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Last updated: 11 May 2021

 
     
  Archive/Photograph of the Month  
     
 

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Portsmouth Park and Ride has been closed and the buses have been deployed elsewhere. The three Park & Ride Alexander-Dennis Enviro400s were not initially set up for service work, being deployed primarily on closed school and college routes or Rail Replacement services. However, in recent weeks, they have seen far more activity on local services: most notably the 9/9A between Fareham and Gosport.

With the frequency still affected by Covid, the Optare Solo SRs branded for the 9/9A have been deployed elsewhere, such as on to routes 21 (Fareham – Stubbington – Hill Head) and 28/28A (Fareham – Whiteley). Larger buses have dropped in to the 9/9A, featuring a mixture of the recent Enviro400 acquisitions from Manchester alongside Eclipse-branded Enviro200 MMCs. Well, the 9/9A does traverse the BRT link between Redlands Lane and Wych Lane, so Eclipse buses make as much sense as any! That was until early April, when the Park & Ride-branded Tridents were deployed more regularly.

This month’s photo concerns fleet no. 33895 (SN14TPZ) heading up the incline on to the BRT at Redlands Lane in Fareham. Behind the bus is the former railway line to Fareham, still with its sign declaring the 1.5km link direct to Fareham railway station is awaiting funding. Whether this northern extension will ever be completed remains to be seen, as any access to the BRT would have to cross the railway to get to Fareham town centre – a tricky undertaking without another underbridge. At the southern end, work continues apace for the extension from Hutfield Link to Rowner Road, with the new embankment being constructed. The latest Hampshire County Council Progress Report, released in December, suggested the extension would be open in Spring 2021, so we await future news and developments.

 
 
 
  First Hampshire & Dorset vehicle movement and news  
     
 
 

 

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Volvo B7RLE 66965 (KX05 MJF) brings a little spring colour to Gosport Bus Station on 6th April 2021.  66965 is one of six Volvos transferred to First Hampshire, Dorset & Berkshire for use as training vehicles.

Photo by Chris Richardsen

 
 

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