Posts Tagged ‘MetroBus service’

M1 MetroBus service changes from 5th January

Posted on Saturday 4th January 2020 at 9:27 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of an M1 MetroBus vehicle at the Webbs Wood southbound stop in Bradley Stoke.

Bus operator First West of England is making further changes to its MetroBus Bristol services from Sunday 5th January 2020, in particular the M1 MetroBus which links Bradley Stoke with Cribbs Causeway and Bristol city centre.

The company says the changes are designed to better reflect the pattern of customer demand across all hours of MetroBus service and improve reliability and punctuality.

The number of customers using the city’s MetroBuses has grown steadily, with more than four million passengers carried across the three routes (M1, M2 & M3) since the launch of the services.

The M1 MetroBus service between Cribbs Causeway and Hengrove, which passes along Bradley Stoke Way, has seen varying customer demand across peak and off-peak times. Additional peak capacity was added to the busiest sections of the route in September 2019, however this was only of benefit to passengers from Bradley Stoke travelling in the direction of the city centre during the morning peak.

With peak demand continuing to grow, the number of buses between Bradley Stoke’s Patchway Brook stop (near Aldi) and the city centre will be increased from January to provide extra capacity in both directions, and in the evening peak as well as the morning peak. Furthermore, some of these extra buses will start or terminate at Parson Street Station in Bedminster rather than the city centre.

This will mean a bus will run every 7-8 minutes on this section of the route at all weekday peak times compared to the current 10 minutes, an increase of 33 percent in the number of seats provided.

Outside of peak times on this section of the route, and throughout the day on the remainder of the route, the weekday M1 service will now operate every 15 minutes (a downgrade from the present ‘every 12 minutes’). Late evening services (after about 7pm) will continue to run every 20 minutes.

On Saturdays, buses will operate every 20 minutes at all times of day throughout the route (a downgrade from the present ‘every 12 minutes’ between approximately 10am and 5pm).

There are no changes to the frequency of buses on Sundays and public holidays.

More: M1 MetroBus one year on: Your views »

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M1 MetroBus service frequency set for another downgrade from January

Posted on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at 9:07 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the very first timetabled M1 MetroBus to enter Bradley Stoke arriving at the Patchway Brook southbound stop.

The operating frequency of the flagship M1 MetroBus service, which links Bradley Stoke with Cribbs Causeway and Bristol city centre, looks set to be reduced for the second time in just over four months, the Journal can reveal.

No formal announcement has yet been made by First West of England or its sub-contractor Bristol Community Transport, but the following brief statement about the M1 service has appeared today (27th November) on the Travelwest website:

[With effect from 05/01/2020]

“Monday to Friday frequency reduction from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 15 minutes’.”

“Additional peak journeys between The Centre [in Bristol] and Patchway Brook [near Aldi in Bradley Stoke].”

“Saturday frequency reduction from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’. No Changes on Sundays.”

At the time of writing, no timetables were available for the revised service.

When it started on 6th January 2019, the M1 service ran every 10 minutes between 6am and midnight (Mon-Sat) and every 20 minutes between 9am and midnight on Sundays.

However, from 1st September 2019, the Monday to Friday off-peak and Saturday daytime frequency was reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 12 minutes’. At the same time, the Monday to Saturday evening frequency was reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’.

In contrast to off-peak times, passenger numbers at peak hours remain high and a small number of additional morning peak journeys were introduced from 15th September 2019 on the route section between Patchway Brook and Broadmead. These journeys are run using vehicles which aren’t MetroBus-branded.

Photo: The very first timetabled M1 MetroBus to enter Bradley Stoke arrives at the Patchway Brook southbound stop at 9.12am on Sunday 6th January 2019.

UPDATE (28th November 2019)

First West of England says new timetables will be available on its website from Friday 6th December 2019.

UPDATE (14th December 2019)

M1 timetable from 5th January 2020 [PDF; 5.7MB N.B. Large file!]

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M1 MetroBus off-peak frequency to be reduced from 1st September

Posted on Saturday 31st August 2019 at 10:06 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of an M1 MetroBus vehicle at the Webbs Wood southbound stop in Bradley Stoke.

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.

More: Additional morning peak journeys from BS to city centre »

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MetroBus: Has the ‘no lay-bys’ policy backfired?

Posted on Friday 26th April 2019 at 9:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing bus chaos on Bradley Stoke Way, in the vicinity of Webbs Wood Roundabout.

The introduction of new bus routes (T1 and M1 MetroBus) through Bradley Stoke has actually worsened traffic congestion rather than relieved it, claim a number of readers commenting on the Journal’s Facebook page.

Responding to a reader who reported being held up by a convoy of three buses “halting at every stop” along Bradley Stoke Way to pick up or set down passengers, many people have blamed the lack of lay-bys at the newly created MetroBus stops for the problems.

An overall increase in traffic flow resulting from the opening of the Stoke Gifford By-Pass (created as part of the MetroBus project) seems to have exacerbated the problem by limiting opportunities for overtaking buses halted at stops, due to a lack of gaps in oncoming traffic.

Council planners say they are against having lay-bys at stops because buses find it difficult to re-enter the traffic flow when moving off. However, the policy seems to be backfiring as ‘rapid service’ MetroBuses, which only halt at selected stops, are themselves being held up by being unable to pass regular buses (73 and T1) halted at any stop along their route, including the non-MetroBus ones.

Responding to an enquiry from Bradley Stoke Town Council after the issue of tailbacks forming at the Savages Wood Roundabout stop had been raised by a town councillor, South Gloucestershire Council replied:

“The new bus stops that have been provided on Bradley Stoke Way for the MetroBus services have not been built with lay-bys. The reason for this is that when buses pull out of the traffic flow into bus lay-bys at bus stops, they often find it very difficult to pull back out onto the road as they have to wait for a gap in the traffic to do so. This can result in delays to bus services and unreliability.”

“Therefore, as MetroBus is designed to be a faster, more reliable public transport service, most new MetroBus stops have been built without lay-bys. It should be noted however, as MetroBus services require passengers to buy tickets before they board the bus, in order to reduce the time that the buses need to wait at the bus stops.”

“Providing high quality public transport services such as MetroBus should help to reduce future increases in traffic associated with the expected growth in housing and jobs, especially single occupancy car use.”

More: Selected reader comments from our Facebook page »

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