First Bus alters new Yate route before launch day
First Bus has changed its new Y route through North Yate after a passenger led campaign.
Residents were angry that the planned route would deprive the community in the area of a direct service into Bristol. Buses would no longer stop at Cranleigh Court, Greenways Road, North Road, Iron Acton Way, and Wellington Road, amongst others. The only stop would be at Station Road.
First Bus announced the changes as providing faster routes into Bristol from outlying towns. Services Y1 to Y6 are replacing buses 46, 47, X46, X47, X49 and 82, and will be rebranded as ‘South Glos Lynx’.
James Freeman, Managing Director of First Bus said: “We have always wanted to refresh and strengthen the services to and from Yate and make the services flow better with quicker and more reliable journeys. The South Glos Lynx services represent an investment in the overall journey experience for our customers in this part of our network.”
“One of the biggest improvements is that for the first time in years customers from Chipping Sodbury and Yate will have access to services that travel further into the city centre of Bristol and customers will not be required to alight at Bristol Bus Station.”
But local campaigners reacted quickly to the loss of stops in their area. They were supported by local Liberal Democrat councillors, and Yate MP Luke Hall organised a petition which received over 100 signatures in 24 hours. Matt Lewis, a resident from Cranleigh Court Road said; “As a bus user I was concerned over our direct route being taken away.”
After face to face meetings with First Bus, the company reconsidered and made alterations to the route. MD James Freeman said: “Although we believe our proposed routes are commercially sound and were put together for the right reasons, we also want to ensure that we respond with positive action to the feedback we have received.”
“We are therefore proposing to amend the route of Service Y3. The revised route will still ensure that Service Y3 provides a direct and fast link between Yate Shopping Centre and Bristol, however, it will also ensure that a service to Iron Acton Way and Cranleigh Court Road is still provided. A service will also be provided to part of Greenways Road and a reasonable alternative is provided for Halifax Road.”
“We believe that this change will go a long way to meet the comments that people have made without compromising the overall premise to the change, which is to provide a more flowing network for Yate town.”
Lib Dem Group Leader on South Gloucestershire Council Claire Young said; "I welcome this change of heart from First Bus. Their previous proposals would have left bus users in many parts of North Yate, including a Priority Neighbourhood, without a bus service to Bristol. First Bus have listened and acted. We'll keep talking to them to try to find a solution for the other roads affected."
MP Luke Hall said: “I’d like to thank First Bus, and particularly James Freeman for taking mine, my team and our communities concerns seriously following our meeting resulting in a retention of access to much of North Yate.”
“I would also like to thank residents who have shared their impactful stories with me and who helped really make a good case to First as to why this was so important. Whilst progress has been made in a positive direction I’ll continue to look into the situation around the centre of north Yate.”