First Bus to build ‘super depot’ in Portsmouth

Portsmouth planned first bus depot site
The Portsmouth depot will be built on the plot of a former Daily Mail Group printing site

First Bus has purchased land in Portsmouth with a view to building a new depot for all-electric buses.

The site housed a Daily Mail Group printing site that closed last year and is opposite First Bus’s current Hilsea Depot in the north of the city. It will have the capacity to charge up to 90 vehicles.

Construction will begin within the next few months and is expected to take two to three years. The plot is already being used by First Bus for storage and overspill.

The operator says it has not yet decided whether either or both of its Hilsea and Hoeford depots in Portsmouth will close, with the position likely to become clearer as the project progresses.

First Bus South Managing Director Simon Goff says: “We are thrilled to have secured this new site and to share the good news with our customers and our colleagues. This will have a massive impact for the better on the daily working lives of our hard-working staff and we cannot wait to share the improvements with our customers as well.

“This represents a significant investment and future commitment to providing zero-emission bus services in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.”

The move is crucial to First Bus’s pledge to run a zero-emissions fleet nationwide by 2035. The operator will run 62 new electric buses from Hoeford from April 2024, following news earlier this month that a further 28 GB Kite Electroliner single-deckers destined for the depot had been ordered from Wrightbus.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Transportation says: “We are delighted to hear the news that First will be creating their ‘super bus depot’ here in Portsmouth. This demonstrates a huge commitment to public transport in our city and will provide a home for the electric bus fleet, helping us to provide clean, zero emission public transport across Portsmouth”.