Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

First boss reveals options for the 73 bus service in the MetroBus era

Posted on Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 6:09 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of James Freeman speaking into a microphone.

Bus operator First Bristol says it intends to maintain Bradley Stoke’s 73 bus service at a “good level” following the planned launch of the M1 MetroBus service through the town in January 2019 and has asked local residents to share opinions on what they think would be the optimum route of the service between Aztec West and Parkway Station.

Speaking at a meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Planning and Environment Committee on 22nd August, James Freeman, managing director of First Bristol, acknowledged that the introduction of the M1, which will run every 10 minutes down Bradley Stoke Way, will have an impact on the number of passengers using the existing 73 and X73 services.

He confirmed a statement previously reported in the Journal that the peak-hours-only X73 service, which runs down Brook Way, will be withdrawn.

In the short term, the main 73 service will be continued at a “good level”, with all buses continuing to serve Gloucester Road to the Centre and Temple Meads, but its frequency is likely to “come down a bit”, possibly to ‘every 20 minutes’ (rather than the present ‘every 15 minutes’).

Responding to concerns that passengers living close to the “western” route through Bradley Stoke (i.e. down Brook Way) might not find it easy to access the new MetroBus service running along Bradley Stoke Way, he hinted that the route of the 73 might be “slightly modified … possibly making it a bit straighter and running more to the west”.

Speaking of the timescale for introducing these changes, Mr Freeman insisted that it is now a “dead cert” that the M1 MetroBus service will start in January 2019 and he named 13th January as the currently projected launch date.

Responding to concerns that the vast majority of passengers on MetroBus will have transferred from existing services, Mr Freeman pointed to the already-running M3 Emersons Green service, which he said had “driven demand” and attracted 20 percent more passengers than predicted.

He noted that the recently introduced T1 Thornbury to Bristol service, which passes along Bradley Stoke Way and operates with a half-hour frequency using MetroBus-style vehicles, has been “quite well received”. However, he stressed that the new M1 service will offer similarly fast journey times to the city centre, operate at three times the frequency and run until at least 11pm.

More: Public asked for views on future route options for the 73 »

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First Bus boss to face questions on future of 73 and X73 services

Posted on Monday 20th August 2018 at 10:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of James Freeman speaking into a microphone.

James Freeman, managing director of First Bristol, is expected to attend a public council meeting in Bradley Stoke on Wednesday evening (22nd August), at which he will face questions about the future of the 73 and X73 services once MetroBus begins serving the town.

Currently planned to start operating in January 2019, the M1 MetroBus route will link The Mall at Cribbs Causeway with Bristol city centre and parts of south Bristol. Buses on the route will travel along Bradley Stoke Way and use the recently opened Stoke Gifford By-Pass and the M32 (via a new bus-only junction at Stoke Lane).

MetroBus has previously stated that, during the initial phase of operation, it expects that 90 percent of passengers on its services will have transferred from existing routes, leading to concerns over the future of some of them.

First has been coy about its future plans for its 73 and X73 services, but gave some hints following the announcement, back in April, of Bristol Community Transport as the operator for the MetroBus M1 service (albeit under contract to First).

At that time, a First spokesperson told the Journal:

“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.”

Journal readers have expressed concerns about a possible reduction in the 73 service, pointing out that it provides important connections to places like Bristol Parkway, the MoD, Filton and Gloucester Road, all of which will not be served by MetroBus. The 73 route also serves parts of the town which are some distance from Bradley Stoke Way, so will still provide an important service for residents who have difficulty reaching the new MetroBus stops.

Wednesday’s meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Planning & Environment Committee takes place at the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road (BS32 8HL), starting at 7pm. As with all town council meetings, local residents will be permitted to ask questions at the start of proceedings.

Related link:

Photo: James Freeman addresses journalists and VIP guests at the launch event for the MetroBus M3 service.

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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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