Bus services subsidised by council to support Portsmouth residents

Three local bus services affected by recent First Bus changes have been resumed thanks to essential funding from Portsmouth City Council.

Working with bus operator First Bus, the council is subsidising three bus services to part replace services lost in Old Portsmouth and Tipner, and the Sunday 13/14 service.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said. "A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes since the announcement to reduce services was made by First Bus. As a result of in-depth discussions with bus operators and residents, I am now pleased to confirm that the council will be supporting three subsidised bus services to run from 6 January 2019.

"We have listened to residents and worked with First Bus to bring back much-needed services. The new subsidised routes will serve residents living in Tipner and Old Portsmouth, and we have brought back a Sunday service for the 13/14 route. 

"I am planning further work with bus operators to ensure bus services meet the needs of Portsmouth residents. We plan to run an event where residents can speak to us about current services as well as running a survey to ask people what routes they would like in the future.

Marc Reddy, Managing director of First Bus in Hampshire, Dorset & Berkshire said. "We have been working hard with Cllr Stagg to find a solution to reinstating some of the bus services which were changed in September. Through this partnership approach, dialogue and a competitive tendering process we are delighted to be operating these new shuttle services from January."

The funding has enabled the introduction of the new number 12 service which provides 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 links residents in Old Portsmouth (serving the High Street and Pembroke Rd) to Southsea shops, The Hard Interchange and other connecting services, filling the gap the number 1 service left when the route was changed in September.

The new 13/14 Sunday service in part replaces the First Bus Sunday service.

The start date for the new bus services is Sunday 6 January 2019, with the number 6 and 12 starting on Monday 7 January as they do not operate on a Sunday. Timetables will be available shortly on the First Bus website.

In addition to these changes, through partnership working between Portsmouth City Council, Havant Borough Council and Hayling Ferry, First Bus agreed to amend the 15 service route to serve the Hayling Ferry from 24 September 2018 for a trial period.

More to follow...

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