Portsmouth braced for a bus service boom after councillors back new transport plan

BUS services across Portsmouth could be massively improved after councillors backed a bold new vision for an enhanced transport plan.

Saturday, 26th June 2021, 1:35 pm
New First Portsmouth 'Star Fleet' of buses pictured at Guildhall Square, Portsmouth last year. Picture: Ross Lucas-Young

Top officials sitting on Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet committee have approved plans for an ‘enhanced partnership’ between the authority and bus operators.

The scheme is part of the government’s £3bn national bus strategy, which seeks to improve services and drive down fares.

It’s hoped that the new partnership will also help forge fresh transport links across the city, providing new routes to previously poorly-served areas.

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Portchester volunteers haul a tyre, cones and more from Paulsgrove Lake

And councillors said that – once the details are ironed out – the union would see more services running earlier in the morning, later at night and over the weekend.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, the city’s transport boss, said the new link could lead to integrated ticketing that may one day work in partnership with the railway, providing wider services.

She also hoped the boost in services would help in the city’s ongoing quest to reduce air pollution and to cut the number of car journeys across Portsmouth.

‘This is something that is exciting because we have got a good say in it. We will have more power to control what is going on than what we have right now,’ she added.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson backed the bid and said: ‘If we can get fares down and move more people onto buses then that’s a really good thing.’

The link will start in April.

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