This month, the West of England Councils’ MetroBus team were unable to provide any specific news relating to services through Bradley Stoke, but they have kindly provided this update on what is happening across the wider MetroBus project.
The three-route 50km MetroBus network is due to be operational in the spring – starting with the M3 service running from Emersons Green via UWE to the city centre. The Bromley Heath Viaduct works need to be completed first – currently their end date is the end of April. The other routes will start afterwards.
As MetroBus is ‘buy before you board for faster services’, the information and ticketing points have had to be developed. This will make MetroBus the only service outside London where you have to pay before you board – significantly reducing delays.
The introduction of a Travelwest smartcard, use of mobile phone apps, existing concessionary cards and top ups online from the travelwest.info website have all had to be incorporated into the system. This week, the first iPoint at Long Ashton Park & Ride was switched on, and the team are checking and testing that it all works as it should – the 1,000th and 10,000th ticket is as important as the first. The iPoints along the M3 route will be put in place soon.
MetroBus has already made positive changes to the way people are moving around:
- The new city centre arrangement is allowing traffic to flow more freely, with savings of six to seven minutes from the bottom of the M32 to the harbourside at some times of the day
- Over 60 buses have had their timetables revised as they are now running faster and more reliably
- The new bus lanes in other areas are allowing all buses to keep to time and avoid hold-ups
- The new bridge at Bathurst Basin is safer for pedestrians and has improved traffic flows
- In south Bristol, traffic has been removed from unsuitable residential roads and there are easier and quicker links for businesses to the main roads
MetroBus is another piece in the jigsaw helping to tackle congestion, improve air quality and provide a rapid and reliable choice for people who need to travel longer distances by public transport.
• More information: MetroBus (Travelwest)
Photo: The first MetroBus iPoint was powered up at Long Ashton Park & Ride during the third week of March.
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 31). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
UPDATE (5th April 2018)
First Bristol have announced they will start operating the M3 MetroBus service on Tuesday 29th May.
The M3 service operates from Emersons Green and will call at Lyde Green Park and Ride, Bristol & Bath Science Park, Emerald Park Industrial Estate, UWE, Cabot Circus and the city centre. The initial timetable for the summer will operate every 20 minutes between 0600 until 1900, and every 30 minutes until 2100 Mondays to Saturdays until a more comprehensive winter timetable comes into effect in September when demand increases.
The high-specification MetroBus double-decker vehicles on the M3 route will be in striking green livery and are equipped with USB charging points at every seat, free wifi and wood-effect flooring.
Source: First buy before you board service outside London (Travelwest)
The announcement made no mention of when services will start on the M1 MetroBus route (the one through Bradley Stoke) or which company will operate this service.
The Journal has heard that a “second Metrobus operator” is set to be unveiled at a media event on Monday 9th April.
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