First improving in Bristol
To improve the punctuality and reliability of its bus services and cope with the circa 20% increase in patronage on its Bristol buses, First West of England is carrying out some rescheduling. The changes to the timetables are intended to fix issues with the punctuality of buses on key routes, while similarly taking into account changes in the traffic conditions in recent months. The alterations take effect from 29 March and will mean putting additional buses into service and recruiting 70 new drivers to operate the 12 additional buses that will be brought into the fleet at the end of March. Sunday frequencies will also be increased on nine of its services. There are also some changes that arise out of the reduction in revenue support from Bristol City Council for a small number of evening and Sunday services.
MD of First West of England, James Freeman, said, ‘We have already brought in more double-deckers to the Bristol fleet – with more to come later this summer and now we are putting more buses and consequently more drivers on the road. These will help us overcome the challenges of congestion in the city, while also providing extra capacity for the increasing number of people wishing to use our services. As well as attempting to fix some of the significant punctuality and reliability issues we have faced in recent months, we’re also adding in extra journeys on Sundays and Public Holidays in a number of places. There is also a brand new route – Service X48 – which should appeal to people wanting to travel quickly between the Bristol and Bath Science Park at Lyde Green, Emersons Green and the city centre. We understand that people may not welcome these adjustments, but we’re doing what we can to both explain what’s happening, and minimise the impact on local people by altering other services too.’