Thursday, 19 April 2018

Brizzle Metro Bloomin' Maddening (2)

Hold on to your hats! First Bristol, contracted to operate the MetroBus "network" will be starting route M3 on Tuesday 29th May (Monday 28th is the Spring Bank Holiday).

What is "Bloomin' Maddening" for fbb is that the MetroBus "network" is shown on a stylised diagram whilst First Bus have a nice geographical network map. Putting the two together is tricky in the extreme and fbb can only apologise to Bristolians if he hasn't quite grasped the ideal.**

M3 runs from Emersons Green (GREEN) to the city centre.
fbb thinks it starts at the terminus of the existing routes 48 and 49 at Sainsburys.
There are three 48s and three 49s each hour ...
... which operate via Fishponds where No 1 son used to live before moving to Wantage. The 48/9 is supplemented by three 48As which nip off to the University of the West of England (UWE) where No 1 son was further educated!
Also there is the relatively new X48 continuing from Sainsburys to Lyde Green Park and Ride and the Bristol and Bath Science Park.
The M3 also runs via the Park and Ride (seen under construction in Streetview) ...
... and the developing Science Park.
Will the X48 disappear when the M3 starts?

The M3 then uses the fast and busy A4174, which becomes Filton Road, before peeling off left to call at the UWE campus.
Here it will join the M1 (MAGENTA) of which more in due course.
The stop names are beautiful - who wouldn't want to catch a bus to Willy Wicket? - but Buses magazine ** points out their limitations.

The northern fringe of the city has sprung up since the 1980s, and has road layouts typical of the era. The partnership explains that the routes have been designed with an eye to the future, so what is currently green field may become more housing in due course. What this means in practice is that lot of stops are on dual carriageways, with poor pedestrian access.

At one location where each stop is either side of a roundabout, there are four separate traffic signal controlled crossings separating the two stops. In other places, houses turn their back to the road, and there is a distinct absence of footpaths to reach the stops.

This is the Hambrook stop, under construction ...
... also showing part of the extensive bus lane along the A4174.

South of the UWE campus the bus uses Stoke Lane which has had to widened to accommodate an in-bound bus lane. Google maps shows the work in progress.
A bit of substantial cvil engineering has been necessary to pinch enough room for the extra lane ...
... and as we descent to cross the M32, we meet a 48A on its way to the campus.
Looking back up the motorway we see the biggie! A whole new buses only junction ...
... ha been built to get the M1 and M3 quickly on the the fast (? except at morning peak?) road into the centre. After crossing the Stoke Lane bridge, buses turn left along a new chunk of road built through Stapleton allotments ...
... seen here also under construction, courtesy of Google Streetview.
The new junction is roughly where the M32 blob is.

Land in Bristol that was occupied by tree protesters for six weeks has now been cleared for work on preparations for the city's Metrobus route.
The activists were evicted from Stapleton allotments last week. They say the scheme will destroy wildlife habitat and agricultural land but Mayor George Ferguson says he's looking at ways of minimising its impact.
Last updated Fri 20 Mar 2015

From here the M3 has oodles of bus lane to take it to then end of the M32, then via its continuation, the A4032 to the inner ring road at Cabot Circus.
The M3 will run anti clockwise to terminate at "The Centre" which isn't the centre of Bristol but was known as "The Tramway Centre" because all the trams terminated there.
** Notes to this blog:-

ideal - Bristol folk are wont to add an extra letter l (for love) to words ending in "a". Hence "The MetroBus is a very good ideal."

Buses - the May 2018 edition ...
...contains loads of good stuff, including an excellent overview of the whole MetroBus project. Worth £4.70 of any blog reader's money!!

 Next MetroBus blog : Friday 20th April 


  1. First publicised their April and some of their May changes on their website yesterday. The X48 and service UWE are being withdrawn when the m3 starts.

  2. But UWE is up to every 7 minutes in peak and the X48 is every 30 so replacing both with a bus every 20 is surely not going to work?

    1. The UWE frequency always drops during university holidays anyway. By the time they go back m1 will also hopefully be running so that will be a bus every 10 at least.