Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

MetroBus is GO! But still SEVEN MONTHS before it arrives in Bradley Stoke

Posted on Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 10:36 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a crowd of dignitaries standing in front of a MetroBus vehicle at the M3 Route launch event.

The first service on the Greater Bristol area’s new MetroBus network finally got under way at the end of May with the launch of the M3 Emersons Green to city centre route. However, it is likely to be at least another seven months before MetroBus begins operating in Bradley Stoke, according to a recent statement put out by the West of England councils and the MetroBus operators.

The M1 Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove route, which will link Bradley Stoke with UWE and Bristol city centre, was originally due to start operating in September 2017, immediately following the planned completion of the Stoke Gifford Transport Link (a.k.a. Stoke Gifford By-Pass). However, delays in construction of the by-pass and other road infrastructure on the route, combined with problems with the iPoint ticketing and information machines that will be installed at all MetroBus stops, have meant that the projected start date has been repeatedly pushed back.

Poster in MetroBus Shelter: "This bus stop is not currently in use by any bus service".The last start date given to the Journal (in January 2018) was “late summer”, although notices displayed at the new MetroBus stops in Bradley Stoke were more vague, stating only that services would “start in 2018” (see photo on right).

A statement put out by MetroBus on 15th May has now shared the “good news” that services on the M1 route will begin in January 2019. This means that the M1 route will be the last of the (now) three routes in the MetroBus network to commence operations, as the M2 Long Ashton Park & Ride route is now expected to start “in autumn” once issues with the problematic guided busway on part of the route have been resolved.

The M1 announcement came less than a month after the boss of the parent company of Bristol Community Transport, which will run the service, declined to predict a start date, telling the Journal he “didn’t want to give a timeline … as it would be a hostage to fortune”.

The other two MetroBus routes shown in the original funding bid submitted to the Department for Transport (and as recently as July 2017 in the MetroBus Quality Partnership Scheme document) have been quietly shelved. These include the route between Emerson Green and Parkway Station, which appears to have been absorbed into the second-phase Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension scheme, due to begin operating in 2022.

More: Details of MetroBus fare structure revealed »

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First Bus hints at what will happen to existing services once MetroBus starts

Posted on Sunday 3rd June 2018 at 8:29 pm by SH (Editor)

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

Plenty of people have raised concerns about what will happen to existing local bus services once MetroBus starts operating. Up until now, First West of England has been saying it is “too early to say” what might happen to Bradley Stoke’s 73 and X73 services.

With the MetroBus service now having taken a step closer to starting, we asked First Bus for an update on its plans for our current local services. A spokesperson told the Journal:

“The introduction of a high frequency direct link to and from central Bristol on MetroBus is bound to have some effect on the 73. We will be carefully assessing how M1 will impact passenger demand for the 73 and we will be reviewing the route and frequency of that service. We will, however, remain committed to providing the 73 as a local bus service.”

He added:

“The current plan is to run a slightly modified version of the current 73 while the M1 ‘beds in’. The X73 will be withdrawn because it would not be commercially viable once service M1 starts.”

The planned withdrawal of the X73, which starts at Aztec West and travels down Brook Way before heading for the city centre via Parkway Station and the M32, will pose difficulties for some commuters, particularly those living on roads to the west of Brook Way. Those living north of Manor Farm Roundabout will at least have the option of taking the 73 and changing to MetroBus at the Willow Brook Centre (although still involving a walk to transfer) or at Webbs Wood Roundabout. Those living further south will find themselves having to walk a considerable distance to access MetroBus services.

This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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New express bus service to serve Bradley Stoke

Posted on Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at 9:29 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a double decker bus in First Bus livery.

A new express bus service linking Bristol city centre with Thornbury is set to become the first regular service to make use of the new Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL, a.k.a. Stoke Gifford By-Pass) and the new bus lanes on Bradley Stoke Way that have been created principally for MetroBus.

Commencing operation on Sunday 27th May, First’s new T1 service will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 60 minutes Sunday / Public Holiday daytime.

Service T1 will start and terminate at Colston Street in Bristol city centre and will not stop in Bristol Bus Station. This means that customers from Thornbury and along the A38 (Thornbury to Aztec West) will benefit from direct access to and from the city centre, as opposed to Bristol Bus Station.

The route of Service T1 will be via the M32, A4174, Stoke Gifford Transport Link and Bradley Stoke Way to Aztec West, where the current Service 78/79 route will then be followed to Thornbury town centre.

During the day, service T1 journey times from Bristol City Centre to Thornbury town centre will be 45 minutes, providing a considerably quicker journey than at present.

Bradley Stoke residents will also be able to benefit from service T1, which can be accessed from all regular bus stops along Bradley Stoke Way, as well as the Willow Brook Centre.

Draft timetables seen by the Journal on the Traveline SW website show a journey time of just 26 minutes from the Willow Brook Centre to Bristol city centre in the middle of the day, increasing to 32 minutes during the morning peak. For travellers wishing to reach the city centre as quickly as possible, these journey times will make the T1 a very attractive alternative to the 73 and even the X73 (which also uses the M32 but takes a longer route through Stoke Gifford ‘village’ to reach it.

More: Service will use newest high-spec Euro VI double deckers »

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Bradley Stoke MetroBus operator announced but still no start date

Posted on Friday 11th May 2018 at 9:50 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a Bristol MetroBus vehicle parked at Long Ashton Park & Ride.

A Bedminster-based social enterprise has been announced as the operator of services on the MetroBus route that will serve Bradley Stoke.

Bristol Community Transport (BCT) will be operating the M1 MetroBus route under contract to First West of England, and is investing in a fleet of 21 biogas buses running on gas generated from food waste – creating up to 60 new driver and support positions at its Bedminster depot.

BCT is Bristol’s largest community transport operator and a part of leading transport social enterprise HCT Group, which operates major transport contracts in London, Jersey, Guernsey and Leeds. As a social enterprise, they reinvest the profits from their commercial work into further transport services or projects in the communities they serve. BCT already provides four regular bus routes in Bristol, operating under contract to Bristol City Council.

The operators for all of the first three MetroBus routes have now been announced. In addition to the M1 service that will be operated by BCT, the other two routes, M2 (Long Ashton Park & Ride to city centre) and M3 (Emersons Green to city centre), will be operated directly by First West of England.

The M2 route was initially planned to be the first to open, but has reportedly been beset by technical problems. Priority is now being given to getting the M3 service running, with MetroBus saying some months ago that it was expected to start “immediately after the completion of the Bromley Heath viaduct work on the A4174 Ring Road”. The M3 start date has now been confirmed as 29th May, which will come a month after the lifting of the contraflow over the viaduct.

More: BCT boss says giving a timeline "would be a hostage to fortune" »

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