Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Portsmouth's newest Open Topper

On Saturday, Xelabus introduced their brand new open top route in Portsmouth. The X25 connects The Hard with Clarence Pier, the sealife museum and D-Day museum, South Parade Pier, the Royal Marines Museum and Eastney Caravan Park. The route is a carbon copy of First's former route 50 and 70, which they unfortunately withdrew in 2002.

Leyland Atlantean GJZ9571 operates the X25, and is seen here at The Hard on the first Saturday. Atlanteans very much like this bus were once found all over Portsmouth, but these were inherited by Stagecoach before the company sold onto Blue Admiral. They didn't last long after that.

First in Portsmouth's finest at the moment stands next to the Atlantean in The Hard. It will be interesting to see how popular the X25 gets on a bright, sunny day later in summer. Loads were quiet on the first day for the departures that I observed.

GJZ9571 stands alongside HMS Warrior in Portsmouth Hard as it negotiates the roundabout for Southsea. The livery seems a little confusing - the top red band could have done with being repainted green, and the pink is certainly noticeable. The Atlantean was previously in service down in Paignton. 

For those interested in having a ride, the X25 is operated every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday from now until 30th September, and Daily over the termly summer holidays.


  1. Xela bus won't take any "rover-type" tickets incl. Plus Bus so unless you are prepared to pay extra when you get to Portsmouth/Southsea you won't be going on the X25. Also, it doesn't connect up to the Hayling Ferry to Hayling Island for the tourists?! Rather silly methinks.

  2. I sampled the X25 on Monday, paying £2 for a single from The Hard to South Parade which I thought was very reasonable. Xela do a day ticket for the X25 at £4.50 if you want a full dose of Atlantean haulage.

    They're only running it to make money - if you want an open topper on Southsea seafront then you'll have to part with £££s to support it!

  3. The top red stripe is left over from its days with Devonian Motor Services and the gap at the front used to display the name Black Prince for reasons that were not entirely clear. It still features on

  4. I think £4.50 isn't too bad not like the horrendous open top tour prices that you see in most cities. Although it only takes about 20 minutes to get from the Hard to Eastney, and then returns by a similar route. I agree that it's a shame the service doesn't run through to the Hayling Ferry terminal as the old First route did.