Bus services return to town centre after long break

Bus at the Willow Brook Centre

Bus services have been partially restored to Bradley Stoke’s town centre this week, after a break of over twelve months during building works.

Services were suspended from April 2008, when construction of a new car park got underway, despite earlier plans to provide a temporary bus stop within the centre as building work progressed.

Bus passengers using the centre have since been obliged to walk to temporary stops in Savages Wood Road, which involved following a lengthy diversion along Bradley Stoke Way until the new Willow Brook Centre opened in October 2008.

With the recent completion of building works at the site, a new bus route through the centre has been opened up. Buses are now able to enter the complex via a slip road off Bradley Stoke way before progressing along the side of the mall building towards a new bus stop on the edge of the Town Square, opposite the soon-to-open Ladbrokes betting shop.

Remotely controlled barriers have been installed at both ends of the route through the centre.

The 73B service, operated by First Group, has now started using the new route on weekday and Saturday evenings and throughout the day on Sundays and Public Holidays. All of these journeys are said to be operated with financial support from South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

Wessex Connect, which operates the 71 & 72 services, says its buses will soon also begin using the new bus lane. These services run throughout the day on weekdays and Saturdays (but there is no service on Sundays and Bank Holidays).

Geoff Clarkson, Assistant Operations Manager at Wessex Connect, told The Journal:

We are awaiting final confirmation from SGC, at which point we will be operating through the new bus lane at the store.

The planning agreement for the new town centre development includes an obligation on the developer (Tesco Stores Limited) to pay a Public Transport Contribution of £250,000, to be used for the provision of a new bus service into the site. Payments are to be phased over five years and any monies not spent after 12 years will be repaid to the developer.

Related Link: Bus Services in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)

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