M4 MetroBus service up and running between Cribbs, Parkway & city centre

Photo of a bus passing over a zebra crossing.
The first-ever scheduled journey on the new M4 MetroBus route (Cribbs Causeway direction) arrives at Bristol Parkway Station at 09:20 on Sunday 22nd January 2023.

The new M4 MetroBus service running along the £57 million Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) route began operating today (Sunday 22nd January 2022).

Designed to provide an express connection between The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and Bristol Parkway Station, the investment has included the installation of a new railway bridge and brand-new bus lanes on Gipsy Patch Lane, as well as upgrades to bus stops, installation of bus shelters and iPoints (combined ticket machines and information displays) and landscaping.

Improvement work at the San Andreas roundabout next to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway has also been carried out as part of the CPME project.

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The scheme has been funded by the West of England Combined authority and the works have been carried out by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) in partnership with Network Rail.

Operated on a commercial (non-subsidised) basis by First West of England, the M4 integrates with the existing MetroBus network by continuing beyond Bristol Parkway to serve UWE and Bristol city centre.

The M4 service will eventually traverse the massive Brabazon development on the former Filton Airfield site, where thousands of new homes are planned, along with a new arena complex. However, until new roads are built out within the new development, the bus is skirting the airfield site by travelling along Hayes Way.

Map of a bus route.
M4 MetroBus route (Cribbs Causeway to Bristol city centre).

View a hi-res version of the above route map (on Dropbox).

Doug Claringbold, Managing Director of First West of England, said:

“We’re very proud to have launched the new M4 service, the latest member of the MetroBus family. Joining the M1, M2 and M3, which have carried over 13 million passengers since they were launched in 2018, the M4 will give even more people the chance to experience the MetroBus and travel sustainably on a modern bus network.”


Despite recent issues with bus driver retainment and recruitment, metro mayor Dan Norris says First West of England have told him they have enough drivers to run the new route without impacting other important local services.

Day one

The first scheduled journey operating on the route left Cribbs Causeway at 0830 on Sunday, passing under the new railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane at 0840 (see video below).

The first scheduled journey out of Bristol city centre departed at 0900 on Sunday and arrived at Bristol Parkway exactly on schedule at 0920 (see photos top and  below).

Photo of a bus approaching a stop at Bristol Parkway Station.
The first-ever scheduled journey on the new M4 MetroBus route (Cribbs Causeway direction) arrives at Bristol Parkway Station at 09:20 on Sunday 22nd January 2023.

Other services trimmed

With the M4 providing an additional connection between Stoke Gifford and Cribbs Causeway, First has chosen to truncate the routes of two existing services:

  • The 73 service (previously Bristol city centre to Cribbs Causeway) now terminates in north Bradley Stoke, meaning that it no longer runs on the route section between Bradley Stoke and Cribbs Causeway
  • The 19 service (previously Bath to Cribbs Causeway) now terminates at Bristol Parkway, meaning that it no longer runs between the route section between Bristol Parkway and Cribbs Causeway

A consequence of the changes is that some passengers will now need to change buses to complete journeys that could previously have been completed using a single service. These passengers will no longer be able to use a ‘two-trip ticket’ for a return journey, so many are facing higher travel costs.

TIP: Using ‘tap on, tap off’ will ensure best value over a week without needing to worry about which tickets to buy.

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More information and related links

For detailed information about the M4 route, timetable and ticket prices, visit: M4 MetroBus Service (The Journal)

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