THE partially-built Kings Barton estate is finally poised to get a bus service in the New Year.

The estate should have had buses by the completion of the 350th home but they are awaited even though there are now 500 homes on the 2,000-home development.

The Kings Barton Forum heard the latest from Hampshire County Council officer Mike Griffin-Thorn who has conducted a survey, which revealed demand.

Mr Griffin-Thorn said the county council was proposing a Monday to Saturday service to run between 6.30am-8.30pm serving the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, railway station and city centre. There would be four pick-up points along Winchester Avenue, the main road through the estate.

READ MORE HERE: Delays to Kings Barton bus service

At first a minibus would be used as Winchester Avenue is not currently a through route and it will be easier for a smaller vehicle to negotiate the roads. Should there be demand the size of the bus could be increased, said Mr Griffin-Thorn.

"We need to be aware there may have to be compromises. We have a vision and know what we would like to see but we have to be realistic," he said.

The service is scheduled to start in January. For the first year it will be run by the council but another option is to then put it out to commercial tender.

The forum heard that bus subsidies are among the many things that the county council is currently cutting.

SEE MORE: Kings Barton campaigners write to Michael Gove over diversion of Andover Road through estate

The bus service has a subsidy from CALA Homes to last 12 months but when that runs out the service will have to be economically viable.

The forum heard that many nurses who work at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital live on Kings Barton and would use the service.

Cllr Jackie Porter said there will be a need to watch the impact of the new route on Stagecoach's 86 service.

Cllr James Batho asked if the service could be extended to run to the leisure centre at Bar End, as people in north Winchester are poorly served if they want to use it.