New 520 service is 'letting users down'

December 01 2014

WORRYING reports have been coming in about the new 520 bus service's reliability, says Redland councillor Martin Fodor.

WORRYING reports have been coming in about the new 520 bus service's reliability, says Redland councillor Martin Fodor.
The service was introduced in September following the controversial withdrawal of the number 20, following claims by First that it was not profitable enough.
However, bus users have protested that the 520 service has been "disappointing" as it only runs on an hourly basis until6pm, and does not operate on a Sunday.
Councillor Fodor said: "I’ve had reports of low numbers taking it, and not everyone getting their bus pass recorded which means true use is not being measured.
"On a number of occasions the bus has reportedly not run and it looks like the route is so congested that it can barely keep to its hourly timetable.
"If buses are late or missed then people may not even know whether or not to wait at stops, which is worrying."
The 520, which runs from Westbury-on-Trym to Lewins Mead in the centre, via King's Drive, is being funding by savings from another subsidised route.
The council has a budget of just over £3m a year for bus subsidies, however, councillor Fodor says that this is "not enough" when each single hourly bus route costs around £130,000 per year.
He added: "I’d like to see a more open and better understood process, but also a budget adequate to support public transport access where it’s needed.
"This is hard when government funding for our local services has been cut so far, but for people in some neighbourhoods better buses are a real lifeline.
"With traffic congestion and air pollution so bad in the city better buses are a priority, especially to give more people a choice not to drive and park in the centre."