Campus to Campus: How a Bus Route to Highfield Would Benefit WSA

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Here at WSA, it’s easy to feel left out of the loop of University Life. Caroline Raby shares her thoughts on why we need a direct route to Highfield:

By Caroline Raby

Is it just me or does it seem like student life in Southampton is well, somehow better than it is here in Winchester?

Don’t get me wrong, I love studying at WSA but who else feels we could be missing out on some great opportunities in Southampton? Sometimes it feels like WSA isn’t even part of the University of Southampton because it’s so separated from the main campus.

A big part of solving this issue would be introducing a Uni-link bus service that would connect us to the Highfield campus.

The Southampton campus is completely foreign to many of us in Winchester

If we had a direct connection from WSA or from our halls Erasmus Park to Highfield and its surroundings, it could benefit students here massively. The Southampton campus is completely foreign to many of us in Winchester and a bus that would offer cheap, hassle-free travel would definitely help integrate WSA into the university more.

A bus would enable students from Winchester to reap the benefits of being part of such a large and prestigious university as Southampton; by allowing us to commute there easily, we could get involved with the vast number of clubs and societies and use the fantastic facilities available there, facilities we pay for.

Freshers would particularly benefit from a new bus service as most have little or no knowledge of the transport available and may be discouraged from visiting Highfield as a result. This is a real shame as Freshers’ Week is an important part of a First Year’s university experience and being unable or unsure of how to reach the main campus of the university they attend is a huge disadvantage in being able to get the most out of it.

The ever rising prices of train and coach fares are making it increasingly more expensive to get to Southampton, which isolates students here from the rest of the university. A Uni-link bus could make Highfield accessible at a lower cost.

Importantly, providing university-run bus services between Winchester and Southampton would give students living here exactly the same perks as those in Southampton which, let’s face it, is only fair.

What do you think? Please comment below.

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Discussion11 Comments

  1. avatar

    I agree Winchester could have better links to Highfield however UniLink should sort out the problems within Southampton first. For example, Glen Eyre and Bencraft are served by just 2 buses an hour, causing the U2 to be seriously overcrowded and most students made to walk. Which is even worse in winter months with cold, dark evenings and the potential for assaults.
    Whereas Wessex Lane halls are served by 9 buses an hour, that’s 18 buses for both directions, this caters for the same amount of students as Glen and Bencraft. Not to mention the U1 being double decker, having a bigger passenger capacity than the single decker U2.
    If bus routes need to improve, then surely the University and UniLink need to look at the current routes they operate before expanding into Winchester. But yes, Winchester students should be able to travel to Highfield more easily too.

    Caroline Raby (writer)
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    Maybe the whole system needs a bit of an overhaul? I just think it’s unfair that students in Winchester, particular the Freshers, miss out on a lot of what’s going on in Southampton due to the lack of transport to Highfield.

  2. avatar

    I think this is a good idea initially, but it would be hard to fund and I’m not sure in the long term that many students would actually use it. Why don’t you make a petition, or even a survey to see the likelihood of it all?

  3. avatar

    I agree with everything said in this article. I think a lot of students would benefit from this bus service. Even after getting the train to Southampton, it’s very difficult to navigate you’re way around such a large city, when you’re not familiar with it, or where the main university campus is. Then there’s the cost of having to pay for train, as well as buses, or taxis. The union is also rubbish in Winchester, so would be good to have easier access to the one in Southampton. As well as the library. There are so many resources available in the Highfield library, but it’s such a pain to access them without a simple journey.

  4. avatar

    It’s a good idea but the introduction of Uni-Link is somewhat un-nesscerary as in pervious years Bluestar 1 was used, which although somewhat distant between each campus is simple to use and an existing service. This unfortunately receaived poor use and was scrapped and shows a possible glimpse at any theoretical Uni-link.

    The current services could easily be subsidised for much cheaper than the introduction of an entirely new service. That said communication between the two campuses is much more important as this would allow students to see what they would benifit from going to highfield and put any service to use. The lack of communication is what spelt the end for the free Bluestar service in my eyes.

    Laura
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    I disagree that it’s comparable with Bluestar, Bluestar connects the towns, not the campuses and it’s more expensive to buy a season pass for Bluestar than to get the train on the occasions that we would need to visit Soton, so for me, it’s obvious why the scheme failed.

    Caroline Raby (writer)
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    I think perhaps where uni-link would be better than bluestar is the fact that it’s provided by the university which would be much more useful for new students as it could be publicised around uni. When I was a fresher myself I had no idea about getting around and as Laura says no other transport actually connects the campuses.

    Laura
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    Definitely an interesting article and it’s great to see people talk about this and have their say. From my perspective this is what needs to be done.

    1. Find out about the previous scheme. If there was previously a scheme, what exactly was it and why didn’t it work? Did it stop too far from campuses? Was it the right price? Was it well publicised? Did the busses go at the right times?

    2. Survey the students. This article and several recent discussions I have seen are a great way to open up the forum and stir up a debate, but facts and figures will go much further in finding out what popular opinion is. A survey of the current students and what they would use the service for would give a reasonable idea of the usage. How many students actually want to regularly visit Southampton and what for? It’s important that we know WHEN people want to go to and from Southampton.

  5. avatar

    Definitely an interesting article and it’s great to see people talk about this and have their say. From my perspective this is what needs to be done.

    1. Find out about the previous scheme. If there was previously a scheme, what exactly was it and why didn’t it work? Did it stop too far from campuses? Was it the right price? Was it well publicised? Did the busses go at the right times?

    2. Survey the students. This article and several recent discussions I have seen are a great way to open up the forum and stir up a debate, but facts and figures will go much further in finding out what popular opinion is. A survey of the current students and what they would use the service for would give a reasonable idea of the usage. How many students actually want to regularly visit Southampton and what for? It’s important that we know WHEN people want to go to and from Southampton.

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