The people of Portsmouth have their first chance to see one of the city’s new park-and-ride buses today, on Monday 31st March, in the week leading up to the service’s launch on Saturday 5th April.
The blue double-decker is parked up in Commercial Road for the day, with staff on hand to answer questions from members of the public. The bus will also be making an appearance in Guildhall Square on Wednesday, and will be returning to Commercial Road once more on Friday.
Portsmouth’s City Centre is one of the main areas which will be served by the new park and ride bus, with vehicles from the fleet passing through every 12 minutes at peak times.
Portsmouth City Council hopes an introductory price of £2.00 will prove a popular option with commuters around and visitors to the city.
The introductory offer runs until 29th June and provides savings on weekly, monthly, and annual tickets, with a week-long pass costing £9.00 and a month-long pass costing £35.00.
The park-and-ride, which is located on the M275 entrance to the city, is open seven days a week with stops for Portsmouth International Port, Charles Dickens’ birthplace, the City Centre, and The Hard Interchange for the Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays.
The fleet is comprised of new double-decker buses with “luxurious interiors, low floors for improved accessibility, information on Portsmouth’s attractions, and free Wi-Fi.
New bus lanes into the City Centre will ensure that any traffic queues are surpassed.
More than 650 parking spaces surround the new terminal building, offering real-time bus departure information, visitor information, and highly-accessible toilet and baby-changing facilities.
Priority parent-and-child and disabled parking spaces are available in addition to dedicated spaces with charging points for electric cars.
The introduction of this new park-and-ride service coincides neatly with the debut My Journey conference, taking place at Portsmouth Guildhall on Tuesday 8th April, giving local businesses the chance to find out about sustainable transport options throughout the city.
PCC said: “The park-and-ride will provide sustainable transport to cater for increasing numbers of visitors generated by a redeveloped city centre and seafront, as well as for commuters and major events in the city.
“[The service] has been built as part of a £28m project following the Department for Transport awarding £19.5m to go with £8.5m of council money. The project will link in with future improvements to the city centre road network and The Hard Interchange to maximise the efficiency of the city’s transport network.”
For more information on the service visit the Park and Ride minsite here.