Posts Tagged ‘bus’

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 The X73 will be withdrawn because it would not be commercially viable once service M1 starts.”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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£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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