Bristol bus cuts: Full list of 18 routes ‘to be cut’ according to the region’s mayor

First Bus is expected to make its announcement on bus services tomorrow

A whopping 18 bus services are set to be reduced or axed in and around Bristol from tomorrow as the region’s bus crisis deepens.

The cuts were unofficially announced in June and since then, the West of England Combined Authority has been looking at ways to safeguard vital services.

Also, last week the Department for Transport announced it was giving a further £130million to continue propping up routes across the country.

But Metro Mayor Dan Norris - who has leaked the list of bus services to be cut in October - said that there just aren’t enough drivers to keep certain routes, most of which are operated by troubled First Bus, afloat.

He said: “We’ve thrown the kitchen sink at it, but ultimately we need more bus drivers.”

“Even where financial support has been made available by WECA or the Government to keep local buses going, operators are still unwilling to run these services as they simply don’t have the drivers to operate them.

“This is far more about bus driver shortages than cash, even though the sky-high inflation is a massive and difficult challenge. These cuts will cause real difficulty for many local people and communities right across our region.”

The ‘long-feared’ announcement that the cuts will go ahead is set to be made tomorrow (Friday, August 26).

The services set to be cut in Bristol on Friday according to Mr Norris are:

5: Downend - Bristol

41: Lawrence Hill - Bristol 

42: Odd Down P&R - RUH      

72, 72A: Temple Meads - UWE Frenchay   

X2: Bristol - Yatton  

X5 (in part): Bristol - Weston via Portishead    

Y3: Yate - Bristol    

Y4: Yate - Bristol    

Y5: Chipping Sodbury - Bristol 

178: Radstock - Bristol    

96: Hengrove - Brislington  

36: Extension of Bristol - St Anne’s service to Brislington with loss of service along Wick Road

And elsewhere in the region:

11: Bathampton - Bath 

12: Haycombe Cemetery - Bath      

20: University of Bath - Twerton  

22: University of Bath - Twerton

82: Paulton - Radstock (Tyning)   

171, 172: Paulton - Bath    

There will be a new bus service 47 covering the Yate, Bristol and Downend areas, and a new 379 around the Paulton, Bath, Midsomer Norton, Radstock and Bristol areas.

What next?

Mr Norris added that while this week’s announcemet was ‘difficult’ in the short term, he hoped to have better es soon.

“Here the West of England, we have been very successful securing the second highest amount nationwide from this government fund,” he went on.

“WECA is looking to use more cost-effective minibuses in future over more traditional buses where this is appropriate.

“This also has the advantage that minibus drivers can be trained more quickly to fill the critical shortfall.

“We are already working with the bus companies to identify new drivers, and to then recruit and train them.

“However, building up a resource of new drivers takes time, and this is really something that should be co-ordinated by national government to ensure our region, and others don’t poach newly qualified staff from one another which is currently the risk of any local initiative.”

BristolWorld has contacted First Bus for comment on tomorrow’s announcement and is awaiting a response.