Wednesday 7 September 2011

Bendy Buses in Bristol

London-based transport operator CT Plus has taken over the Bristol park and ride contract from First, which ran double deckers on the route into the city centre for 18 years.

The new 904 service using ex- London bendy buses, started this week. The new contract costs council tax payers £695,000-a-year – less than the £818,000 paid to First. But a number of cutbacks have been made, partly as a result of the £2 million worth of savings Bristol City Council has to make on its transport service.
These include;
  • A fare increase of 50p, making peak fares £4 and off-peak tickets £3.
  • Peak time buses now run every 12 minutes instead of every eight.
  • The buses can carry around 150 people compared to 90 on double deckers – but there are fewer seats so more people have to stand.
  • The last bus back from the centre is 7.09pm, an hour and a half earlier than before.
According to the Bristol Evening Post CT Plus does not have a south west bus operator's licence. Instead the park and ride service is registered to a depot in London.
Although the buses are kept on the Barton Hill Trading Estate, it means that if they were to need an MOT, it would have to be carried out in the capital.
The council says this was due to a backlog of paperwork and that the proper local licence should be achieved within a matter of days.

     David Gambles