Friday 15 August 2014

Wessex may Grizzle with changes at Brizzle [2]

We are investigating major changes to the buses serving the University of the West Of England's Frenchay Campus.
The buses stop in the "sausage" shaped road adjacent to Northavon House. In this diagram below, North is to the right; to confuse us all.
Here is Megabus approaching the East Entrance off Coldharbour Lane.

Current Wessex Red services 11 and 12 ...
... both run via Filton Avenue and Gloucester Road to Bristol centre.
Each route runs every 20 minutes giving an integrated 10 minutes to the city centre plus term-time extras. Service 11 continues cross-city via Temple Meads to the Bower Ashton Campus ...
... south of the river Avon.

First Bus currently operates only route 70 to the UWE via Muller Road and Filton Avenue; but this will be joined by new service 71. The present frequency on 70 (every 12 minutes Monday to Friday, every 15 Saturday, every 30 Sunday) becomes every 15 Monday to Friday, every 20 on Saturday and every 30 on Sunday. But the 71 will be added at the same frequencies, increasing the joint through service to every 7/8 Monday to Friday, every 10 on Saturday and every 15 on Sunday.
Both routes will run through the city centre to Temple Meads station, terminating at the top of the ramp ...
click on the map above to enlarge

... close to the station entrance.
A substantial improvement from First.

But a contraction from Wessex?

Service 12 will operate on Monday to Friday, every 15 minutes throughout the day, with the last departure from Frenchay at 19.15 and from Bower Ashton at 19.58. Service 12 will not operate during UWE vacations.

Sounds better (than every 20 at present) until you realise that the parallel service 11 is withdrawn between Frenchay Campus and city, reducing the joint service from every 10 to every 15. The revised 12s do, however, continue though to Bower Ashton, but NOT via Temple Meads.
A new 11C enhances the frequency between City and Bower Ashton.

 Wessex remain exclusive to Bower Ashton 

Significantly, however, the 12 will not use the "standard" route to Gloucester Road via Filton Avenue. It will use a new bus only link road and travel via Romney Avenue and Lockleaze and back up Muller Road to reach Gloucester Road.
click to enlarge the map(s)

Wessex claim this will be quicker as it avoids the "busy Filton Avenue" but the new 12's running time is actually 1 minute longer than the 70/71 between UWE and City!

 First wins the battle of Gloucester Road? 

But First Bus is also running from UWE to Bristol centre via the bus road and Lockleaze.
The route from Lockleaze to the Gloucester Road is slightly different. This brand new 72 runs every 20 minutes Monday to Friday; every 30 minutes Saturday with no service on Sundays. But there is more to this First Bus "initiative". All will be revealed in due course.

In the meantime, it is helpful (?) to compare the campus area in the 1930s ...
... with the massive development that fills the area today.
Stoke Park Colony (1930s map)?
In 1908 the Rev. Harold Nelson Burden and Katharine his wife rented the Stoke Park estate, opening the Stoke Park Colony in April 1909. Its more formal name was "The National Institutions for Persons Requiring Care and Control." The colony was the first institution certified as a home for mentally retarded patients under the Mental Deficiency Act 1913, as a leading institution of its type.

The magnificently restored and be-flatted Dower House (distinctively seen from the M32)  was part of the Estate ...
... as was the Stoke Park obelisk, which has seen better days!
Is Rotala's Wessex really wobbling? Is First's ferocity about to flatten the enfeebled Reds? Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight? These and other more thought-provoking matters will be examined tomorrow.

 Next bus blog : Saturday 16th August 


  1. Getting interesting!

    I wonder what will happen when term starts, as Wessex start their new term time frequencies on Sept 8, but the 70/71/72 change are a week later..

    Point of order, it is the 11a, not 11c, that runs to Bower Ashton! Interestingly at first glance it uses the existing 11/11a route, but takes a different road and misses out Temple Meads, which Wessex Red no longer serves.

    And don't forget the 12c, the Saturday, term time Sunday and holiday Weekday short version of the (term time weekday) 12!

  2. ....And who was Harry Stoke ?

  3. Unravelling this lot hurt my brain (again!) so thanks for Colly405 for comment, support and correction. I have tried to focus on the main developments. The detail is an extra fascination, but possibly too esoteric for what aims to be a "general" blog!!

    Harry Stoke, is of course, the brother of Bradley Stoke and the cousin of Limpley Stoke. The Stokes were the Bristol arm of the widely known Stoke-Bruerne and Stoke-Poges families. It is believed that the Bristol family changed their name from Stoke-Bruerne-Poges because no-one could spell their surname. Sadly this all fell apart when Little Stoke (the youngest son) married Gertie Gifford and her maternal grandmother insisted on the joining of their family names as a precursor to inheriting what became known as the Stoke-Gifford fortune. Sir Cloudsley Winterbourne-Stoke moved to a seat near Stonehenge as he believed he was a re-incarnated tribal chief!

  4. This was, of course, before the Gifford famiy married into Lord Parkway's noble line, with seats in Didcot and Southampton. They took the family name, when Gertie's granddaughter married young Bristol. Thus Stoke Gifford begat Bristol Parkway.