It’s 'Catch the Bus Week' and to mark the event, Portsmouth City Council are giving away 1,000 free Park and Ride tickets.

The national campaign, which runs between 2 July and 8 July, is a fun initiative aimed at raising awareness of the many benefits of travelling by bus. Portsmouth is one of a number of UK cities getting involved.

Now in its sixth year, Catch the Bus Week, organised by Greener Journeys, highlights how central the bus is to communities around the country and aims to inspire people to leave the car and take the bus to their next destination. This is a valuable opportunity to harness the potential of the bus, to strengthen the economy, help the job market work better and to build a more inclusive society.

The campaign comes hot on the heels of national Clean Air Day on 21 June. 300 people who applied for free tickets, chose to leave their cars and use the Park and Ride bus service in a bid to improve air quality.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: "I'm delighted that we are able to support Catch the Bus Week with this fantastic giveaway. Portsmouth's Park and Ride is a great alternative to taking your car into the city.

"Travelling by bus means that you can enjoy the journey in comfort without the hassle of taking your car. You'll also be contributing to improving Portsmouth's air quality and relieving traffic congestion.

"Portsmouth is a very easy city to walk around and with this wonderful weather we're having it's a great time to enjoy the seafront, attractions and shopping. I hope this offer, in support of Catch the Bus Week, will encourage more people to give Park and Ride a try and inspire them to use it in the future."

The state-of-the-art Park and Ride is located on the M275 entrance to Portsmouth. Buses run seven days a week, every 15 minutes, Monday to Friday, in term time and on Sundays, and every ten minutes on Saturdays and during school holidays. Buses stop for Portsmouth International Port, Charles Dickens birthplace, city centre and The Hard for the Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays.

The car park has more than 650 parking spaces with priority parent and child and disabled parking spaces and two dedicated spaces with charging points for electric cars. The terminal building offers real-time bus departure information, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.

The new double-decker buses feature high-quality interiors, low floors for improved accessibility, next-stop announcements, information about attractions and free Wi-Fi.

For more information visit parkandride.portsmouth.gov.uk. To find out more about Catch the Bus Week visit www.catchthebusweek.co.uk.

To claim your free ticket visit www.parkandride.portsmouth.gov.uk or see the Portsmouth City Council Facebook page. Tickets are issued on a first come first served basis, and are limited to one per household.