M1 MetroBus Bristol: First confirmed as new operator with services to resume on September 5

The popular bus route ceased to operate temporarily over the weekend

First Bus has been confirmed as the operator of the m1 MetroBus, which will resume its service tomorrow - but there is still uncertainty over the future of 11 other routes run by Bristol Community Transport (BCT).

As reported by BristolWorld last week, BCT announced it was ceasing operations of its 12 services on Friday due to ‘multiple challenges’ which included fuel prices and a cost-of-living crisis.

However, one service, the m1 MetroBus route has been saved. First West of England will restart the route, which runs between Hengrove and Cribbs Causeway, tomorrow.

First managing director Doug Claringbold said the service played a ‘vital role’ in connecting south Bristol to other areas of the city. And he said it had performed ‘extremely strongly’ of late with passenger numbers at pe-Covid levels.

Mr Claringbold said: “BCT has been very much behind the success of the route and we will ensure that we continue to provide a first class service to existing and new passengers. As we have been operating the buses on all other metrobus routes and will be doing so on the new m4 service, we feel we are ideally placed to ensure that BCT’s legacy lives on.

“We also look forward to welcoming BCT’s drivers and head office staff into the First West of England family.”

Despite the good news, uncertainty hangs over the remaining 11 routes run by BCT which ceased operating on Friday. They are 52, 53, 54, 55, 62, 505, 506, 511, 512, 515, 516.

Click here for full details including routes of each impacted service.

Lynn McClelland, chief executive officer at HCT Group which run BCT: “We are very proud at what we have achieved with the m1 service and whilst this is a sad day for BCT, we know that the route will be in very good hands with First West of England.

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve the people of Bristol over the past decade and to have played a key part in the success of the metrobus network, and in particular the m1, which has been critical to delivering great connections for people living and working in South Bristol to other parts of the city.”

The m1 will continue to run as normal, operating Monday to Sunday. The new m1 timetable can be found on the First West of England website.