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People making the most of Small Business Saturday on December 4 are being offered free Park and Ride travel and discounted bus travel as a way of travelling sustainably around the city.

The Park and Ride is offering a free service to everyone using its services on Saturday. Shoppers can use the service to travel to Commercial Road or The Hard, and onward travel to a variety of small businesses across Portsmouth on foot, by bus or Voi rental e-scooter. Visitors could consider visiting the vast array of small businesses in places like Castle Road, Milton, Southsea and Fratton. Plan your journey on the website: https://parkandride.portsmouth.gov.uk/

First Bus Solent and Stagecoach are also encouraging people to travel by bus within the city with discounted tickets available to all. First Bus Solent are reducing the price of their FirstDay Portsmouth Group ticket (buy onboard, valid for up to five people) to only £5 for the day, meaning a whole day’s travel around the city costs as little as £1 per person. Shoppers can plan their journey on the First Bus Solent website: https://www.firstbus.co.uk/portsmouth-fareham-gosport

Stagecoach are offering their Portsmouth family DayRider on the day for up to two adults and two children for £4, so once again tickets are £1 per person. Passengers can buy onboard or on the app using code PORTSMOUTH4. You can plan your journey on the Stagecoach website https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regional-service-updates/south/portsmouth-and-havant

Shoppers are reminded to follow the latest government guidelines around social distancing both when queuing and shopping, and to wear face coverings in shops and on public transport, unless exempt.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic & Transportation, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Portsmouth’s small businesses by offering free travel on the Park and Ride and working with local bus companies, to offer people an opportunity to shop locally whilst helping keep Portsmouth’s air cleaner.

“We’re lucky in Portsmouth that the buses are so frequent, regularly cleaned and easy to use. You can pay with your phone or use the companies’ apps. You can also see real time information at bus stops that will tell you when the next bus is coming, and how busy it is. You can also walk, take a rental e-scooter or cycle to show your support for local shops and stock up on Christmas presents.”

Now in its ninth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign which celebrates small business success and encourages residents to ‘shop local’ and to support businesses in their communities.

On Small Business Saturday, customers across the UK go out and support all types of small businesses – everything from local independent shops and restaurants to smaller service providers like accountants, personal trainers and dog groomers.

Cllr Ben Dowling, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for people to rediscover their high street independent businesses. By thinking small and local this Christmas we can help our smaller businesses to survive and protect local jobs.”