New changes to bus services welcomed

August 03 2015

REDLAND councillor, Martin Fodor, has welcomed new changes which are being made to local bus services later this month.

REDLAND councillor, Martin Fodor, has welcomed new changes which are being made to local bus services later this month.

The 520 bus – a council-supported service, which was introduced following the controversial withdrawal of the number 20 by First – is to be replaced by the 77, providing residents with a more secure and reliable means of transport.

Councillor Fodor raised his concerns about the service earlier this year, which runs from Westbury-on-Trym to Lewins Mead, after issues were raised about the 520's reliability.

The new service will still serve the same route as the 520, but provide new links between the BRI, Cotham, Henleaze and Southmead Hospital, and Bristol Parkway, Bradley Stoke and Thornbury.

Other local services which will be improving include the 8, 9, 70 and 71, where additional journeys will be added at peak times to meet increased customer demand.

Due to popularity, the 70 will now run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the 71 will finish at midnight on Sundays and public holidays, rather than its current time of 7.30pm.

The timetables for the 70 and 71 have also been altered, with an extra vehicle being added to the service pattern to ensure that they maintain frequency throughout the day.

The 72 will now serve Redland Road, South Road and Zetland Road, but will no longer serve Cranbrook Road. This will instead be served by the 77.

Redland councillor Martin Fodor said: “I welcome the extra buses at later times on 70 and 71 which serve St Andrews and Gloucester Rd.

“The commercial 77 service replacing the council-supported 520 on Cranbrook Rd does help when funds for council subsidy are affected by government cuts.

“All council supported services have been due to review this year - the budget has never been enough to meet needs for socially necessary services and until we can regain control of local public transport and budgets we have to rely on the local commercial network. Thanks to growing demand First is offering more routes and attracting more people onto more buses.”

Jenny MacLeod, general manager for First Bristol, said: “These changes will create new bus links between hospitals, schools as well as where people live and work. We have worked hard with local residents to ensure that the bus services are working for the communities we serve.

“We have increased the amount of time we give many buses to complete their routes to try to iron out those routes that are suffering punctuality issues.”

The changes will take effect on August 23.

New timetables for the affected services will be uploaded to: www.firstgroup.com/westofengland, from early August.

They will be available in hard copy format from mid-August.