First Bus Number 9 Route Consultation

Feb 29, 2020

19th Feb First invites views on proposed changes to service 9 through Cotham and Redland and to service 72 in Lockleaze First West of England is asking the public for its view on the future of service 9 and of the 72 route which between them operate through the Cotham and Redland areas of Bristol – the 72 extending via Gloucester Road to Lockleaze and UWE. Right now, service 9 does not carry enough people to justify keeping the route as it is, so a consultation to gather people's views on a range of options has been launched online and through two public meetings scheduled to take place next month. A decision on the future of the service will then need to be made during May with any agreed changes com ing into effect in early September 2020. “We are starting this with an open mind,” said James Freeman, managing director of First West of England. “However, we do need to find a different and more cost-effective way of providing transport for people who currently use the No 9 route and, before we do, we want to establish what customers think.” One of First's ideas is to replace the No 9 service - which currently travels from Temple Meads and the city centre through Cotham, Redland and Clifton Village - with another route, the 72A. Thinking in particular of the 9 he said: “We certainly do not have a fixed view about any of this and the ideas we put forward in this process are only a couple of potential outcomes that may emerge from this process,” continued James Freeman. “One thing is certain though: we cannot stay as we are because the No 9 isn't carrying enough people to pay its way and there must be a better alternative." Questions being asked as part of the consultation include: Whether a smaller vehicle could be used for these journeys, e.g. would a more frequent shuttle service around the Cotham/Redland loop be of more benefit to customers? • Should journeys be made between Clifton Village and Redland/Cotham and Clifton Village and White ladies Road? • Whether the service needs to go to Temple Meads? James Freeman said: “There are of course other routes in the area. For instance, the 1, 2, 3 and 4 all provide frequent services up and down Whiteladies Road, while the No 8 operates regularly between Temple Meads, Broadmead, The Centre, Clifton Village and the Zoo and the No 72 also covers a large part of that area.” In addition, Bristol City Council supports the operation of the 505 service which runs through the district, specifically connecting Clifton Village and the top of Redland Road, Separately, in the Lockleaze area First has suggested diverting the current 72 service via Bonnington Walk and Wordsworth Road, rather than Constable Road, to improve penetration of the area. Alongside the online consultation process, which is open now and closes March 29, two public meetings are to be held, one in Redland and another in Cotham, on March 12 and 19 respectively. Exact details of where and when will be published shortly. “This is far from being a tick box exercise,” said James Freeman.“The No 9 service in its current form is financially unsustainable and needs to evolve along with the 72. “While we have our own preliminary proposals, we are equally interested in any views and ideas from our customers about how they think we can improve this service and we urge as many people as possible to en gage with us and let us know their thoughts." To take part in the online consultation visit

First Bus has arranged a consultative meeting to take place at Cotham Parish Church on Thursday, March 19th from 7.45pm until 8.45pm. Unfortunately a further meeting at Redland Parish Church has now been cancelled.

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