The Conygre area of Filton is set to lose it last remaining bus service after South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) confirmed that the U8 will be withdrawn from 2nd September.
Although the Council stresses that a new commercial service, the 74, is being introduced in its place, the route of the replacement service will follow that of the existing 73 through Filton, leaving the section of Filton Avenue north of the Ring Road without any buses.
Residents in the Conygre area have been without a through-the-day service since the 71 and 72 were withdrawn in September 2011. The U8 service that replaced it currently provides just six journeys a day and was itself recently rescued from threatened withdrawal when SGC stepped in to subsidise it on a temporary basis from 20th May.
A petition calling for a daytime service to be restored to the area has attracted 600 signatures and District Councillor Ian Scott has agreed to present it to the next meeting of SGC’s Full Council.
Supporters of the petition are calling for the former 71 and 72 services, which ran hourly, to be restored. Another possibility being promoted by Cllr Scott is for the number 18 Emersons Green to Southmead Hospital service to be diverted through the Conygre area, although he reports that First Group are reluctant to do that because of continuing punctuality problems that might result in fines being made by the Traffic Commissioner.
Another suggestion aired at the July meeting of Filton Town Council is for the 75 Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove (via the city centre) service to be diverted along the northern section of Filton Avenue.
The only good news for Filton bus users is that the Monday to Friday daytime frequency of the 73 service will effectively improve from “every 12 minutes” to “every 10 minutes” once the new 74 service comes into operation, as the two services will each operate with a 20-minute frequency over their common route between Little Stoke and the city centre.
Related link: Bus Services in Filton (The Journal)