First Bus is making changes to many of its bus routes across Bristol due to ongoing driver shortages and low passengers numbers.
The bus operator has apologised to customers, but says the problems mean services are not currently commercially viable.
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As well as a reduction in frequency to dozens of routes, some services - including the T2 from Thornbury to Bristol and the Y2 between Chipping Sodbury, Yate and Bristol - will no longer operate.
The 93 bus service from Bristol city centre to Hengrove will also be withdrawn.
While reductions in services will impact many main routes including the number 2 and 2a between Cribbs Causeway and Stockwood, the number 70 from the city centre to UWE’s Frenchay campus and the number 75 and 76 between Hengrove and Cribbs Causeway.
The A1 airport service from Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Airport will be reduced, and there will be changes to the timetables of all three metrobus services.
The changes from April 24, which can be viewed at the bottom of this story or by clicking here, are despite the Department of Transport’s issue of £150 million in emergency funding for bus operators across the country for the next six months.
In a statement, Doug Claringbold, managing director of First West of England, said ongoing issues with driver availability meant changes were needed to ensure reliable services in Bristol.
He said: “A number of services will see temporary reductions in frequency whilst passenger and driver numbers are constrained but unfortunately there are a number of services that are not commercially viable even at pre-pandemic passenger levels.
“As a result we are having to make difficult decisions to act on these poor performing routes and ensure that our resources are focused on the areas of the greatest need.
“Wherever routes have been curtailed or cut, these were difficult decisions and we apologise to all customers who will be adversely impacted.
“We need to make these adjustments to be able to ensure the overall viability of our network in what remain very challenging and uncertain conditions, and we will continue to work closely with the West of England Combined Authority and other stakeholders as we navigate this difficult path.”
They come after Metro Mayor of the Wet of England, Dan Norris, said the funding from the Government had come too late.
He said he was particularly concerned about the change to the 92 service, which goes from Hengrove to Broadmead, but will no longer serve Whitchurch and the South Bristol Community Hospital.
He said services operated by Stagecoach were also being impacted.
He said: “The stark truth is that First bus and Stagecoach are commercial companies and if fare income remains at 3/4 we are going to only have 3/4 of the buses we have come to rely on.“
“The last thing we need is fewer buses.
“It’s vital that we get more people travelling by public transport if we are to meet our ambitious 2030 net zero targets locally.
“The Government’s approach to bus funding is causing cuts so putting our highly ambitious local target to help save the planet in jeopardy.”
Full list of bus service changes from April 24
- Service 1, Broomhill to Cribbs Causeway via Bristol City Centre. Monday to Friday off-peak and all day Saturday frequency will reduce from every 15 to every 20 minutes.
- Services 2 and 2a between Cribbs Causeway (Brentry for Service 2a) and Stockwood via Bristol City Centre. Monday to Friday off-peak and all day Saturday frequency on both services will reduce from every 30 to every 40 minutes, resulting in a 20 minute frequency on the common sections of route
- Services 6 and 7, Bristol City Centre to Kingswood/Staple Hill. Some journeys will be withdrawn due to low customer demand.
- Service 42, Bristol City Centre to Bitton. Due to low customer demand, some early morning and weekend journeys will be withdrawn.
- Service 43, Bristol City Centre to Cadbury Heath. Some short journeys to Kingswood and some early morning and weekend journeys will be withdrawn due to low customer demand.
- Services 44 and 45, Bristol City Centre to Cadbury Heath/Cherry Gardens. Monday to Friday off-peak frequency will be reduced from every 20 to every 30 minutes and some poorly used early morning and weekend journeys will be withdrawn.
- Services 48 and 49, Bristol City Centre to Emersons Green/Lyde Green. Sunday frequency will be reduced from every 20 to every 30 minutes and some early poorly used morning and weekend journeys will be withdrawn.
- Service 48a, Bristol City Centre to UWE Frenchay Campus. Monday to Friday frequency during the main part of the day will be reduced from every 10 to every 20 minutes. This is a normal seasonal change to reflect lower demand for travel to and from UWE over the summer months.
- Service 70, Bristol City Centre to UWE Frenchay Campus. Monday to Friday off-peak frequency will reduced from every 20 to every 30 minutes.
- Service 71, Parson Street to UWE Frenchay Campus. The route of Service 71 will be extended between Parson Street and Hengrove Depot, resulting in a much-improved service along Hartcliffe Way to and from Bristol City Centre. In addition, a new Saturday service running every 20 minutes to Horfield Common will be introduced. This change will also give customers a more frequent Saturday service along Bedminster Road.
- Service 73, Bristol Temple Meads to Cribbs Causeway. Due to low customer demand and to ensure that service levels meet available driver resources, Service 73 Monday to Friday off-peak short journeys from Bristol City Centre to Bristol Parkway will be withdrawn.
- Services 75 and 76, Hengrove to Henbury/Cribbs Causeway. Saturday frequency will reduce from every 15 to every 20 minutes, whilst Sunday frequency will reduce from every 20 to every 30 minutes.
- Service 90, Bristol City Centre to Hengrove. Monday to Friday off-peak frequency will be reduced from every 15 to every 20 minutes.
- Service 91, Bristol City to Hengrove. In response to customer demand, Service 91 will operate a slightly different route, running directly between Broad Walk Square and Melvin Square via Daventry Way and Leinster Avenue every 65 minutes, rather than along Ilminster Avenue. It will no longer extend to Hengrove Depot, instead terminating at Imperial Park. This route change provides customers with a new direct route between Bristol City Centre and Imperial Park via Totterdown.
- Service 93, Bristol City Centre to Hengrove. Service 93 will be withdrawn but Service 71 will extend from Parson Street to Hengrove depot using the Service 93 route.
- Service A1, Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Airport. Due to increase passenger volumes at Bristol Airport, Sunday frequency will be increased from every 30 to every 20 minutes. Stopping arrangements will also be revised to return the service to its previous express service level, with limited stops through Bedminster. Concessions passes will also no longer be valid.
- Service m1, Hengrove Park to Cribbs Causeway. From April 24 - Monday to Friday frequency will decrease from every 10 to every 12 minutes. Saturday frequency will decrease from every 10 to every 12 minutes. Sunday frequency will decrease from every 15 to every 20 minutes. From July 24 - Monday to Friday off-peak frequency will decrease from every 12 to every 15 minutes. Saturday frequency will decrease from every 12 to every 15 minutes.
- Service m2, Long Ashton Park and Ride to Bristol City Centre. After consultation with the BRI, the m2 will be operating later evening journeys to better reflect staff shift patterns.
- Service m3, Emersons Green to Bristol city centre. Journeys after 9pm will be withdrawn due to lower demand for travel to and from UWE over the summer months.
- Service Y4, Bristol bus station to Yate. Service will operate between Bristol and Yate Park and Ride only, rather than extending to Yate town centre, with Monday to Saturday frequency reduced from every 60 to every 90 minutes. Customers travelling to/from Yate town centre can change to Service Y1 at Yate Park and Ride.