By the time my spies arrived at Gosport & Fareham yesterday, the light had already begun to fade. They nevertheless managed a number of images that we can bring you, ahead of today’s launch
Note the front of the Eclipse 2-bodied Volvo B7RLE is devoid of the usual Wrightbus “W”. First Hampshire is understood to have modified the front, one by one, so that it could show the Eclipse sub-brand name.
The southern access to the busway is via a short stretch of road named Hutfield Link. This, apparently, was the name of an early Gosport motor charabanc proprietor and, if so, it seems fitting eminently fitting. The choice of name for the busway itself might’ve perhaps been Orme White Way but, instead, they chose Henry Cort Way, after a local pioneering iron master of the industrial revolution.
No everyone’s delighted at today’s opening of the busway. Several houses had paper white elephants in their windows.
The only regular vehicles operating the length of the busway has been for security purposes. This is to keep vehicles and pedestrians off the busway. Note that there are no street lights (other than at bus stops). Today, it’s for buses only but it’s also open for the emergency services, special forces vehicles and, apparently, undertakers.
Each of the 14 new stops has cycle facilities. The idea is that people who live some distance might be encouraged to use the busway. Each stop also has a zonal map showing a 15-minute walking distance. At least on pair of stops is handily close to high-density accommodation.
I doubt that this young lady will make an appearance on the busway today. Maybe Monday, though : )
Apart from most over-bridges and the straight busway alignment itself, there are still other telltale signs that this was once a railway.