Friday, 20 April 2018

Brizzle Metro Bloomin' Maddening (3)

First's Announcement
Thank to Anon for the above comment  on yesterday's blog. fbb could not ind any mention of the X48 (senior moment strikes again?) but the "withdrawal" of the frequent non-stop "UWE" ...

... appears to be part of a raft of reductions to the Uni's service marking the end of the academic year. Poor students having to work until the end of May!

Here is what First says:-

The first Metrobus route, Service m3 will commence operating from 27 May 2018 and will link the City Centre with Emersons Green via UWE every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday between approximately 0600 and 1900; between 1900 and 2100 buses will operate every 30 minutes. There will be no service on Sundays and Public Holidays until a comprehensive timetable will be introduced in September. Service m3 will be free of charge to use until 9 June 2018 to give people the opportunity to try the new Metrobus Service.

So this start-up service is only a "trial run"? Every 20 minutes seem poor for a service that might well have been a tram - and poor for a fully fledged Park and Ride if the X48 is withdrawn!

Service UWE will be withdrawn from 27 May 2018, which coincides with the end of the academic year at UWE.  Customers who would normally use Service UWE during the summer holidays will be able to use Metrobus Service m3 for travel between the City Centre and UWE.

And this map should have been part pf yesterday's blog (read again) but fbb did not have time to "ackle" it. It shows the M3 overlaid on the First Bus network map for the Emerson's Green area. (click on the map to enlarge it).
From the squiggle (lower left) it runs non-stop via the M32 to central Bristol.

The Mysteries of the M1
For the time being, we will examine the M1's northern trajectory, leaving the cross city bit to Hengrove for later. It helps keep fbb's brain clear of confusing cloggage,

Starting from Cribbs Causeway shopping and entertainment area (zowie!), it travels north-west to Aztec West, where the chocolate bars DON'T come from.
Along Highwood Road and Gloucester Road it joins the existing 73 ...
... and has garnered about itself extra lengths of bus lane. We are reminded in the publicity that these new bus lanes will also help other services along the MetroBus route.

The 73 wiggles snake-like through the estates of Bradley Stoke ...
...whereas the M1 sticks like flies to flypaper to the main road, Bradley Stoke Way.
Embryo MetroBus stops have even appeared on Streetview ...
... but sections of the road are decidedly short on potential bus passengers!
The M3 eventually reaches the end of Bradley Stoke Way, at least where it used to end.
 The continuation appears on maps as the Stoke Gifford by pass ...
... where a link to Parkway Station was planned but, despite bus stops for MetroBus in the station area, has been dropped from the plans. The MetroBus people say, effectively, that it is all too difficult. It seem strange hat such an important and innovative public transport concept should fail to serve one of the major rail stations in Bristol.
As we shall see tomorrow MetroBus doesn't serve Temple Meads very well either!

But the bottom end of Bradley Stoke Way, linking to Filton Road, is incomplete on the dreaded Google. It goes straight on here where local road, Oxleigh Way veers left.
Presumably it is now all finished - or will be before the M1 starts!

Somewhere here will be the stop named in memory of a "gentleman of the road" who has sat on his bench patiently, day and night since 2006, waiting for the delayed MetroBus to start.
Genial Harry Stoke, a bit of a South Gloucestershire "character". will give up his vigil once the first service M1 calls at "his" stop.
Not really, sadly.

There were three manors in the parish of Stoke Gifford. The Giffards and Berkeleys held Stoke and Walls. Harry Stoke was a separate manor held by Aldred in Saxon times, Theobald in Norman times and the Blount and De Filton families in medieval times. The Berkeleys bought it in the l6th century.

One of the last coal mines in the Bristol Coalfield was the Harry Stoke drift mine.
Don't try looking for the mine on a map or in the real world. It is lost under the vast MOD office complex at Abbey Wood.
Back to the M1 (bus not road). A new junction with the Filton Road ... 
... will allow the M1 to turn right, then slide off left to join the M3 via UWE and the M32.

But here's a funny thing.

Although the MetroBus contract was won by First Bus, the M1 will not be operated by First Bus. But no-one will ever know!!

For reasons which are not entirely clear, First have subcontracted the M1 to CT Plus.

HCT Group is a social enterprise providing transport services and community services in Bristol, Guernsey, Jersey, London and Yorkshire. It was founded in 1982 as Hackney Community Transport in the London Borough of Hackney to provide transport services for local voluntary organisations, charities and community groups. HCT Group is registered as a company limited by guarantee (and has therefore no shareholders). The company is also a registered charity.

The HCT Group was founded in 1982 and in 2014 had a fleet of 500 vehicles and a turnover of £43.7m and employs over 700 people. In June 2011 it reinvested 37% of annual profits into local community services, its best performance to date. Its chief executive, Dai Powell, joined the social enterprise as a bus cleaner.

CT Plus is the brand for its bus service operations ...
... but in Bristol it is BCT, Bristol Community Transport.
We provide four regular bus routes in Bristol, under a contract with Bristol City Council.

Route 505 runs from Long Ashton Park and Ride to Southmead Hospital
Route 506 runs from Broadmead to Southmead Hospital.

Both routes, which operate with single deck vehicles, are designed to better connect the hospital with the community.

Over the short term, we are also running the 506 shuttle - a free shuttle service from Harbour Create Centre to Broadweir, running every 30 minutes.  

Route 511 runs from Bedminster to Hengrove.
Route 512 runs from Broadmead to Bedminster.

These two routes, which operate on smaller minibus-style vehicles, aim to connect less well served parts of the city.

BCT will provide Biogas powered buses, drivers and all operational "stuff" for the cross-city route but, fbb is informed, the vehicles will be in the same livery style as those of First Bus and will carry First's logo and name.

Here various glitterati of the Bristol bus scene are pictured at the press "do" which announced this deal.
The BCT buses will have magenta "bits" as part of their dull and uninspiring version of the livery, to match the colours on publicity. Orange (as above) is for the much delayed M2 which will feature in tomorrow's blog.

 Next MetroBus blog : Saturday 21st April 

1 comment:

  1. The bus in the last picture actually has red bits, which is intended as an "all routes" version of Metrobus livery.