Check out new bus services in the Downend area

March 31 2014

BUS services in the Downend area are changing this month, prompted largely by the imminent switch of acute hospital services from Frenchay to Southmead.

BUS services in the Downend area are changing this month, prompted largely by the imminent switch of acute hospital services from Frenchay to Southmead.

The operator First says the alterations also respond to a desire to better match resources against demand for services and to address some concerns regarding the punctuality and reliability of buses.

The number 4 service, which runs from the city centre to Frenchay Hospital, is being withdrawn.

The route of the number 5 service from the centre to Emersons Green is being changed and extended and the route of the number 18, which runs from Emersons Green to Southmead, is being altered.

Other changes include renumbering of several services and a new Friday and Saturday N47 nightbus service serving Bromley Heath, Downend, Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Yate and Chipping Sodbury.

The changes come into effect on April 18.

Simon Ford, commercial manager, First West of England says: "We've been working on these changes for some time, and have consulted with South Gloucestershire Council. 

"What's happening is significant and will benefit a great many people, not least providing new links to Southmead Hospital. There are a number of alterations being made and it's important that customers check the detail in advance so they understand how they may be affected.”

The new timetables for the affected services are on the First website and can be picked up from First Travel shops.


Service 5: Monday to Saturday daytime frequency of buses is being increased (to one bus every 20 minutes). Steps are being taken to ensure the buses on the route are low floor and easily accessible. 

Buses in Downend will travel from Overndale Road along Bromley Heath Road, Quakers Road, Four Acre Road, Badminton Road, Blackhorse Lane, Westerleigh Road, Emerson Way before terminating at Emersons Green. This change means that people will be able to travel direct between Emersons Green, Bromley Heath, the Eastgate Centre and Ashley Road for the first time. 

Service 18: Buses will operate via Gloucester Road North, Filton Road and Monks Park Avenue (instead of Southmead Road). This change - which follows customer requests - means a new direct link to the hospital will be created from Gloucester Road North and Filton Road. In addition to this the route is being extended beyond Southmead to Henbury, via Westbury, Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston. Buses will run every half an hour Monday - Friday daytimes, and hourly on Saturdays.

Service N47: This will operate under contract to South Gloucestershire Council (replacing the N50) and will run on Friday and Saturday nights, with departures from the city centre at 0015, 0155 and 0335. The fare, £4 single, has been set by the council. First West of England passes, and FirstNight tickets will not be valid for travel on these specific journeys. 

Service X49: This is a new service from Bristol - Yate via M32, Fishponds, Staple Hill, Mangotsfield, Pucklechurch and Westerleigh. It follows the route of the 689 council-supported service, which is being withdrawn. Buses will run hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes and, for the first time in years, there will be journeys during the evening and on Sundays and public holidays. For people in Staple Hill and Fishponds it will offer a faster journey time in and out of the city centre (compared to service 49).