All commercial bus services to and from the University of Bath’s Claverton Down campus will be provided by First Bus from this September, following the withdrawal of Wessex Bus.
Plans already in place for the forthcoming academic year mean there will be plenty of buses to transport students, staff and members of the community to and from the University of Bath.
The University and First Bus, in conjunction with BANES Council, have worked extensively to replace the lost capacity and streamline the provision of buses provided by First.
In addition to ensuring there is sufficient capacity at peak times, these changes will reduce the number of buses travelling on Bathwick Hill at off-peak times, addressing local residents’ concerns about too many buses.
Overall, the operational pattern established last year will continue. The main service is the U1 which operates continually 24/7 between Lower Oldfield Park and the University via the City Centre.
In addition, the U2 service will operate a loop service from the University via Claverton Down and Rush Hill through Coronation Avenue and Lower Oldfield Park – continuing via Widcombe to Raby Place and then up Bathwick Hill.
Users will find that First is providing a similar level of service at peak times to the complete service last year, but new for 2017 will be that morning peak journeys from Lower Oldfield Park will travel straight to the bottom of Bathwick Hill, avoiding the City Centre.
A high frequency of buses will start from the City Centre, with buses starting both in Dorchester Street and at Rebecca’s Fountain by the Abbey.
It is anticipated these changes will avoid long queues forming and ensure bus users can travel to and from the University as quickly, and comfortably as possible.
Fares and ticketing are broadly the same as last year, with a range of annual and shorter period tickets available.
The Wessex 20A/C, funded by the Council with support from the University, which provides a half hourly service between the University and Twerton via Foxhill, Odd Down and Whiteway; and an hourly service to the City centre and Marlborough Buildings/Julian Road via Widcombe, will continue to run providing a service for those who do not live in Oldfield Park.
Andrew Sherrington, Operations Director for First Bath said, “Our popular and distinctive burgundy-coloured Unibuses will provide a high frequency and reliable bus service for staff and students of the University of Bath.
“As the main local bus operator, we are working closely with the University and local residents to make sure we provide all the services that we need and at the same time making sure that we minimise the number of journeys so that we are not running empty buses up and down Bathwick Hill.”
Director of Estates at the University of Bath, Martyn Whalley added: “Following the withdrawal of Wessex Bus Ltd from some of the bus services in Bath on commercial grounds, the University initiated extensive discussions with First Bus with regard to how to replace lost capacity on the routes to and from our Claverton Down campus.
“These provide an important service for students, staff and local residents and we are confident these changes will mean a more efficient and valuable bus service.”
The new term time services start on 23rd September.