New Metrobus route announced
METROBUS operator First has announced a new route direct to Bristol city centre to shorten journeys for commuters.
The announcement of the m3x rush hour-only service, which will travel along the M32 from Hambrook, comes after months of complaints about overcrowding and late-running.
The Metrobus m3 service launched in May, promising quicker, more reliable journeys into the city centre. But within months passengers living in Bromley Heath were calling for the return of the service it replaced – the X48 – complaining that the Metrobus was slower and more overcrowded.
Many complaints centred on routing the m3 through the University of the West of England Frenchay campus, which adds around nine minutes to the journey under normal traffic conditions - more when there are large numbers of passengers at UWE.
From January 7, the new m3x will leave Emersons Green at 6.45am, 7.15am, 7.45am and 8.15am, with m3 services running on the hour and half hour. Evening m3x services will leave the Centre at half-hourly intervals between 3.20pm and 6.20pm.
Outside those times there will be no m3x and the m3 will run every 20 minutes.
It means a net gain of one extra bus per hour serving Emersons Green and Hambrook during peak times.
First says its new m1 service, which launches on January 6 and is due to run every 10 minutes between Cribbs Causeway and Hengrove, will serve UWE, Broomhill and Stapleton passengers.
First said in a statement: “Because some of the peak m3 buses are in such high demand during peak times, and therefore can be full by the time they reach the Hambrook traffic lights, some buses on this route will now be diverted to operate straight into Bristol via the M32, as opposed to going into UWE.”
M3 services will stop at around 9pm in each direction, with the m1 running until 11.30pm and a u3 shuttle running to UWE until 4am.