First Bath Announce Service Changes in Bath
First Announce Service Changes in Bath
Local bus operator First Bath has announced a number of changes to its bus services in Bath, which will become effective Sunday 14 January 2018.
The vast majority of First Bath services are unaffected. However, a limited number of services will see changes which are designed to improve punctuality and reliability, and better match the level of service with the passenger demand. One service will be withdrawn and a new service will be introduced.
Amongst the changes are:
- a new stop at Bear Flat for the Odd Down Park and Ride Service in response to customer feedback,
- a special timetable of the U1 service during students’ reading and assessment period,
- withdrawal of the 171 Service due to low levels of use,
- reduction of No. 3 serving Elmhurst Estate because of persistent car parking issues and low usage, and
- a new service connecting Melksham and Devizes/Urchfont with Bath.
A detailed overview of the changes is as follows:
Service 3 (Foxhill - Bathford)
A performance review of Service 3 showed that it struggles to maintain a reliable schedule at times around Elmhurst Estate because of parked cars. This is a well-known problem, especially during weekdays in early mornings and evenings, weekends and public holidays. That section of the route also shows consistent low passenger numbers throughout the day.
Considering the combination of those factors, First originally intended to amend the route of Service 3, and stop serving Elmhurst Estate as of January. However, following appeals from residents and councillors, First has decided to continue servicing the Estate Monday to Saturday during the daytime. It is consulting with the community before making any further changes at the next service change date in April 2018.
From 14 January 2018, buses towards Bathford will serve Elmhurst Estate Monday to Saturday between 0700 and 1900 only, which means that, when disruption from car parking is at its peak, i.e. early mornings, evenings and on Sundays and Public Holidays, Service 3 will not serve Elmhurst Estate and will operate direct to Bathford.
Service 4 (Weston – Odd Down)
While there is no change to the route of Service 4, there are a number of minor changes to the timetable. The frequency of buses is broadly the same and there are no changes to operating hours. Customers are advised to check the new timetable before travelling.
Service 37 (Bath – Bristol)
There is only one minor timing change: The Monday to Friday 1715 journey from Bath to Bristol will depart at 1720, so 5 minutes later. This change is to reflect the current frequent late departure of the journey and will therefore improve the reliability and punctuality of this journey. There are no other changes to the route or timetable of Service 37.
Service 41 (Odd Down Park and Ride)
Following a number of requests from customers, an additional stop will be introduced at Bear Flat. Journeys from Odd Down Park and Ride will additionally set down only at Bear Flat and journeys from Bath City Centre will additionally pick up at Bear Flat. The additional stop at Bear Flat will operate as set down and pick up only to ensure the service continues its primary function as a park and ride service. Customers making local journeys to and from Bear Flat should continue to use other local services.
Service 171 (Bath – Peasedown St John)
Following a review of customer demand for Service 171, it is with regret that the service will be withdrawn from 14 January 2018. First took over operating Service 171 on a commercial basis in September 2016, after another operator decided to withdraw their service. Despite running Service 171 for some time, it is not commercially viable and therefore will be withdrawn.
Services 172, 173 and 174 will continue to operate via the main road in Peasedown St John up to every 15 minutes.
Bath & North East Somerset Council, the local transport authority, has made other local bus operators aware of the impending withdrawal of service 171, and while none have registered a replacement service yet, we understand the Council has received some early signs of interest.
Service 271/272 (Bath – Bowerhill / Devizes / Urchfont)
From 4 February 2018, First will operate a new Service 271 between Melksham and Devizes / Urchfont on Sundays and Public Holidays, which follows a tender awarded by Wiltshire Council.
Up to six journeys will operate in each direction, and buses will connect with Service 272 at Melksham for travel to and from Bath. Through tickets will be available for customers travelling across Melksham.
Service U1 (Lower Oldfield Park – University of Bath)
Between 8 January 2018 and 2 February 2018, a special timetable will operate for reading and assessment weeks at the University of Bath. All journeys will operate as Service U1 and will operate approximately every 5 minutes at peak times and every 7/8 minutes at off-peak times during the day. There are no changes to evening or weekend timetables during this period.
From 5 February 2018, the full semester time timetable will operate, however, additional resource will be provided at peak times and during the late evening.
The following services will see no changes:
- Service 1 (Bus Station - Southdown)
- Service 2 (City Centre – Combe Down)
- Service 5 (Bus Station – Whiteway)
- Service 6//6A/7 (Bus Station – Larkhall)
- Service 8 (Kingsway – Upper Weston)
- Service 9 (Bus Station – Upper Weston)
- Service 19/19A (Bath – Cribbs Causeway)
- Service 21 (Newbridge Park and Ride)
- Service 31 (Lansdown Park and Ride)
- Service 39/X39 (Bath – Bristol)
- Service 179 (Bath – Writhlington)
- Service X31 (Bath – Chippenham)
- Service 265 (Bath – Warminster – Salisbury)
- Service 267 (Bath – Frome)
- Service U2 (Lower Oldfield Park – University of Bath)
- Service U5 (City Centre – Bath Spa University)
- Service U6 (Twerton Mill – Bath Spa University)