Hop on a bus this summer to explore Hampshire – new campaign aims to boost passenger numbers

Hampshire residents are being encouraged to use the county’s buses this summer to explore the county’s attractions and take advantage of the Government’s £2 bus fare cap. Bus operators Stagecoach, Bluestar and First Solent have joined forces with Hampshire County Council to launch a campaign highlighting the advantages of travelling by bus and the wide range of attractions that can be reached

Aug 11 2023

Councillor Nick Adams-King, the County Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Universal Services said: “Hampshire’s bus network provides a vital service connecting the county’s villages, towns, and cities. In Hampshire, bus ridership is currently at around 85 per cent of pre pandemic levels, and lower again for concessionary bus pass holders. This dip in the numbers travelling by bus alongside rising costs, is having an impact on the viability of many routes. Every extra journey by bus helps to keep our bus services going which is why we have joined forces with bus operators to highlight all the amazing places that are just a bus ride away – and how easy it is to get to them. Whether it’s retail therapy, a trip into the countryside, or a visit to a historic site, there’s a wealth of choices on offer. With the Government’s £2 fare cap in place until autumn it’s also a more affordable way to get out and about this summer and beyond.”

A selection of landmark destinations to enjoy by bus include:

  • Paultons Park, Ower – Bluestar X7 / X7R
  • New Forest National Park – Bluestar 6 / 8 / 9 
  • Jane Austen’s House, Chawton – Stagecoach 38 / 64
  • Watercress Line, New Alresford and Alton – Stagecoach 13 / 38 / 64 / 65
  • Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey – Stagecoach 66
  • Milestones Museum, Basingstoke – Stagecoach 8 / 76
  • Basingstoke Leisure Park – Stagecoach 8 / 76
  • Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke – Stagecoach 76
  • Winchester Science Centre – Stagecoach 64 / Bluestar South Downs Rambler
  • The South Downs Way – Bluestar South Downs Rambler
  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – Stagecoach 20 / 21 / 23 / 700 / First Solent 1, 2, 3, 8, 25, X4, Southsea Coaster
  • Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth – First Solent 1, 2, 3, 8, 25, X4, Southsea Coaster & Stagecoach 20 / 21 / 23 / 700
  • Clarence Pier, Southsea – Stagecoach 23 / First Solent 25, Southsea Coaster
  • South Parade Pier - First Solent 1,3,18, Southsea Coaster
  • Staunton Country Park/Staunton Farm, Havant - Stagecoach 20 / 21 and First Solent 27 
  • The Great Hall, Winchester – Winchester services
  • Calshot Activities Centre – Bluestar 9
  • Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield - Stagecoach 37

The campaign is being jointly funded by Stagecoach, Bluestar and First Solent alongside Government funding that has been allocated through the County Council.

In addition to highlighting key destinations in Hampshire that can be reached by bus, the promotion also carries a range of messages about the benefits of taking the bus, as follows: 

  • Saving money
  • Convenience
  • Connecting with friends and family
  • Helping the environment and supporting local businesses.

In April this year, the Government confirmed that the £2 bus fare cap had been extended until 31 October to help passengers with cost of living and then £2.50 until November 2024.

An Older Persons bus pass, for those of pensionable age, enables free travel on buses throughout England from 9:30am to 11pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays (or free travel anytime with a Disabled Person’s pass). Hampshire residents can check eligibility and apply at https://www.hants.gov.uk/buspasses 

Bus services in Hampshire accommodate a wide range of accessibility needs where practical.

For more information and to plan you bus journey visit https://myjourneyhampshire.com/ or your local bus company’s website.