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It's been three years in the planning and building - and on Sunday 22nd April, the first buses start using the new 24 million pound Bus Rapid Transit route between Gosport and Fareham.
A disused railway line, between Gosport and Fareham, transformed into a modern, dedicated busway, offering passengers reliable journey times on specially designed, high-quality buses, branded ‘Eclipse’.
The new luxury buses will use the Phase 1 busway for part of their journey with routes extending beyond into the surrounding residential areas, linking to key destinations and transport interchanges at the Gosport Ferry terminal, Fareham railway station and Fareham bus station in Fareham town centre.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said:
“The completion of this innovative project will deliver a much-needed public transport option for people living in one of the most congested areas of South East Hampshire. By bringing back the former railway line into public use, the route will provide a viable alternative to the private car for people to access areas of employment and education, which is essential in these lean economic times.”
Funding awarded for the scheme by the Government in 2008 meant work could begin later that year with the overgrown route being cleared of vegetation and the removal of around 3000 metres of old track which was donated to the Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society. Extensive environmental mitigation measures were put in place and actual construction began in 2009.
There'll be an official opening ceremony on Wednesday April 25th.