Dorset Leyland Olympians. Due to poor weather during the 2007 Summer season and resulting lower passenger numbers, running the tour in "turn up and hop on" format was made unfeasible. So on Sunday 29 July 2007 this format stopped. [ [ Docks Tour - Service changes] ]

In April 2008 the service ran for just two days on 26 and 27 of that month, as part of the Caribbean festival in Southampton on those dates. As Solent Blue Line no longer had the open top buses for the routes, a hired Southern Vectis open top bus was used. [ [ Solent Blue Line - Docks Tour] ]

ee also


External links

* [ Company website]
* [ Bluestar service]
* [ Website for Solent Shuttle (X27) service]
* [ The New Forest Tour service]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • White Star Line — Type Subsidiary of Cunard Line Founded 1869, as the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company in Liverpool, United Kingdom Headquarters Lo …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Mail Line — Werbeplakat der Royal Mail Line, ca. 1930 Die Royal Mail Line Ltd. (RML) war eine britische Reederei mit Sitz in London. Sie betrieb einen sehr erfolgreichen Liniendienst nach Südamerika und in die Karibik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bluestar (bus company) — Infobox Bus transit name = Bluestar logo size = 250 image size = image caption = company slogan = A brighter way to go founded = 1987 headquarters = Eastleigh locale = service area = Hampshire, England service type = Mainly urban bus services… …   Wikipedia

  • Marchwood Motorways — Coach 055 (HF08 UHU), a Scania/Irizar PB in Southampton in the new two tone blue Go South Coast coaching livery …   Wikipedia

  • New Forest Tour — Solent Blue Line s 908 at Exbury Gardens …   Wikipedia

  • Wilts & Dorset — Infobox Bus transit name = Wilts Dorset logo size = 250 image caption = A Volvo B7TL with East Lancs Myllennium Vyking (convertible open top) bodywork in the newest livery company slogan = Serving coast and countryside founded = 1915 headquarters …   Wikipedia

  • Velvet (bus company) — Infobox Bus transit name = Black Velvet Travel logo size = 250 image size = 250 image caption = Buses V7 and V14 GMT company slogan = The smooth operator founded = Late 2007 headquarters = Eastleigh service area = Hampshire service type = Urban… …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Vectis bus fleet — Southern Vectis have a total of 93 buses in their fleet used for regular services. These include single deck buses, double deck buses, open top buses, and coaches, normally used for school routes or driver training. Including ancillary and other… …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Vectis — Infobox Bus transit name = logo size = 250 image size = image caption = Southern Vectis Dennis Dart/Plaxton Pointer 301 company slogan = the island s buses founded = 1929 headquarters = Newport locale = service area = Isle of Wight service type …   Wikipedia

  • Go South Coast — is the southern English division of the Go Ahead Group bus operator. It was developed in late 2005, after Go Ahead purchased Southern Vectis and its sister company Solent Blue Line.It is based in Poole, with the head office of Wilts Dorset, the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.