Take the bus for FREE on ALL weekends in September ’23

Cllr Vernon-Jackson and a First South and Stagecoach South Bus

Anyone starting their bus journey in Portsmouth will be able to travel by bus for free on every weekend in September.

As part of its Bus Service Improvement Plan, designed to improve bus services in the city, Portsmouth City Council has collaborated with local bus companies First Solent and Stagecoach to offer free travel on Saturdays and Sundays. This will be available on all bus services when getting on the bus within the Portsmouth boundary.

This will help families, and other passengers save money this September, who can travel for free on 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 September and the 1 October.

Buses offer an affordable and convenient way of travelling that also helps to reduce emissions and congestion by taking cars off the road. This September is Catch the Bus Month, a nationwide event to encourage bus usage and bring people together through accessible and inclusive transport. Residents can make the most of it, by taking the bus for free in Portsmouth.

As well as fare free weekends, bus users will soon be able to take advantage of cheaper fares, with the council set to announce a host of ticketing offers for students, people travelling later at night, job seekers and more.

Bus users are also able to travel more affordably, thanks to an extended government-backed campaign which caps single bus fares at £2 until 31 October 2023, and thereafter £2.50 until 30 November 2024.

Free weekend travel is just one of the council’s plans for buses. Discounted tickets will also be coming later this year, as well as improvements to bus stops across the city.

This scheme is for travel in and around Portsmouth. People will be able travel for free on all bus journeys that start within the city, but the scheme does not include return journeys from outside of Portsmouth.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said “I am delighted to launch Portsmouth’s weekends of free bus travel this September. I want to encourage residents to use public transport as part of their daily routines, if more people use the buses there would be less traffic on the roads, better air quality, and local journey times will decrease. Not only that, in a cost-of-living crisis, these initiatives are even more important for our residents. The bus is a great way to travel, and with an opportunity like this, there has never been a better time to try it out!”

Simon Goff, Managing Director, First Solent said “We’re proud to be supporting this fantastic initiative, helping people realise the many benefits of using the buses. With our new electric buses due to arrive in Portsmouth in the coming months, we’re proud to be part of the change to greener travel.”

Marc Reddy Managing Director of Stagecoach South said “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Portsmouth City Council on this great initiative.”

“By offering free travel at weekends, we want to encourage people to try the bus, perhaps for a regular commute, to go to the shops, a restaurant, or to spend their weekends enjoying the amazing attractions and great beauty of our city and help the air quality”.

Find out more about public transport in Portsmouth at travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/public-transport/.