First Group, the bus company, have today announced substantial changes to bus services throughout Bristol, which will particularly benefit Thornbury through the creation of a new hourly No. 77 bus route.
The route will connect Thornbury, Bradley Stoke, Bristol Parkway, the new Southmead Hospital, Henleaze, Cotham, and the Bristol Royal Infirmary, providing new connections to the main two hospitals used by local residents. The stop at Southmead will make transport for patients and families particularly easy, as the bus will stop on the hospital campus.
Campaigns have previously been run to introduce exactly this kind of service, led in February this year by Councillors Benj Emmerson and Pam Shipp. At the time they made the argument that people needing to attend hospital might struggle to change bus services, or that the complication might cause delay.
In February this year First Group said the service couldn’t be provided. They have since changed their position on providing a direct bus service for local people to access the new £430million hospital, with the support of South Gloucestershire Council.
Timetables and route maps will be available within the next fortnight, with the service to start running the week of August 24th.
Speaking after hearing the announcement, Luke Hall said:
“This is really good news for Thornbury and the surrounding area. I’ve often been told how local people need quicker and better ways to reach Bristol and Southmead Hospital in particular, and this decision by First will make lives much easier for patients, families, and residents.”
“We know that local people need new ways to get into Bristol for work, to socialise, and shop. The 77 bus service will help to fulfil that need, taking cars off the road and hopefully speeding up journey times.”
“I would like to thank all of the local campaigners who have worked hard to make this service a reality, and First Group for listening and responding to the needs of local people.”
Cllr Matthew Riddle (Con. Severn), Leader of South Gloucestershire Council who has campaigned for improved connectivity in the area, said:
“This is great news for Thornbury and the surrounding villages to have a direct bus to the new hospital. A number of residents have contacted me over the last couple of years on this issue and I know the bus operators have been working with South Gloucestershire Council to make this happen.”