Saturday, 21 April 2018

Not Brizzle Metro ...

... But With MetroBus Implications!
North of Bristol is the village cum dormitory town off Thornbury.
It lies just off the A38, the main road between Gloucester and Bristol. The three main bus routes fork off left immediately after the Alveston House Hotel.
They are, currently, Stagecoach 77, First Bus 78 and First Bus 79. Of these, the Stagecoach service is tendered (and was once operated by First)  and the others are commercial.
Routes in and around Thornbury are one of the bus operators' dark arts as fbb explored in a couple of blogs back in February. Working out the route of the 77 was a real challenge!
It was resolved by reference to shepherd's crooks - how else! We shall not trouble our tired brains by a further examinations of the wonders of Thornbury, but readers with a taste for the challenge may wish to re-read the two blogs concerned (here) and (here).

If you are brave enough to read the blogs, you may not wish to see the timetable for the 77; but here it is.
Our interest today is with the routes out of Bristol. You might expect the 77 (from Bristol to Thornbury in South Gloucestershire) to appear on a Stagecoach map with a similar title.
But it is not there. We need to go to Traveline for something a little more helpful.
It runs through the greater Bradley Stoke conurbation, roughly parallel to Bradley Stoke Way which will be served by the new MetroBus route M1.

It also calls at Hortham, a new development built on the site of a now-demolished Mental Hospital.
First's 78 and 79 are really quite simple provided we ignore the Thonbury squiggles!
Each runs every hour, but the 78 delays itself by nipping off to the dreaded Cribbs Causeway ...
... giving a relatively simple leaflet presentation.
The timetable is, as you would expect, easy to follow.
But not for long will it remain in this form!

From the end of May, at the same time as First starts running its M3, and well before C T Plus (heavily disguised as First) starts running its M1 via Bradley Stoke, there is a big change to the bus service to Thornbury.

The 78 becomes the T2 but remains much the same.
Whoops, Traveline doesn't know yet - we will have to ask Traveline.
Yes that is right; Traveline (National) is ignorant of the T2 but Traveline South West has maps and timetables. Note that First is now serving Hortham (squiggle top right) in competition with Stagecoach 77 (?) and providing the estate with buses to Cribbs Causeway.

But it is the replacement for the hourly 79 that intrigues and excites. Readers will be amazed to learn that it becomes, with stunning but logical originality, service T1.
Whoops again.

But here's the big change; it will run via the M32 and the MetroBus M1 route through the Bradley Stoke estate ...
... then to Thornbury (NOT via Hortham) as before. It hops off the M32 and travels briefly via the A4174, turns right into the new Stoke Gifford by-pass road (calling for Harry Stoke as it does) ...
... and makes use of all the Metrobus M1 road improvements until it joins the Gloucester Road at Aztec West. It will also benefit from the inbound bus lane on the M32.

And it runs every 30 minutes!

Traveline present the T1 and T2 timetables as one.
The T2, you will notice, still uses the bus station; but the T1 runs from "The Centre" thus benefiting fully from the MetroBus improvements.

The T1 is obviously quicker (58 minutes as opposed to 67) but that hides the fact the it visits the "estates" first, so is faster than it appears for many passengers.

Our Bristol correspondent, Paul, who briefed fbb by email yesterday morning, is very impressed with the new service T1. It represents a major improvement for the residents of Thornbury but ...

What effect might it have on the new Metrobus M1? We will have to wait until the timetables are published but, on the surface, it does seem odd that First is happily pinching a bit of First's M1 revenue (Barbie takes all the financial risk and benefit - if any - C T Plus just runs the buses as a sub-contract) and the M1 will be pinching a bit of First's 73 revenue - maybe a lot.

Currently First's web site is T1 and T2 silent.

Expect some big changes early in 2019!

A Seaton Snippet
Herewith a board outside a cafe on Fore Street (Seaton's high street).
All day - but not after 1430.

Such is the small-seaside-town lifestyle.

The planned blog on Bristol Metrobus services M2 and M1 going south to Hengrove Park is postponed to next week, thanks, in part, to this extra information from Bristol. Appreciation due to our Bristol correspondent.

Correction and Revelation
Remember yesterday's blog where fbb said that he could not find any mention of the cancellation of the X48 from Lyde Green Park and Ride, a service which will largely be redundant when the M3 starts. In fact, as Paul explained, it is there, but listed under service 5 which is where anyone would look for the X48!

Service 5 (City Centre – Downend)

There are a number of changes to the route and timetable of Service 5 from 27 May 2018.

Service 5 will continue to operate every 30 minutes during the day and every 60 minutes during the evening, however, some departure times will be revised and intermediate running times are revised to improve reliability and punctuality.

The route of Service 5 will change between Oldbury Court and Downend, with Bromley Heath additionally served. This will provide Bromley Heath residents with a new direct service to Fishponds and Eastgate Centre. Also, Bromley Heath residents will now benefit from an evening and Sunday / Public Holiday service to and from the City Centre.

To make these improvements possible, two bus stops on Cleeve Hill will no longer be served by Service 5, but alternative stops are available on Overndale Road or at The Horseshoe. Service 5 will additionally serve Bromley Heath via Bromley Heath Road, Quaker’s Road, Queensholm Drive, Four Acre Road and Badminton Road.

Please note Service 5 will become the primary link between Bromley Heath and the City Centre following the withdrawal of Service X48 from 27 May 2018.
The map explains all. The 5 will continue from Overdale Road (lower left) via Bromley Heath Road to the Bromley Heath estate; here it replaces the X48. It will then turn south to terminate at the existing terminus at Downend. Bromley Heath is the only bit of the X48 not covered by any other bus route once the M3 starts.

fbb hopes to be in Bournemouth for a  brief look at the new route network with route numbers which replaces the former network with route names, numbers and letters which, in turn, replaced the earlier network with just route numbers. Consistency rules OK!

fbb plans to ride to Bearwood and back via 4a and 6 as per the map herewith.
There is  nice chppy next to the Bearwood Co-op terminus, so lunch is pre-planned.

Expect a report in a day or so.

For the late posting of yesterday's blog. Usual incompetence applies.

 Next Sunday Snippets blog : 22nd April 

1 comment:

  1. We may have to wait for the T1/T2 details, but First published the "Discover" network details yesterday. Bath to north east Somerset (not Bath AND North East Somerset!) and Wiltshire. Appears to be duplicating the Mendip Explorer style, which apparently is very successful. Lots of changes coming.

    Today is Crosville's last day at Weston super Mare with some of the historic fleet running. Also A2 stopping and A5 starting.