Monday, 24 September 2012

Portsmouth International Port : “Britain’s Best Connected Cruise and Ferry Port”…Unless You’re On Foot

Bus2com Question: When is a shuttle bus not a shuttle bus? Answer: when it's the one that links Portsmouth's international ferry terminal to the town’s main railway station. What used to be Portsmouth ferry terminal has become Portsmouth International Port, with a shiny new passenger terminal building. Which is nice once you're there. But how do you get there, if you arrive by train at Portsmouth and Southsea Station? Brittany Ferries helpfully advises passengers to take the Shuttle Bus from the station. But from where, exactly? There are bus stops aplenty across the road from the station, but none lists the Shuttle Bus service. The station ticket collector assures us that it goes from "outside the Pizza Hut." No sign of it there. A passer-by says, "across the road." Again, no sign of it. The scheduled time for the bus comes and goes….unlike the bus. And we remembered a similar fruitless quest a few years back, crossing over from Portsmouth to Caen. Just like before, we gave up and went by taxi. So when our cab arrived at the ferry terminal, there sat the nice shiny white bus. And sat. And sat. It's scheduled departure time came and went, and still it sat there. Perhaps it’s still there? All the time we waited at the terminal, the bus did not shuttle. So, here's a note to Brittany Ferries/Portsmouth International Port: what is the point of a shuttle bus that is impossible to find, and which doesn't follow a timetable? And it wasn’t just us – we spoke to other unsuccessful foot passengers trying to get from Portsmouth station to the ferry. So Portsmouth International Port had better sort itself out, or it’s going to have to change its slogan to “Britain’s Best Connected Cruise and Ferry Port, Unless You’re On Foot.” Of course, they may just be looking for an excuse to withdraw the rarely-moving and impossible to find shuttle bus - due to “lack of demand.”

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