First West of England announces bus service changes in Bristol

Bus operator First West of England is making changes to some of its services in Bristol from Sunday to meet changing customer demand as lockdown restrictions ease.

Among key changes is the introduction of additional journeys across several services at peak times to provide extra capacity and meet growing customer demand, an increase in the frequency of metrobus service m1, and the re-introduction of service A1 from Bristol Bus Station to Bristol Airport.

Doug Claringbold, Managing Director of First West of England, said: “As we take the next step on the roadmap to recovery, we are continuing to monitor what is needed to get our customers moving safely, reliably and with confidence as they begin to undertake more day-to-day travel in line with Government guidance. This includes running additional buses where demand is growing.

“As restrictions ease, places and public transport will be busier than previously. This means that it may not always be possible to socially distance and passengers may need to sit next to each other. We are still limiting numbers on board and if a bus has reached its full capacity it will indicate so and may not be able to stop and pick up more customers until someone alights.

“That’s why we are encouraging customers to plan their journey in advance and travel at quieter times if they can. Our journey planning tools, including the First Bus app and the Space Checker website, support customers to plan their travel effectively.

“On First West of England and metrobus services across Bristol, the Tap & Cap payment system now makes boarding easier, faster, and ensures that our customers get the best on-bus fare. If you can’t book in advance, please use contactless payment on board whenever possible.”

Customers are also asked to make full use of the upper deck if they can to leave seats downstairs for those less mobile. Masks must be worn when travelling by public transport, unless you fall within the Government’s specified exemptions.

The changes include additional journeys at peak times Monday to Friday on Service 6 between the City Centre and Soundwell/Kingswood. There are also more peak-time journeys on Service 43 (City Centre to Cadbury Heath) between the City Centre and Kingswood, and on Service 48 (City Centre to Emersons Green)

On Services 75 and 76 (Hengrove to Cribbs Causeway) there will be a number of additional journeys will operate at peak times over the busiest sections Monday to Friday.

On Service 96/96a (Hengrove to Brislington) an additional journey at 0725 will operate Monday to Friday.

On Service m1 from Hengrove Park to Cribbs Causeway there will be an increased Saturday daytime frequency between the City Centre and UWE from every 15 minutes to every 7/8 minutes.  Sunday daytime frequency between the City Centre and UWE on this service will be increased from every 20 minutes to every 10 minutes.

On Service m3x (Emersons Green to the City Centre) an additional Monday to Friday journey will operate at 0726 to supplement the existing journey at 0725.

And due to high demand for Service SB1, the St Brendan’s College Service, two vehicles will operate on both journeys to double the capacity.

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