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Travelling by bus just got even better for shift workers and the night-time economy in Portsmouth, thanks to council funded extended operating hours on key routes throughout the city.

Portsmouth City Council has collaborated with local bus companies First Solent and Stagecoach to ensure passengers can get to work early in the week, with early buses from 4.30 am, and stay out later, until 1 am, on Friday and Saturday nights.

These changes were developed through engagement with the local community, which included a city-wide survey, as well as engagement with user groups and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders which took place in August 2021.

This is one of the first in a series of council led schemes funded by the Bus Service Improvement Plan, a £48 million investment of government funding designed to transform bus travel for Portsmouth residents, creating a quicker and more reliable bus service.

These changes will come into effect on the 4 December 2022, for First Solent bus routes, and for Stagecoach after the festive period on the 3 January 2023.

The First Solent early morning routes included in the trial are, 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 18. For later journeys on Friday and Saturday nights with First Solent you can use bus routes 1, 2, 3, 7, 8. From January Stagecoach start their early morning and late services on the 21 and 23 bus routes.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said:

“I am delighted to say that Portsmouth City Council is able to offer extended hours on key bus routes in direct response to residents’ feedback. These services will be a lifeline to people working and socialising across the city. These changes are part of a much bigger picture for Portsmouth, offering people the chance to choose public transport, and help reduce the reliance on cars.”

Simon Goff, Managing Director for First Solent, said:

“In collaboration with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) and through their City-wide survey of residents and local stakeholders in the community, it was evident that we needed to work with PCC to extend the hours on certain routes. It became clear from the survey, that some workplaces in Portsmouth that rely on shift work will need their workers to be able to arrive and depart at varying times throughout the day and sometimes night, making it crucial that they have an efficient route to their place of work.

“Therefore, we would like to thank PCC for funding extended operating hours on key First Solent routes that are particularly important to shift workers and will make journeys easier for other members of the public, wanting to travel around Portsmouth. We’re thrilled to say that these changes will be fully operational throughout the city from 4 December 2022.”

Gordon Frost Managing Director for Stagecoach South said:

“It’s fantastic news for the residents of Portsmouth and we’re pleased to be working with Portsmouth City Council on delivering these extra journeys. We really hope it will help encourage more people to use public transport as part of their daily routine”.

More improvements to bus services across Portsmouth are due next year.

For more information about these changes and public transport options across the city head to our website