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CPPTD

City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department

A Short History gratefully provided by Robert Smith.

The first horse bus service in Portsmouth was introduced in 1840. Others followed but were eclipsed by horse tramways, the first of which opened in 1865. In 1873 Portsmouth Street Tramways Company was launched by Provincial Tramways Company. It expanded to become the sole tramway operator in Portsmouth. It was bought by the local authority to form Portsmouth Corporation Tramways on 1st January 1901.The livery chosen was crimson lake and cream. The depot at North End was rebuilt and enlarged.

Electrification soon followed with the last horse trams running in May 1903. Portsmouth Corporation Tramways steadily expanded and bought their first motorbuses in 1919 which were ten Thornycroft J chassis with Wadham double deck bodies. They were rebodied in 1926 with second hand Dodson bodies. More trams and motorbuses followed. The first diesel engined buses arrived in 1931. A new livery of scarlet and white was adopted in 1927, the year after Portsmouth became a city. Eastney depot and offices were opened in 1932.

The first trolleybuses appeared in 1934. More followed to oust the last trams on 6th November 1936. Portsmouth Corporation Tramways was renamed City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department (CPPTD) on 14th July 1936.

The Second World War caused staff shortages, fuel rationing and service cuts. Eastney depot was severely damaged in an air raid on 10th March 1941 when ten buses were

In 1946 CPPTD entered into a co-ordination agreement with Southdown Motor Services Ltd. After a post-war boom, people’s travel patterns changed dramatically with much less reliance on buses. One-man operation became universal in the city. Services were trimmed to match declining demand, culminating in the Market Analysis Project survey of bus usage. It resulted in new timetables and routes introduced on 1st November 1981 which allowed the closure of North End depot and the sale of 38 buses without replacement.

Bus services outside London were deregulated on 26th October 1986 to allow competition. At the same time CPPTD was reconstituted as Portsmouth City Transport Ltd. (PCT Ltd.), a company wholly owned by Portsmouth City Council.

The new company faced competition from Provincial Bus Company Ltd., Southdown Motor Services and Pathfinder UK Ltd. trading as Red Admiral. The latter started on 11th December 1987 and was a joint venture between Badgerline Ltd. (a former National Bus Company operator) and Southampton City Transport Company Ltd (then still owned by Southampton City Council).

Portsmouth City Transport Ltd was partially privatised on 6th July 1988 when it was bought by its staff (25% stake) and Southampton City Transport Co. Ltd. (75%), and reconstituted as Portsmouth CityBus Ltd. (PCB) on 25th July 1988. Southampton City Transport Co. Ltd bought Badgerline’s stake in Pathfinder , which in turn was absorbed by Portsmouth CityBus Ltd in August 1989.


Stagecoach Holdings bought Portsmouth CityBus Ltd on 20th October 1989, two months after buying Southdown Motor Services. Portsmouth CityBus Ltd  was placed under the control of Southdown. A combined network of services branded Southdown Portsmouth was introduced on 21st January 1990, with all services operated by Southdown from Eastney rather than Hilsea depot, which was closed. Thus Portsmouth CityBus was laid to rest.

The Government forced Stagecoach to sell a large part of their Portsmouth operation. Accordingly Transit Holdings bought most of the Eastney operation on 21st January 1991 and, using Blue Admiral and Red Admiral names, replaced almost all of the fleet with minibuses. Eastney depot was closed on 25th May 1991.

Competition between Provincial Bus Company Ltd and the Blue Admiral and Red Admiral operations intensified until both operations were bought by FirstBus on 9th October 1995 (Provincial) and 17th March 1996 (Admirals). A combined network under the Provincial name was introduced on 26th May 1996, this time without Government interference.

Text (c) Robert Smith 18/11/2009 (Minor editing by webmaster 21/11/2009)



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AB01 Dinnages Publishing

Acrylic 6x4 Photo Block

Acrylic Photo Blocks Any photograph from our library can be added. If you already know the reference code, make your order with the sample, and just...
Acrylic 6x4 Photo Block £10.00GBP

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DT003 Dinnages Publishing

DT003

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DT004 Dinnages Publishing

DT004

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT0004©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated ? Registration EBK584Fleet No...
DT004 £0.60GBP

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IT093D IndependentTransport Videos

Portsmouth Buses Routes 17/18

Portsmouth Buses - Routes 17 & 18  Length = 112 Minutes Format = DVD-R Copyright = 2006 Independent Transport Videos Celebrating 75 years...
Portsmouth Buses Routes 17/18 £17.95GBP  £16.95GBP

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DT005 Dinnages Publishing

DT005

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT005©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated 1958+ Registration RV6358Fleet...
DT005 £0.60GBP

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DT005 9x6 Dinnages Publishing

DT005 9x6

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT005©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated 1958+ Registration RV6358Fleet...
DT005 9x6 £3.95GBP

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DT006 Dinnages Publishing

DT006

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT006©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 3 Dated ? Registration RV6373Fleet No...
DT006 £0.60GBP

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CPT01:012CC Dinnages Postcards

CPT01:12CC City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot

CPT01:12CC City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot £0.70GBP

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DT013 Dinnages Publishing

DT013

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT013©DT/STTTypeTrolleybusGrade3 Not totally sharp Dated ?...
DT013 £0.50GBP

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DT014 Dinnages Publishing

DT014

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT014©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated ? Registration GTP988Fleet No...
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DT015 Dinnages Publishing

DT015

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT015©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 3 Dated ? Registration GTP987Fleet No...
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DT016 Dinnages Publishing

DT016

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT016©DT/STTTypes/d busGrade 2 Dated ? Registration CTP86Fleet No...
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DT017 Dinnages Publishing

DT017

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT017©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated ? Registration GTP999Fleet No...
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DT017 9x6 Dinnages Publishing

DT017 9x6

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT017©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated ? Registration GTP999Fleet No...
DT017 9x6 £3.95GBP

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DT018 Dinnages Publishing

DT018

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DT019 Dinnages Publishing

DT019

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DT020 Dinnages Publishing

DT020

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT020©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 3 Dated ? Registration DTP811Fleet No...
DT020 £0.60GBP

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DT021 Dinnages Publishing

DT021

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT021©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 3 Dated ? Registration EBK26Fleet No...
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DT022 Dinnages Publishing

DT022

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT022©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated ? Registration 212BTPFleet No...
DT022 £0.60GBP

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DT023 Dinnages Publishing

DT023

Photograph Detail & Descriptions as taken from our library database; Reorder DT023©DT/STTTyped/d busGrade 2 Dated ? Registration 212BTPFleet No...
DT023 £0.60GBP

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Portsmouth Buses Routes 17/18
Portsmouth Buses Routes 17/18
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