YELLOW Buses will have simple route numbers on the front once again after the company consulted the public over a big overhaul of its services.

The second revamp in barely a year will see the return of a direct Christchurch to Poole bus, but Ferndown and West Moors will be dropped from the network.

Yellow Buses says no one will be left without a service as a result of the changes, although some areas will only be covered by its competitor Morebus.

The new routes will come into effect on April 8.

Last January, the company replaced its traditional route numbers with London Underground-style “lines” bearing names such as Bourne, Priory, Uni, Royal and Village.

The colour-coded routes will remain, but the services will carry simple numbers.

Managing director David Squire said details would be on the company’s website and in leaflets available today, giving passengers almost two months’ notice.

“I doubt there’s been any company in the UK that’s ever done that before,” he said.

Among the changes:

* Christchurch regains a direct bus to Poole, but people travelling from Christchurch to Royal Bournemouth Hospital will have to change at Iford or take a Morebus.

* Residents at Kinson, East Howe and West Howe will lose their direct service to Castlepoint and Royal Bournemouth Hospital, except for an early morning bus aimed at staff who start work at the hospital at 7am.

*There will be no service to West Moors and Ferndown, although Morebus covers those areas.

* No bus to Bournemouth Airport is in the timetable, although Yellow Buses will provide some sort of service and is in talks with the airport’s new owner.

* Buses will again use the station behind Boscombe's Sovereign Centre.

Mr Squire said the company had focused on improving frequency and punctuality in the most heavily-trafficked areas of the network, including Christchurch and East and West Howe.

“We’ve had all our staff in briefings on what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and they all understand it. There’s positivity from our staff, who said ‘This is what we need. We can sell this.’”

Mr Squire, who took charge at loss-making Yellow Buses last October, said he had reviewed all aspects of the business.

The company asked drivers for feedback on last year’s route changes, then held 1,200 interviews at bus stops and conducted focus groups.

“It was pretty amazing that all the stuff that came from all those sources tied up with what the drivers were saying,” he said.

Regular bus users had got used to the route names, but potential passengers were confused.

“It was too complex. They wanted something simple, with proper numbers that mean something,” he added.

Mr Squire, who describes himself as a “lifelong busman” with 40 years’ experience, said: “Although a lot of these might seem drastic and dramatic, we’ve worked out that over 90 per cent of our current customers will still have a Yellow Buses at their local bus stop.

“It might have changed time or number but the amount of people affected is actually a very small number and in every case there’s some alternative which might not be us but there’s some alternative.”

The routes have been registered with the Traffic Commissioners and details are online today at