With the sun shining, what an ideal time to announce that the much-loved open-top buses are set to make a comeback in Portsmouth.
Many people will have happy memories of climbing on board and going for a ride along the seafront, enjoying the view and breathing in all that lovely fresh sea air.
Now a new generation of residents and visitors can look forward to sharing the experience as the traditional sightseeing buses run again in Southsea for the first time in more than a decade.
Let’s hope we have a good summer so that people can really make the most of these cream cruisers as they ferry passengers all the way from Henderson Road, in Eastney to Gunwharf Quays at the other end of the front.
We’ve said many times that what is needed for the seafront is a big vision of how it can attract people in the 21st century.
It has been in danger of being left behind when there are so many other leisure offerings competing for people’s money and attention these days.
But just as important are all the small initiatives that go into creating an overall visitor experience. Now the open-top buses will be one more reason why visitors will be drawn to Portsmouth and will certainly make the most of the fantastic vista looking out across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
Businesses and attractions will also be working with Winchester-based family firm Xelabus to offer discounts for those using the service. This is just the sort of joined-up thinking we need to make the most of what we can offer.
We look forward to the X25 bus service taking to the road on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from May 5 and then daily from July 23 all the way through to September 2.
Delighted city seafront manager David Evans says that, by connecting the historic dockyard with the seafront, the open-top buses will be a boon for tourism.
He adds: ‘Put simply there’s never been a better time to visit Portsmouth.’