Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Reader survey paints a bleak picture of bus travel in Bradley Stoke

Posted on Tuesday 4th November 2014 at 11:12 am by SH (Editor)

A First West of England X73 bus at the Linden Drive stop in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

A bus travel survey conducted during October on The Journal’s website and Facebook page has revealed high levels of dissatisfaction with the reliability and punctuality of the 73, X73 and X74 services that link Bradley Stoke with Cribbs Causeway and Bristol city centre.

The survey, which is ongoing and has so far attracted more than 200 comments, was initiated in response to frequent complaints about the 73 and X73 services on social media during September. The results so far paint a bleak picture of buses failing to run to the published timetable, taking much longer than scheduled to reach their destinations and sometimes failing to turn up at all or terminating short of their final destination.

A number of readers have claimed that the services in general have deteriorated (from already poor levels) since a new timetable was introduced at the beginning of September, when the new X74 route was introduced.

The majority of complaints relate to morning and evening peak hour services, but problems have been reported at all times of the day and night, with “no shows” being reported as late as 10pm, long after the commuter traffic has died down.

A large number of complaints relate to the peak hours only X73 service, with readers reporting that the 07.15 journey from Cribbs Causeway to Bristol regularly arrives nearly 30 minutes late in the city centre, while the return journey at 16:25 is frequently late and sometimes doesn’t turn up at all.

The survey also reveals problems with the 22.05 73 journey from the city centre, which often turns up 30 minutes late with the driver saying the bus will terminate at Parkway Station instead of Cribbs Causeway.

The Journal made First West of England aware that we had started the survey and, after it had been running for just over a week, we provided the operator with a summary of the findings.

The company provided us with an overarching statement (below), as well as detailed responses to the points raised in the summary findings. A selection of these responses is shown below, along with a link to the summary survey findings and full set of responses from First.

A First West of England company spokesperson said:

We are extremely sorry that people trying to use our services in and around Bradley Stoke have experienced problems in recent weeks and months. There have been multiple issues affecting our services, some of our making and some not.

In the latter category is the effect of traffic congestion and in particular the impact of road works in and around the city, which have hindered our ability to operate to time. We would like to assure our customers though that we take these issues incredibly seriously and we are already doing everything within our power to resolve them as quickly as possible.

While we would love to promise a quick solution to these issues, in some cases this will not be possible. We will, however, work with our partners in the local authorities to do everything we can to restore peoples’ faith in the service as quickly as we can.

Selected comments from Journal readers

Matt W: It’s gotten terrible (more so than usual) recently. Buses don’t turn up & when they do (always late) there are generally two of them. Not good enough.

Steve H: I get the train as of today, after 5 years of unreliable buses, x73, 73 etc… Had enough!

Nick B: Left work at 20.00 at The Mall last week 21.00 still no bus and was told it didn’t show up till 21.30.

Claire D: 16.25 X73 [from Bristol] is ALWAYS late now it has changed times. Assuming that it bothers to turn up that is.

Kris B: I regularly get the 20.35 73 from Cribbs to Bradley Stoke in the evening and in the last two weeks there have been four ‘no shows’. Getting fed up now. Why bother advertising the service on a timetable if it is not going to show up?

Chrissie M: My 15 year old daughter was left waiting for over an hour for the 73 from Parkway to Bradley Stoke in the cold and wet. This is totally unacceptable – First should be ashamed.

Gordon C: The 73 service from Bradley Stoke to Gloucester Road, must be the most unreliable bus service I have had the misfortune to use!

Jim: I understand that there is little First can do about heavy traffic, but as a bare minimum I think we ought to demand that the “real-time” information is accurate so that everybody knows the situation. The current displays seem to operate in a time warp.

Robert D: Wife missed her train today as 73 bus was 45 mins late.

Claire C: The 22.05 73 from the Centre failed to turn up tonight. Since the bus service was “improved” in September the reliability has been shocking.

Rich: Absolutely livid. Waiting from 21.50 for the 22.05 73 home. It arrives at 22.30 but only goes to Parkway. I query this and am told by the driver that I’m the problem, I’m making him late by enquiring like this.

Simon: In the past 3 weeks, I don’t think one 73/x73 has arrived on time. All too often two 73s and an X73 arrive within a few minutes of each other (07.04, Winsbury Way) and, not over the 20 minute gap that should exist.

Clare: The 16.50 X73 from Rupert Street didn’t turn up again tonight. It was showing on the First Bus app as being on time but then just disappeared once 1 minute to it arriving had passed.

Margaret W: Waited 55 mins this morning at the bus stop at Parkway. No 73 again. It’s getting stupid.

Kerry McC: Nice for 73 bus to finally show up! Only had to wait 41 minutes…not very happy.

Marie-Anne: can’t believe that still after all traffic has gone, 3 scheduled no. 73 never showed up. Had to call a taxi, cheers first bus!

Sources: FB1; FB2; FB3; FB4; Web

Selected responses from First West of England

Punctuality in general

Our data shows that the punctuality of Service 73 and X73 has dipped slightly in recent weeks. This is due in part to higher than normal levels of traffic congestion. For instance we have seen higher than normal traffic flows to and from the MOD site in Filton at peak hours, which is increasing congestion on the ring road and Great Stoke Way. The M32 traffic flow has also been increased which has impacted on Services X73 and X74.

There are currently an abundance of road works in and around the city which are having an impact on services.

To put some context on the punctuality figures, the data we have for October shows the following:

  • 77% of Service 73 buses started on time
  • 78% of Service X73s started on time
  • 86% of Service X74s started on time

The biggest single factor affecting the start time punctuality of the bus is whether or not the previous journey – completed by the same bus – was on time on not. If it was affected by severe congestion then it can have a knock on effect on subsequent journeys.

Real-time passenger information (RTPI) boards

There are a number of issues affecting the electronic display boards at present. Firstly, there’s an issue which means that not all of the buses track properly. Specifically at the moment we – and our colleagues in the Council – are seeking ways to address this but on average two buses in every 10 do not display on the system. The problem is a national one, and the solution can only be found by various organisations, namely Omni, Vix and Almex, working together.

Secondly, there is a problem with the RTPI screen and the associated tracking of the buses near the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke. This relates to the sensor for the bus stop being effectively located in the wrong place. This means it doesn’t accurately know where the buses are in relation to it. The problem has been identified and will be fixed within the next three weeks.

Thirdly, in relation to cancelling buses from the RTPI screens, or adding other messages. We do possess the ability to cancel buses from the screens if for instance something goes wrong during a journey (the bus breaks down or has to be taken out of service). I am not aware of an issue with buses then showing as a timetabled journey.

Morning X73 services to city centre

Our data shows that 89% of morning journeys on Service X73 begin their journey on time but then get delayed on the journey. We will look at this and adjust the timetable to make it more reliable for the future. Note such changes cannot be made immediately – they must be planned effectively, with a minimum of 56 days notice given to the traffic commissioner. We are also only permitted to make changes to bus services in / around Bristol on set dates throughout the year. The next planned service change (aside from 2nd November) will be next spring (March 2015, with the changes registered in January 2015).

In detail: Summary of initial survey findings plus full set of responses received from First [PDF]

The Bradley Stoke Journal’s bus travel survey is continuing
– please send us your comments!

We are asking users of the 73, X73 and X74 services to record punctuality, actual journey times and “no show” events, either here on our website (by leaving a comment on this article), on The Journal’s Facebook page (by sending a message or leaving a comment on this post), via The Journal’s Twitter feed or by texting The Journal on 01454 300 400.

Please be sure to tell us which service you were using, direction (e.g. to/from city centre or Cribbs Causeway), where you got on and off and the timetabled/actual times of departure and arrival (if known).

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Tags: bus, First Group

142 Responses to “Reader survey paints a bleak picture of bus travel in Bradley Stoke”

  1. SH (Editor) Says:

    Reader comment received via text message:

    X73 to centre. Arrived at The Centre 8.49am (scheduled 8.06am).

    [Ed: This is the 7.15am X73 from Cribbs – arriving 43min late.]

  2. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Amy Hurst (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    1 hour wait so far for the 73 centre outside Bradley stoke surgery.

  3. Banana man Says:

    The bus goes right past my house but stopped using it ages ago , never turns up on time or just doesn’t turn up and you have to wait for the next one , or it goes on such a silly loop that a journey I can do in 20 mins on my bike takes over a hour , plus when it does eventually arrive it’s so ram packed as everyone else has been waiting for ages you can’t even get a seat ,
    All went down hill when the number 74 stopped ,

  4. Ian Says:

    I had to feel sorry for the poor people waiting for the X73 on Hatchet Road at about 07:15 on Monday (03/11/14). X73 sailed straight past them then stopped by Co-op and left with a net increase in passengers. Why not stop the X74 (like we need more buses going to UWE) and just make the 73 and X73 better. The 73 could always be split into a 73A and 73B service (the former going through Little Stoke and the latter through Bailey’s Court) and instead of the X74 just run more X73 buses…

  5. SH (Editor) Says:

    @buttonbex on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA lots and lots of upset people up at Cribbs waiting for a 73 yet again. Been nearly an hour since the last one… Again.

  6. rachel Says:

    Tonight’s x73 due to the haymarket arrived at 17.27. Since being at the stop (17.10), I saw 2 70 servicesupplied, 3 75’s and a 76. You can’t tell me that they can all materials.through traffic but the 73 and x73 can’t? None of the other stops seemed to have issues either.

  7. SH (Editor) Says:

    @HorizonBee on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA I didnt enjoy standing @ the bus stop for 1h20mins and having to order a taxi to get home today. The 73 is stupidly unreliable

  8. SH (Editor) Says:

    @GnosticLizzie on Twitter:

    @TheBSJournal @FirstBSA @iBristolPeople 73 from centre at 1825 has not shown up. Disgraceful.

  9. SH (Editor) Says:

    @RobertKnowles12 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA terrible again this morning. Not running x74 service! Digital display counts down to “due” then “sorry not in service” drives past

  10. Simon Says:

    Bradley Stoke is a town of 30K people and merits better bus/train services, and not just a few routes thrown onto the end of existing routes.

    The existing 73/X73 routes are too long and too prone to multiple congestion points to be reliable.

    The X74 route is a lot more reliable. It is shorter and avoids Stoke Guifford which is frequently gridlocked.

    The solution has got to be integrating train/bus services at Parkway station with an integrated ticket that is the same price whether I choose bus or train to the centre.

  11. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Chris Orman (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    Last night my wife, baby daughter and I were at the Willow Brook Centre bus stop at 5.15pm, travelling toward the Centre The buses scheduled at 5.21, 5.36, 5.51 pm did not turn up. We caught the 6.06 bus (which was 5 minutes late).

  12. Elizabeth Says:

    Waited one hour for bus, 1 lady had been waiting longer and had an appointment at the eye hospital. 5 buses went up Bailey’s Court Rd to Cribbs Two buses arrived at the same time at Bailey Court Rd. No wonder people use cars. Rubbish Service

  13. Donna Says:

    Waited over 40 minutes for the 73 to turn up at Sainsburys Filton on the 3rd Nov and again today, both times it was a no show. This was around about 6.20 on the 3rd and 16.45 ish today.

  14. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Adam Lawday (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    9:29am 73 for Newleaze to Cribbs Causeway is a no show!! This is starting to get silly now!!

  15. anon-e-mouse Says:

    So there’s a growing amount of hard, factual evidence of fundamentally flawed bus service.

    But how can this be used to bring about the wholesale change that is required for the bus users of BS? (I’ve long given up on anything that has the word “First” in the company name, whether bus or train. There must be a formal escalation path to Bristol CC/SGC/Government whereby the difficult questions are asked of First, or are they protected by their mates high up and never held to account whilst trousering tax-payer funded subsidies and bus lanes whilst never delivering against the franchise they won the bid for.

    Something has to give, time for our MP to become involved and demonstrate he’s on the side of the voters

  16. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Bex Nicholls (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    I just got told by a first bus driver that the x73 due to leave town at 16:23 would not be turning up as they had no driver! Have been forced to catch the 73 (who’s driver also knows there is no driver for the x73) which takes twice as long for me to get home! Not impressed!!!!

  17. SH (Editor) Says:

    @AndyTheHam04 on Twitter:

    @TheBSJournal @FirstBSA 16:25 X73 from the centre didn’t turn up today. Other buses turning up so can’t blame traffic issues.

  18. Clare Says:

    I was also waiting for the 4.25 X73 from The Centre tonight when we were told that there was no driver to drive the bus and made the decision to jump on the 73 instead. The bus took just under 1 1/2 hours to get from The Centre to Bradley Stoke Surgery. There is a desperate need for a frequent, reliable express bus service between central Bristol and Bradley Stoke not only at commuter times but all day and evening.

  19. Aggie Says:

    It’s disgusting what they are doing. 73 always late or no show.
    When you phone customer service they always say busses are stuck in traffic. It’s funny how every other service is running on time.
    06/11/2014 – 3 buses from cribbs caseway haven’t turned up. I called customer service and she tried to tell me that drivers – all of them – run out of driving time. What she didn’t realise that I have worked in transport office and I’m very familiar with driving hours. When told her that it can’t be right… She put the phone down! Lovely customer service. Well done first!!

  20. BS32 Resident Says:

    Again my wife arrived back from London last night and waited for the 21:03 73 from Parkway to Bradley Stoke and again it was a no show. A 73 finally turned up at 21:45. Similar to the Aggie when I phoned customer services to enquire/complain they informed me that due to traffic congestion earlier in the evening the buses have been severly delayed and the drivers have run out of driving time so they (First) have been forced to cancel services. First are not providing the service for the residents of Bradley stoke that they agreed to therefore they should have their rights to run the service removed and it be awarded to somebody that will provide an appropriate service.

  21. Simon Says:

    Are First Bus truly surprised that 73/X73 are running late, and drivers are running out of hours?

    The worst traffic congestion areas of Bristol are Centre, Ring Road/Abbeywood/UWE and A38/Aztech West. Are First Bus truly surprised that the 73/X73 are having these problems?

    Surely it is time to redesign the bus routes to ones that are deliverable?

  22. SH (Editor) Says:

    @thayes_law on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA I waited for 1h15 for a #73 bus at Bristol parkway station yesterday at 5pm. @GeorgeFergusonx Do you think this is acceptable?

  23. SH (Editor) Says:

    @MrsWhitters on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA where is the X74 from Abbey wood retail park. It was due 1450. I’m gonna be late for an appointment. Been waiting since 1440

  24. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Ian Bull (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    16:25 X73 has failed to turn up again. I guess ‘roadworks’ only affect the buses with an X in front, plenty of 73s and other 70 services. First bus, you are sh*t and do not deserve to be able operate in Bristol and surrounding area.

  25. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Claire Louise Devine (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    16:25 X73 hasn’t turned up AGAIN for the second night running. THIS SERVICE IS UTTERLY DIABOLICAL. But then why would First care about that when they have a total monopoly here? First couldn’t organise a p**s up in a brewery.

  26. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Claire Louise Devine (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    And the 4:50 X73 has failed to show! Been waiting at Rupert St stop for an HOUR now. This goes beyond ANY joke.

  27. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Ian Bull (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    16:50 X73 also did not turn up. Two 73s came along, one changed to ‘Not in Service’ and drove off the driver of the other just laughed and said he didn’t know what was happening. Still here at 17:10, having waited an hour now… Why can’t anybody sort this out?

  28. SH (Editor) Says:

    @raine_of_terror on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA where is the 73 bus from Eagle’s Wood to Parkway? Was due at 5:10. Going to miss my train

  29. Toxteth O’Grady Says:

    Can I suggest a group complaint to the a West of England traffic commissioner is made?


  30. SH (Editor) Says:

    @samsen4u on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA time now 23.45.waiting at sglatjp near east filton, sainsburys from 22.20. No service of 73 till now. bad service.

    @dnlkbox @TheBSJournal @FirstBSA i would have walked or took taxi but bristol.acislive and first bus app tracking showed bus is on time.

    @dnlkbox @TheBSJournal @FirstBSA one elderly person boarded at manor farm complained he walked from parkway and really tired& frustrated

  31. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Amanda Kusnierek Dawe (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    10.30 to the centre @ sherbourne ave stop is a no show. Sat in the cold with a baby.

  32. SH (Editor) Says:

    @stuartellison75 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA 40 mins and Counting sat Waiting for 73 on filton ave towards Cribbs Causeway. Absolutely rubbish

  33. SH (Editor) Says:

    @MrFuzms on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA why the hell have i been waiting literally over an hour for the 73? Why does this seem to happen every other day?

  34. Naomi Says:

    Waited this morning from 7.10 until 7.33 for a bus at Webb’s Wood Rd to Centre, should have been 2 in that time. Two buses went the other way to Cribbs in that time. Arrived tonight at 16.30 expecting to get the 16.40 back to Bradley Stoke by 17.05 no 73’s had turned up (every other number did at least twice). Then an X74 turned up so decided to get on that rather than continue to stand in the cold waiting any longer. But it doesn’t go via Webbs Wood Rd so had to get off at Willowbrook, and couldn’t believe my eyes when a 73 heading to Centre turned up straight away so I could jump on and get back to my house 🙂

  35. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Shalaka Rawat (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    It’s a joke in evening
    X73 doesn’t show up at all for an hour or so
    Waited for 45 minutes last evening from 16:32 ! Ridiculous

  36. Simon Says:

    At Rupert St, 1720 X73 is a no show and X74 is running late

  37. SH (Editor) Says:

    @Dunnhill3rd on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA been waiting over an hour for a x73 to Bradley Stoke. Great service eh @TheBSJournal ?

  38. SH (Editor) Says:

    @MadsDawson on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA According to your app the next 73 off the centre is in 34 mins, followed by another 2 less than 5 mins apart – WHATS GOING ON?

  39. Simon Says:

    I arrived at Rupert St/Centre at 1715, and no 73, X73 or X74 arrived until 1745, when two 73s arrived and 1750 when an X74 arrived.

    So, a no show for two 73s, one X73 and one X74 at peak time. These buses are scheduled to start at,

    1720 – X73
    1725 – 73
    1725 – X74
    1740 – 74

    I guess the two 73s at 1745 where late, but at peak time to lose two express buses and have two late buses is not acceptable.

  40. Kirsty Says:

    I get the bus from the Friends Life centre to Bradley Stoke. The X73 (17:20 from Centre to Cribbs) didn’t show up today. It was showing on the board and as soon as it said it was due in 2 minutes it disappeared. Waited another 15 minutes and had to get on a 73 which takes longer and costs me £1 more. Asked the driver where the X73 was and he just shrugged and couldn’t care less. Great customer service!! It also didn’t show up yesterday (16.50 from Centre to Cribbs) – really getting fed up now.

  41. k Says:

    Walking dog today by Bailey’s Court Activity centre at 10.30 am. Two 73s to Cribbs at once. Was one late and one early. What’s the excuses for this I wonder! ?

  42. Andy Ham Says:

    I was just on my way home via Orpheus Avenue and there were 2 73s in convoy

  43. SH (Editor) Says:

    @JackHeddon on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA fair enough there’s been an accident. But I’ve seen plenty other services go by, but still no 73 or X73 in the last 40minutes.

  44. Charles Brickley Says:

    I am not surprised by the complaints about the First Group Bus services. I understand how traffic can affect timetables and sometimes this is erratic.
    Nonetheless when one has been waiting with three other passengers at the Patchway Roundabout, Highwood Road for over ten minutes in the pouring rain and a No. 78 bus cruises past, ignoring your waves that is very annoying. This was at 16:44 when it is getting dark but two of us were wearing light coloured clothing.
    Then when you ring the telephone number on the timetable to advise someone the lady at the other end claims that she works for a solicitor and that the Bus Company have made a mistake. They should sue.
    Eventually a No. 73 bus arrived with another close behind.
    I would use public transport more but those few times that I do is never without some annoying episode.
    As a rule the drivers are polite and I treat them with respect but the system appears flawed.

  45. SH (Editor) Says:

    @justinscouse on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA 0922 73 to centre from willowbrook shows up at 0939 with the 0937 right behind it – today’s excuse? #helpourbusesaremissing

  46. SH (Editor) Says:

    @justinscouse on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA chatted to young lady who was waiting over an hour for the x74 from willowbrook as the one she went for didn’t show

  47. SH (Editor) Says:

    @willowhealing on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal X74 to Bradley Stoke; driver says might terminate at UWE as running late! Having to wait for the next one

  48. SH (Editor) Says:

    @JoeyH1988 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA where is the 1545 x74 from willow brook?! #worstbusnotfirstbus

  49. Simon Says:

    The x73 at 1720, The Centre, is again a no show

  50. SH (Editor) Says:

    @AndyTheHam04 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal No sign of the 17:20 X73 from the centre. Things are getting worse on this service. Strangely since intro of X74

  51. SH (Editor) Says:

    @FordTimelord on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA Nearly 6pm and still no sign of the 1720 X73. Plenty of 70s and 76s, but nothing that will actually get me home.

  52. SH (Editor) Says:

    @RemingtonVT on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA the 17.20 x73 is currently >50mins late. 3rd time this week with ridiculous delays. Any chance of getting home tonight?

    Reply from @FirstBSA:

    @RemingtonVT Hi, unfortunately due to operational difficulties, this service could not operate correctly last night, I do apologise (CS)

  53. SH (Editor) Says:

    @AndyTheHam04 on Twitter:

    @AndyTheHam04: @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal no 17:20 or 17:50 x73 and no regular 73 in over an hour either. Really is appalling

  54. SH (Editor) Says:

    @FordTimelord on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA I’ve been waiting for an X73 to turn up since 5pm. Nothing. Only one 73 has passed in that time too.

  55. SH (Editor) Says:

    @MadsDawson on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal been waiting 45 minutes for 73 from centre #busesareajoke

  56. SH (Editor) Says:

    @PaulMacMahon on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA I’ve been waiting for the 73 to the centre at parkway for an hour and a quarter. So unhappy! Gutted, in fact.

  57. SH (Editor) Says:

    @alvipur on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA deplorable services at 73/x73 lines in Bristol. Lots of delays and cancelations every day. It’s a shame!

  58. Gareth Says:

    On 5 Nov, I arrived at the Hay Market (centre) bus stop@1900 with a view to catching the 73 towards Cribbs. I checked both the app and the display board. Apparently, there were three 73s arriving within the next 3 minutes. About 2 minutes later, all three disappeared from the app and display board. As I was frantically refreshing the app in the hope that perhaps one of the buses would reappear, 3 “sorry not in service buses roll by.

    The time is now approx. 1905. I check the app for the next 73 and see that there will be another in 30 mins. At approx. 1935, this also disappeared from the app and display board. Another “sorry not in service” rolls past at this point. Check the app… next 73 is another 35 mins.

    An X74 showed up at about 1945. I couldn’t risk another 73 cancellation so boarded the X74 which brought me to Willowbrook@2025. I then had to walk over a mile to my house, bringing is upto just shy of 9pm.

    In the time I spent waiting and walking, I could have stayed at work for over an hour longer, earning time and a half or even better, I could have been home in time to read my children a bedtime story. This scenario is typical of the recent poor service. First are quite literally, no exaggeration, ruining my life!

  59. SH (Editor) Says:

    @sarahhill74 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @BristolCouncil @sgloscouncil X73 route is atrocious, it needs fixing ASAP. It took me 2hr 15mins to get home last night.

  60. BS32 Resident Says:

    Again my wife arrived back from London last night and waited for the timetabled 21:03 73 but as with the past four weeks it was a no show. Finally a 73 arrived at 21:30’ish but with the Centre on the front so she assumed that it was going the other way it was only at the last that she decided to flag it down, as the driver wasn’t going to stop, to be told that it was going to Bradley Stoke. When she also enquired why the bus was late she was told by the driver that it was due to traffic. She pointed out that at 21:30 that there was no traffic she was told by the driver that it was different for buses and she wouldn’t understand. She is now considering rasing this issue with the local Bradley Stoke MP.

  61. Gashead Says:

    Tuesday the 11th I had a meeting in Bristol, decided to catch the X73 express bus into town timetable said 07-44 at Parkway actual arrival time 8-00. Town centre timetable said 8-06 actual time 08-45. Return journey timetable said 17-20, 17-50 no signcaught the snail 73 bus home whoever at First bus writes this ficton could do a better job than Jeffery Bleedin Archer not impressed with public transport!!!!!

  62. SH (Editor) Says:

    @MIves66 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA 73 18.00 from Sainsburys going to Cribbs Causeway driver just told me that he is terminating at Parkway!!!!!!

  63. SH (Editor) Says:

    @stuartellison75 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA yet another saturday where 73 service is awful. Waited from 1954 for 2003 and 2033 at parkway. 1 bus turned up 2043!!!!

  64. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Helen Wilson (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    My daughter is having problems in the mornings with the no. 73. It’s always late or doesn’t turn up at all. This is the only way she can get to work. This causes anxiety and stress. First Bus should be ashamed of the service they’re providing.

  65. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Emma Nicholson (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    I waited 40mins last night for the bus to go into bristol this was at 2000 in the time I was there , 2 buses headed towards the mall and the sign says next bus 13 mins away for half an hour. Then changed to check the board for service times , then 2 mins 10 mins later still the same. This service is shocking . I don’t use the buses often I drive but when you need a bus as it’s cheaper than a taxi it’s appalling. Nothing will change . The bus driver couldn’t even explain to myself of the 2 other people waiting why it was 40 mins late

  66. k Says:

    Today’s Bristol Post have the answer to the late and rubbish bus service – apparently it’s too many passengers which means the bus spends much longer at the stop!!! Oh and this also means the day rider needs to go up by 40p.

  67. Vanessa Says:

    The 2.30 X74 from the centre has disappeared into a black hole. Not great when you have to pick up from school and there’s no chance now of getting there in time. Panicked phone calls to family to get someone to pick up. I totally rely on these buses and it’s just getting beyond a joke now. Late for work most mornings and bus late in the afternoons now too. Can’t blame this on traffic as there is none

  68. k Says:

    During one campaign to get a bus service we were told Bradley Stoke is a commuter town. Is drive to work, in fact everywhere. We should have a daybput aside soon when every car in Bristol drives into the centre, gridlock mega style in protest.

  69. Vanessa Says:

    I can’t believe that for the second day on the trott the 2.30 X74 hasn’t turned up. We saw it come onto the centre just before half 2 and we were all waiting for it to turn around but it never came. We saw a bus go past with out of service but no X74. Another day of having to get someone to pick up from school as I’ve now had to get on a 73 and there’s no way I will be there in time. Totally fed up now and as of next week will be walking to parkway and catching the train. This will involve a round trip of 2 hours walking each day so thanks a bunch firstbus. I would do it tomorrow but I can’t afford to waste my weekly pass I bought Monday.

  70. SH (Editor) Says:

    Reader comment received via text message:

    The 19.35 X74 just turned up 22 minutes late at The Centre and driver said it was only going to UWE. Had to wait for next X74 at 20.05.

  71. SH (Editor) Says:

    @HollyBah on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA any reason why the 73 due for cribbs causeway 10 mins ago has been cancelled?

  72. SH (Editor) Says:

    @sarahhill74 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @sgloscouncil Another awful journey home on the non existent X73. Waited 55 mins for it and it never arrived. #travelnightmare

  73. SH (Editor) Says:

    @willowhealing on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal X73 to Aztec West- told by driver only going as far as Parkway. Why so many problems with X buses to Bradley Stoke?

  74. SH (Editor) Says:

    @xKerriecutiex on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA can you explain why the x73 is always late and this one is only stopping at parkway which means I have to wait for another one

  75. Simon Says:

    Yet again the 1720 X73 is a no show from the centre.

  76. k Says:

    Early December a bigwig from Worstbus Bristol will be on the John Darvall show on BBC Radio Bristol. John was discussing the bus service this morning. He has started compiling a list of bus routes passengers have issues with. And a few questions for when the bigwig is on the radio.

  77. Simon Says:

    The BBC Radio link for this is


  78. SH (Editor) Says:

    @Jameswhyte2012 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA 73 to the centre, waited 40 mins in the freezing cold and when it did turn up, another one was right behind it!

  79. SH (Editor) Says:

    @Nuwtfly on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA your bus from Bradley Stoke to the centre due at 10:15am didn’t turn up causing me to, once again, miss my seminar.

  80. SH (Editor) Says:

    @AndyTheHam04 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA where is the 16:50 X73 from the centre? Why is it that buses don’t show up often? It was even showing on the app! @TheBSJournal

  81. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment by Shalaka Rawat (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    First services are total crap
    Seriously they need to do something with this

    The worst thing is there is no live update giving the status of the buses

    The so called live app drops off soon after the time bus was supposed to be due

    What are people supposed to do ?
    Wait wait and wait ????!

  82. SH (Editor) Says:

    More discussion about bus services on the BSJ Facebook page tonight:


  83. SH (Editor) Says:

    @GnosticLizzie on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA the 73 from centre at 1845 has not turned up AGAIN. @BristolBusUsers @iBristolPeople @TheBSJournal

  84. SH (Editor) Says:

    @GnosticLizzie on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA evidently the 1825 from the centre failed to turn up too. You are a disgrace. @iBristolPeople @BristolBusUsers @TheBSJournal

  85. SH (Editor) Says:

    @GnosticLizzie on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA and now the 73 at 1905 has failed to turn up. Please log, @TheBSJournal @BristolBusUsers @iBristolPeople

  86. SH (Editor) Says:

    @Jameswhyte2012 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA I could walk home faster than waiting for your buses to turn up, sort your 73 service out, very appalling!!

  87. SH (Editor) Says:

    @alvipur on Twitter:

    @firstBSA @thebsjournal one hour to 73. Lots of “not in service” meanwhile, so is not a traffic problem…

  88. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Margaret Williams (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    The 73 service is a joke it never turns up been stood on the bus stop for over a hour in the pouring rain it time they sorted it out I then they say they are putting up the fares it’s a Joke

  89. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Chrissie Mulligan (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    My 15 year old daughter finally got home at 6pm after waiting for the 73 at 4.50pm from Parkway to Bradley Stoke very wet and cold when she got home

  90. SH (Editor) Says:

    @HollyBah on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA any chance of a 73? Been waiting nearly an hour and seen 3 buses come in out of service and leave out of service

  91. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Karla W (message to the BSJ Facebook page):

    3 days this week the 82 bus that passes through Bradley Stoke has not turned up (or ‘sorry not in service’) I pay every week for this kind of travel to get to work. Disgusting service by First.

  92. SH (Editor) Says:

    @jeffhead4 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA why is the 73 yet again the only bus not appearing on the Gloucester Road for almost an hour now?

  93. SH (Editor) Says:

    @JackHeddon on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA X73 another no show for the 16:20 service from the centre.

  94. SH (Editor) Says:

    @AndyTheHam04 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal X73 over 15 mins late. Traffic this early in morning? People need to get to work on time!

  95. SH (Editor) Says:

    @sarahhill74 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @sgloscouncil X73 a disaster this morning, late to Eagles Wood, should have arrived in town by now, only at Parkway. No traffic!

  96. SH (Editor) Says:

    @GnosticLizzie on Twitter:

    X73 from parkway 25 mins late. What’s wrong this time? @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal @BristolBusUsers @iBristolPeople @GeorgeFergusonx

  97. Clare Says:

    The 7.00 X73 arrived at Bradley Stoke Surgery at 7.18 this morning and got to at The Haymarket at 8.02. I’m seriously starting to think about driving part way into town if this continues.

  98. SH (Editor) Says:

    @daniMgodwin on Twitter:

    @TheBSJournal linden drive 08.38 x73 late again. Arrived 09.15 or just didn’t turn up! Have been on bus stop for 45 minutes!

  99. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Anthony Blacker (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    07:48 73 from Baileys Court to Centre failed to show AGAIN This morning. Can Bradley Stoke Journal not arrange a meeting with First so we can put our complaints directly to the Directors?

  100. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Anthony Blacker (on BSJ Facebook page):

    Waited at McDonalds Abbey Wood for half an hour at 17:30 tonight, then two 73s turn up at once. First are a joke. They can put on services to serve UWE, but not residential areas to get people to and from work. Also why are the students being given 30% off their fares? I can understand it when they first arrive in Bristol, as a sweetner, but not three months into term.

  101. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Anthony Blacker (on BSJ Facebook page):

    No 07:48 73 from Baileys Court this morning. Then tonight waited over an hour for the 73 at McDonalds/Abbey Wood. First you are sh**e.

  102. BS32 Resident Says:

    Again my wife arrived back at Parkway from London yesterday evening at 20:40 and waited for the 21:03 73 back to Bradley Stoke but it failed to turn up as did the 21:33 service. A bus finally turned up at approx. 21:50, probably the 21:33 service running late. During the time she waited every other bus appeared to arrived and departed as per the timetable. She even asked one of the Wessex Connect bus drivers whether there was any issues with the traffic and was told that there wasn’t at that time of night. Therefore, I fail to understand why First can not provide a suitable level of service on the buses running to and from Bradley Stoke using similar routes to others that appear to be able to run on time.

  103. SH (Editor) Says:

    Anthony Blacker (on BSJ Facebook page):

    07:48 at Baileys Court failed to show again this morning & 08:01 turned up at 08:10. Any wonder people prefer cars.

  104. SH (Editor) Says:

    @sarahhill74 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA Where are the X73 and 73s tonight?

  105. SH (Editor) Says:

    @heleng1979 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA where are your x73 and 73 services tonight? Been stood in Parkway for 30mins and no sign! Freezing adult and child waiting!

  106. SH (Editor) Says:

    @maggs1957 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA what is going on #73 my daughter has waited an hour in Bradley Stoke for a bus to Mall ??

  107. SH (Editor) Says:

    @dadbritain on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA again 73 Bradley Stoke to cribs late…. greedy First..increasing prices and services worst everyday

  108. SH (Editor) Says:

    @3speeders on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal 16.18 73 @parkway. #helpourbusesaremissing

  109. Mr P Says:

    My experience this morning – I usually drive, with a 6.50am start, getting me to City Centre @7.15. I am the exact person that should be targeted for using the bus.

    So I chose to use the bus today – planned my time according to the First timetable for the X73 : 06.58 start on Bowsland Way (Campion Drive), arriving Parkway 07.12 and Centre @ 07.32. Fine for a similar start time to usual.

    The actual times were : Arrived Campion Drive 07.05, arrived Parkway @ 07.29, and Centre @ 07.59

    Traffic conditions could be classed as ‘typical’.

    What I don’t understand is why the timetable is not reflective of the ‘Real World’ time for each route. First need to survey each journey and average out the real times to provide far more realistic times for each route, at each time point.

    Armed with this information, consumers can then make their choices – my decision process in this case was based on a 33 minute journey (as shown on the timetable), but would have considered other options if the actual time of 61 minutes was displayed.

  110. SH (Editor) Says:

    @mattpinkuk on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA @TheBSJournal x73 from centre failed to turn up at 17.56, can I have an explanation please?

  111. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Hazel Hennessey (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    Bradley stoke 73 first bus service. What a laugh they put the fares up, waited over three quarters of an hour for the 73 going to Cribbs Causeway from the Willow Brook Centre Bradley Stoke, and what happened you would never believe . all that time a 73 came along, and what happened he was out of service, this is wednesday the 10th december time 18:40 pm eventually bus came along 19:25 No wonder this company is getting a bad name for itself hope it bucks up in the new year from Bradley Stoke resident since 1988.

  112. SH (Editor) Says:

    James Freeman, managing director of First West of England, will be in the hot seat for Your Questions on BBC Radio Bristol from 9am this morning (Thursday 11th December).

    UPDATE: First MD says 73 service is, at times, “useless” and needs to be “made more resilient”.

    Listen again (until 10th Jan 2015):

    Hear Brenda from Bradley Stoke asking about the 73 service:

    Just a shame she confused the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine with the Bradley Stoke Muppets advertising handbook (now edited in Chepstow, I understand).

  113. SH (Editor) Says:

    @jim_rawles on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA today I tried ur 73 bus sainsbury’s 2 baileys court. Walking takes 1/2 the time 3 buses no show all for £2.50 single. What a joke

  114. J.Seymour Says:

    I can’t tell you how relieved I am that the Journal has taken on the plight of all the passengers that travel on the X73, X74 and 73. I know that we all regularly send complaints directly to First but never receive a reply. The X74 started off well but has also fallen into the same unacceptable service that we have experienced on the X73. I work for a large company and quite a few of my colleagues have ditched this bus service to jump back in their cars because they can’t stand it any longer. The evening service is a joke and how depressing it is to see multiple 75 and 76 go by and not one bus servicing Bradley Stoke appears. The UWE is well represented even more now with the numbers 70 and 71 coming along in multiples so often empty. First should be ashamed of their service and it is unacceptable to blame traffic all the time.

  115. SH (Editor) Says:

    @JoBullock87 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA X73 40mins late! Again! I can’t remember it ever being on time, It showed up though, so that’s an improvement! #FirstStrikesAgain

  116. Caroline Says:

    The actual x74 route is superb in concept and is invaluable for those of us who have moved into the new Harry Stoke neighbourhoods as it is our main link to get to work in the city centre. However is is completely unreliable. I have lived here for nearly 2 months and the bus has not once been on time, either from my stop to the town or from the city centre towards home. You can’t rely on the timetable as the bus is either significantly late or 15 mins early. Further to this I often get left at my stop (coldharbour lane) as the buses don’t seem to realise its a x74 (or a 72) stop and don’t pull over when you hail them, which is v frustrating when the bus is already 30 mins late!

  117. SH (Editor) Says:

    @AndyTheHam04 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA no 16:25 X73 today? @TheBSJournal

  118. SH (Editor) Says:

    Reader comment received via text message:

    No 16.25 X73; no 16.45 X74 (from The Centre)

  119. Jim Says:

    No 17.20 x73 tonight either. Truly shocking service on the x73 this week.

  120. SH (Editor) Says:

    @tbawden86 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA no excuse for 73 no show at 12.05. Now 12.26 and still waiting.@GeorgeFergusonx you wonder why people don’t use public transport!

  121. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Adrian G received by email:

    Twice this week on Wednesday 10th & Friday 12th December the 17.20 X73 to Bradley Stoke has failed to turn up, leaving a bus stop full of regular passengers ( myself included) having to wait till Wednesday at 17.50 & Friday at 18.00 ( 17.50 10 minutes late).I’ve never ever seen one First Bus Inspector checking on the buses in 18 months of regularly using the service. Also Last night the X74 left early at 17.22 which would have been an option but had made the decision to wait for the x73 which never showed! This is the first time of written in regarding the poor service. Thank you for the campaign you’re running on behalf of the residents of Bradley Stoke.

  122. SH (Editor) Says:

    @tbawden86 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA almost 24 hours later, and yet again no 73 is late. Traffic is fine, so no excuse. Sort it out. #unreliable #hadenough

  123. Caz Says:

    Saturday 13th. 73 bus @22.05 from Centre turned up 35 minutes late. What’s the excuse this time? First bus can’t surely blame traffic congestion at that time on a Saturday evening !?!

  124. SH (Editor) Says:

    @CandyJay259 on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA 9.14 73 bus from the willow brook towards Cribbs nearly 20 mins late!! Relying on this to get to work on time!

  125. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Ian Bull (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    The 16:25 X73 on a Friday has now done a no show two weeks in a row. My parents visited Exeter recently and remarked upon the good bus service and genuinely nice drivers. The buses down there are run by Stagecoach, maybe they should takeover from First who do not seem able to run a proper bus service.

  126. SH (Editor) Says:

    @Dunnhill3rd on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA x73 from the centre to cribbs is a no show again. Over 20 mins late. Do you guys keep track of twitter no shows? @TheBSJournal

  127. SH (Editor) Says:

    @3speeders on Twitter:

    @TheBSJournal do you know what’s up with the X73 and 73 tonight? Been waiting ages at Parkway to get home to Bradley Stoke.

  128. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Adrian G received by email:

    Further to my email of Friday [13th Dec], to update you with a repeat performance tonight from First Buses (Monday 15th Dec). No X73 at 17.20, had to wait until 17.50 in the City Centre. No. 73 leaving at 17.34 & 17.41 from the same bus stop.
    Had a conversation with the driver who issued a ticket with a direct customer contact number. I called this on the journey home and gave full details & information was promised by the employee that they would investigate & call me back this evening, to date no call back. I e mailed First on Friday evening, received an automated ‘we will respond within 12 days’. No reply yet! Not holding my breath as they really do hold it’s paying customers in contempt in my opinion.

    The driver tonight on leaving the bus was helpful in the fact that he took time to advise me he’d called the control room, & was advised that the 17.40 was expected to be a (late) X73, but said clearly that hasn’t happened. He went to say that congestion around Aztec West with traffic light sequence changes & roadworks is delaying a lot of 73 services, and due to being behind time they’re being re routed to miss a lot of the journey ( in Bradley Stoke) or put out of schedule (by I assume the bus planners in the control room).

    Hence there lies the issue with all the complaints you receive. Incompetence of First in it’s abilities to effectively reschedule!

    Keep up the work of pursuing First for action for our community.

  129. Simon Says:

    Surely it is time for FirstBus/SGC/BCC to split the 73/X73 bus routes up such that they are not subject to three sets of of very bad traffic on one journey.

    For example

    X73 Start/Stop at Willow Brook Centre
    73 Start/Stop at Willow Brook Centre
    XX new route from BPW to Cribbs via Willow Brook centre along the current 73 route

    The current very poor service appears to have started 6/7 weeks ago, when the changes to the A38/M5 roundabout where started.

    The routes must be made shorter and more resiliant!

  130. SH (Editor) Says:

    @FordTimelord on Twitter:

    What has happened to the X73 lately, @FirstBSA? Been at the stop for 45 mins, it kept appearing and disappearing from the display. (1/2)

    @FirstBSA finally got on a 73, which means my journey home will take 2hrs instead of 40mins. Since X74 started X73 has gone to pot. (2/2)

  131. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Adrian G received by email:

    Another one for the growing list of complaints 4 out 5 for First (4 no shows, 5 days worked), again no 17.20 x73 service tonight from City Centre to Bradley Stoke. Their customer service department who I’ve contacted over the last two days are about as much use & help as a chocolate teapot!

  132. Ian Says:

    Appalling service from X73 17:20 service lately what on earth is going on First. More 75/76/70s that you can shake a stick at all arriving and departing regularly but X73 rarely seen. Cant all be down to the traffic.

  133. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Abby Louise (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    Waiting for the 6:17 73 from (manor farm roundabout) it hasn’t turned up again. Fare increase but still a shockingly poor service @firstBSA

  134. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Sharon Hall (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    The 7.25 X73 from Foxfield Ave was 10 mins late this morning, but at least it turned up

  135. kingmidas Says:

    For the first time ever daughter had to get bus to work as I was busy – she left the house at 13.03 to catch the 73, and was still waiting at 13.47 – there should have been FOUR buses in this time! What a farce …. how can we expect people to get our of their beloved cars and on to buses if this is the service they get?!

  136. SH (Editor) Says:

    @GnosticLizzie on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA no 73 at 1845 from the centre AGAIN. A bus turned up at 1840 & then waited on the stop for 25mins!

  137. SH (Editor) Says:

    @kingmidas, Please note that delays this afternoon may have been due to a road closure in Stoke Gifford…

    @FirstBSA on Twitter (at 12.29pm):

    Bristol, Hatchet Rd, Stoke Gifford closed due to Police incident. Ser 18/73/81/82/83/319 convoluted diversion with associated delays SDM

  138. SH (Editor) Says:

    @constxllations on Twitter:

    @FirstBSA bradley stoke to the mall didnt turn up in 45 minutes when should be every 12, missed my dentist appointment and had to pay a fine

  139. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comment from Adrian G received by email:

    Another update, finished work early today, was on the bus stop from 16.15 , thought I’d catch the scheduled 16.25 X73 from the City Centre, different time same bus route, same issue no show! Caught the 16.45 X74 as had no confidence that the scheduled 16.50 X73 would show either.

    At least I don’t have to use the bus service now before 30th December thankfully!

  140. Chrisie Creese Says:

    The worst service in the UK
    My son waited for 2 buses last night that didn’t turn up.. lucky for euro taxis who got his business instead. but this service is awful..
    He was using the app to that would say 45 minutes then on time then 12 minutes.. no bus came and jumped to 50 minutes.. awful service and the day return went from £4 to £4.50. he ended up at his friends party 2 hours after arranged.. So glad I drive!!

  141. SH (Editor) Says:

    @dadbritain on Twitter:

    It’s Boxing Day and the bus 73 @FirstBSA is on time. That’s a Christmas miracle! #bristol #bradleystoke #BoxingDay

  142. SH (Editor) Says:

    Comments on this post are now closed. Please report further incidents by leaving a comment on this later post:

    First boss promises new “more resilient” timetable for 73 service

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