A NEW bus service running between Southsea and Queen Alexandra Hospital is being introduced.
The move by Stagecoach comes less than a week after rival bus firm First Hampshire and Dorset Ltd changed its routes throughout the area.
Stagecoach says these changes left residents in Southsea without a direct route to the hospital and has therefore decided to enhance its number 20 service.
The change is a result of meetings with Portsmouth City Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel, which operators recently attended to discuss bus services serving the hospital.
Andrew Dyer, managing director of Stagecoach South, said: ‘Through our discussions it became apparent that recent changes to the bus network left some residents in Southsea without a direct route to the hospital.
‘By extending the current Service 20, we are able to reconnect Southsea to Queen Alexandra Hospital, providing vital links to the hospital that patients, staff and visitors rely upon.’
Many residents complained of being unable to get to the hospital directly, with ease, or in a reasonable time after First introduced changes to its services across the network on Sunday.
First has said it will listen to passengers feedback and consider changes accordingly, as previously reported, but Stagecoach still feels it is necessary to enhance its service.
Cllr Peter Eddis, chairman of the council’s Health Overview Scrutiny Panel, said: ‘We appreciate that Stagecoach listened to our concerns and have taken effective action.
‘I am sure many residents will be pleased to hear about the changes which will provide better access to the main entrance of the hospital.’
The revised route will leave from Southsea instead of The Hard – where it currently departs from – and will also go through Stamshaw instead of going onto the M275.
It will start on January 7, with the first bus departing from Albert/Festing Road at 6.02am. The last departure from the hospital to Southsea leaves at 8.39pm. To view the full timetable, see stagecoachbus.com/south or call 0871 200 2233.