CHRISTMAS Day bus routes will be in operation in Southampton and Winchester.

Bluestar has announced special services for passengers travelling across Southampton on December 25.

The company’s festive timetable has services for those wanting to visit friends and family at Southampton General Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, on Christmas Day.

The Bluestar 18 will be running, and is extended to Southampton General Hospital and to Lordshill, and a new route, the Bluestar 1X, a combination of the normal Bluestar 1 and some of Bluestar 2, will run between Southampton and Winchester, including Portswood, Eastleigh, Chandler’s Ford, Otterbourne and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

Bluestar and Unilink head of communications, Nikki Honer said: “We know how difficult it can be for those in hospital at any time but particularly at this time of year – and it’s great when relatives come to visit.

“So we’re happy to help people get there, by running these special services.

“For the 18, the first bus leaves Thornhill at 7am and we’ll be running hourly trips throughout the day, right up until 7pm. Special cash and contactless fares onboard will apply, but all period passes on The Key, our mobile app or paper will be accepted as normal.

“The newly-introduced 1X will leave Hanover Buildings at 9am, and run regularly until 7pm.

“On Boxing Day, we are responding to demand by running more buses, alongside our sister operator Unilink – so shoppers will have ample opportunity to check out the sales.”

Bluestar and Unilink are introducing a number of changes to their services throughout the festive period, including Christmas Day to New Year’s Day, and you can now view the full timetable online.

“The Bluestar and Unilink teams are very much looking forward to a fun but peaceful Christmas 2018,” added Nikki.