First Solent and Portsmouth City Council Launch New Bus Services with Customer Roadshow
|Published: 18th January 2019 11:55|
Three Portsmouth bus services started operating last week, thanks to funding from Portsmouth City Council. Working in partnership with First Solent, the routes cover services in Old Portsmouth and Tipner that were withdrawn in September last year due to lack of demand. A new Sunday 13/14 service was also introduced.
Council funding has enabled the introduction of the new number 12 service providing residents in the Tipner area with access to the new Tesco Extra in Fratton Way as well as North End shops and St Mary's Hospital. The new number 6 connects Old Portsmouth (serving the High Street and Pembroke Rd) to Southsea shops, The Hard Interchange and other connecting services. Both services started on Monday 7 January.
The new 13/14 Sunday service, which started on Sunday 6 January partly reinstates the Sunday Service First Solent, operated on routes 13 and 14. The new service will be operated by one vehicle covering both routes to better match demand.
To promote the new services, First Solent organised a roadshow on Commercial Road in Portsmouth on Thursday 10 January where staff spoke to members of the public and handed out timetables. Many had a go at spinning the wheel of fortune, winning free day passes, phone power banks, sweets and pens.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation spoke to many people at the roadshow and said: "I am delighted to see these new services functioning and serving the people of Portsmouth. We’ve listened to residents and by working with First we were able to deliver these much-needed services. It was great to see so many people attending the roadshow which shows there is a real interest.”
“We want to encourage more people out of their cars, so we must provide options as an alternative to driving. This is a big step in the right direction. It doesn't stop here though, and I am planning further work with bus operators to ensure bus services meet the needs of Portsmouth residents. I was involved in two events last week with Stagecoach and First Solent where I asked residents to take part in a survey in order to capture their views on bus services in the city."
Simon Goff, Interim Managing Director for First Solent said: "We are delighted to be operating these new tendered services from January on behalf of Portsmouth City Council. We are very pleased with the turnout at our roadshow with hundreds of people talking to our staff about services and picking up timetables and winning prizes. We received lots of constructive feedback and we will be working with Cllr Stagg to try and make bus services as attractive as possible to attract new users and get people out of their cars. The event was such a success that we aim to repeat it on a Saturday and give even more people a chance to pop by and talk to us".
Timetables for the new services are available online from the First Solent website and can be viewed here: