Residents of Portsmouth will benefit from a transformation to their daily journeys as two key bus routes start running 24 hours a day, and others operate later and increase in frequency, providing greater accessibility for bus passengers in the city.
Portsmouth City Council, in close partnership with First Solent and Stagecoach South, is responding to residents’ requests for enhanced frequency, faster journeys, and extended service hours when changes come into effect in February, which cater to the city’s diverse transportation needs.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
“We proudly stand among a select group of cities in the country now offering 24-hour bus services. Working with our bus operators we are helping people who do shift work to get to and from their workplaces well as the nighttime economy. This presents a tremendous opportunity for everyone to step on board, experience the convenience, and give bus travel a try!”
24/7 operations will start on route 2 from Paulsgrove via Copnor Road to the Hard Interchange on 4 February, and on route 23 from Leigh Park via North End to Southsea on 18 February and will run round-the-clock, providing a seamless travel experience for night owls and early risers alike as well as those working shifts.
Bus routes 7 and 8 will run more frequently throughout the evening while the 13, 14 and 18 will gain new evening and weekend journeys, catering for the evolving needs of the community, and taking passengers between Waterlooville and Portsmouth city centre, Baffins and Milton and from Paulsgrove to Southsea and more. These services will begin on First bus routes 7 and 8 on the 4 February and on Stagecoach routes 13, 14 and 18 on 18 February.
Bus routes 1 and 3 will experience a frequency boost and will run every 10 minutes so that passengers can just turn up and go between Fareham, Paulsgrove, Southsea and the Hard Interchange. These changes will come into effect later in the spring.
James O’Neill, Commercial Director for Stagecoach South said:
“We’re delighted to work in partnership with Portsmouth City Council to run more buses, later in the evening on many of our routes, and throughout the night on our popular service 23 linking Portsmouth and Southsea with Cosham, Havant & Leigh Park.”
“The Bus Service Improvement Plan demonstrates the commitment of the Council and bus operators to deliver the bus services the city needs”.
James Eustace, Commercial Director at First Solent, added:
“We’re proud to be able to serve the Portsmouth community with these fantastic increased services. Working together with Portsmouth City Council, bus travel is being transformed across the city, and these enhancements build on earlier improvements, including earlier morning and later night services. With electric buses on our routes about to enter service this is just the start of even more exciting developments planned for 2024.”
Find out more about public transport and the improvements to bus services: travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/public-transport/
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: https://travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/public-transport/