A new direct hourly bus service from Radstock and Midsomer Norton to Bristol, supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council, will start running on April 2, making journeys more convenient and quicker for local residents.
The service will be run by First and is being supported by developer funding through the Council. At the moment there is only one direct morning peak journey into Bristol and one back in the afternoon.
Cllr Roger Symonds, Cabinet Member for Transport (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is committed to making public transport better for our local residents. This new bus service is great news for the communities of Midsomer Norton, Radstock and Paulton. It will make travelling in to Bristol for work more feasible and more convenient for many people living in the area.”
The new, improved 379 service will run hourly from Radstock via Westfield, Midsomer Norton, Paulton and Hallatrow and then run along the A37 through Clutton, Pensford and Whitchurch into Bristol City Centre and Bus Station. This will be in addition to the existing bus service 376 that runs from Wells to Bristol along the A37.
The service will run Monday – Saturday. The first bus from Radstock will be at 7.17am Mondays to Fridays and 7.34am on Saturdays. The last buses from Bristol will be at 5.35pm Mondays to Fridays and 5.20pm on Saturdays.
The off-peak journey time from Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Paulton to Bristol on 379 will be about 20 minutes quicker than the alternative 178 journey, which runs via Keynsham, and which will not be affected by these changes.
In Paulton, service 379 will run via High Street instead of Ham Lane and Brittens Hill because the buses will be too big to negotiate the narrow sections of road. In Bristol, service 379 will run via Victoria Street, Baldwin Street and the city centre.
It also means that Whitchurch village will get a direct bus service to Victoria Street, Baldwin Street and the centre of Bristol again. There used to be a service but it was withdrawn in 2005.
Developer contributions from the Polestar site at Paulton are funding the improvement of the service. The route forms part of corridor 6 of the Greater Bristol Bus Network (GBBN) and both Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bristol City Council have improved the infrastructure along the corridor. This includes the installation of real-time information displays at many bus stops, improved accessibility with raised kerbs, and bus priority measures at junctions to improve reliability. Bus services running on GBBN routes will have to meet high standards of vehicle quality and customer service under the terms of a quality partnership scheme.
Full timetable information will be available from http://www.traveline.info from mid-March.
The scheme is part of the £79 million investment in the Greater Bristol Bus Network, part funded by the Department for Transport, to develop 10 showcase bus corridors across the West of England area.
It is one of the £240 million Travel+ initiatives which includes the Bath Transportation Package, the Weston Package and the Rapid Transit Network being developed by Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils to tackle congestion, encourage economic growth and improve the quality of life in the area.