Posts Tagged ‘First Group’

New express bus service links East Bristol with UWE, MOD and Aztec West

Posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2013 at 4:55 pm by SH (Editor)

X18 bus service between Kingswood and Aztec West.

A new express bus service launched today (Wednesday 2nd January) links Kingswood and Emersons Green with major employment centres in the North Fringe of Bristol

The X18 service, operated by First Group working in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, provides five or six journeys in each direction during both the morning and afternoon rush hours, Monday to Friday only.

First says the new service will use modern, low-floor buses that will “offer a better bus travel experience that will help persuade people to leave their cars behind and feel good about taking the bus”.

Features of the “executive-style” service include:

  • Individual leather seats
  • Free wi-fi
  • BBC news updates on screen
  • Next stop information
  • Free Metro newspaper

Locally, the X18 route will see buses enter the UWE Frenchay campus from Coldharbour Lane before heading along the new Cheswick Bus Link. After passing along a short section of Long Down Avenue, buses will visit MOD Abbey Wood before returning to the Ring Road and heading up to Filton.

Buses will then proceed north up the A38 Gloucester Road before entering the Aztec West Business Park.

A route map published on the Traveline South West website suggests that the buses will serve the complete loop of Park Avenue within the business park but this has yet to be confirmed by First.

More information: X18 Timetable (First Group)

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New late night bus journeys between city centre and Bristol Parkway

Posted on Friday 30th November 2012 at 10:28 am by SH (Editor)

Bus stop at Bristol Parkway railway station.First Group has introduced a number of new late night journeys on its number 73 Bristol City Centre to Cribbs Causeway route, thereby bringing a “night bus” service to Stoke Gifford for the first time in several years.

Operating via Gloucester Road and Filton Avenue en route to and from Bristol City Centre and Bristol Parkway Station, the 73 is already very popular with bus users, and particularly those young people living and studying at the University of the West of England (UWE) Frenchay campus.

Since 4th November, three additional late night journeys from Bristol City Centre – at midnight, 1am and 2am – and two journeys from Bristol Parkway Station – at 12:30am and 1:30am – have been running, providing opportunities to travel much later than ever before.

The extra late night services run six nights a week, Monday to Saturday.

Talking about the new journeys, Marc Reddy, Regional Commercial and Business Growth Director for First in the South West and Wales, said:

“We have created these journeys in order to respond to demand for our services. We expect customers to welcome them as they give them even more opportunities to travel. For instance they make it much easier for people to go out in Bristol City Centre and return home later, or conversely allow those arriving late into Bristol Parkway Station by train to complete their onward journeys by bus much later into the night.”

“For those who want to use the FirstNight ticket as a means of getting in and out of town, it also means that they now have the potential to get both in and around the city centre and home again as late as 2am, for just £2.90.”

The FirstNight ticket was launched in April 2012 to give customers unlimited travel on the company’s buses after 7pm (until 4am the next morning) for just £2.90.

More: Initiative welcomed by Journal reader Mark Jones »

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Mixed news for Little Stoke bus users

Posted on Wednesday 1st August 2012 at 10:45 am by SH (Editor)

Number 18 bus service pictured in Little Stoke, Bristol.

Bus passengers in Little Stoke have received mixed news about the future of local services.

The good news is that First Group has reversed its proposed withdrawal of the Council-subsidised number 18, which runs between Emersons Green and Southmead Hospital, via Frenchay Hospital.

In Little Stoke, the number 18 runs along Gipsy Patch Lane, Little Stoke Lane and Kingsway.

The service has been saved after First Group agreed a modified timetable with South Gloucestershire Council’s Integrated Transport Unit (ITU). This will see the half-hourly frequency during the day maintained but the evening and weekend frequency halved to “every 30 minutes”.

On the downside, Wessex Connect’s commercially-operated U7 and U8 services, which run along Braydon Avenue, are to be discontinued from 2nd September.

Parts of Bradley Stoke currently served by the U7 and U8 will instead be served by a new 74 route operated by First Group but the new service will operate along Orpheus Avenue rather than Braydon Avenue, leaving users in much of Little Stoke without a direct service to Bristol city centre or major employers’ sites in Patchway and Filton.

The Journal understands that the Council is still in talks with Wessex Connect over the possibility of providing a replacement service for Braydon Avenue, where the only other buses running are currently the 312 (Thornbury – Fishponds) and 482 (Chipping Sodbury – Cribbs Causeway).

Related link: Bus services in Stoke Gifford (The Journal)

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Hospital bus service under threat from First

Posted on Monday 25th June 2012 at 11:42 am by SH (Editor)

Number 18 bus service pictured in Little Stoke, Bristol.

Another local bus service is under threat after First announced its intention to withdraw the Council-subsidised number 18, which runs between Emersons Green and Southmead Hospital, via Frenchay Hospital.

The service, which calls at Parkway Station and runs along Hatchet Road, Little Stoke Lane, Kingsway and Gipsy Patch Lane, is operated with financial support from South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

The contract was only awarded in September last year after the 517/8 service was discontinued under a Bristol City Council re-tendering exercise.

First Bus has indicated that, although after amending the timetable a number of times and passenger numbers rising from 8,000 to 15,000 per month, the revenue they receive is not enough and so they have now given the Council three months notice to terminate the contract.

The news comes just three months after rival company Wessex Connect announced it intended to withdraw the U7, U8 and 482 services that operate along Braydon Avenue and Stoke Lane. Following protests from passengers, SGC stepped in to subsidise the previously commercially-run services from 20th May, albeit with a reduced number of journeys.

The Council has so far refused to disclose how much it is paying Wessex Connect to provide the services under a temporary agreement that runs until September.

More: Decision "makes absolutely no sense," say Councillors »

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