Some bus routes set to reduce services in Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham as drivers forced to isolate due to Covid-19 Omicron variant

BUS driver shortages caused by Covid-19 have led to a change in timetables in Portsmouth.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 1:25 pm

First Buses has announced services across the city – as well as in Gosport and Fareham – will be adjusted as several employees are being force to self-isolate.

The changes will take place from Sunday, and a spokesperson from the company said these are temporary measures.

They said: ‘Along with the rest of the bus industry and other industries across the UK, we are experiencing a shortage of bus drivers due to the increasing number of our staff absent through isolation.

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‘We are doing everything we can to maintain services.

‘To mitigate the current shortage and ensure our customers can plan their journeys with confidence, we have made some temporary short notice timetable adjustments to our Solent services including Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth.

‘These changes are intended to minimise disruption for our customers so that they can plan their travel with more certainty.’

Numerous routes are affected, primarily with a reduction in the number of buses per hour.

The Eclipse E1/E2, which runs between Gosport and Fareham, will have less buses operating in the early morning and evening, but more during the day.

On Sundays, it will run every 15 minutes.

The number 18 service to Paulsgrove will only operate every 35 minutes, though no changes will occur on weekends.

Changes will also impact The Star 8 and The Star 7 routes.

The Star 8, which runs between Southsea and Waterlooville, will be less frequent but more buses will be added during peak times.

Additionally, the Star 7 will now only operate every 20 minutes during the week and every 30 minutes on Sundays.

All the timetable changes and further information can be found on the First Bus website here.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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