Posts Tagged ‘Wessex Connect’

Conygre area misses out on new bus service

Posted on Friday 11th January 2013 at 4:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Wessex Connect bus services, Bristol.

A new bus service that is to run along some of the route of the former 71/72, axed by First Group in September 2011, will bypass the Conygre area of Filton.

Wessex Red has announced that it is extending the route of its no. 13 service, which currently runs between UWE and Bristol city centre, to start instead from the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke. From there, buses will follow the route of the former 71/72 through Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge before heading down the A38 Gloucester Road to Filton.

But whereas the former 71/72 service then turned left into the Conygre ward, passing along Station Road, Conygre Road and Filton Avenue (and Church Road on the return trip), the new service will remain on the A38 before turning left at Filton Roundabout and heading east along the Ring Road.

The news will come as a disappointment to the hundreds of people who last year signed a petition calling for the 71/72 service to be restored.

The 71 and 72 were replaced for a while by the peak-hours-only U8 but that service ran for just a year before it too was axed in September 2012.

The extended no. 13 will become the second new service to pass through Filton this year. The X18, an express bus service linking Kingswood and Emersons Green with  Aztec West began operating on Wednesday 2nd January.

More information and related links:

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Conygre area set to lose bus service from September

Posted on Friday 3rd August 2012 at 12:56 pm by SH (Editor)

Wessex Connect bus services, Bristol.

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is set to lose it last remaining bus service after South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) confirmed that the U8 will be withdrawn from 2nd September.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Residents in the Conygre area have been without a through-the-day service since the 71 and 72 were withdrawn in September 2011.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)

Petition to restore 71 and 72 bus services to Filton

Posted on Monday 9th July 2012 at 6:42 pm by SH (Editor)

Unused bus shelter in Church Road, Filton, Bristol.

A petition to restore a full daytime bus service to the Church Road and Conygre Road areas of Filton has attracted 300 signatures and supporters are hopeful of hitting 500 by the end of the month.

The hourly 71 and 72 service that previously served the area was axed in September 2011 when First Group withdrew buses on the route.

The withdrawal of the services created a storm of protest when it was announced last summer, culminating in heated exchanges at a well-attended meeting of the Southern Brooks Area Forum at Filton Community Centre on 30th August.

Wessex Connect stepped in to run a “replacement” service, the U8, but that no longer serves Church Road or Conygre Road and makes just six journeys a day. Four of those journeys (heading towards the city centre) run before 8am and the other two between 5pm and 6pm (heading out of Bristol).

The re-routing of the service and lack of mid-day journeys mean that elderly residents can no longer access the post office and other shops and services at Church Road, say protesters.

The U8 is itself currently under threat, after Wessex Connect said it intended to discontinue the service because, it says, it is not commercially viable.

South Gloucestershire Council has been subsidising the U8 since 20th May 2012 and says it is hopeful that a commercial service can be restored from September.

The petition to restore the 71 and 72 services was promoted on the Friends of Conygre House stall at the recent Filton Festival.

More: Sign the petition at the Conygre House BBQ on 21st July »

Top end of Filton Avenue set to lose only bus service

Posted on Thursday 29th March 2012 at 10:13 pm by SH (Editor)

Wessex Connect bus services, Bristol

The section of Filton Avenue north of the Avon Ring Road will lose its only bus service in less than two months time according to a statement made by Wessex Connect today.

The bus operator has announced its intention to withdraw the U8 Bradley Stoke to Bristol service with effect from Sunday 20th May.

The service is currently the only one that travels along Filton Avenue between its junction with Gloucester Road in the north (near Filton College) to the Ring Road junction (near the King George VI public house).

The axing of the peak-hours-only U8 comes just ten months after Wessex Connect introduced it as a replacement for the former 71 and 72 services, which ran hourly throughout the day and also served Conygre Road.

The withdrawal of the 71 and 72 created a storm of protest when it was announced last summer, culminating in heated exchanges at a well-attended meeting of the Southern Brooks Area Forum in Filton on 30th August.

Wessex Connect says it has been forced to make the latest cuts because of the challenges it faces in the current economic climate, citing continued cost increases and “limited opportunity to increase existing revenue without extortionate price increases”.

The bus company’s press statement justifies the move as follows:

“Following the recent decision by the Chancellor to continue with the Fuel Duty Rate increase planned for August 2012, along with the reduction in Bus Service Operator’s Grant by 20% from April 2012 and current increasing fuel costs, we have reviewed our network of services and ability to operate services within the current climate.”

More: South Glos Council "has no budget to replace service" »

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