Losing the last bus of the day is a blow not just to those visiting relatives in hospital but also to workers at the Mall, Cribbs Causeway. They are having to catch buses into the centre of Bristol and back out to places like Yate and Coalpit Heath, getting home very late at night. Your Focus Team is pushing not only for the last service to be restored but also for a later service that would come back from Cribbs after the shops have closed at 9pm.
First Bus said that they had changed the timetable to improve reliability. By reducing the frequency and not having drivers changing mid-route, they said it gave more time to recoup delays, especially at peak times. They admitted that due to roadworks, including the temporary traffic lights in Winterbourne, there had been problems in the first couple of weeks of the new timetable, but they claimed that reliability had improved since, though there was still work to do.
The poor reliabilty is having a knock-on effect on our highly valued Community Transport services. Because people don't feel they can rely on the 82 bus to get them to their hospital appointments, they are turning to Community Transport, while others are being referred by their GPs because they don't meet the strict criteria for the Patient Transport Service. Claire met Green Community Travel representatives on Wednesday to discuss this and other issues.