Another round of bus service alterations effective from Sunday

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

Another round of alterations to Bradley Stoke’s bus services comes into effect this Sunday (31st August), with the withdrawal of one service (Wessex 13), the introduction of another (First X74) and a reduction in the daytime frequency of a third (First 73).

The Wessex 13 service, which links the Willow Brook Centre with Bristol city centre via Little Stoke, Stoke Lodge, Filton, UWE and Fishponds is being axed “due to a withdrawal of funding”. Introduced in January 2013, the service originally operated every 20 minutes Monday to Friday, but that frequency was later cut to every 24 minutes.

First’s new X74 service is effectively replacing the Wessex 13, with the significant difference that it will use the M32 motorway between UWE and the city centre, allowing journey times between Bradley Stoke and Bristol be reduced to 44 minutes peak and 37 minutes off-peak (compared to 63 minutes and 57 minutes on the 13).

Buses on the new route, which is being subsidised through South Gloucestershire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, will run every 30 minutes between 6am and 8pm Monday to Saturday. There is no service on Sundays or Bank Holidays.

To support the launch of the new service, First are offering adults the chance to ride the X74 bus for a £1.50 flat fare during September (75 pence for children under 16, £1 for students and young people with photographic ID). Up to two children under five will continue to travel free with a fare paying adult.

Bradley Stoke’s principal bus service, the First 73, will see its frequency reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 12 minutes’.

The First X73 peak-only express service is unaffected by the changes, except for the first return journey from the city centre, which will depart five minutes later at 4.25pm.

To see the new timetables, visit the Traveline South West website.

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  1. The X74 route is absurd. Why Brook Way, why Braydon Avenue then loop back thru Little Stoke? Does X not mean express? Hardly quick.

    I know the Metrobus is supposed to run down Bradley Stoke Way, but that’s not due until 2017. So until then the only X bus runs via Brook Way? Are they crazy? Do they think only people on one side of town want an express service?

    Nice work First and South Glos Council.

  2. I thought the 73 was every 12 minutes!! When it does turn up.

    Won’t be long before that timing changes and we end up with a country service.

  3. Finally! We have service back on Braydon Avenue! For the last five years we’ve had to either walk to the 73 to go all through Bradley Stoke, or go to the A38 to get the 75. Result!

  4. Whilst everyone enjoys criticising bus services, with some justification, the problems of running buses to Bristol’s North Fringe of Bradley Stoke, Stoke Gifford and Little Stoke from The Centre must be immense.

    I’d have thought running a couple of local services centred on Willow Brook, Cribbs and Bristol Parkway would be better, and a regular X service with four stops of Cribbs, Willow Brook, Bristol Parkway and The Centre would make more sense.

  5. Great news at last with the introduction of a NEW X74 bus service and great news for those living along Braydon Ave…which by the way does NOT travel the FULL length of Brookway.

    Why can’t the X73 also travel every 30 minutes on its present route and not just at peak times only, so as it can accommodate those wishing to have access to the Bristol Parkway Station and Sainsburys…there are no buses that go to Parkway during the day which travel the full length of Brookway

    IF THE X74 can travel all day every 30 minutes then why can’t the X73 do the same, they are BOTH X buses?

  6. Bus routes need to get enough passengers to make it worth while otherwise they get axed which is the right thing to do as a profit making company.
    use it or loose it its as simple as that.

  7. I’ve tried the X74 a couple of times and if your goal is to get to the city centre from Bradley Stoke, then the Little Stoke / Gloucester Road and UWE parts of the route do feel like huge detours.

    Overall I’ve found the X73 more direct.

  8. Find it rather ridiculous that BSJ is trying to dub this as “effectively replacing” the 13 only down to the UWE connection. Yes, it does mean easier travel for those going to town/Bradley Stoke from UWE; but the fact that South Gloucestershire Council blindly transferred the funding from the 13 (which not only served the areas the X74 does just as well/better, but ALSO travelled through Stapleton Road and surrounding areas too) means that those in Easton/Fishponds no longer have a direct bus route to Bradley Stoke and instead have to transfer in town, which is a pain. Also it means we’re all slowly being forced to use First’s shockingly terrible service with no choice in the matter. £1.50 is the standard price for a First bus single ticket in Zone A anyway, why are they trying to candy coat that?

  9. South Glous council must out of there minds approving the metro bus; it is madness and misuse of public money. In Bradley Stoke We already have too many bus services that are under utilised and veer and haul with routes. When there is a withdrawal of funding why do the approved a scheme that cost so much for little benefit. I only can think the individuals are seeking image and credit and not getting on with real needs.

  10. I use the bus every day from Bradley Stoke to the centre, and one thing they are not is empty!

    I’m not convinced by MetroBus, I’d prefer a tram solution, but it is the only option offered, a tram system would cost a lot more, and something has to be done about traffic.

  11. Seems as if First have decided to abandon the north of Bradley Stoke in terms of a decent service to the centre of Bristol. In the last set of changes, they combined the 73 and 74, hailing it as a benefit because of the increased frequency, although that “benefit” was more than wiped out by the extra 10 minutes added to the journey time as it trundles through Willow Brook and the Baileys Court area. Now the frequency is dropping again, so we’ve got the pain of both. Whilst this new service will be great for anyone with the good (or is that bad?) fortune to live next to Tesco, for a lot of us, the walking time to the Willow Brook Centre will wipe out any benefit from this “express” service for most Bradley Stoke residents.

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