By Sam Rkaina, Local Government Reporter
FIRST Bus has revealed its latest list of service changes, with some journeys cut, some added and some saved.
The timetable changes are due to come into effect on September 4 and affect a range of bus routes across the city.
A number of early morning, evening and Sunday journeys have been cut, with the service 4 Centre to Downend, the 6 Centre to Kingswood and the 20 Southmead to Hengrove among those affected.
On some routes journeys will run less frequently, including the 36 Centre to Withywood, and on others routes have been altered in an attempt to make them run more reliably.
But First has also added a number of new journeys, and has saved £500,000 worth of services that were under threat of being cut by Bristol City Council.
The council has had to make £2.2 million of cuts to bus services that it financially supports after facing a major budget hole in its transport budget.
Following negotiations with the council, First has agreed to stop accepting subsidy on a number of journeys.
This means they will stand or fall on their commercial success, and if they are not deemed to be profitable enough they could be cut.
First bosses are encouraging people to use the services as much as possible to ensure they continue.
Regional network manager First South West and Wales Simon Newport said: “Working through all the changes in Bristol has been a mammoth task but through close negotiation with the council and some innovative planning we feel we have found a solution that addresses as many of the issues as possible.
“Unfortunately there will be some journeys that are lost – but we have done what we can to make up for this, altering the times of other journeys where necessary to compensate for it.
“Our team is now working hard to prepare all the timetables and on bus information ready for mid – late August.
“As soon as the information is ready it will be posted onto our website and made available for people to pick up from our travel shops.”
The councik’s executive member for transport Councillor Tim Kent praised First’s efforts in helping to keep services running.
He said: “We are very pleased with this development.
“The council wants to invest in returning more services to commercial good health by helping increase the popularity of public transport.
“We think that’s the best way of supporting bus services.”
For full details go to www.firstgroup.com/bristol from mid August or speak to a customer service representative in the First Travel Shop.