News & Initiatives

Agreement between the Mayor and First means night buses will run six nights a week from March

Monday 04 March 2013

Night buses, providing late night journeys to destinations throughout Bristol and South Gloucestershire, are to run six nights a week thanks to a new experimental agreement between Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and bus operator First.

For a full list of which services are extended please scroll to the bottom of the page.

The buses, which will begin operation on 24 March, will provide extra late night journeys across the city, giving shift workers and revellers the opportunity to travel much later than at present, helping people get to and from work and leisure destinations much more easily.

The move, which will see late night services run six days a week, is a significant improvement on the current arrangement, which sees late night buses operate just two days a week under contract to the city Council.

While the new journeys, which will operate on Services 40, 43, 44, 48, 54, 70, 75 and 90, will be pump primed by the city council initially (at a cost of £60,000 a year) the plan is for First to take over the running of the services on a commercial basis as soon as they have established themselves.

The deal represents a positive step forward for the city, and taxpayers: at present the City Council supports night buses across six routes on Saturdays and Sundays only (between midnight and 6am) at a cost of £40,000 a year, however under the new arrangement, journeys will operate six days a week on eight routes for an initial cost of £60,000. Steps taken by First also mean that one of the routes - service 75 - will operate 24 hours a day on a commercial basis from 24 March, with buses running between Hengrove and Cribbs Causeway through the night, on an hourly basis in both directions.

The new six day a week service is expected to attract shift workers as well as the traditional pub and club market. It also means that theatres, restaurants and other leisure activities can consider longer operating hours.

Talking about the new service, Marc Reddy, Regional Commercial and Business Growth Director for First in the South West and Wales, says: "At the end of last year we began operating late night journeys on Service 73 (Bristol City Centre - Bristol Parkway Station via Gloucester Road and Filton Avenue) on a commercial basis and these have proved popular.

"As a result of this and knowing that the Council was considering its night bus commitments, we put forward a proposal which suggested that we could run the journeys for them, if they were willing to help support them initially while they get off the ground. They have agreed and plans are now in place to roll this out from the end of March.

"This is good news for Bristol. It means the city will have a much more comprehensive night bus service. Our plans to move Service 75 to be a truly 24 hour operation will, we expect, also be welcomed, especially by those who need to travel either for work or leisure in the small hours of the morning."

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson adds: "This is a good outcome. A major city with a late-night culture as vibrant as Bristols must have a night bus service. And it easily has the potential to run as a self-funding private business. It just needs to be bigger, bolder and braver. Better late night connections make the city a more attractive place for more late night activity which brings more users to the night buses."

"Firsts proposal points the Night Bus firmly in the direction it should be travelling, and Im happy to support its route towards commercial viability."

The services that will operate extra late night journeys from 24 March are as follows:

Service 40
Operates between Old Market & Shirehampton
From Old Market at: 00:00, 01:00, 02:00
From Shirehampton (Green) at: 00:30 and 01:30
*late night journeys will not operate via Church Road, Julian Road, Downleaze

Service 43/44:
Operates between Centre & Kingwood (Buses between the Centre and Kingswood will operate as Service 43 but will return to the centre as Service 44 travelling via Hanham. This means that people wishing to travel from the Centre to Hanham will be able to do so, travelling on Service 43 and staying on board for the journey via Hanham)
Service 43 from the Centre: 00:00, 01:00, 02:00
Service 44 from Kingswood: 00:22, 01:22, 02:22 (the 02.22 journey will terminate at Laurence Hill (Croydon Street).

Service 48
Operates between Centre & Downend
From the Centre: 00:00, 01:00, 02:00
From Downend (The Leap): 00:28 and 01:28

Service 54
Operates between Stockwood & Cribbs Causeway
From Cribbs Causeway at: 23:20, 00:06, 01:06,
From Stockwood at 00:07 and 01:07

Service 70
Operates between Centre & UWE (Frenchay Campus)
From the Centre at: 00:30, 01:30, 02:30
From UWE at 01:00 and 02:00

Service 75
Operates between Hengrove and Cribbs Causeway
This will be a 24 hr operation (60 min frequency 00:00 to 05:00) in each direction

Service 90
Operates between Broadmead & Hengrove Depot
From Broadmead (Horsefair) at: 00:00, 01:00, 02:00
From Inns Court Green at: 00:30 and 01:30

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For more information about First in the West of England or to view timetable information, log onto www.firstgroup.com/bristol. First is also on Twitter, at @FirstBSA, and Facebook, at www.facebook.com/FirstinWestofEngland