Portsmouth's residents are now able to experience more accessible travel by bus, thanks to improvements made by the Portsmouth Bus Service Improvement Plan scheme.
Transformations to bus services in Portsmouth over the last year include the introduction of tap on, tap off technology on First bus routes, as well as early morning services providing workers with an easy way to get to work, and later night bus services which support Portsmouth’s thriving night time economy.

Other changes to bus services in the city include the introduction of a ‘Pompey Young Person’ ticket range providing child discounts to adults up to age 19.

Residents have also been invited to try out the bus, with free buses offered on Saturdays and weekends on different dates throughout last year, resulting in over 100,000 extra journeys by bus in 2023. Bus services also ran on Christmas day so families could stay connected over the festive period.

A consultation with residents as part of the Portsmouth Travel Publication Survey took place last year, which stated that buses are the most frequently used mode of public transport in the city, and residents wanted more reliable, frequent, affordable and direct bus services.

On 9 January councillors will meet for the transport decision meeting and will hear about the improvements made to bus services in 2023. Councillors will also receive recommendations, created after listening to residents, so that further improvements to bus services can be made in 2024, that build on the changes to the bus network last year implemented in partnership with bus operators. If approved, bus passengers in Portsmouth could start to benefit from increases in the frequency of key bus routes, including 24-hour services on two key routes as well as extra evening, Saturday and Sunday journeys on other routes.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Reliable, affordable, frequent and direct bus services are important to Portsmouth’s residents, we have already transformed bus services in Portsmouth, creating discounted tickets for young people, offering free buses so people can try out using the bus, implementing new technology like tap on, tap off which makes buying a ticket simple, and there is more to come! I look forward to discussing further recommendations to improve bus services at the decision meeting next week.”

The meeting will take place on Tuesday 9 January 2024.

More information about the Portsmouth Bus Service Improvement Plan

The Portsmouth Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) is Portsmouth’s visionary delivery scheme aligned with the government’s National Bus Strategy and aims to dramatically improve bus services in Portsmouth and to encourage passengers back to the bus. This programme is managed by an enhanced partnership between local bus companies Stagecoach South, First Solent and Portsmouth City Council. With a £48 million grant from the Department for Transport (DfT) the Portsmouth BSIP aims to increase bus usage in Portsmouth by engaging with the local community, and transforming the bus network in the city, so that it is faster, more reliable, and more affordable. The Portsmouth BSIP has already funded early morning travel, and later night services, tap on tap off technology, fare free weekends to encourage residents to try the bus, Christmas day bus services and much more, with even more exciting developments planned for 2024/2025. More information can be found on our website: travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/public-transport/