Bus route is changing to reconnect with ‘forgotten’ passengers

HUNDREDS of “forgotten” bus passengers in Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell will have easier access to a bus from next month.

The First Bus Y6 service between Bristol and Chipping Sodbury will be diverted along Beesmoor Road, instead of the current route along Church Road, from April 7.  

The service is being re-routed to help with problems caused by closure of the Badminton Road bridge over the M4.

Councillors and the area’s MP have welcomed the news, saying it means hundreds of people in the two villages will have their buses restored. 

The Y6 runs links Winterbourne, Frampton and Coalpit Heath to Bristol city centre via Cribbs Causeway, Bristol Parkway and Southmead Hospital in one direction, and Yate and Chipping Sodbury in the other.

From April 7 the bus will serve Beesmoor Road and Heather Avenue (pictured above), Park Lane and Bridge Way instead of travelling straight along Church Road.

A First spokesperson said: “In response to feedback and consultation with South Gloucestershire Council, the Y6 will now serve the St Saviour’s Church area of Coalpit Heath on every journey.

“This will provide a regular service to this area while the A432/M4 overbridge remains closed into 2025.”

Council leader and Frampton Cotterell ward councillor Claire Young said this meant a bus running through the middle of Frampton for the first time since the Y4 was scrapped in 2022.

Frampton Cotterell ward councillors Tristan Clark, Claire Young and Jon Lean at the St Saviour’s church bus stop

She said : “The impact of the loss has been even greater since the closure of the A432/M4 overbridge last summer, as the Y1 and Y2 have also been routed along Church Road, leaving hundreds of people in Coalpit Heath with a long walk to the bus.

“We are delighted Firstbus have listened to local people’s concerns and made this change.”

MP Luke Hall, who said he had written to First to call for services to be redirected, also welcomed the change. 

MP Luke Hall at a bus stop in Heather Avenue

He said: “With all bus services centred around Church Road, the former bus route that served St Saviours, Beesmoor Road and Heather Avenue looked to have been forgotten, however First Bus have now confirmed a permanent and expanded change along this popular route.

“I am grateful to First Bus to listening to the community’s feedback and restoring service back along Beesmoor Road, Heather Avenue, and the surrounding neighbourhoods.”

National Highways has been funding a free shuttle bus along Badminton Road between Yate park & ride and Cuckoo Lane, in order to help people affected by the bridge closure.

The buses are run by Transpora Bus every 8-12 minutes, and passengers can walk across the M4 overbridge to connect to the Metrobus M3 and M3X services to Emersons Green, UWE and Bristol city centre.

While National Highways said the service was due to be reviewed at the end of May, the council says it will stop in April when the Y6 is rerouted, and residents who won’t be served by the Y6 will be able pre-book the WESTlink service to connect them with their nearest route.

South Gloucestershire Council says it is in talks with bus companies to look at future provision.

First says it is making “minor timetable changes” to the Y1 and Y2 services, which were diverted due to the bridge closure last summer, from April 7.

The company said the Y1 changes were to “improve punctuality, coordination to and from Bristol and evening provision” on the service between Bristol and Chipping Sodbury.

The Y2 changes were for the same reason, but in addition the last journey from Bristol on weekdays will now continue around the “North Yate loop” to Brimsham Park and Ladden Garden Village, rather than finishing at Yate Shopping Centre.

More details of changes from April 7 can be found online.