MetroBus: Your questions answered (part 1)

Bristol MetroBus.

We invited Journal readers to ask questions about the proposed MetroBus service in Bradley Stoke (apart from the obvious one of “When will it start?”) … or about the MetroBus infrastructure (bus lanes, stops, shelters etc.) that has been installed in our town over the last two+ years.

Here are the answers we received from the West of England Councils’ MetroBus team.

Q. What time will the service stop running each night? Will there be late services for people spending the evening in Bristol?
A. MetroBus services for the Bradley Stoke route are currently due to run between 6am and midnight.

Q. Will the service be linked to the internet to allow bus timings  to be viewed in real time and with online ticket purchasing?
A. Yes. Real time information will be displayed at all iPoints and on the UK Bus Checker mobile phone app. Tickets will be available to buy online via the Travelwest site or First Group’s mTicket*.

Q. Will there be a combined bus/train/bus option for commuting or will it need to be bus all the way?
A. This is a matter for the MetroBus operators and the train companies. We are currently looking at ‘bus only’ for the launch.

Q. Why are the stops through Bradley stoke not in lay-bys, especially judging by the size of the bus stops that many people getting on/off will hold up other traffic?
A. The route is designed so that buses always have priority. The problem with using bus lay-bys is that cars don’t let them back out, which in turn leads to delays. Therefore cars will have to wait behind the bus. Because, passengers have to buy tickets prior to travel, boarding times will be kept to a minimum and delays to other traffic should be negligible. When the bus pulls away it will have maintained its position in the traffic flow and have a clear road in front of it so that it can keep to time.

Q. Is there going to be an option to pay by phone/card/app etc.?
A. Yes. iPoints accept all major credit cards and tickets can be bought by mobile phone using First Group’s mTicket app*.

Q. Will there be combined tickets with other bus services?
A. Yes, background bus tickets will be able to be used on MetroBus.

Q. Will you be able to use an OAP bus pass on it?
A. Yes. MetroBus will accept all concessionary cards.

Q. Who has responsibility for ongoing costs for repair to infrastructure (bus lanes, shelters, paving at stops)?
A. As with all bus stops and shelters, the responsibility for their maintenance and repair rests with the local authorities.

Q. Can taxis use all the new MetroBus lanes, or are some  restricted for MetroBus only?
A. All buses, coaches, taxis and motorcycles will be able to use the new bus lanes. There are two exceptions to this: (1) The bus-only junction on the M32 will be for MetroBus only. (2) The segregated busway in south Bristol will only be able to be used by buses fitted with the necessary guide wheels.

Q. What is the point of the short section of bus lane between the Aztec West Roundabout and the Woodlands Lane junction?
A. It’s to allow buses to overtake any vehicles waiting at the Woodlands Lane traffic lights. [The bus stop on this section is not a MetroBus stop]

Q. How many MetroBuses a day are going to use the bus lane?
A. All of them, with services running up to one every ten minutes

Q. The current cost of a [off-peak] day return from Parkway to Temple Meads is £3.50 and the trip takes 12 minutes. What cost and time benefits will the bus add?
A. There is no direct route planned from Parkway to Temple Meads.

* On services where First Group is the operator.

More questions? Send them to the Journal! Please restrict these to MetroBus service and infrastructure issues. Reports on MetroBus operator and budget issues are carried regularly in the Journal.

Related link: MetroBus – All you need to know (Travelwest)

See also: Start of Bradley Stoke MetroBus service delayed until “late summer

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 10). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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