First Bus to shake up Bristol bus services next week - everything you need to know

Three First bus routes are being withdrawn
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Bus services in Bristol are braced for a major shake-up with provider First West of England poised to add more than 1,600 hours of bus journeys to routes in the city, next week.

From April 2, First Bus has pledged that “most services in Bristol will have extensively revised timetables to improve punctuality, and following the temporary cancellations in November, journeys will be restored on all routes”. But, due to low passenger numbers, a number of services will be withdrawn.

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Services to be withdrawn: The 23 (Bristol to Ashton Vale), 47 (Bristol to Yate) and 91 (Bristol to Hengrove) services will be axed on April 2.

Services to see journeys reinstated: Services have been reduced due to ‘ongoing driver shortages’ since October 9, 2022, with more than 500 scheduled journeys in Bristol withdrawn each week until April 2.

These lost journeys will be restored to most of the routes under the new timetables which can be viewed here. The routes are the number 1 (Broomhill to Cribbs Causeway), 2 (Cribbs Causeway to Stockwood), 3 and 4 (Cribbs Causeway to city centre), 8 (Temple Meads to Bristol Zoo), 24 (Southmead Hospital to Ashton Gate), 42 (Bitton to city centre), 43 (Cadbury Heath to city centre), 48 (Bristol to Emersons Green), 48a (UWE Frenchay Campus to city centre) , 49 (Emersons Green to city centre), 74 (Horfield to city centre), 75 and 76 (Hengrove to Cribbs Causeway, 90 and 92 (city centre to Hengrove).

Services to see route changes and fewer journeys: The number 70 (Frenchay to city centre) will see overnight journeys extended to service the city centre, rather than terminating and starting from Rupert Street. There will be no change to the 73 (Temple Meads to Cribbs Causeway) which had ‘improvement changes’ in January.

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The 17 (Kingswood to Southmead or Bristol) will also see fewer journeys with it no longer serving Keynsham on Saturday, two late evening journeys will also be withdrawn due to the end of a contract with the West of England Combined Authority.

All the new timetables can be viewed by clicking here.

Doug Claringbold, Managing Director of First West of England, said: “These new timetables will significantly increase the service we offer our customers and I’m confident that our investment in new technology will also continue to improve punctuality. We will also be reinstating journeys in Bristol that we had to temporarily suspend last year, as we are starting to see the effect of our major driver recruitment and retention campaign.

“We’re delighted that the West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council’s successful BSIP award means significant investment in a number of important routes, which together with our own investment in our commercial network will bring improvements for many customers.

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and for continuing to be considerate to our drivers during what has been a difficult period.”

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