WINTER timetables will be running on Dorset’s buses from the end of September.

With a chill in the air and the night’s getting darker, winter is not too far round the corner.

First Wessex, which operates bus services in Dorset, will be re-instating its winter timetables on Sunday, September 28. There will be two extra late evening journeys on Service 1 between Weymouth and Portland, while the evening Service 8 covering Westham and Chickerell will remain in place this winter.

Sunday journeys on the Service 10 will continue to be every half hour instead of every hour. There will also be a later return journey between Weymouth and Dorchester on Friday and Saturday nights, leaving Weymouth at 00.30am and Dorchester 00.55 am.

Daytime journeys on Service 14 will now call at Dorset County Hospital in Bridport Road, Dorchester and terminate at Mansell Square in Poundbury.

General Manager of First Wessex, Simon Newport, said: “Following a very successful summer season, we have decided to continue the very late evening services on two of our most popular routes with journeys at 2.30am and 3am running between Weymouth and Portland.

“The alteration to Service 14’s route to include the hospital has come as a result of customer feedback. We are also very encouraged by the popularity of the Service 10 half hourly journeys so we will keep them in place throughout the winter.”

The changes to the First Wessex winter timetables are:

Service 1 (Portland – Wyke Regis – Weymouth)

  • The service will revert to a 10 minute frequency during the day with a 20 minute frequency on Sundays.
  • On Monday to Friday, there will be half hourly departures from Portland operating through to Dorchester on Service 10 in the mornings.
  • The school bus 601 (Portland – Weymouth College) has been incorporated into the through journeys.
  • Extra Friday and Saturday night journeys will run at 02.30am and 3am onto Portland.

Service 2 (Littlemoor – Weymouth)

  • The last two late night trips ending at Overcombe Corner will be withdrawn. The last bus from Weymouth will now be at 11.30pm, Monday to Saturday.

Service 3 (Westham- Weymouth)

  • The timetable will be reduced after 6pm Monday to Saturday and after 4pm on Sundays.

Services 4/4A (Weymouth – Preston – Sutton Poyntz)

  • The Monday to Saturday timetable will be withdrawn after 7.30pm and the Sunday timetable withdrawn after 5.30pm.

Service 8 (Weymouth – Chickerell)

  • The Sunday service will be reduced.

Service 10 (Weymouth – Dorchester)

  • There will be an extra 00.30am journey from Weymouth to Dorchester and return journeys on Friday and Saturday.
  • Improvements will be made to through services to and from Portland during morning and afternoon peak times with additional journeys during the morning peak times, Mondays to Fridays.

Service 14 (Portland – Weymouth – Dorchester)

  • The journey to Thomas Hardye School will divert via Elwell in both directions while the Weymouth to Dorchester service, via Littlemoor, will be extended to start and finish in Poundbury.

Service X31 (Dorchester – Bridport – Axminster)

  • The Sunday service will be reduced to two hourly while evening services will be withdrawn after 7.30pm.
  • The 3.25pm journey from Axminster will be extended by four minutes to allow more time for pupils getting on at Woodroffe School.

Service X53 (Exeter- Bridport- Weymouth – Poole)

  • The Sunday service will be withdrawn and a two hourly service will operate between Poole and Exeter.
  • The route via Poole Quay and Hamworthy will be withdrawn with buses operating via Holes Bay Road.

Service 753 (Beaminster- Bridport- Weymouth College)

  • The service will be renumbered 53 and amended to run between Beaminster and Bridport only, connecting with Service X53.