Webbs Wood Road & Baileys Court Road to be cut from 73 bus route

Photo of a green bus.
A First Bus service 73 vehicle, pictured on Bradley Stoke Way.

Bradley Stoke’s 73 bus will no longer serve Baileys Court Road and Webbs Wood Road from Sunday 30th January 2022, operator First West of England has announced.

Instead of making a loop through the south-east corner of the town, the 73 buses will now traverse the full length of Brook Way, with a small diversion to go in and out of the Willow Brook Centre (see new route map below).

The northern loop of the 73’s route, along Woodlands Lane and Bowsland Way, will continue to be served.

The timetable of the service is also being amended to “improve punctuality and reliability”. However, the shortening of the route does not appear to yield any improvement in timetabled journey times between Bradley Stoke and Bristol city centre (in fact some trips are a few minutes longer).

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The service frequency through Bradley Stoke remains unchanged, e.g. ‘every 30 mins’ for most of the day Monday to Friday. However, there are additional journeys on the section of the service 73 route between Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads.

The “straightening” of the 73 route that is now being implemented was first hinted at by First’s then managing director James Freeman in August 2018, ahead of the launch of the M1 MetroBus service in January 2019. It was put forward as a way of serving customers living close to the southern end of Brook Way who would have a long walk to access the new MetroBus service running along Bradley Stoke Way. However, an informal public consultation showed “overwhelming” support for keeping the 73 route unaltered. A reduced number of peak-hours-only X73 journeys (rebranded as T3) continued to take the “straight” route down Brook Way until this service was axed in September 2019.

New route map

Map of a bus route.
First Bus service 73 route map (northern section; Bristol-bound) from 30th January 2022.

Current route map

Map of a bus route.
First Bus service 73 route map (northern section; Bristol-bound) prior to 30th January 2022.

First Bus statement

A statement published on the First Bus website reads:

“The timetable [of service 73] has been amended to improve punctuality and reliability. In addition, the route will be changed in Bradley Stoke, with buses will no longer serving Baileys Court Road, Webbs Wood Road or Bradley Stoke Way. Instead, between Orpheus Avenue and the Willow Brook Centre, buses will run via Brook Way, bringing a direct service to and from the City Centre to this area. To maintain an interchange with Services M1 and T1, service 73 will additionally stop at the Willow Brook stop on the main road prior to entering the Willow Brook Centre.”

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Stops served

Bus stops served by the First Bus 73 service (in the Bristol-bound direction):

  • Patchway, Aztec West Roundabout (Stop C)
  • Bradley Stoke, Woodlands Park (NE-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Newleaze (NE-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Eagles Wood (E-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Foxfield Avenue (E-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Westfield Way (SE-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Trench Lane (S-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Ormonds Close (S-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Tresham Close (NW-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Campion Drive (W-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Chessel Close (SW-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Bradley Stoke Surgery (S-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Winsbury Way (SE-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Manor Farm Roundabout (S-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Willow Brook (N-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Willow Brook Centre (NE-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Savages Wood Roundabout (S-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, The Bridge (S-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Webbs Wood (SE-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Webbs Wood Road (E-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Ellan Hay Road (SW-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Great Meadow Roundabout (SW-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Hunters Ridge (NW-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Baileys Court Inn (NW-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Sherbourne Avenue (W-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Linden Drive (S-bound)
  • Bradley Stoke, Braydon Avenue (S-bound)
  • Little Stoke, Elm Close (S-bound)
  • Little Stoke, Orpheus Avenue (S-bound)

Key: Red = not served from 30/01/22; Green = new stop from 30/01/22

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Journey planning

Service users living along the axed part of the 73 route who are able to reach a MetroBus stop on Bradley Stoke Way may in some cases be able to take the M1 service to UWE and change there to another service for destinations they previously reached directly using the 73 service (e.g. Bristol Parkway, Filton Avenue or Gloucester Road).

It is also possible to reach Bristol Parkway by:

  1. Changing from the M1 service to the Y6 service at the Great Stoke S-bound stop (Parkway North Roundabout).
  2. Changing from the M1 service to the 19 service at the Harry Stoke (Highbrook Park) stops on the Stoke Gifford By-Pass. Note: This necessitates crossing the road from the S-bound stop to the N-bound stop.

TIP: The Traveline SW website (or corresponding smartphone app) is recommended for planning more complex journeys as it covers all modes of transport, from all operators, and allows the setting of personal preferences such as a maximum distance to walk.

“Difficult operating conditions”

Speaking more generally about all the changes being introduced across services in Bristol from 30th January, First West of England’s managing director Doug Claringbold said:

“These changes are designed to improve the performance of several key services in the city, which have been beset by issues as traffic levels and, until recently, increasing passenger numbers, leading to longer journey times.”

“Operating conditions continue to be difficult with the impact of the Omicron variant on staffing levels, but we continue to do our utmost to deliver a high level of service and to work with the [West of England] Combined Authority to manage the network through these challenging times.”

“As always, we’d like to thank all our customers for their patronage, and for their compliance with the current rules around face coverings as we seek to keep everyone moving safely.”

More information and related links:

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New fare structure

First Bus has unveiled a major overhaul of its ticket offer across the West of England – its first since July 2019 – designed to encourage more people to travel when restrictions ease by offering more flexibility and choice.

While some fares will increase, others will stay the same or be reduced, with many customers able to save or limit any increase through the availability of new products.

The new tickets and fares launch on Sunday 23rd January 2022 and have been developed following detailed analysis of customers’ travel patterns, with particular focus on ensuring the range of tickets reflects the new ways that people are traveling as a result of the pandemic, particularly the emergence of more hybrid working and the end, for many, of the traditional five-day commute.

For a full breakdown of the new fare structure, including details of money-saving bundle tickets, visit New Tickets, More Choice or download ‘A simple guide to your new tickets‘ [PDF; 9MB].

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4 comments

  1. From Cllr Keith Cranney: “An officer from First Bus will be attending this week’s Bradley Stoke Town Council (Full Council) meeting on Wednesday evening [19th January] 7.00 pm to respond to questions.”

    The council meeting takes place at the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road BS32 8HL.

  2. Fantastic news, at last my wish has come to pass…it has taken a very long time to get the route changed to run the full length of Brookway. Great news.

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