‘I took an Uber-style bus to Bristol Airport - and paid just £2’

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Maxine Knight saved more than £30 on her journey to Bristol Airport from Brislington

A mother was left surprised when she boarded an empty bus from near her home in Brislington to Bristol Airport - and paid just £2. Maxine Knight also paid just £1 for each of her two children ahead of a family holiday to Amsterdam last week.

The freelance copywriter said she’d usually expect to pay £35 for a taxi, or at least £60 to park up at the airport. But that was until she found out about a new Uber-style bus service launched in the Bristol region called WESTlink.

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The minibuses operate in locations in Bristol impacted by recent bus cuts and provide users with the opportunity to ‘call a ride’ by logging a request on a mobile phone app. And it shocked Maxine just how far she could travel, and that it included Bristol Airport.

She told BristolWorld: “Luckily before I booked a taxi for the holiday I heard about the bus service through a WhatsApp group. I made a booking in the app and scheduled it to pick us up the next day.

“There was a slight hiccup in that it initially went past our stop, but I called customer service and it came back to pick me up outside Brislington Church, just a minute’s walk from our house.

The cost to get to Bristol Airport from Brislington for Maxine Knight and her familyThe cost to get to Bristol Airport from Brislington for Maxine Knight and her family
The cost to get to Bristol Airport from Brislington for Maxine Knight and her family | Alex Ross

“The bus was empty and we were taken straight to the coach car park at the airport.”

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She added: “I thought it was a great service and it saved me alot of money. It was also easy to use. I’m already planning other trips to take in the region as it’ll save me paying for parking if I drove.”

What is WESTlink?

It is a system of 30 minibuses funded by the West of England Combined Authority and counnils which respond to request from users on an official mobile phone app.

The app uses algorithms to join up people’s needs, combining them into one trip to get passengers to where they need to be as efficiently as possible - so it maybe several people will be on a bus and the route taken not direct.

Ticket prices will match the recently reduced fares on West of England buses - that’s £2 for an adult single and £1 for a child. All concessionary and older person’s bus passes are accepted from 9am Monday to Friday and all day at weekends.

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Where do they operate?

They run in three zones in the Bristol region. The first is North, which covers Braadley Stoke, Filton and Cribbs Causeway, plus Keynsham. The South zone covers parts of south Bristol including Brislington and Knowle as well as Portishead and the Chew Valley. The third zone is Future Transport Zone (FTZ), which covers Avonmouth.

The zones cover more than 1,800 bus stops which are designed to be in easy to reach places, and connect up to major bus and rail services. They operate Monday to Saturday. Mini buses in FTZ also operates on a Sunday.

For more, go to the website for WESTlink by clicking here.

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