First Hampshire & Dorset Wessex newly converted former First West of England part open-top Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 32329 (620 HOD). CHRISTOPHER CARTER
First Wessex has launched a new 45 mile open-top route in a major uplift of its Jurassic Coaster services – which had progressively declined since 2013 – with Go South Coast also adding a new route.
The First X52 (Bridport-Weymouth-Lulworth Cove-Wool-Bovington Tank Museum-Monkey World) runs two-hourly daily from May 30, augmenting existing routes X53 (Axminster-Bridport-Weymouth) and X54 (Weymouth-Lulworth Cove-Wool-Wareham-Poole) which are increased.
Combined, they create hourly Bridport-Abbotsbury-Weymouth and Weymouth-Lulworth Cove-Wool headways, while the X51 (Axminster-Bridport-Dorchester) is re-extended to Weymouth after seven years.
Three former First West of England Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Geminis are converted to part open-top for the X52, joining three existing part open-top Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 for route 501 (Weymouth-Portland Bill) which resumed on May 1.
Wessex network rovers are valid on Yellow Buses in Bournemouth between May 28 and September 5.
Meanwhile, daily between May 29 and September 18, Go South Coast has augmented its seasonal Purbeck Breezer route 30 (Dorchester-Weymouth-Lulworth Cove-Wool-Wareham-Swanage) with a new route 31 (Lulworth Cove-Wool-Bovington Tank Museum-Monkey World-Wareham).
First previously served the Bovington Tank Museum and Monkey World attractions exclusively while the number of competing Durdle Door-Lulworth Cove-Wool-Wareham buses has also increased.