We will be transforming bus travel for Portsmouth residents and those traveling to the city following the announcement by government that the city has been awarded £48 million to fund new tickets, reduced fares and make bus journey times shorter and more reliable. This supports the delivery of the National Bus Strategy designed to increase bus use and deliver a wide range of economic, health and social objectives.
This announcement came just weeks after the government announced that Portsmouth and Hampshire would be awarded £6.5 million for zero emission buses, bringing the total funding to transform bus travel in Portsmouth, and the wider area, to £54.5 million.
Bus Improvement Plan
The Bus Service Improvement Plan has been developed collaboratively with First Bus and Stagecoach, whilst also ensuring local priorities for the bus service are considered through engagement with the local community. This has included a city-wide survey with over 1,100 responses, engagement with user groups and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders.
The plan aims to create more frequent and reliable services on a better fleet of buses, improve the integration with other ways of travelling, develop ticketing options to make travel simpler, and provide more accessible information for passengers and those considering taking the bus. Examples of the changes needed include buses running from 4.30am to 11pm to benefit shift workers, buses operating until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays to support the night-time economy, and additional services operating in parts of the city that don’t currently have a bus service or have a poor one.
Improvements will be measured by targets for journey times, reliability of services, passenger numbers and passenger satisfaction. The document will be reviewed annually to ensure it reflects the changing needs of the city as the council strives to achieve its vision to become a greener city with excellent air quality and easy travel.
Enhanced Partnership for Portsmouth
The Enhanced Partnership is a key part of the National Bus Strategy for England published in March 2021. The Enhanced Partnership for Portsmouth will see Portsmouth City Council and local bus operators working together to increase bus use across the city and improve the quality of life of residents and visitors.
The Enhanced Partnership provides an opportunity for buses to support City Council objectives for health, economy, air quality and access to employment, education and training. It supports the Imagine Portsmouth objectives of a green city with excellent air quality and easy travel.
South East Hampshire Rapid Transit
Working in partnership with Hampshire County Council, the Isle of Wight Council and local transport operators, we are delivering a programme called South East Hampshire Rapid Transit. Through a network of bus priority routes, direct rapid transit services will reduce journey times for those travelling into the city by bus.
In September 2020 the Portsmouth city region was successfully awarded just under £56 million from the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). Part of this investment will fund the next phase of South East Hampshire Rapid Transit, while supporting a number of active travel schemes across the region.
Portsmouth City Council is focussing its £26 million share of the investment on bus priority measures across the city to reduce journey times and improve reliability of services, making travelling by bus an even more attractive option.
Projects address congestion pinch points on key bus routes along Lake Road, Southampton Road, in the city centre, at Rudmore roundabout and Portsbridge area junctions
Find out more about these schemes
Zero Emission Bus Regional Area
We’ve been awarded £6.5 Million as part of the National Bus Strategy, for the funding of zero emissions buses as part of their partnership with First Solent and Hampshire County Council.
The 34 new electric buses will replace the current diesel fleet seen on the roads today. The new buses will operate across the Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth and will support air quality improvements on the routes that travel through four of Portsmouth’s air pollution hot spots.
For more information about the bid see: