News & Initiatives

Bus service changes in Bristol from 1 September

Tuesday 20 August 2013

A number of changes are being made to enhance local bus services from 1 September as First seeks to improve travel opportunities for people in and around the city.

The changes affect the following routes: Services 1, 8/9, 18/X18, 20, 40/40A, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48/49, 50/51, 54, 73/X73, 74, 90, 352/353, X1, X2/X3, X39/339 and A1/A2.

A whole host of improvements - including more frequent services, additional late night travel opportunities (on services 40, 43, 44, 48, 73 and 339), extra journeys on Sundays and Public Holidays and better links to one of the area's most popular business parks - are being put in place. In addition to this the routes taken by some services (Services 20, 40/40A, 41, 50/51, 73/X73, 90 and the Airport Flyer) are also being amended in some places while two services are also being renumbered (Services 54 and 353). One existing service is also being split in the city centre, to be replaced by two separate routes instead.

Talking about the changes, Simon Ford, Commercial Manager for First in West of England, says: "The changes we are making to the network are, on the whole, overwhelmingly positive. We are adding in extra late night services connecting key destinations for instance Bristol and Bath, and are improving the frequency of a number of other routes too. To make these changes though we have had to adjust some of the under-used services and so while the vast majority of the news is positive customers should note that there are some route changes in some places. We are also taking steps to split one route to address long standing issues we have faced and to hopefully ensure it remains commercially sustainable.

"We would strongly urge those people who use local bus services to familiarise themselves with the changes that are being made. New timetable information will be made available online from 20 August and will be available to pick up from travel shops from the following week."

Specific changes affecting buses in and around Bristol from 1 September

Service 1 (Cribbs Causeway - Broomhill): The frequency of buses Monday to Friday on Service 1 is being increased to provide a bus every 10 minutes (compared to every 12 at present). This is the second time the frequency has been improved in the past two years and means that people living along the route will have even more opportunities to travel from September. In addition to this, the timetable is being adjusted to compliment that of Service 2, and to ensure that buses along the sections of route that the two services share are equally spaced. Specifically the changes mean that people wishing to catch buses between Bristol Temple Meads and White Tree Roundabout will find one running every five minutes during the day.

The frequency of buses during the evenings on Sundays and Public Holidays is also being improved. From September buses at these times will run every half an hour (compared to hourly at present). These changes make the Sunday and Public Holiday evening timetable consistent with the rest of the week.

Service 2 (Cribbs Causeway - Stockwood): This is a new service number for what was previously known as Service 54. The latter will cease to exist but instead Service 2 will provide journeys between Cribbs Causeway and Stockwood instead. The timetable has also been improved, with the frequency of buses increased throughout the day Monday to Friday. Specifically from September buses will run every 10 minutes (compared to every 12 at present) and they will be interworked with buses on Service 1 to provide a bus every five minutes along common sections of the route (ie between Bristol Temple Meads and White Tree Roundabout). In addition to this the bus stops used by Service 2 in the city centre when travelling outbound towards Stockwood are being changed so that buses use the St Augustine's Parade stop instead of the one by Colston Avenue. This provides consistency with Service 1 and makes it easier for people to use either Service 1 or 2 for journeys going the same way. Customers are advised to get hold of the new timetable to ensure they understand what is happening.

Service 8 / 9 (Bristol Temple Meads - Centre - Clifton/Redland - Centre - Bristol Temple Meads): Following an increase in demand for services on Sunday and Public Holiday evenings First is adding a number of extra journeys into the timetables of Services 8 and 9 at these times. From 1 September buses will provide a combined 10 minute frequency between 1830 and 2030 hours on Sundays and Public Holidays. In addition to this one late night Monday - Sunday journey on Service 8 (that leaving Temple Meads at 2330 hours) is being extended following customer requests. From September this journey will continue on from Blackboy Hill to travel back to Temple Meads via Redland. In the mornings, a number of extra Monday - Saturday journey opportunities are being added in. These will give people earlier first journeys from Bristol Temple Meads and Redland and should be welcomed by commuters. Finally on Saturday mornings some early journeys from Temple Meads are being retimed and brought forward slightly. Customers are strongly advised to check the new timetables carefully to ensure they know what is happening and how it may impact on them.

Service 18 /X18 (Kingswood / Emersons Green - Southmead): The timetable for this service is being altered to address some concerns regarding the punctuality of services and to make it more reliable for users. Customers are advised to check the new timetable carefully before travelling to ensure they know what is happening.

Service 20 (Southmead - Centre): A number of significant changes are being made to ensure that the service remains commercially viable in the long term. Specifically the route is being changed to effectively split into what is the current Service 20 into two separate routes. From 1 September Service 20 will operate between Southmead and the city centre only, with the section of route between the centre and Hengrove covered by a newly created Service 50.

As a result of the changes buses on Service 20 will start and terminate at Colston Avenue from September running to and from Charlton Road, Southmead every half an hour Monday - Saturday daytime (buses in the evenings and on Sundays and Public Holidays will terminate at Westbury Village). The change in Southmead represents an extension of the current service and comes on the back of customer and stakeholder requests for an extended route. In addition to this the route around Bishopston is also changing, with amends made to counter problems that buses have had with parked cars occasionally blocking the route. From September buses will operate direct along Cranbrook Road and Upper Cranbrook Road offering customers a much simpler route. Clare Avenue, King's Drive and Bishop Road will no longer be served but customers should be able to use stops on Cranbrook Road and Kellaway Avenue instead.

Finally the frequency of buses in the evenings and on Sundays and Public Holidays is being altered. Buses running Monday - Saturday evenings and during the day on Sundays and Public Holidays will run hourly between the city centre and Westbury Village with financial support from Bristol City Council. The section of route beyond Westbury Village will not be served at these times reflecting the low overall demand for services there.

Customers are strongly advised to get a copy of the new timetable for Services 20 and 50 before they travel.

Service 40 /40A (Broadmead - Cribbs Causeway): A number of changes are being made affecting the provision of late night travel opportunities and the route that buses take in the city centre and through Stoke Bishop.

Firstly, a number of improvements are being made to late night services, with all journeys extended to operate between Broadmead and Cribbs Causeway from 1 September. Specifically there will be departures on Service 40A from Broadmead at midnight, 0100 and 0200, and from Cribbs Causeway at midnight and 0100 hours. This is a significant change and means that customers in Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Henbury who wish to travel to and from the city centre in the early hours of the morning will be able to do so easily (previously night buses started and terminated at Kings Weston Lane).

Elsewhere, there are route changes affecting Service 40 /40A buses in central Bristol and Stoke Bishop. In the city centre, buses will start and terminate at Broadmead, Union Street (Stop Si). Stops on the Horsefair, Penn Street and Bond Street will no longer be served. The change in the stopping arrangements provides consistency with Service 41 (which stops in the same place) and also means driver changeovers can be taken at the terminus stop. While in Stoke Bishop a change is being made to address long-standing concerns that First has had regarding inconsiderate parking and its affect on the punctuality and reliability of services. First is aware of the concerns that have been raised locally around this route change and as a result of this has amended the original plans slightly to ensure that Downleaze - and one of the three sets of stops affected by the route change - retains access to the local service. From September though buses will no longer serve Church Road or Julian Road, but instead those buses travelling outbound from the centre will use Stoke Road, Saville Road, Downleaze and Stoke Hill. In view of ongoing concerns raised locally about this though First has agreed to keep the matter under review over the next few months and it will continue to discuss possible solutions to the parking problems affecting bus punctuality and reliability in Stoke Bishop with the council and other relevant agencies.

In addition to these changes the timetable across all days of the week is being altered slightly in places to improve the overall punctuality and reliability of services. Customers who use the services are strongly advised to check the new timetable before travelling to ensure they understand what is happening.

Service 41 (Broadmead - Avonmouth): A number of changes are being made to this service which will affect the timetable throughout the day and the stopping arrangements in the city centre. Specifically buses will start and terminate at Broadmead, Union Street (Stop Si) from 1 September to provide consistency with the new stop being used by Service 40/40A. This also allows driver changeovers to take place at the terminus stop. Customers are advised to check the timetable before travelling to avoid disappointment.

Service 42 (Centre - Keynsham): The timetable of this service is being altered to make it work in conjunction with Services 43, 44 and 45. In addition to this all Monday - Saturday daytime journeys are being extended beyond Bitton to start and terminate in Keynsham instead. This provides increased travel opportunities for local people, especially those in Kingswood, Cadbury Heath and Oldland who wish to travel to and from Keynsham for work and leisure opportunities. Buses will run every 20 minutes during the daytime and hourly during the evenings and on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Service 43 (Centre - Cadbury Heath): The timetable of this service is being altered to make it work in conjunction with Services 42, 44 and 45. In addition to this an extra late night journey - operating at 0300 hours (Monday - Saturday) from the Centre (Broad Quay) to Kingswood (Kings Chase Shopping Centre) is being added into the timetable, giving late night revellers and shift workers even more opportunities to travel.

Service 44 (Centre - Kingswood): The timetable of this service is being altered to make it work in conjunction with Services 42, 43 and 45. In addition to this an extra late night journey - operating at 0321 hours (Monday - Saturday) from the Kingswood (Kings Chase Shopping Centre) to Lawrence Hill (Croydon Street) is being added into the timetable, giving late night revellers and shift workers even more opportunities to travel. In addition the current 0221 hours journey from Kingswood (Kings Chase Shopping Centre) is being extended beyond Lawrence Hill to offer a journey right through to the Centre (Broad Quay).

Service 45 (Centre - Longwell Green): The timetable of this service is being altered very slightly to make it work in conjunction with Services 42, 43 and 45. Customers are advised to check the new timetable before travelling.

Service 48 (Centre - Emersons Green): A number of changes are being made to the timetable of this service, and an extra vehicle will be used to further improve the punctuality and reliability of journeys during the peak period. Most notably though a number of extra late night journeys are being added in: specifically there will be an extra 0230 hours Monday - Saturday journey from Downend (The Leap) to the centre and a 0300 hours departure from the Centre (Rupert Street) to Downend (The Leap) on the same days. In addition, there will be an extra late night journey on Sundays and Public Holidays, leaving the Centre (Rupert Street) at midnight and running as far as Downend (The Leap).

Service 50 (Centre - Hengrove Depot): A new Service 50 is being created to replace what was the route of Service 20 in the south of the city. Buses will run every 20 minutes Monday - Saturday daytime, every half hour on Sundays and at least hourly in the evenings. Buses will start and terminate at Colston Avenue in the City Centre and will follow the following route towards Hengrove: Colston Avenue, Quay Street, Nelson Street, The Horsefair, Penn Street, Wine Street, Victoria Street, Temple Gate, Bath Road, St Johns Lane, Salcombe Road, Throgmorton Road, Bamfield, Fortfield Road, Whitchurch Lane, Halfacre Lane, Stoneberry Road, Holbeach Way, Long Acre Road, Tanorth Road, Court Farm Road, Whitchurch Lane, Hengrove Way. All Service 50 buses will call at the South Bristol Community Hospital and for those people wishing to travel to the Bristol Royal Infirmary it will be possible to connect with service 20 buses at Colston Avenue, as both services will use the same stop.

Service 51 (Centre - Hengrove Depot): While the timetable of Service 51 will remain largely unaffected with buses continuing to run every 20 minutes Monday - Saturday daytime, half hourly on Sundays and at least hourly during the evenings, the route that the buses take is changing slightly. From 1 September Service 51 buses will not call at Halfacre Lane. Stoneberry Road, Holbeach Way, Long Acre Road, Tanorth Road or Court Farm Road but they will run along Whitchurch Road instead. Customers should note though that Service 50 will provide a direct replacement along the sections of route no longer served. Furthermore the timetables of Service 50 and 51 are being coordinated so that buses run every 10 minutes along the sections of route that the two services share.

Service 54 (Cribbs Causeway - Stockwood): This service is being renumbered. From 1 September this route will be known as Service 2 (see details above)

Service 73/X73 (Centre - Cribbs Causeway): The route and frequency of the buses operating on Service 73 is being amended (details below) and some minor timetable changes are being made to Service X73.

From 1 September the route that Service 73 buses take around Bradley Stoke will change. Specifically they will follow the normal route as far as Orpheus Avenue and then will travel along Baileys Court Road, Webbs Wood Road, Bradley Stoke Way, Willow Brooke Centre, Savages Brook Road before rejoining the existing route of Service 73 and travelling onwards to Cribbs Causeway. The changes mean that Service 73 buses will no longer call at stops on Brook Way at Elm Close, Braydon Avenue and Linden Drive (although Service X73 buses will still call here) and that people wishing to travel will need to walk to stops on Brook Way by Orpheus Avenue, Baileys Court Road or Manor Farm Way instead. Notably the route changes will offer people in Bowsland Way, Trench Lane and Woodlands Lane direct access by bus to the Willow Brook Centre, while also making it easier for people travelling to the business park in Woodlands Lane to get there using public transport.

Coinciding with the route change the frequency of buses will improve significantly. From September buses will run every 10 minutes (Monday - Saturday daytime) - which is a marked improvement from the current 20 minute frequency. Buses will run every 15 minutes on Saturday daytime (compared to every half hour at present) and every 30 minutes during the evenings and on Sundays and Public Holidays (compared to hourly at present). These frequency improvements are expected to be especially welcomed by people in Bradley Stoke South who, prior to September 2012 didnt have access to a regular daytime bus service.

Finally, some changes are being made to the late evening timetable for Service 73 buses. From September First will take on some previously supported evening journeys on a trial basis (as Council funding for them has been lost) and it will similarly offer some extended late night journeys, at 0005, 0105 and 0205 journeys from the centre and at 0005 and 0105 from Cribbs Causeway. This change will give late night revellers and shift workers the opportunity to travel to Little Stoke, Bradley Stoke, Aztec West and Cribbs Causeway into the early hours, however it should be noted that these journeys are being offered on a use it or lose it trial basis for six months.

People who use Service 73/X73 and 74 at present are advised to check the new timetable for services to ensure they understand what is happening.

Service 74 (Centre - Cribbs Causeway): This route is being withdrawn, but the route and frequency of buses on Service 73 is being amended to minimise the impact of this.

Service 90 (Broadmead - Hengrove Depot): To address some ongoing issues with vandalism and antisocial behaviour in south Bristol the route of Service 90 is being changed. From 1 September buses will travel via Illminster Avenue, Salcombe Road and Throgmorton Road rather than Newquay Road. An additional bus stop on Throgmorton Road will be served.

In addition to this the timetable is being amended, with the overall frequency of buses on Sundays and Public Holidays reduced to better reflect the actual demand for services. On these days buses will run every half an hour compared to every 20 minutes at present. In addition some changes are being made with some early morning and early evening journeys withdrawn, and one late evening Monday to Saturday journey from Broadmead to Hengrove depot added in at 2330 hours.

Customers are strongly advised to check the new timetable carefully to ensure they understand what is happening.

Service 352 / 353 (Weston-super-Mare - Bristol) and Service X1 (Weston-super-Mare - Bristol): Significant changes are being made to simplify the offer for people wishing to travel between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare. Specifically all Service 352/353 journeys are being renumbered as Service 1 and will follow the current Service 353 route. Those journeys on Service 1 will be marketed as a complimentary service to the existing, express X1 bus route which links Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.

Overall the level of service will remain broadly the same, with Service X1 providing connections every 20 minutes Monday - Saturday daytime, and Service 1 providing journeys on a hourly basis Monday - Sunday, there will however be some minor timetable changes and some underused journeys are being withdrawn. Service 1 buses will continue to travel via Claverham and Long Ashton. There will however no longer be a direct service between North Worle and Bristol as current Service 352 journeys are effectively replaced by journeys that follow the current Service 353 route, which is re-numbered Service 1. Customers making local journeys on Service 352 between North Worle and Weston-super-Mare Town Centre are advised to use Service 5 (Worle - Uphill) as an alternative.

Customers who use Services 352/353 and X1 are advised to check the new timetables carefully to ensure they understand what is happening.

Service X2/X3/23 (Bristol - Portishead): Following a review of the services and how they have performed since they were introduced in March, and taking into account some feedback received from customers, the route that buses take around Portishead is changing slightly. From 1 September buses towards Bristol will travel via Weatherley Drive, Down Road and Nore Road instead of Valley Road.

Service 339/X39 (Bath - Bristol): A number of late night journeys are being added into the timetable of Service 339/X39 reflecting some partnership working between First and Bath & North East Somerset Council. Specifically there will be two extra late night journeys in both directions, at midnight and 0100 hours from Bath to Bristol, and at 0100 and 0200 hours from Bristol to Bath. The changes mean that the last buses in both directions will be two hours later than at present giving late night revellers and shift workers even more opportunities to travel. The changes benefit those people living along the route too, in Brislington, Keynsham and Saltford for example.

Service A1 (Bristol Airport Flyer): The route that Service A1 takes in Bristol is changing in a move that should make it easier for customers to get to and from a number of city centre hotels. At the same time Service A2, the extended route which provides direct links between the Airport and Clifton, is being withdrawn, with customers encouraged to use other local services (for instance Service 8/9) to make this journey if need be.

In relation to the route, customers should note that from September, Service A1 buses leaving Bristol Bus Station will travel via Whitson Street, Lower Maudlin Street, Rupert Street, Colston Avenue, Baldwin Street, Victoria Street, Temple Circus Gyratory and Temple Gate before rejoining the current route to Bristol Airport. They will stop at points on Colston Avenue West and Victoria Street (stops Bg and Tv). The changes mean that the following stops will no longer be served by outbound airport flyers: Old Market, Bond Street (Stop Ou), Prince Street (Stop Bq), Broad Quay (Stop Ck), Canons Marsh (Anchor Road), Triangle West (Stop Dc) or College Green (Stop Pb). Customers should not that there is no change to the route that Service A1 buses take inbound (from Bristol Airport to Bristol Bus Station) though - it will remain the same.

Customers wanting more information about the changes, or wishing to view timetables for the affected services are advised to log onto www.firstgroup.com/bristol. New timetables will be able to view online from 20 August while hard copy timetables will be available from 27 August 2013.

First is on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/FirstWestofEngland and Twitter, at www.twitter.com/FirstBSA.

There is also a handy First Bus app available to help customers plan their journeys while on the move. Users can check live departure times based on the actual position of buses along specific routes, find local bus stops, bus route maps, service updates and ticket prices. Android and iPhone users can download the First Bus app free from Google Play and the App Store.

Pdf new timetables for the affected services can be found here: http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/bristol_bath/travel_news/service_updates/?item=9201&conf=0