STAGECOACH has introduced a number of changes to its buses from Fareham to Winchester city centre – but not everyone is happy.

The Number 69 route starts at Roundabout Station and passes through Wickham and Twyford on it's journey to the bus station in The Broadway.

Since September 1, a revised route has been in place in the Bishop's Waltham area, due to 'issues with parking' in Free Street.

But local resident Dick Jones believes this is causing trouble for elderly commuters.

He said: "The bus stops on Free Street and Corhampton Road serve not only regular bus users, but also a large number of residents of care homes for the elderly.

"Re-routing of this service means that elderly residents of Ridgemede House, Cedar Court and Bishop's Waltham House now have a lengthy walk to the town centre to access the 69 bus.

"In addition, the villagers of Dean and Ashton rely on the stops on Corhampton Road for access to a bus service."

Buses to and from Swanmore are now running via Winchester Road, Shore Lane and Cricklemede to Hoe Lane.

Dick added: "As a user, I wonder how sensible it is for double decked vehicles to ply this route when a single decked vehicle would be far more appropriate, bearing in mind that I have never seen a double decked vehicle completely occupied."

Stagecoach has also added late evening journeys between Winchester and Waltham Chase to the route.

Keith Gait, customer service director for Stagecoach South said: "We've introduced a revised timetable on the 69 with extra evening journeys on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and to also address safety concerns in Bishops Waltham. We operate Double Deck buses on service 69 due to the demands of peak hour loadings with School and College passengers. Unfortunately, we have had to re-route this service because of ongoing issues with low trees, traffic calming and parking in Free Street.

"As a responsible operator, we felt it was necessary to take this action. Whilst we appreciate some passengers will have a little further to walk to their closest bus stop, opting for a safer route will benefit all passengers and reduce the risk of congestion."