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Biggest change in Weston-super-Mare’s bus network for years

One of Weston-super-Mare’s largest housing estates will benefit from a fast and frequent bus route into Bristol city centre as part of a package of changes from First West of England.

In the biggest change to the bus network in Weston for years, First’s flagship X1 service between Bristol and Weston town centre will be extended to serve the Bournville Estate. It will travel through the estate from 6.30am until just before midnight, giving residents better access to Weston town centre, Bristol and employment and shopping centres in Worle. North Somerset Council is also currently engaged in a procurement exercise to increase the frequency of the X1 service. The council is intending to invest Bus Service Improvement Plan funding from the Department for Transport to further improve key services in the coming weeks.

The proposed changes, which will see other improvements to the overall bus network in and around Weston, are part of a bi-annual review of routes by First Bus, and will come into force on Sunday 3rd September.

In other proposed changes:

  • A new daytime 6 service will replace the 3 service (Worle to Weston) with a new route focusing on local links around the Worle area, creating better connections between the Upper Bristol Road, Worle, Mead Vale and Weston. North Somerset Council is currently undergoing a procurement process for an evening 6 service.
  • The 51 service between Weston and Wrington will become the new 125 service and, instead of travelling through Locking Parklands, which will be served by the 7 service (Worle and Haywood Village), it will travel through Locking Village, and also serve the Flowerdown Retail Park.
  • In line with previous years, the frequency of the open-top 1 (towards Sand Bay) and 20 (towards Brean) bus services will reduce from the start of the school term from every 30 minutes to hourly, reflecting the normal levels during the quieter autumn and winter months.
  • First Bus and North Somerset Council are intending to re-route the X5 service between Weston and Clevedon to include more nearby villages; an extension to the 7 service between Worle and Haywood Village; and improvements to the frequency of the X4 service between Bristol and Portishead as part of the council’s procurement process.

Rob Pymm, Commercial Director for First West of England, said: “We’re continuing to invest in improving bus services in Weston-super-Mare and across North Somerset. The extension of the X1 service through the Bournville Estate will open up new opportunities for those living there, with a more direct bus service to Worle and a fast and frequent route into Bristol. We’re also working hard with North Somerset Council to devise a wider set of changes that will improve connectivity across the town and wider area.

“With adult and child single fares still £2 and £1 respectively and our on-board Tap On, Tap Off technology making payment quick and easy, we’re making sustainable and affordable travel by bus accessible to even more people.”

First Bus has consulted on the proposals with North Somerset Council and other stakeholders, ahead of them coming into effect in September.

Cllr Hannah Young, Executive Member for highways and transport at North Somerset Council said: “It’s great news that by working jointly with First we are increasing and improving bus services across North Somerset which will mean more residents have a reliable, local service.

"We are committed to improving our bus network across the West of England area as part of our Bus Service Improvement Plan. Thanks to funding we’ve secured from the Department for Transport, we will ensure bus services are faster, greener and more coordinated than ever before encouraging everyone to ditch the car and walk, cycle or use public transport instead. To help people struggling with rising living costs, fares are currently just £2. And don’t forget you can get free bus travel for the whole of your birthday month over the next year. Apply online at www.birthdaybus.co.uk.”

PLEASE NOTE: Timetables for all new/changed routes will be available soon.