Portsmouth panto audience offered free shuttle service to avoid parking mayhem

SPECTATORS of a Portsmouth panto don’t have to worry about finding a parking space thanks to a free dedicated shuttle service.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 1:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 4:38 pm

People looking forward to Aladdin at Portsmouth’s Kings Theatre, which opens on Wednesday, will be able to take advantage of the service between Clarence Pier Park & Ride and the theatre on selected performance days.

The KT1 bus service marked ‘Panto Special’ is free to use following an agreement between Portsmouth City Council, Kings Theatre and First Solent, which aims to combat parking restrictions in Southsea.

It will operate four short journeys both before and after the shows on each weekend between December 14 and January 5 as well as weekdays on December 26, 27 and 31. Customers only need to show the driver proof they’ve paid for parking at Clarence Pier car park before jumping on the bus.

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The stars of The Kings Theatre's 2019 panto, Aladdin. Left-right: Shane Lynch, Dany Acors, Jack Edwards, Ben Ofoedu, Lucy Kane and Mike Goble

The bus service from Clarence Pier will depart 75, 60, 45 and 30 minutes before each of the performances. The journey, which takes approximately eight minutes, will drop customers off at the bus stop opposite the theatre on Albert Road with the return journey departing from outside the theatre's stalls entrance.

First Solent managing director Marc Reddy said: ‘We are delighted to support the Kings Theatre and its panto performance, which like previous years promises to be a spectacular success thanks to its star-studded cast. We hope people enjoy the show and use the bus service.’

Pam Turton, Portsmouth City Council's assistant director for transport, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with First Solent to offer audiences a stress-free journey to the Kings Theatre panto this year, through the creation of this dedicated park and ride service.’

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Kings Theatre CEO Paul Woolf said: ‘Thanks to Portsmouth City Council for giving us the financial support to be able to provide this service. Panto season at the Kings is the most magical and exciting time and we hope the park and ride will be a cost-effective and fun way of getting people to the shows with ease.’

The full timetable can be found here: kingsportsmouth.co.uk/travel