Concerns voiced over bus route 520’s future

February 27 2015

A REDLAND councillor has expressed his worry over the future of the 520 bus.

A REDLAND councillor has expressed his worry over the future of the 520 bus.

Martin Fodor says that many residents have voiced their concerns about the service, which was introduced last year by the council following the controversial withdrawal of the number 20 by First Bus.

The service was removed after First claimed that it was not profitable enough.

Issues which have arisen about the new service include its reliability, timekeeping, cancellations, the ability to complete the route within the allotted time, and drivers not scanning bus passes.

Councillor Fodor says that if the drivers do not scan the passes, the council will find it difficult to monitor how much the service is being used.

He added: "The delivery of the service needs to be monitored carefully so we get what we pay for and people can rely on the buses."

He says that information also needs to be widely promoted about services such as the number 520, and residents need to play a part in raising awareness about the buses so they are used as much as possible.

The council has agreed with First to support the 520 service, which runs from Westbury-on-Trym to Lewins Mead in the centre, until September 2015. After that, the council plan to run a bid for the bus to continue until September 2016.

The council spends around £3million a year subsiding buses.

The supported bus service budget aims to fill the gaps in the commercial bus network, by providing services that it considers to be socially necessary.

Councillor Fodor says that he spoke with mayor George Ferguson about the service, and he confirmed that there will be further meetings about the number 520's reliability in the near future.