Call for return of X48 after Metrobus 'shambles'
PASSENGERS are calling for bus operator First to bring back the axed X48 after branding the replacement Metrobus service a “shambles”.
People using the Metrobus m3 service from the Avon Ring Road to Bristol city centre say rush-hour buses are frequently late, overcrowded and take longer than the service they replaced.
One mum is even thinking of removing her daughter from her new sixth form college because the Metrobus is taking so long to get her into Bristol, while other passengers say having to use Metrobus stops on the Avon Ring Road is dangerous.
Bromley Heath mum Lorraine Passco says her daughter Charlotte has to be at the nearest Metrobus stop at 6.45am to be sure of making a connection to get her to college in Brislington by 9am.
Lorraine said: “The whole situation is ridiculous. My son and daughter both need to get into town but my son now drives and my daughter potentially is going to change from St Brendan’s, which she loves, to the Ridings, where she was before. If she stays, I will have to change my working hours and drive her.
“The X48 was perfect and well-utilised.
"I assumed the Metrobus was going to be a faster, more economic, efficient system. It’s unreliable and it’s slow - it’s ludicrous.
“The suggested bus times are inaccurate. It takes 50 to 55 minutes to get into town, which is ludicrous when you consider how far we are from the motorway. It takes two hours in total to get to St Brendan’s.
Lorraine blames the diversion via UWE for the extra time the Metrobus takes and says the area needs a direct service along the M32.
She said: “Just give us back the X48 - that’s what we need. They have got rid of a very efficient, well-used bus for a shambles.”
Bob Howison said the loss of the X48 was made worse by a cut in services from Yate passing through Downend.
He said: “Yate have got three express buses and a railway station.
“If they put back the X48 it would be something. What they could also do is take the Metrobus and instead of going down the ring road have it turn left and bring it through Quakers Road.
“It’s a nightmare having a bus stop on a dual carriageway; someone’s going to get killed there.
“We’re having the mickey taken out of us.”
Elizabeth Branch said the journey from Bromley Heath to the Metrobus stop was “a bit of a perilous walk”, adding: “Sitting on that ring road isn't the best.
“Since the demise of the 18 and the 10 the 5 is now my only option to get to town. It takes an hour and is a bit of a magical mystery tour, to say the least.
“To get to my doctor (Leap Valley) or Emersons Green it is now a two-bus trip or a long walk and if I need to get to Southmead that is a grand total of three buses each way. And we can’t get to Parkway, either. Deep joy!”
The Voice asked First to respond to our readers’ criticisms of its service changes on several occasions in the two weeks before going to press. The company failed to respond to our request.