More than 65,000 passengers use Portsmouth’s new park and ride

Park & Ride at Tipner

Park & Ride at Tipner

James Cooper, director of the Stansted Park Foundation, with the model    Picture: Habibur Rahman

Railway model depicting life in Rowlands Castle during the Second World War now on display

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PORTSMOUTH’S new park and ride is on the road to success as figures show it has been used by more than 65,000 passengers.

Visitors have poured in to use the multi-million pound service, which connects Tipner to The Hard and Gunwharf Quays, since it was launched in April.

The busiest day so far came on May 31 when a bumper 2,840 people hopped on buses to the city.

Councillor Ken Ellcome, Conservative cabinet member for traffic and transport, said he was pleased with the uptake.

‘The service is proving very popular and we’re pleased with the number of people using it,’ he said.

‘Extra buses have been used during school holidays and weekends to cope with demand and we’re looking to continue to build on this early success.’

Visitors pay £2 per vehicle to use the park and ride when they turn up in a car holding up to eight people as part of an introductory offer.

The deal lasts until June 29 and provides savings on weekly, monthly and annual tickets, with a week-long pass costing £9 while a month’s use is available for £35.

The service runs every 12 minutes at peak times.

While it doesn’t serve Southsea due to the estimated running costs, bus passengers can get on a bus at The Hard and get a discount on other buses that go there if they show their park and ride ticket.

Cllr Donna Jones, leader of the city council, said while the figures were encouraging, they’re not up to where they should be as the city is lacking key developments that would attract more bus users.

She said she intends to meet the developers behind the proposed Northern Quarter retail scheme to see where they are with their plans.

‘It’s still very early days with the park-and-ride scheme,’ she said.

‘The park and ride would have been even stronger if we had the Northern Quarter shopping centre. The priority now has to be the city masterplan and sitting down with the developer and revisiting discussions.’

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