Bath & North East Somerset Council has shared with SPC that it welcomes news about additional investment for some buses in its area.
West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris has announced a £7m package of improvements. This includes First Bus’s 39 and X39 services, which will run every 15 minutes through Saltford.
The First Bus website states:
Service 39/X39 Bath – Bristol – revised timetable. The frequency of this service will be increased, with buses on Monday-Friday running every 15 minutes all through the daytime, and with more buses at weekends too. The new timetable will be available to view here (on the First Bus website) soon.
This will start from 2 April 2023. First Bus state that this will expand bus services and improve punctuality of new timetables.
WECA say investment is going on more main line routes that serve passengers (which includes the 39 / X39 that runs through Saltford) which serve passengers changing from a ‘WEST link’ minibus from April (more details below). B&NES Council has also called for further clarity on rural routes. Other services in the WECA area will see First buses running at “turn up and go frequencies” during rush hour on five key West of England routes. The Metro Mayor announced his ‘WEST link’ DRT plans in January and a report to the West of England Combined Authority Committee says that DRT will be deployed across the region from April 2023. The Mayor’s scheme would see people in the DRT zones booking minibuses in advance through telephone, website, or app.
The full list of B&NES areas that will see buses run to at least every 15 minutes from April are:
- 1 serving Bath to Southdown
- 5 serving Bath to Whiteway
- 42/43 serving Bristol to Kingswood
- x39/349/522 serving Keynsham, Brislington to Bristol
- 173/174/522/379 (to be renumbered to 172) serving Midsomer Norton to Bath
- 39/x39 serving Bath to Bristol
- m2 serving Long Ashton P&R to Bristol
- 376/379 (to be renumbered to 172) serving Temple Cloud to Bristol
All the details about the changes to services from April 2 can be found here on the First Bus website
Although the West of England Combined Authority is the local transport authority for the area, Bath & North East Somerset Council says it has earmarked £280,000 from its own budget over and above what it already contributes to the WECA buses ‘pot’ – an approximate uplift of 36% in the supported bus services budget. Where DRT is being introduced in April, B&NES Council will continue to fund some supported services outside of Bath until June, to ease the transition to the new arrangements.
More information can be found on the B&NES Council newsroom webpage https://newsroom.bathnes.gov.uk/news