26 Aug 2016


Consultation launched on Bristol’s supported bus services

Bristol’s bus passengers are being invited to give their views on services financially supported by Bristol City Council.

The survey is part of a review of the 19 bus services across Bristol that the council funds. 

Most of the bus services in Bristol are commercial services which are run by private bus companies. The council has no direct control of these routes, but it can step in to support connections which are felt to be socially necessary for communities and those that commercial operators say are not viable due to low passenger numbers.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said:

“Bristol needs a more reliable, passenger-friendly and integrated public transport network. Working with partners and taking up the devolution challenge, we may get greater control and investment to bring Bristol’s public transport up-to-date.

“I’ve been open and clear about the budget challenges we face and funding the supported bus services is a major cost. Working with Mark Bradshaw, my Cabinet Member for Transport, I want to make sure we are spending our funding, your money, to the maximum effect. This is your opportunity to give some honest feedback on the services you value and want for the future. I can’t deliver everything but we need to make sure every pound spent works for Bristol’s people.”

Financially supported services are known as Supported Bus Services and the budget available for these is over £2m (2015-16). The services provided by this money include orbital routes such as the 505/6 (around Southmead Hospital, Easton and other areas), local shopper services like the 511/2/3/4 (Knowle, Bedminster and Brislington), and add-on commercial links, incorporating early morning, late evening and Sunday services.

This review excludes the Park and Ride services, which are supported by the council, due to new operator contracts with First starting this September.

For commercial services there is no franchise or commissioning and Bristol City Council does not pay anything towards keeping the commercial services running, such as daytime services on main routes into the city. The council does invest significant funding to improve and maintain bus priority, shelters and stops, and real-time information. The council reimburses bus companies for free travel by concessionary fare cardholders, which is a government requirement. 

Bristol City Council has also supported bids for cleaner, low emission buses, for WiFi and other initiatives that benefit passengers.

To submit your views, please visit: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SupportedBus. Hard copies of the survey will be available on the buses the consultation is reviewing and through local neighbourhood partnerships.