First Bus 73 service to follow cross-city route from September

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

Bradley Stoke’s 73 bus service is to be transformed into a cross-city link from September and will additionally serve the Aztec West Business Park at off-peak times.

Currently operating between north Bradley Stoke and Bristol Temple Meads Station, the 73 service will be merged with First West of England’s 92 service, which currently runs between the city centre and Hengrove.

The 73 service will also be extended at off-peak times to the Aztec West Business Park, taking in the whole of Woodlands Lane. This change restores service to the Newleaze and Woodlands Park stops which was lost in January 2022 when the 73 route was truncated to terminate at the Eagles Wood stop in north Bradley Stoke rather than Cribbs Causeway.

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The full route description of the merged service, as provided by First Bus to Bradley Stoke Town Council earlier this month, is:

Service 73 from Belland Drive via (Return – Court Farm Road), Whitchurch Lane, Ridgeway Lane, Wharnecliffe Gardens, Fortfield Road, New Fosseway Road, Walsh Avenue, Hengrove Lane, Cadogan Road, Airport Road, Salcombe Road, Broad Walk, Wells Road, Bath Road, Temple Gate, Redcliffe Way, The Grove, Prince Street, Broad Quay, Colston Avenue, (Forward – Lewins Mead; Return – Rupert Street), The Haymarket, North Street, Stokes Croft, Cheltenham Road, Gloucester Road, Muller Road, Filton Avenue, Station Road, (Forward – Filton Road, Sainsbury’s Bus Link, Fox Den Road; Return – Fox Den Road, Great Stoke Way), (Forward – New Road, New Road Bus Link), Brierly Furlong, Hatchet Road, Bristol Parkway Station, Hatchet Road, Orpheus Avenue.Brook Way, Savages Wood Road, Bradley Stoke Way, Willow Brook Centre, Savages Wood Road, Brook Way, Bowsland Way, Trench Lane, Woodlands Lane, Bradley Stoke Way to Aztec West Park Avenue.

Editor’s note: It appears that the amended 73 service will no longer serve the forecourt at Bristol Temple Meads Station, stopping instead on Temple Way. [See First’s reply to this tweet]


At the time of writing, the timetable for the new cross-city 73 service isn’t available, so it is unclear if there are any significant changes to the operating frequency or hours of operation. An update will be appended to this article once this information is published.

A second cross-city link will also be created from September by merging the 70 service (currently operating between the University of the West of England and Bristol Temple Meads Station) and the 90 service (currently running between the city centre and Filwood Park).

M1 MetroBus changes

There are also some positive changes to Bradley Stoke’s M1 MetroBus service, with the weekday operating frequency increasing from ‘every 12 minutes’ to ‘every 10 minutes’ in the morning and afternoon peak periods; from ‘every 15 minutes’ to ‘every 12 minutes’ off-peak; and from ‘every 30 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’ in the evenings.

On Saturdays, the evening service will increase from ‘every 30 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’, and on Sunday mornings from ‘every 30 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’.

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The changes are part of a bi-annual review of routes by First Bus, and will come into force on Sunday 3rd September 2022.

For a full list of all the changes in the Bristol area, see: Two new cross-city bus routes planned for Bristol (First Bus)

“Improving connections”

Rob Pymm, commercial director for First West of England, said:

“We’re continuing to invest in improving bus services across Bristol and the West of England. Our two new cross-city services will improve connections between important areas of Bristol and make travelling around the city easier and cheaper for our customers.”

“With lots of other improvements being made to other routes, including increased frequencies, and with adult and child single fares still £2 and £1 respectively and our on-board Tap On, Tap Off technology making payment quick and easy, we’re making bus travel accessible to even more people.”

First Bus says it has consulted on the new routes with local authorities, including the West of England Combined Authority, ahead of them coming into effect in September.

Related link: Bus Services in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)

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Timetable published

UPDATE added 4th August 2023.

Timetables published this week confirm that the 73 bus service will be extended to terminate at the Approach Road stop in the Aztec West Business Park from Sunday 3rd September. However, on weekdays fewer than a third of journeys will go as far as Aztec West, with these being at off-peak times only (arriving between 10:23 and 14:57).

There are also changes to the stops used by the service near Temple Meads Station.

Read more: First Bus 73 service: Details of September route and timetable changes revealed (The Journal)

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  1. The ‘Bus Service Changes’ page on the Travelwest website says of the 73 service: “The service frequency will remain the same on both sections of route.”

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