Black Velvet (bus company)

Velvet (bus company)

Black Velvet Travel, trading as Velvet, is a bus company located in Eastleigh, owned by Phil Stockley, the former manager of Solent Blue Line. It was set up in late 2007, and its first operational contract was started in January 2008, running a temporary shuttle for Tesco staff.

On 25 February,2008, Velvet took over Route A in Eastleigh, which was being given up by previous operator Solent Blue Line (under the Red Rocket brand) as part of their network restructuring. Since then, Velvet has gained a number of contracts to run other routes.

Bus services

Route A

Eastleigh - West End - Hedge End - Botley.
This service was originally run by Solent Blue Line as a Red Rocket service but ran to Hamble rather than Botley. When Solent Blue line decided to rebrand all of their services as Bluestar, they dropped the route, and from 25 February,2008 Black Velvet took over the service. First now run the Hedge End - Hamble service as their 16A, and also run the evening A service between Eastleigh and Hedge End. Stagecoach run the Sunday service on the route (also only between Eastleigh and Hedge End).

Route B

Eastleigh - Boyatt Wood - Velmore - Southampton
Route B was announced on July 7 2008. It will provides new links for some of the places it serves, since Bluestar withdrew their Red Rocket routes. It is operated by vehicles running between duties on most of the other services. It started on September 8 2008. Despite earlier giving up the route, Bluestar are operating "Beep! Bus" along the same route, timed three minutes earlier than Velvet's journeys and using the same route number. In an apparent attempt to disguise who is operating the service some old Red Rocket buses (still painted red), have been branded with "Beep! Bus" logos, and drivers are wearing red polo shirts instead of Bluestar uniform.

Route C1

Eastleigh - Chandler's Ford - Hiltingbury

This Monday to Saturday evening service will start on September 1 2008 as part of a council tender for buses on the route. Daytime services will continue to be run by Bluestar; Sunday buses will be operated by Stagecoach in Hampshire. Despite loosing the tender to operate the route, on the first day of Stagecoach Sunday operation, Bluestar also ran the route, meaning two buses running in convoy for much of the time.

Route 8

Southampton - Totton - Marchwood - Hythe.

This route runs on Sundays and Bank Holidays only. After Bluestar decided to stop running the Sunday service on route 8, Hampshire County Council sent out a contract for the Sunday service, and Velvet took over on 2 March,2008.

Route 35

Ringwood - Poulner - Burley - Lyndhurst - some journeys to Southampton.

Wilts & Dorset previously ran the X35 service, but on the renewal of the tender of the service they lost out to Black Velvet who decided to run a different route arrangement. The service started on 27 May,2008, along with the 300.

Route 300

Ringwood - Poulner - Southampton.

As with the 35, the route was previously Wilts & Dorset's X35 route. The 300 started on 27 May,2008, and runs more directly than the 35, on the A31 and M27 motorway.

Route 601

Hamble - Netley - Butlocks Heath - Bursledon - Lowford - Mansbridge - Barton Peveril College.

This route started in September 2008, under contract to Barton Peveril College, running at college times only. For a time at the beggining of operation, a loaned ex-Metroline Volvo Olympian was used, still in the old livery.

Route 603

Horton Heath - Boorley Green - Grange Park - West End - Mansbridge - Barton Peveril College.

This route started in September 2008, under contract to Barton Peveril College, running at college times only.

Route 611

Woolston - Montague Avenue Shops - Windhover - Hedge End - Barton Peveril College.

This route started in September 2008, under contract to Barton Peveril College, running at college times only.

Route 612

Woolston - Hinkler Road - Thornhill - Bitterne - St Denys - Barton Peveril College.

This route started in September 2008, under contract to Barton Peveril College, running at college times only.

Fleet

The current fleet comprises:

See also

References

External links


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