Posts Tagged ‘North Fringe to Hengrove Package’

M1 MetroBus service to start on 6th January

Posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2019 at 7:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing a line of M1 MetroBus vehicles at the BCT depot in Bedminster.

The M1 MetroBus service, the third and longest Bristol MetroBus route, connecting south Bristol, Bedminster, the city centre, UWE, Bradley Stoke and Cribbs Causeway, will launch on Sunday 6th January.

Bristol Community Transport, who will be operating the M1 service under contract to First West of England, has invested in a fleet of new buses running on biogas generated from food waste, farm waste and sewage – creating up to 60 new driver and support positions at their Bedminster depot. This represents the first major investment in biogas buses in the area and puts the West of England at the forefront of low emission bus operations powered by alternative sources.

The launch of M1 follows the successful introduction of routes M3 and M2 that were launched in May and September 2018, connecting Emersons Green and Lyde Green Park & Ride to the city centre and Long Ashton Park & Ride to the city centre respectively. Together, these routes have already carried over 600,000 customers.

Travel will be free all day on Sunday 6th January when the new fleet is unveiled. Subsequently, tickets will be available via the special iPoint machines that have already started appearing along the M1 route. As well as providing real-time ‘next bus’ information, they form an integral part of MetroBus’ ‘buy before you board’ strategy, enabling customers to buy tickets using contactless or chip & pin bank cards. Customers can also buy tickets using First’s mTicket smartphone app, and registered Travelwest smartcard users can buy tickets from the Travelwest website and load them onto their smartcard at an iPoint before using it on the bus. First’s standard range of tickets for their Bristol and West of England fare zones are also valid on all MetroBus services, as are concessionary passes.

MetroBus fares are simple and all tickets are ‘buy before you board’, for faster journeys. Single trips are £2.00 (£2.07 for an individual ticket via the First mTicket app) and a day ticket allowing unlimited travel is £4.

More: All the local bus service changes from 6th January »

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Reprieve for X73 route but 73 frequency to drop to ‘every 20 mins’

Posted on Saturday 17th November 2018 at 10:41 pm by SH (Editor)

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

Bus operator First Bristol has granted a partial reprieve to the X73 peak-hours-only bus service, which it had previously stated would be withdrawn once the M1 MetroBus service starts in January 2019. However, as widely anticipated, Bradley Stoke’s current main bus service, the 73, will see its frequency reduced due to an expected drop in demand from passengers travelling to the city centre.

The announcements follow an informal public consultation during September, launched at the request of First’s managing director James Freeman, who attended a meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council in August to talk through some of the possible scenarios for current local bus services in the MetroBus era.

Two journeys a day in each direction will be retained on the X73 service, which operates along the full length of Brook Way , in contrast to the MetroBus route along Bradley Stoke Way.

In a statement released to the Journal, Mr Freeman said:

“We were delighted by the number of people who made time to respond to our request for views about what we should do the with the 73 service as well as the X73 after MetroBus route M1 is introduced on 6th January 2019.”

“The overwhelming response was that people wanted us to keep things as they are, albeit with a general acceptance that services would need to run at a lower frequency than at present.”

“I am therefore pleased to announce today that we will continue to operate service 73, but every 20 minutes after 6th January, following the present route in every detail.”

“Journeys on weekday evenings and Sundays will run broadly as now.”

“In addition, we have found additional resources to continue the X73 service with two rather than three journeys per day – at 0640 and 0805 from Aztec West, returning from the city centre at 1550 and 1725 on Mondays to Fridays.”

The reduction in the daytime frequency of the 73 means that it will have halved from the ‘every 10 minutes’ rate that was offered back in 2013, after the old 74 service was merged with the 73.

More: M1 will run ‘every 10 mins’ between 6am and midnight Mon-Sat »

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MetroBus iPoints now due in November

Posted on Saturday 27th October 2018 at 8:02 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing further installation work taking place at the southbound 'Willow Brook Centre' MetroBus stop on Bradley Stoke Way.

The M1 MetroBus service through Bradley Stoke is due to begin operating in January 2019, but there seems to be little urgency in completing the remaining preparations, which include the installation of 38 iPoints (information and ticket machines) and a missing shelter at the Great Meadow Roundabout northbound stop.

Many of the new MetroBus stops have barriered-off excavations, believed to be for the iPoint bases, with no activity having been seen at the sites for over three months.

Back in June, we were told that the iPoint installation teams had been reassigned to complete work on the M3 and M2 routes. With these two routes now operational, we asked for a further update. A spokesperson told us:

“Installation of the remaining 38 iPoints for the M1 route will be taking place in the lead up to the start of service in January, with the iPoints in the North Fringe due between 19th and 27th November. These dates may vary according to traffic management requirements.”

The spokesperson added:

“Remember, MetroBus is a buy before you board service for faster journeys. Full details of how to buy tickets, the M1 timetable and routes will be widely available in the lead up to the start of the M1 service – keep an eye on www.metrobusbristol.co.uk for details.

The M1 route will be operated by Bristol Community Transport, under contract to First Bus.

Photo: Archive image from May 2018 of further installation work taking place at the southbound ‘Willow Brook Centre’ MetroBus stop on Bradley Stoke Way.

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 3). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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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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Bradley Stoke Journal 6 & 11-year anniversary (2019).
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