End of the road for night bus service

March 27 2017

A WEEKEND night bus service running out of Bristol to Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Frome Valley villages will be taken off the road at the end of April. Operator First Bus has decided to pull the 47a service that runs at 1.31am and 3.31am on Saturdays and Sundays, meaning the last bus from Bristol bus station from May will be at 11.35pm.

A WEEKEND night bus service running out of Bristol to Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Frome Valley villages will be taken off the road at the end of April. Operator First Bus has decided to pull the 47a service that runs at 1.31am and 3.31am on Saturdays and Sundays, meaning the last bus from Bristol bus station from May will be at 11.35pm.  

The buses stop in Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Yate and Chipping Sodbury.

Dodington parish councillor Paul Hulbert, chairman of a night bus group formed by local councils that have subsidised the service, said: “These late night buses have in the past been supported by town and parish councils along the route.

“But now First has doubled the amount of money it wants as a council subsidy.”He said passenger numbers had also fallen, with an average of just 13 passengers using each bus.

Mr Hulbert said: "We've contacted other bus companies but they wanted even more money to run the service.

“It's just not economic any more. Councils would have been paying First a subsidy of £6 for every passenger journey.

“Many young people now use the internet to arrange their own lift-sharing and prefer that to the bus.

"This service has been running for more than ten years. We're sorry to see the end of it but if you add up the subsidy and the bus fares for four people, it comes to more than the cost of a taxi. At £6 subsidy per person, First has simply priced the bus off the road.”

Mr Hulbert thanked the councils that had supported the service for so long, as well as South Gloucestershire Council for handling all the contract negotiations for them.