First launches ‘Discover’ Premium Bus Services from Bath
Bus passengers used to catching the 265, 267 or 271/2 bus services will be in for a big surprise from 29 April onwards, when they will discover that First has launched a brand new premium bus service called … ‘Discover’.
‘Discover’ is a bus service which greatly improves connections between Bath and towns and villages in Wiltshire and Somerset, using easy-to-remember service numbers D1, D2 and D3. These will replace the existing 265, 267 and 271/272.
Everything, from the new Discover timetables and routes to the interior and exterior of vehicles, has received a thorough make-over. Two of the three services have seen a doubling of frequencies and the modern vehicles have been given a striking new yellow-brown livery on the outside as well as a thorough make-over on the inside, where passengers are welcomed by modern and fresh interiors, new wood-effect flooring and new seating, new USB charging points and free Wi-Fi, so passengers can stay connected on the move.
Andrew Sherrington, First West of England Operations Director for Bath, Weston super Mare, Wells and Westbury said: “We believe people will like Discover, with its much-improved frequency, and a much more attractive customer experience thanks to the new interior, USB charging points and free Wi-Fi. We hope even more bus passengers are attracted onto our buses.”
The introduction of ‘Discover’ services will be the first phase of a number of improvements to inter-urban services from Bath into parts of Somerset and Wiltshire that First will be making over the coming months.
Service D1 (Bath – Warminster – Salisbury) is the new replacement for Service 265. There are no changes to the route and only minor changes to the Sunday and Public Holiday timetable, however, all journeys will be re-numbered to Service D1.
On Sundays and Public Holidays, the journeys operating between Trowbridge and Warminster only will be integrated into journeys to and from Bath. This will provide through journeys from Bath to Westbury and Warminster and customers will no longer need to change buses in Trowbridge.
Service D2 (Bath – Frome) will see some significant changes to the route and timetable, compared to the 267 it replaces. The route between Bath City Centre and Beckington will be unchanged, but there are a number of changes to the route in the Frome area.
The Monday to Saturday daytime frequency will be doubled from every 60 minutes to every 30 minutes, which will significantly boost the number of journey opportunities for customers. An additional journey Monday to Saturday will serve Rode around 0930, which is expected to be welcomed by concessionary pass holders and leisure travellers heading towards Bath.
Due to extremely low customer demand, Frome Hospital will no longer be served, but for those needing to go to Frome Hospital, an alternative stop is available at Windsor Crescent. This change will also benefit majority of customers because it will lead to faster journey times.
Within Frome, alternate journeys will serve the sections of route serving Frome Sports Centre and Critchill Road. These changes to the route ensure that all current sections of route remain served at least every 60 minutes in each direction, and many customers will benefit from faster bus journeys as a result. It will also be possible to travel from Critchill Road area to and from Sainsbury's.
Service D3 (Bath – Bowerhill / Devizes / Urchfont) will be the new replacement for Services 271 and 272 and will see some significant changes to the timetable.
The Monday to Saturday daytime frequency will be doubled from every 60 minutes to every 30 minutes, which will significantly increase the number of journey opportunities for customers.
All journeys will now operate via Batheaston rather than the Batheaston by-pass. This change of route will increase capacity and frequency along London Road, as well providing a range of new journey opportunities for local residents. There are no other changes to the route.
On Sundays and Public Holidays, the majority of journeys between Melksham and Devizes / Urchfont will be attached to journeys to and from Bath. This means customers will benefit from through journeys and will no longer need to change buses in Melksham.