As well as some minor changes to the Weston town centre network, First are planning extensive changes to the inter-urban “excel” network which links North Somerset with Bristol.
One major change includes the operation of bus service X7, which will link Bristol and Clevedon via Nailsea, but will no longer operate beyond Clevedon to Yatton and Weston-super-Mare. The current route in Weston through Locking Castle and West Wick will instead be served by bus service X2 on an hourly basis.
To address the loss of a regular service for Yatton village, North Somerset Council is using developer contributions to fund a replacement service.
Following a tender process, First have been contracted to divert their service X2 to serve the length of Yatton High Street (as far as north end roundabout). This ensures Yatton village maintains a regular link to Weston and creates a new link to Bristol city centre.
The service will also operate earlier in the morning and later in the evening than the current X7 timetable.
Unfortunately, First’s changes will result in the loss of a regular connection from Yatton to Clevedon and Nailsea. Kenn village will also no longer have a regular service. This is due to very low passenger numbers on this part of the route, which has led to First withdrawing this section of bus service X7. The tender process has been unable to secure a replacement service for this area. However, Citistar service 128 will continue to operate on a Thursday.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member responsible for transport, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to maintain a regular bus service for Yatton village following the operator’s decision to withdraw the commercial service.
“This was due to low passenger numbers and, whilst the funding available to us has secured a service for the next three years, we need local people to support their bus service to ensure it can continue to operate in the long-term.”
The council will be holding a drop-in session with First West of England at Yatton Library on Tuesday 16 April for passengers to collect new timetable information, ask questions or raise concerns. Call in at any time between 10am and 11.30am. Alternatively, you can contact the council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full details of the changes will be available shortly on First’s website at https://www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west.