Changes to First bus services sees evening and weekend routes cut

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BUS services are to be slashed as Portsmouth City Council withdraws subsidies to the company First Solent.

The bus operator has announced sweeping changes to its services taking effect on March 27 – Easter Sunday.

The cutbacks include: An end to evening journeys on route 15 and no more stops at the Hayling ferry point for route 15 and 16; an end to Saturday services on route 19 and 19a; and services on routes 13, 14, 17 and 18 will end earlier in the evening.

Route 12 will be replaced by a new bus, number 22, which will operate between Highbury, Lower Wymering, Cosham, Lower Drayton, Drayton and Sainsbury’s at Farlington.

General manager Dervla McKay said: ‘With local authority budgets being further squeezed, we have had to make some tough decisions on what services we can continue to run.

‘However, we’re delighted that we are able to maintain most of the routes, though we do regret having to withdraw some evening and Saturday services.’

She added: ‘Those services we have had to withdraw is due to there not being enough customers using them to make them viable.

‘We still believe that travelling by bus is the most convenient and effective way of getting around a very busy area like Portsmouth.

‘We hope more people will now consider using our services as their preferred mode of transport where they are out and about in the city.’

For more information about the changes visit firstgroup.com/portsmouth-fareham-gosport.