Disappointment after bus route changes leave ‘struggling’ Bristol area without service

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Residents say a bus service in their community would be a ‘lifeline’

Residents of a ‘struggling’ Bristol area have reacted with disappointment that changes to the city’s buses still leave them without a service.       

People living in the Dings community in St Philip's have been campaigning for a bus to run through the area, which is near the Temple Quarter regeneration zone.   

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They had previously called for First’s 36 bus route, which served the city centre, Barton Hill and St Annes, to be diverted to the Dings.            

So they are frustrated that the 5 service - a new cross-city route replacing the 36 from April and now running to Clifton Village - continues to leave the Dings unserved.  

The Old Market Community Association is calling for a bus service to serve the Dings area of Bristol The Old Market Community Association is calling for a bus service to serve the Dings area of Bristol
The Old Market Community Association is calling for a bus service to serve the Dings area of Bristol

“This recent announcement that the 5 route hasn’t been diverted is quite disappointing," Harry Simpson, a volunteer with the Old Market Community Association, told BristolWorld.           

“A lot of development is happening in that area with the Temple Quarter project, and so we need a service for the current residents and for the future, when there will be a lot more people travelling.”     

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Some 10,000 new homes have been planned as part of the Temple Quarter development, while a development in the Dings could also see up to 700 new student flats built.   

Harry has drawn up a diversion to the 5 route via Unity Street, Midland Road and Days Road in the Dings, which he now wants First to adopt. 

Harry Simpson has proposed an amendment to the new 5 route to serve the Dings (see green line) Harry Simpson has proposed an amendment to the new 5 route to serve the Dings (see green line)
Harry Simpson has proposed an amendment to the new 5 route to serve the Dings (see green line)

“The Dings doesn’t have a supermarket or healthcare facilities, it needs to be connected to all these facilities. So this bus service would be a lifeline,” the 20-year-old said. 

“The bus stop infrastructure is already there, so no new bus stops are needed. We’re just asking for route to be sorted at the next review in September.”      

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He added: “The Dings is a neighbourhood that is struggling, with working-class and ethnic minority people struggling to get bare essentials. 

“The community is quite desperate, development is fine if that is supported.

“We need to future-proof the area for development by providing a bus service now and not allow road infrastructure to be overwhelmed when we have 700 students.” 

Hundreds of new homes are proposed in the Dings, including 637 student flats in the New Henry Street development  Hundreds of new homes are proposed in the Dings, including 637 student flats in the New Henry Street development
Hundreds of new homes are proposed in the Dings, including 637 student flats in the New Henry Street development

Alongside a tweak to the 5 service, the group is exploring the option of a new route, running from Avonmeads Retail Park via the Dings to the city centre. They have applied for WESTlocal funding for this.     

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A spokesperson for First West of England said: “Traditionally, we haven’t served much of the Dings area as there hasn’t been enough residential and business population to support a sustainable bus service.

“Also, the nearby Old Market Street routing allows us to pick up on Old Market, which is a popular boarding point for users of the 36 service.  

“Having said that, the future development of the area and the projected increase in the student, residential and business population, does mean this is something we will consider in our future planning of bus routes, which we’re allowed to review twice a year as part of our partnership with the West of England Combined Authority.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.