Next conference in Portsmouth, 13th and 14th October 2021  CONFERENCE FULLY BOOKED

The postponed Portsmouth conference will take place on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th October 2021

We have a top line up of presentations including keynote speaker First Bus MD Janette Bell and after-dinner speaker BBC Transport Correspondent, Paul Clifton. There will also be a ‘Dragons Den’ style workshop session. We are expecting to run the conference sessions without face masks on the basis that everyone will be double vaccinated. The conference room is large and so seats can be spaced out if needed, and it has opening windows for direct outside air ventilation. The full programme is available here.

Please take a lateral flow test no more than 48 hours before the conference and bring the result with you. We may ask to see the result. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, or the lateral flow test shows positive, please do not attend the conference and follow the current government rules on testing and self isolating.  

The conference will be held at the Royal Beach Hotel, directly opposite South Parade Pier in Southsea. It’s an easy bus ride from either Portsmouth and Southsea railway station (18 minutes) or The Hard Interchange for Megabus and National Express (12 minutes). Buses run every 10 minutes. Some bedrooms may be available for early check in on Wednesday, otherwise delegates can store bags in reception if bedrooms are not ready. A conference registration desk will be open from 1300-1400 and again from 1900 until dinner at 1930. Light refreshments will be served from 1300. Please bring a hi-vis jacket with you for the site visit. Face masks should be worn on the site visit.

The conference will end at 1515 on Thursday. 

Since the original conference booking, the hotel has converted part of the building into apartments, reducing the number of bedrooms available. We have booked all of them, but some delegates will be accommodated in the Queens Hotel, which is a pleasant 17 minute walk away along Southsea Common beside the sea, or a six minute bus ride on Stagecoach service 23, which runs every ten minutes. We have kept the conference at the Royal Beach Hotel as most delegates can be accommodate there, and the large function room allows for social distancing, if needed, and has opening windows for ventilation. All delegates will be contacted and advised which hotel they have been booked into. 

About the conference venue

The conference will be held at the Royal Beach Hotel, St. Helens Parade, Portsmouth PO4 0RN. Telephone 023 9273 1281. There is free wifi throughout the hotel. Opened over 150 years ago, the hotel stands opposite South Parade Pier and is full of character with chandeliers, grand staircases and seafaring memorabilia. The hotel has great views over the Solent, and most of its bedrooms have been refurbished recently and are of varying sizes.

How to get to the Royal Beach Hotel and Queens Hotel

Both hotels are easily accessible by public transport. 

By Train

There are frequent rail services from London (taking 1.5-2 hours) and locations to the east and west to Portsmouth and Southsea station. Exit the station through the main entrance and turn right. You should see some trees ahead with a zebra crossing beyond. Cross the road on the zebra crossing and on reaching the pavement turn left, then right into Commercial Road, which is lined with shops. Bus stop C is just ahead of you from where you should take Stagecoach service 23, which departs every 10 minutes. For the Queens Hotel alight at the Queens Hotel stop (about 12 minutes) and for the Royal Beach Hotel, continue for another six minutes to South Parade Pier. The Royal Beach Hotel is directly opposite the pier. 

By Express Coach

There are Megabus and National Express coach services to The Hard Interchange in Portsmouth, arriving at stand A. You need to get to stand M, which is on the far side of the road opposite the Interchange. After alighting the coach, turn left and left again to exit the Interchange building passing the coach on your left. Turn left again to cross to the perimeter island and cross the road to your right. Turn left at the pavement and stand M is ahead of you. Take Stagecoach service 23 and alight at Queens Hotel for the Queens Hotel (six minutes) and South Parade Pier for the Royal Beach Hotel (12 minutes). The Royal Beach Hotel is opposite the pier.

By Air 

The nearest airport is Southampton, from which you can travel to Portsmouth and Southsea by train in a little over an hour. Gatwick airport is between an hour and a half, and an hour and three quarters away by train. 

By Car

There are a small number of free parking spaces at both hotels.  

Dinner menu

In addition to any pre-booked special dietary requirements, delegates can choose from the following menu. An e-mail will be sent to all delegates about two weeks before the conference asking for meal choices. If a selection is not made, the most popular choices will be ordered. A personal menu will be given to each delegate at check in. 

Option A: Leek and potato soup with croutons
Option B: Duck and orange pate served with red onion marmalade and ciabatta bread

Option C: Pan fried breast of chicken in a mushroom and tarragon sauce, served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes
Option D: Four hour braised blade of beef in a red wine and thyme sauce, served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes
Option E: Mediterranean vegetable and mozzarella wellington with a Provencal sauce, served with seasonal vegetable and potatoes

Option F: Strawberry meringue nest filled with Chantilly cream
Option G: Amoretti filled profiteroles with a warm chocolate sauce

Tea and coffee with mints


Updated 06/09/21