Last year the Lib Dems promised the start of a ‘Bus Revolution’ in Portsmouth and a lot is certainly happening.
Recently Lib Dem-led Portsmouth Council stepped in to save the no 13, 14, 18 and 22 bus services. First Solent had planned to close these from the start of April for commercial reasons. Instead, the new, Council-inspired plan will see routes retained whilst a new plan is created.
The no 18 bus, that goes all the way from Paulsgrove via Hilsea, Fratton and Central Southsea, to South Parade pier, will move to an every 30mins peak time service, helping make choosing the bus even easier and more convenient – especially as many fares remain capped at £2.
March also saw free bus service Sundays, helping new people trial using the bus. A further free bus service day is planned for May 7th, the Sunday after Coronation Day.
Long term, First Bus recently announced plans for a major investment in a massive new 'super depot' in Hilsea to support a planned fleet of 90 electric buses, with 62 in place by April '24.
Some new electric buses are already driving round Portsmouth, purchased from funds secured by the Lib Dem-led Council from national government funds.
These new buses will improve the passenger experience, whilst also improving air quality and reducing the cost to operate vs older, dirtier diesel buses.
On a lighter note, Portsmouth City Council has just ordered its first 15 “Bee-stops” with more in view.
These will see micro-meadows created on top of bus shelters, creating staging posts for bees and other insect pollinators in the city.