Issue - meetings

Public Transport

Meeting: 23/07/2019 - Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission (Item 48)

48 Public Transport pdf icon PDF 131 KB

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The Service Manager - Sustainable Transport and Group Manager for Highways and Traffic introduced themselves and explained that they would present and then and take questions one section at a time if that was acceptable to members, which it was. 


Bus Strategy

Transport Officers introduced the Bus Strategy section via some presentation slides.  Some of the key points were as follows

  • West of England (WoE) bus use has continued to increase.  Figures show that Bristol is bucking the national trend on patronage and doing quite well compared to other local authorities.  Student use of buses has risen too.
  • Officers said that it’s difficult to find funding for public transport compared to funding for motoring.
  • First Bus currently severs services in the city centre to help improve reliability i.e. so that congestion doesn’t continually affect the outer areas as much.
  • A review of the network is currently taking place and being carried out by ARUP. They have already reported that the way things are currently done in Bristol isn’t as efficient as it could be and patronage can be increased further.
  • It wouldn’t be until next year when the strategy was ready to be consulted upon. 


Questions and comments from Members: 

  • It was said that there are still far too many old and polluting buses being used in some parts of the city. 
  • Members thought that Old Market Bus Interchange worked well as an interchange.  But it was suggested that they are future proofed to enable the use of future technology.
  • Members agreed that there were still gaps in the current route map; for example East Bristol still has no direct route to Temple Meads Station.
  • Members considered it positive that residents will be consulted about bus routes but asked whether they shouldn’t also be asked about additional plans or ideas for the future?  Officers said they need to be careful what they ask for views on because it needs to be considered whether we have the physical space to do some things i.e. are people willing to walk further or change buses or give up road space for other things etc.  Members suggested that was why people ought to be asked those questions.
  • Members expressed their continued frustration that First Bus still has a ‘monopoly’ on buses in Bristol and were of the view that the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) needed to do more about this.
  • It was said that although WECA isn’t officially the Transport Authority yet, it is correct in doing this work because apart from the recent introduction of Metrobus Bristol’s Bus Network had not changed since the 1990s. It was agreed that building the orbital routes outward would provide room for more interchanges.  And that interchanges would not work effectively until all the bus operators are working under one single ticket system.  This in his view really needed to be pushed though as quick as possible.
  • Other Members agreed that more interchanges and cross-boundary tickets were the way forward as well as the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48