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Changes to improve WESTlink – the region’s shared bookable minibus service – are on the way, regional Mayor Dan Norris has confirmed on Monday 18 March.

From this April, the first year anniversary of WESTlink hitting the streets, the “zones” the green minibuses cover will be changing. In response to passenger feedback, the overall WESTlink area has been expanded to bring in new areas to include Bath Royal United Hospital, Kingswood High Street, Ashton Vale, Cribbs Causeway and Southmead Hospital.

To address concerns that there are not enough WESTlinks available for passengers, new measures have been put in place to encourage shorter journeys. The three large zones are being replaced with eight smaller “core” zones and 13 shared zones, while making sure that popular journeys are still covered – for example, between Yate and Thornbury.

More than 100,000 trips have been made by people travelling on a WESTlink so far. The aim of WESTlink minibuses is to help those who live in areas with little or no public transport to connect with main bus routes, so attracting new passengers onto buses.

There will also be changes to the booking system, as the app has previously allowed people to book trips where there were already existing bus routes. Dan Norris, West of England Mayor, says: “I always said we would listen and learn as we went along. These are important changes. And this will continue.

“Stop-to-stop travel is new to us all but the core concept remains the same.

“WESTlink’s aim is to allow all passengers to link up with the popular main bus routes that run every 15 minutes into our main cities.”

To book, passengers should download the WESTlink app from the App Store or GooglePlay, or call 01174578561. A single adult journey costs £2. Journeys can be booked up to 24 hours in advance.

The changes come into effect on Monday 8 April.

Original press release by West of England Mayoral Combined Authority

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