First Bus service 73 to terminate in north Bradley Stoke from 22nd January

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

The no. 73 bus service will no longer run between Cribbs Causeway and Bradley Stoke from Sunday 22nd January 2023, with buses instead starting and ending their journeys at the Eagles Wood stop in north Bradley Stoke.

The remainder of the route, from north Bradley Stoke to Bristol city centre via Bristol Parkway Station, Filton Avenue and Gloucester Road will continue to be served as at present.

The Eagles Wood stop is located on Woodlands Lane, about 120m to the east of Pear Tree Roundabout (near the Toby Carvery).

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Within Bradley Stoke, the following stops will no longer be served by the no. 73:

  • Newleaze (on Woodlands Lane)
  • Woodlands Park (on Woodlands Lane)
  • Aztec West Roundabout (stops C & D on Bradley Stoke Way)

The change comes into effect on the day the new M4 MetroBus service is introduced, running between Cribbs Causeway and Bristol city centre via Hayes Way, Gipsy Patch Lane, Bristol Parkway Station, UWE and the M32.


The truncation of the 73 route has been justified on the grounds that the existing M1 MetroBus service provides a good connection between Cribbs Causeway and Bradley Stoke; while the new M4 MetroBus will provide a faster and more frequent service between Cribbs Causeway and Stoke Gifford (specifically the Hatchet Road and Bristol Parkway stops).

Operator First West of England also claims that the changes to the 73 service will “improve punctuality and reliability”.

Route map.
Revised route of the First Bus 73 service in Bradley Stoke – from 22nd January 2023.

A spokesperson for First West of England said:

“We can confirm that, from the 22nd January 2023, we are changing the 73 service to improve punctuality and reliability. The 73 will operate between Bristol Temple Meads/City Centre and Woodlands Lane, Bradley Stoke rather than continuing to Cribbs Causeway. The route will serve the northern part of Bradley Stoke beyond the Willow Brook Centre, ending at the [Eagles Wood] stop on Woodlands Lane, close to Great Park Road. The revised running times will allow buses more time to complete their journeys. They will run every 30 minutes every day.”

“Customers in Bradley Stoke will still be able to easily get to and from Cribbs Causeway by catching the M1 MetroBus from the Willow Brook stop [on Bradley Stoke Way].”

“Customers in the Stoke Gifford area will be able to use the new M4 MetroBus service to and from Cribbs Causeway.”

The new timetable promises a consistent ‘every 30 minutes’ frequency throughout the day, meaning that the temporary cancellation of certain journeys that came into effect in mid-November 2022 is effectively being reversed.

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However, the additional journeys which currently run between Bristol Parkway Station and Bristol city centre, giving an ‘every 15 minutes’ frequency on this section of the route at certain times Monday to Friday, are being axed. The M4 MetroBus will provide a faster alternative for passengers wishing to travel from Parkway to the city centre, but those wishing to reach destinations on Filton Avenue or Gloucester Road will see a deterioration in service.

Disadvantaged groups

Residents of Woodlands Park will be amongst the most disadvantaged by the change, having to walk an additional 300m to the Eagles Wood stop to access services towards Bristol city centre, and an additional 600m to the MetroBus stop on Gloucester Road to access services to Cribbs Causeway.

Those wishing to travel between Cribbs Causeway or Patchway and the north-east corner of Bradley Stoke (Trench Lane area) will also have longer to walk – after taking the M1 service and alighting at the closest stop on Bradley Stoke Way (Patchway Brook or Willow Brook).

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Another blow

The curtailment of the 73 route comes just 12 months after First Bus cut Baileys Court Road and Webbs Wood Road from the route, leaving the service running along the full length of Brook Way, interrupted only by a loop in and out of the Willow Brook centre.

Members of Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) were angry about not being informed, by First Bus or the West of England Combined Authority (the local transport authority), in advance of last year’s route change. The Journal understands that they were similarly kept in the dark about the upcoming route curtailment until it was made public as part of the M4 MetroBus launch announcement on 8th December 2022.

In a discussion at a meeting of the BSTC Leisure, Youth & Amenities Committee on 19th December 2022, it was suggested by Cllr Tom Aditya that the revised 73 route might feasibly be extended “at least up to the Aztec West Business Park”, but the draft minutes contain no record of any action being agreed.

Bradley Stoke latest news.

New timetable

Revised timetable for the 73 service, valid from Sunday 22nd January 2023:

Route map.
Revised route of the First Bus 73 service in Bradley Stoke – from 22nd January 2023. Also showing unchanged route through Stoke Gifford.

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  1. If elected to represent primrose bridge in may this year I will ensure the council takes action to scrutinise first bus, push for south glos council to vote in favour of franchising the busses and I will support pedestrianisation improvements where possible in our budget to reduce the impact of lost bus routes.

  2. Another decision made by over paid executives sitting behind a desk never having to catch a bus. May Bristol City Center die under your watch. What an outstanding legacy to leave behind!

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