Southsea park-and-ride set for revamp following concerns over lack of uptake

Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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THE park-and-ride service to Southsea is to be re-routed after city leaders admitted it is struggling.

Work is being done to draw up more stops along the journey, including Gunwharf Quays, to make the journey more viable.

We have had a few teething problems, and the bus hasn’t been successful to date.

Tory councillor Linda Symes

Tory councillor Linda Symes said empty buses had been running to Southsea so something had to be done.

It comes despite the move being praised by traders and shoppers.

The council had to fork out £91,666 to run the service – though costs could eventually rise to £147,666 when taking into account money lost through pay-and-display car parking.

Cllr Symes, of St Jude ward, said she was pleased improvements would be made – and had originally proposed an extra stop at Gunwharf to link up the city’s main shopping areas.

‘We have had a few teething problems and the bus hasn’t been successful to date,’ Cllr Symes said.

‘The issue has been it’s gone straight to Southsea and not acted with the other two shopping centres (Gunwharf and Commercial Road).

‘If it’s a three-centre bus, then it should attract more people. It needs to stop at Gunwharf, go to Southsea and service the attractions as well as the shops. It’s no good servicing the shops and missing out the attractions.’

The Southsea journey will start from 8am to encourage workers to use public transport instead of cars.

The bus, which operates from the park-and-ride in Tipner, has been running down the city through Clarendon Road to South Parade Pier before coming back.

Tory traffic boss Ken Ellcome agreed to run the Southsea park-and-ride on a temporary basis in February.
He said it would only be made permanent if it is well used.