Frequently Asked Questions
What are the construction start and finish dates?
Construction will start in early 2015 and finish in 2017
What kind of buses will use the guideway?
MetroBus vehicles are proposed to be single deck and fitted with dual doors to enable passengers to get on and off the bus quickly. This will ensure that dwell times at stops will be minimised and thereby improve journey times.
MetroBus vehicles will have at least 25 per cent less carbon emissions and fuel consumption than a standard bus.
Any other buses that use the guideway will have to meet complementary vehicle standards; whilst these will be a lower standard than MetroBus vehicles they will still be modern vehicles of high quality with a contemporary emission standard.
What’s the frequency of MetroBus services using the guideway?
The proposed frequencies for the core Ashton Vale to Temple Meads MetroBus services are as follows:
What other bus services will use the guideway?
Bristol Airport estimates that five Airport Flyer buses in each direction would use the guided busway every hour. Airport Flyer services currently use single decker vehicles.
The X1 service to Weston-super-Mare may use the guideway. If it did, as noted above the service would need to use standard vehicles to a complementary standard.
How will MetroBus services be quicker than existing bus serivces?
MetroBus services will be quicker and more reliable than existing bus services. It will run on a combination of segregated busways and bus lanes, separate from general traffic where possible, with priority over other road users at traffic signals.
Direct routes mean quicker journeys. Many passengers will save time by no longer having to change buses in Bristol city centre.
In the future, delays on Brunel Way will make it increasingly difficult to provide a quick and reliable service from the Park and Ride site to Bristol City Centre on the existing 903 service. This is why the MetroBus route is segregated from all other trafiic from the Park and Ride to Cumberland Road.
What effect will MetroBus services have on the 24 bus service?
Some existing bus passengers will be able to benefit from the improved reliability and quicker journey times that MetroBus offers over their existing bus route, but it is impossible to know how exactly bus services will change in the future and whether these changes would be attributable to MetroBus.
In the case of the 24 service, we would expect the impact of MetroBus to be minimal because the routes of these services vary significantly and therefore serve different populations.
Will pensioners be able to use their bus pass on MetroBus services?
How much will fares be on MetroBus services?
The maximum adult and child fares that we are proposing should be charged on MetroBus services are set out below. MetroBus operators may charge fares at a lower level than the maximum.
Will the guideway remain a dedicated bus lane?
Yes, the guideway will only be used by buses.
Who will operate MetroBus?
Metrobus services will be operated via a Quality Partnership Scheme (QPS) between Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council and bus operators who would be allowed to use the new MetroBus facilities.
The QPS is a statutory scheme that lists the MetroBus facilities the councils are required to provide and maintain. These facilities include the guided busway, bus lanes, new bus stops and traffic signals.
In order to use the MetroBus facilities the bus operators must operate MetroBus services to standards set out in the QPS. These include standards about the type of vehicle and service punctuality and reliability.
Discussions with bus operators are currently ongoing. MetroBus services could be operated by one or more bus operators.
What screening will be provided near the bridge at Silbury Road?
A two metre acoustic fence will be constructed alongside the guided busway to ensure there is no increase in noise levels for residents. New woodland will be planted between the acoustic fence and housing. Trees, shrubs and species rich grass will also be planted along the length of the guideway.
Where can I see a plan of the Transport and Works Act Order?
In 2012 Bristol City Council applied for permission for two routes across Ashton Fields through the Transport and Works Act Order for the AVTM scheme:
Option 1 - Work No. 1A was designed to accommodate Bristol City Football Club’s proposed new stadium at Ashton Fields near the Long Ashton Park and Ride site by skirting its southern and eastern edges.
Option 2 – Works No. 1B was designed as an alternative to the above if the stadium development did not progress. This option permitted the guided busway to be constructed directly across Ashton Fields.
Paragraph 7 of the Application for a certificate under section 19 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 which was submitted as part of the Transport and Works Act Order explains this. This document is available here: http://www.persona.uk.com/ashton/Core_docs/A-18.pdf
Page 8 of the same document contains a plan which shows the two options.
Both options were granted permission by the Secretary for State for Transport in November 2013. In early 2014 Bristol City Council decided the MetroBus scheme would use the route described in Option 1.
What facilities will be provided for cyclists and walkers?
MetroBus retains, accommodates and enhances walking and cycling infrastructure along the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads (AVTM) route and the entire MetroBus network. New and improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians will be provided across the MetroBus network, making it easier and safer to travel by foot or bike.
Here is a quick run through of some of the cycling improvements that the AVTM route will provide:
In Long Ashton residents will be able to use the maintenance track which will be built alongside the guided busway from the Park and Ride to the Create Centre on Spike Island. This will provide a safe walking and cycling route to the Harbourside.
Cyclists and pedestrians will also be able to use the maintenance track to connect with the South Bristol Link path which connects with the Festival Way walking and cycle track in Long Ashton. I have attached a plan which shows this.
A new pedestrian and cycling route under Smeaton Road will provide cyclists and pedestrians with safer and quicker access to Avon Crescent and the Harbourside. The current access point from Avon Crescent to the Chocolate Path is being removed because it is inadequate.
Informal crossings will be provided over Avon Crescent and at the signals at Cumberland Road to allow pedestrian and cyclist access to the Chocolate Path from the south of Avon Crescent. As the traffic is now controlled by the junction on Cumberland Road, crossing the road will be much safer.
Safety for pedestrians and cyclists will also be improved as Avon Crescent will be made one-way for motorised traffic. A new access point to the Chocolate Path for pedestrians and cyclists will also be provided at Vauxhall Bridge.
New cycle stands will be provided at all MetroBus stops.
Will the maintainance track be lit between Silbury Road and the nearby shops?
We do not plan to light the busway or the maintenance track. In certain locations near bus stops there could be the option for adding lighting in the future. A decision on this would need to balance nearby residents’ concerns about light-nuisance. The provision of lighting would also need funding which is not currently identified.
What will happen to the Barons Close level crossing?
Although MetroBus will not close the Barons Close level crossing, it is possible Network Rail may choose to close it as part of a proposed scheme to upgrade the Portishead to Bristol railway line to passenger trains. This scheme, if implemented, would increase the number of trains and include the dualling of the railway track, both of which would significantly increase the safety risk to pedestrians.
Will the Old Colliter's Brook path by the car auction stay open during construction?
The path along Old Colliter’s Brook will be closed during the MetroBus construction works. The level crossing at Barons Close will also be closed during this period. The construction works, closures and diversion routes will be advertised in the normal way.
The path will reopen after construction of the guided busway has finished.
Adequate headroom will be provided under the Old Colliter’s Brook bridge so following construction walkers will be able to use the Old Colliter’s Brook path from Silbury Road to Winterstoke Road.
Where can I see a plan of Exchange Land C?
A plan of Exchange Land C is on page 8 of the following document:
What will happen with public rights of way across Ashton Fields during construction?
Some public rights of way will be closed during the MetroBus construction works. The construction works, closures and diversion routes will be advertised in the normal way. All public rights of way will be reinstated after construction in the same or similar form.