It Always Used To Be 25

A significant number of years ago fbb took the two kiddies belonging to a good friend over from Ryde to Southsea on The Hovercraft and then to the Sea Life Centre at Southsea on an open top bus. It was route 25 which, since for ever, had been the number of the Portsmouth Corporation’s sea front service.

At one time the core service ran every 10 minutes between Clarence Pier and South Parade Pier with extensions every 20 minutes to The Hard and Hayling Ferry.

As the motor car found favour and open top buses didn’t, the service faded. Provincial had a go with route 70 …

… First withdrew after buying Provvy and later returned with service 50 for a while. But by the time the lock-don collapse collapsed services were a curious and feeble mixture of route 15 (GREEN) and 16 (MAROON).

The 15 and 16 were Covid withdrawals.

Then, there was great news! Tendered by Portsmouth City, First was returning to Hayling Ferry with the famous, much loved and popular toute 25!

Only it wasn’t. 
True, it ran from Hayling Ferry but when it got to the edge of Eastney, it abandoned the seafront and became a “normal” bus to The Hard, aka Gunwharf Quays.

The sea front was ignored! A few months later, the new 25 was diverted to serve Old Portsmouth …

… where once tan trams and later trolleybus.

The maps are a bit over enlarged, but below, tram track …

… and trolley overhead.

The tram tracks on Broad Street are still there.

But Old Portsmouth declined as a residential area and now only the 25 runs regularly throughout the year.

A little later again, the new 26 was diverted to serve Clarence Pier. Again, how the mighty have fallen. This is the pier in 1909!

and this is the busy tram terminus, later to be a busy trolleybus terminus.

In loving memory of the old days, today’s Clarence Pier has a three-stand bus station!

But hardly any buses!

Only the 25 ventures here, joined by the Hoverbus (run by Stagecoach) …

… but the Hoverbus does not use the bus station – sensibly, it stands next to the Hovercraft terminal.

Once upon a time First’s 41 to Waterlooville terminated here …

… amd Stagecoach 700 called more recently.

A propos of nothing, fbb came across this picture of a single decker from the days when “ordinary” city buses ran to Clarence Pier.

Portsmouth was one of the earliest municipal operators to run one man buses as above. These started in 1960 and would have begun their reign in 1959 were it not for an industrial punch-up about one man wages!

But the new 25 is even more dismal than that. First’s  new 25 ran every 45 minutes …

… which means nobody can remember the times and it doesn’t always connect with the ferry to Hayling Island. It still runs every 45 minutes …

… and will continue to do so when Stagecoach takes over on September 3rd.

Crackpot! It would probably carry more passengers if it were to run every hour! In an attempt 6o build up the 25, there was good printed publicity and a new brand.
A proper sea front service did return in in the hands of Aldershot Coaches as service 26.

It lasted just one season. 

Then who should return but First Bus with an old route number of theirs, service 50 …

… but it did not run to Hayling Ferry, just a shuttle from the Hard to South Parade Pier, further east on the Southsea coast.

Cheap to run with just one bus and it is a far cry from every 10 minutes of the past.

For this year’s season it has lost the route number and performs as the Southsea Coaster …

… complete with posh leaflet …

… an informative map …

… and a high price cunningly not mentioned on the leaflet.

It;’s a fiver for adults and four quid per kiddie. A family ticket is £12. No £2 maximum fare here – we wouldn’t want you to enjoy yourselves, would we, First Bus.
It’s a bit steep for a 25 minute ride, but you can ride all day. But how many do?
Potty Press Piece – Again
As part of its reporting on the “new routes” being introduced from 3rd September (!!), in the News (Portsmouth’s local non-newspaper) we are told that …

… First will run a new route 22.

Erm no …
… In the tender round First Bus have retained their existing route 22.

In the not too distant past, the Portsmouth 22 was run by Stagecoach!

Of course, once upon a time, a 22 wass part of the network in Leigh Park, a route number no longer operated …

… as (not!) shown on the Hampshire route map; far better than anything Stagecoach itself has produced.

But, Leigh Park ….
… Aaaargh!!
 Next Leigh Patk (Dare He?) blog : Thursdat 10th Aug 
Generated by Feedzy