The off-peak frequency of the M1 MetroBus service which runs between Cribbs Causeway, Bradley Stoke and Hengrove, via the city centre is to be reduced from 1st September due to low passenger numbers.
Finally starting operations in January 2019, more than three years after major roadworks began in Bradley Stoke to create the necessary infrastructure for the route, the M1 service has been required to run every 10 minutes through the day on weekdays, in order to meet the service levels set out in the MetroBus Quality Partnership Scheme.
The service is said to be very popular during the morning and afternoon peak times, but First West of England says there is a significant drop off in passengers outside of these times. To better reflect this pattern of demand, from 1st September, the Monday to Friday off-peak and Saturday daytime frequency will be reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 12 minutes’. At the same time, the Monday to Saturday evening frequency will be reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’, with the transition in frequency taking place between 7pm and 8pm.
On a more positive note, on Sundays and public holidays, the M1 service will start operating two hours earlier, at 7am, and run every 30 minutes between 7am and 9am.
Prior to the introduction of the M1 service, First initially said that it would be axing its existing peak-hours-only X73 service once the M1 started. It later changed its mind and the X73 was retained, albeit with one fewer journey each day and rebranded as the T3.
Having operated the T3 service for over six months, First has concluded that the service is not commercially viable and has announced its withdrawal from 1st September.
A spokesperson said:
“While providing some unique sections of route, the T3 duplicates or operates close to other services, such as the 73, T1 and M1. Since the introduction of the T1 and M1, we have seen a number of customers transfer over from other services, as they offer more direct journeys to and from the city centre and at a much higher frequency. The majority of customers currently using service T3 will be able to use services 73, T1 or M1 to complete their journeys after 1st September.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 16). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Addendum (31st August 2019)
From 15th September, additional buses will be used to provide additional morning peak journeys between Patchway Brook (near the Aldi store in Bradley Stoke) / UWE Frenchay Campus and Broadmead. Journeys will operate in both directions and will provide additional capacity for commuters travelling into the city centre and students travelling to UWE Frenchay Campus. The additional buses will not be MetroBus branded vehicles.
Timetables downloaded from Traveline South West:
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