Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

£2.2m award will help cut bus emissions on Bradley Stoke route

Posted on Thursday 29th March 2018 at 12:00 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of a double decker bus in First Bus livery.

Buses on the 73 route through Bradley Stoke are set to become less polluting, thanks to a £2.2 million grant from the government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund.

The route is one of 12 across Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire that will benefit from the award which will allow operator First Bus to cut emissions and help improve air quality across the wider region.

The funding was awarded in February by the Department for Transport following a successful joint bid by Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Cllr Mhairi Threlfall, Cabinet member for transport at Bristol City Council, who led the bid, said:

“It is great news that we have been successful in our bid for this funding, which will help us to improve air quality across the region by making vital environmental upgrades to the bus fleet.”

“We will be prioritising these upgrades on the bus routes that we know to be the most polluted with levels of harmful air pollutants that are far too high.”

“This will form part of our continuing efforts to turn around the issues with air quality in our area and make Bristol a healthier place to live and work. I look forward to seeing this new technology being brought into action over the next year.”

The money will be used to retrofit emissions reductions technology on 81 buses that run on these 12 routes, which cover some of the most polluted roads on the wider network.

More: EV/hybrid engines to be fitted in 12 buses »

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MetroBus roadworks causing delays of up to 75 minutes for 73 bus

Posted on Sunday 18th December 2016 at 7:05 pm by SH (Editor)

A First West of England bus, pictured in Bristol city centre.

In a startling admission of the impact that the current MetroBus roadworks are having on bus services in the Bristol North Fringe, First Group has warned passengers travelling on its 73 route to expect delays of up to 75 minutes during the morning peak, meaning that a journey from north Bradley Stoke (Newleaze) to the city centre could potentially take around two-and-a-half hours.

A statement published by the operator on 21st November said:

“Lane closures in and around Aztec West and Bradley Stoke Way associated with MetroBus works are causing significant disruptions to services in and around the area.”

“Services 73, X73, 77, 78, 79 are severely disrupted during the peaks. Service 73 in particular is experiencing delays of up to 75 mins during the morning peak.”

Holding out little hope for an early resolution to the issue, the statement concluded by saying: “Completion [is] currently estimated as September 2017.”

The news, which only confirms what passengers have been reporting on social media for many months, comes on top of a catalogue of complaints about the reliability of evening X73 journeys returning from the city centre (detailed in a reader letter in our November magazine).

A further negative development seen since the closure of the nearside lane of Bradley Stoke Way on the approach to the Aztec West Roundabout on 14th November has been frequent reports of journeys on the 73 route being terminated short of their timetabled final destination (be that Cribbs Causeway or Temple Meads). This has seen buses coming from the city centre terminating at Parkway Station, the Willow Brook Centre or Aztec West and similarly (in the reverse order) for buses coming from Cribbs Causeway. On some occasions, the revised destination has been displayed on the bus signage, allowing passengers to decide if they wish to board a bus that will not take them to their desired destination. Other times, however, passengers have been unexpectedly told that the bus is terminating short of its advertised destination and told to get off the vehicle.

More: Passengers take to Twitter and Facebook to voice frustration »

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Reliability of 73 and X73 bus services hits another low after timetable change

Posted on Wednesday 21st September 2016 at 1:24 pm by SH (Editor)

A First West of England bus, pictured in Bristol city centre.

Users of First West of England’s 73 and X73 bus routes have complained that the services have become “utterly shocking” and “unreliable” since the latest timetable change on 4th September.

Things got off to a poor start over the first couple of days when a failure of First’s IT system led to drivers on some routes in Bristol being unable to charge passengers for tickets or follow the new timetables.

As part of the changes, the frequency of the 73 service was reduced to ‘every 15 minutes’ during peak times (previously ‘every 12 minutes’), but there have been numerous reports of buses being cancelled or not turning up on time, with one passenger reporting a wait of an hour for a bus from Bradley Stoke to Bristol.

The 73 service was also extended to Bristol Temple Meads Station, which one reader has claimed has contributed to the problems due to the longer overall route.

The ‘peak hours only’ X73 service has also been the subject of complaints about cancelled journeys and ‘no shows’.

There have also been changes to the stops served by the 73 & X73 in the city centre, but passengers have reported that drivers have sometimes been using the ‘old’ stops, resulting in them missing their intended bus.

Scores of passengers have taken to social media to express their anger in messages directed at First. One, Emily S, wrote:

“@FirstBSA My 73 bus has been either late or just not showed up virtually every day for 3 weeks! I’m late for work again! What’s going on?!”

Another, Kellie H, wrote:

“@FirstBSA Since the timetable change the 73 service has been utterly shocking! So infrequent and unreliable…”

The Journal is today launching a new survey of readers’ travel experiences, with the intention of building up an evidence base that can be presented to service operators, local councils and regulators.

We are asking users of the 73 and X73 services to record any issues, either here on our website (by leaving a comment on this article), on The Journal’s Facebook page (by sending a message or leaving a comment on this post), via The Journal’s Twitter feed or by texting The Journal on 01454 300 400.

Please be sure to tell us which service you were using, the direction of travel (e.g. to/from city centre or Cribbs Causeway) and which stop you were using.

More: What passengers have been saying on social media »

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X74 falls victim to SGC subsidy cut

Posted on Wednesday 14th September 2016 at 11:19 pm by SH (Editor)

An X74 bus waits at the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke.

Note: This article was originally published in the BSJ magazine on 3rd September, i.e. a day before the X74 service was withdrawn.

The X74 ‘express’ bus service linking Bradley Stoke with Bristol city centre, via the University of the West of England (UWE) and the M32, is being withdrawn from 4th September because the operator claims the number of passengers using the service makes it commercially unviable and South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has decided against continuing to subsidise it.

It is just one of a number of services being withdrawn or reduced as a result of SGC reducing its annual bus subsidy spending by £155,690 (9 percent), compared to 2015/16.

Operator First West of England says it is unable to continue the X74 without local authority support because legislation prevents it running a fully-commercial service at a loss.

An announcement on the firm’s website says:

“Reflecting the lack of demand for direct journeys between Bradley Stoke and UWE, this service is being withdrawn and replaced instead by an express service between UWE and the city centre (service UWE).”

“While the decision to withdraw service X74 is regrettable, the majority of customers should be able to use other services to complete their journeys.”

“While difficult to digest if you are one of the few affected by this type of decision, the fact remains that we are a business, and we do have to make these tough choices to ensure the long term viability of the whole network. Where areas have been left without services, we did discuss these matters in advance with the relevant local authorities, giving them the opportunity to consider what alternatives may need to be put in their place.”

More: SGC refuses to support an "unsustainable" service »

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