A bit of numbercrunching can find some interesting results. First were gifted £240,000 by North Somerset Council in early 2017 for interurban network improvements which are to start at the end of April. Surely a significant uplift in funding such as this would only produce winners…?
X1, X1A, X2: Bristol – Backwell – Congresbury – Weston
No significant changes other than current journeys running as X1A will become X2. Monday to Friday northbound journeys reduce from 54 to 53 trips. Southbound journeys increase from 52 to 54.
Verdict: No noticeable change.
X3, X4: Bristol – Portishead
Early morning and evening journeys will run as X3A, covering Pill, Portishead Marina and Redcliff Bay on all journeys. As a result these services will be around 7-8 minutes slower for those making the longest journeys. The service is reduced from every 30 minutes to hourly after 19:00 heading towards Bristol and after the 20:30 departure from Bristol.
Journeys will have wider spacing at peak times on weekdays with several 20 minute gaps appearing in the current 15 minute frequency. Total journeys reduce from 70 to 62 (Mon-Fri) and 63 to 56 (Sat), but increase from 28 to 29 on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Verdict: Definite reduction, both peak times and in the later evenings.
X5: Weston – Clevedon – Portishead – Cribbs Causeway
Service withdrawn between Cribbs Causeway and Bristol Parkway Station. An extra evening journey from Cribbs to Weston will run on Saturdays. All journeys retimed.
Verdict: Later shopping on Saturday, but nothing else.
X6: Bristol – Failand – Clevedon
X6A,X7: Bristol – Nailsea – Clevedon – Yatton – West Wick – Weston
This is a harder one to call. Current service X6A (Bristol – Yatton) becomes X7, extended to Weston covering parts of former Crosville routes 14 and 16 en route. The problem is that it really doesn’t look like there ist enough time allowed for the service to travel between West Wick and Weston town centre. Crosville 16 is generally allowed 38 minutes whereas the X7 has 20. It has had some time-heavy diversions removed, but not that many. Expect punctuality problems.
The service from Yatton to Weston will be appreciated, although the diversions around the estates of West Wick and Locking Castle less so.
The service between Clevedon, Nailsea and Bristol is mostly unchanged.
Verdict: Some improvements, but expect major teething troubles.
X8,X9: Bristol – Backwell / Wraxall – Nailsea
Abus will run X8 journeys (including two vehicle workings on Saturdays), rather than X9. Weekday and Saturday journeys are cut by 10-15% (from 60/61 journeys to 52-54 per day) with 20 min gaps in the 15 min service at peak times and fewer evening journeys, all of which will operate as X9 after around 9pm. Sunday services are cut from half hourly to hourly, only serving the X9 route.
Verdict: You can’t spin this into anything positive.
In conclusion, i find that North Somerset Council are spending £240k per annum on a service between West Wick and Yatton, because there is nothing else to show for the money here.