Bus operator First West of England has announced that it is to withdraw the X74 service that links Bradley Stoke with Bristol city centre, via the University of the West of England (UWE) and the M32, with effect from 4th September.
There will also be changes to Bradley Stoke’s other main bus service, the 73 (Cribbs Causeway to Bristol) from the same date. These include extending the route to Bristol Temple Meads Station and reducing the Monday to Friday peak time frequency to ‘every 15 minutes’.
The X74 was introduced with a fanfare of publicity in August 2014. It effectively replaced the former Wessex 13 service and, like the 13, received financial support from South Gloucestershire Council. Its withdrawal will once again leave Braydon Avenue without a bus service, with passengers having to make their way to either Brook Way or Little Stoke Lane to access alternative services.
The reduction in the peak frequency of the 73 means that the service will now operate with a frequency of ‘every 15 minutes’ throughout the day Monday to Friday, compared to ‘every 10 minutes’ three years ago.
A First spokesperson said:
“From 4th September, the vast majority of service 73 journeys will be extended to and from Bristol Temple Meads. This comes on the back of customer requests for buses to operate beyond the current terminus at Lewins Mead and also creates a number of new journey opportunities. There will also be some changes to the timetable of service 73. More details about the change to this service will be published soon. In the meantime anyone wanting more information about the changes to service 73, should log onto the First Bristol website (www.firstgroup.com/bristol) from 8th August to review the new timetables.”
The new service 73 timetables are already available on the Traveline SW website www.travelinesw.com
Alternative services for X74 passengers
- A new service ‘UWE’ will be introduced and will provide a replacement for service X74 between the city centre and UWE along with the existing X14 operated by Wessex Bus
- Little Stoke will continue to be served by services 18/18A, 19, 82 and 625 with services 18/18A and 19 providing up to four buses per hour to and from UWE
- Filton continues to be served by services 75, 78 and 79, providing a service to and from the city centre
- Passengers on Brook Way (section served by service X74) may be able to use Services 73/X73 and 77
Journal editor Stephen Horton comments
Are Bradley Stoke’s bus services starting to be gradually run down ahead of the introduction of MetroBus? I can’t say I’m surprised at these changes as, once MetroBus is up and running, it seems unlikely that existing services will remain profitable when operating at their current frequencies.
This article originally appeared in the August 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Postscript (6th August): Cllr Paul Hardwick writes: “There is a meeting for all residents affected by cuts in services x74, x18 17a and any others on 11th August 7pm at Kingswood Civic Centre (in the council chamber) with James Freeman from First Bus. I will be going with a concerned Bradley Stoke resident.”
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