Monday, 21 January 2013

The Zero has unravelled...

The planned Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport network is back, and there are a few headline routes. Firstly, the Zero has unravelled, and instead been replaced by a far more sensible arrangement on the 17 and 18 (yes, they are back), a route from Fareham into Havant is nearly restored (terminating at Farlington), and the evening connections are sorted (in theory).

Return of the 17 and 18 - but not as we knew it
The Zero has been developed. It is now replaced by route 17 and route 18. Both operate half hourly along their respected routes. Route 17 connects Tipner, Copnor, Eastney and Southsea (Palmerston Road), which then turns into route 18, connecting Southsea (Palmerston Road), with Fratton, North End, Cosham and QA Hospital. The route is expected to be operated by Hilsea depot, and will see the connection between Southsea and QA Hospital restored (by First - the Stagecoach 20 did this a couple of weeks ago). 

Route 3 - the 3A is dropped
Route 3/3A becomes the 3 throughout. The Hard - City Centre - North End - Cosham - QA Hospital - Paulsgrove at every 10 minutes, with three buses an hour then heading for Portsdown Inn, and three buses an hour heading for Fareham. The North Portchester link is cut by this route, and the Fareham-Portsmouth via Cosham buses are cut to three an hour. Combined with the X4, there are now 5 buses between Fareham and Portsmouth an hour. The 3 also now interworks with the 1 - which presumably will mean Volvo B10BLEs and Scania Omnicities provide consistency across the route. Again, presumably, the 2 will solely be in the hands of Hilsea Darts until improvements are made.

Route 22
Route 22 has changed rather a lot. The Farlington - Drayton - Cosham - QA Hospital portion remains the same, and remains half hourly, but here the route splits. The new 22A heads to Lower Wymering, hourly, while the 22 heads off to Portchester, Dore Avenue and Fareham, again hourly. Portchester's four buses to Cosham are maintained, with the axe of the hourly 3A extension.

There are other smaller changes, but these are the headline details. Changes begin on Sunday 17th March.


  1. We're getting a bus from Fareham to Havant again, brilliant news

  2. No it isn't, it terminates at Farlington.

  3. just had a proper look at the time table, my mistake.

    Slightly disappointed but it is a new route of sorts so I can't wait to try it out and take my own photos, any plans for the 17th March?

    1. But from Farlington you could always catch Stcoach 23 (Havant rd) or Stcoach 21 (Eastern rd) into Leigh Park & Havant & use a Solent Travelcard to do so.
      If you really, really, really want to travel Fareham to Havant on just Firstbus you can do it on a schoolday by going to Crookhorn/South Downs college & catching a 145 to Havant from there. Only a few a day, but it can be done!

  4. Yes, the 17/18 numbering is much easier to understand than using "Zero" for all the variations - and the extension to QA is useful. Changes to the 3 and the 22 also look good - they make the pattern of services a bit tidier.
    Now, if only First could sort out the X9...

  5. I rode on the zero today for the first time, might be the last time, hope it isn't.

    I look forward to doing the 22

  6. Yet again Farcical First screw up. Their only strength is the ability to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

  7. I'd have to disagree with the last point. If you consider Southern Vectis, when they introduced the new network in 2006(?) they spent many years tweaking it. Southampton's network has been introduced well, but that is a bus environment used to changes. First in Portsmouth made it clear when they introduced the changes they would be making changes. However, you could argue routes like the 0 were far too complicated when they started and were never going to work, and they should have seen this...

  8. Wasn't much wrong with the old Portsmouth area routes!!

  9. The Portsmouth network just needed a little fine tuning, not a total carve & screw up. Stagecoach must be rubbing their hands with glee

  10. Its easy to beat First with a stick for making a few a mistakes, at least they're an operator that is trying and willing to innovate. From a passanger point of view, the old pre-2012 Portsmouth network may have been great but it was unsustainable, First had to decrease costs or they'd be following HMV and countless others who fallen recently. In terms of the changes:
    3/3A: an fantastically writen new timetable which allows for interchanging with the 1 or work within its own means, basically it allows driver rota flexibilty. One criticism, the short journey short have retained 3A, makes it easier when travelling out of the city past Paulsgrove.
    0/17/18: again another change for the better, along with a timetable that is much easier to understand this should remove any issues regular users have with the route.
    22: James summed it up pefectly
    Other changes seem great too, the 11 diverting through Elson in Gosport serves a large chunk of Elson whilst retaining a 5 vehicle PVR on the 10/11 diagram. Well done first! (LeeG)