New bus services announced

BUS operator First has announced a new “express” morning rush hour service between Staple Hill and the city centre.

The X49 service, starting on September 4, will run from Hill House Road, next to Page Park, along the route taken by the 49 service until it reaches Muller Road, when it will divert to the M32 and head directly to the city centre, avoiding Stapleton Road and Old Market.

There will be two services a day, leaving at 7.05am and 7.55am, in addition to the 48 and 49 services, and making the journey to the Centre about 15 minutes quicker.

First has also announced an extra m3 metrobus late evening service, leaving the Centre at 10.35pm and arriving at Emersons Green at 11.07pm.

A change to the 525 Emersons Green to Yate service to serve Shortwood village, which has been without any bus service since last October when the First Y5 was withdrawn, was announced on the website Travelwest, run by the West of England Combined Authority, in August.

However operator Stagecoach was unable to confirm the route when asked to comment by the Voice, with a spokesperson saying the company was “very much still in discussions” with WECA and South Gloucestershire Council over the new route.

WECA says a registration for the route, which also serves Pucklechurch and Westerleigh, has been received, and it will also run to Yate’s Brimsham Green School, replacing the cancelled 967 service.

However a new Y2 service between Yate and Bristol will not serve Downend and Fishponds, as a previous service of the same name did before it was axed in April last year.

Instead the service will now run through Winterbourne and Hambrook, then join the Avon Ring Road and M32, as part of a rearrangement of First routes following the closure of the A432 bridge over the M4.