Last chance to look round old Portswood depot

hants dorset busUp to fifty people will be given the chance to look round the old Portswood bus depot this weekend as it is opened to the public for the first and only time in recent years.

The Portswood site, which has consistently been the hub for local public transport provision for the past 100 years, is due to close as a working depot in the coming weeks as operations are moved to a new purpose built facility in Empress Road.

While First Hampshire and Dorset say the closure of the depot heralds a new era for bus operation in Southampton, for some local people it will be a sad moment.   Acknowledging the strength of feeling surrounding the old site, First is opening its doors to the public on Saturday to offer guided tours of the depot: they will run at 10.30am and 1pm on Saturday 21 August, lasting approximately an hour and a half to two hours each.

Places on the tours, which must be booked in advance, will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. There will be no charge levied for the tour itself however staff will be collecting charity donations on the day in lieu of a fee.  All donations received will be split equally between the Provincial Society (a registered charity preserving local transport history) and a charity nominated by First Hampshire & Dorset staff.

The public tour follows two very successful events for transport enthusiasts arranged by the Provincial Society earlier this year.  

To book a place on the public tour call First Hampshire and Dorset’s customer service team on 0870 010 6022.  

Those who have not reserved a place on one of the official tours will not be afforded entry to the site.
Those who do manage to secure a place on Saturday are advised to wear suitable footwear and clothing consistent with visiting a working bus depot / engineering facility.

As you might expect, the Portswood depot is fully accessible by bus: Service 7/7A  stops outside the depot while Service 3 stops on Portswood High Street, just a short walk away.

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