Bus services across the Weston-super-Mare area are set to change from 3 September 2023 to include new routes and higher frequency services to meet town growth.
North Somerset Council has reviewed the existing bus network and will be updating, changing and improving a number of services, linking to local health, education and retail facilities.
From September, new commercial routes will serve areas of high bus demand while ensuring local communities continue to stay connected.
As part of this review, the number 50 will be changing with the most used part of the service moving over to the number 6 and the X5.
The number 6 will provide a service from Upper Bristol Road to Worle High Street, for the first time in several years, stopping at both doctors’ surgeries. It will also offer an improved half hourly service and an hourly evening and Sunday service. When combined with route 7, this will double the frequency between Worle and Weston during the evenings and on Sundays.
It will also replace the number 3 between Worle Retail Park, Mead Vale and Weston’s bus interchange. WESTlink will also cover this area.
The X5 will cover Weston’s bus interchange, Atlantic Road, South Road, Locking Castle, Worle, Congresbury, Yatton, Clevedon and Portishead. For the first time, users will have access to these areas on one route without needing to change services. The X5 will no longer serve the West Hill area of Portishead. This will continue to be covered by an improved X4 service.
It will no longer stop at Marine Parade. The X5 will continue to go to Portishead, cover Atlantic Road and South Road, but with earlier and later journeys.
The following commercial routes have been confirmed by First Bus:
- In the biggest change to the bus network in Weston for years, First’s flagship X1 service between Bristol and Weston town centre will be extended to serve the Bournville area. It will travel through the estate from 5am until just before midnight, giving residents better access to Weston town centre, Bristol and employment and shopping centres in Worle. North Somerset Council is also currently procuring an increased X1 service. The daytime frequency will be improved to every 15 minutes. Bournville will also benefit from a new hourly evening service seven days a week.
- The 51 service between Weston and Wrington will become the new 125 service. This route will no longer serve the Runway (Haywood Village) and Locking Parklands. It will serve Flowerdown retail park and Locking giving the village its service back that it lost last year.
- Service 7 will be extended daily from Haywood Village to Locking Parklands, giving this area a high frequency bus service seven days a week.
- In line with previous years, the frequency of the open-top 1 (towards Sand Bay) and 20 (towards Brean) bus services will reduce from the start of the school term from every 30 minutes to hourly, reflecting the normal levels during the quieter autumn and winter periods. Service continues hourly on a Sunday until the end of October, in line with the seasonal timetable.
North Somerset Council is currently engaged in a tender process to improve Weston-super-Mare town services further using Bus Service Improvement Plan funding. More information about the new routes will be available once this process is complete.
While Worlebury and initially Hutton (until the 126 tender is complete) will be without a scheduled bus service, people living there will be able to use WESTlink, the on-demand bus service. This will continue to give people the opportunity to travel direct to their destination or connect to the wider public transport network at a time of their choice.
Once the tendering process is complete and approved, both the new commercial and supported bus routes will come into effect from 3 September 2023.
The council is also working with Somerset Council to reintroduce a cross-boundary service 126 between Wells and Weston-super-Mare, via Hutton, to connect more communities. A joint statement will be announced shortly confirming the new service. It’s hoped that this will begin at the start of October.
More information about the Bus Service Improvement Plan is available on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/bsip.