In short, this service is running at a loss and BANES invites Parish and Town councils, operators, residents, users, and other stakeholders to comment on various proposals. The following is an extract of this letter with the relevant bits of information regarding our 672 service. Please find the full version of the letter below as an attachment.
If you feel this bus service is vital for Dundry, please make sure you send a response to the e-mail address given (or the postal address in the letter). Dundry Parish Council will also respond, but the more individual answers are submitted to BANES the better.
The Council funds a number of supported bus services under contracts that are due to end during 2018. The management of these contracts is jointly undertaken by Bath & North East Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority. The Council faces severe limitations in its income and is therefore considering whether to extend these contracts, or to make changes to services to reduce the costs of operation.
To help inform and advise any decisions on the future of these contracts we are therefore inviting the views of Councillors, Parish and Town councils, operators, residents, users, and other stakeholders as to the best and most appropriate way to proceed. The responses will further help us develop the detail of specifications for any contracts that are retendered.
Please could you submit any comments, proposals, or suggestions not later than Wednesday 31st January 2018, to firstname.lastname@example.org so that these can be considered when decisions are made on the future of the services and tender specifications drawn up.
Service 672: Blagdon & Chew Valley service
The Council supports a daytime 672 service (Mon-Sat) between Blagdon and Bristol via the Chew valley and Dundry. The route map and timetable are at: Chew Valley Transport Guide.pdf. North Somerset Council fund 25% of the costs of the service.
The 672 service is operated by Abus apart from the 18:10 departure from Bristol that is operated by Bugler Coaches.
Contract Net Cost 2017/18
Concession journeys %
Cost per passenger journey
The council also supports the complementary service 67 operated by Abus during School holidays at a cost of £3,542.
The Council faces a significant funding shortfall and is therefore looking at options to reduce supported service costs. Despite this it is recognised that alternative travel options in the rural area served by the service are very limited.
This service requires at least two vehicles and two drivers to operate because of the span of operation which covers commuter services and off-peak journeys in between.
1. To reduce the service to operating Monday-Friday only, with no Saturday service. Operators have struggled to find resource available on Saturdays to run services and have to charge the Council a premium to provide the services.
2. To withdraw the service that departs from Bristol at 18:10, with the remaining service undertaken by one bus and driver. The last service from Bristol would therefore be at 16:45; the later 18:10 journey is the most costly element of service operation, but some users would have to change arrangements to use the earlier service.
3. To retain the first (06:53 ex Blagdon) and last (18:10 ex Bristol) trips on broadly the current timetable, but to operate off-peak services to/from Long Ashton Park & Ride where passengers will be able to transfer to the frequent MetroBus services for Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads
It is envisaged that a service would arrive in Long Ashton at around 10:30, and a return journey from Long Ashton to the Chew Valley and Blagdon would operate around 16:00. In addition passengers returning to Chew Magna, Chew Stoke, Bishop Sutton and West Harptree would have the option of using service 67 which leaves Bristol at 13:05. Using Long Ashton P&R site as an off peak terminus also allows interchange to the 505 service to Southmead Hospital.
There is a reduction in service during the middle of the day but the service would be able to be operated by one bus and driver and significant savings would result in consequence.
Further surveys of patronage and concession use are being undertaken as part of this tender exercise.