Letter: Metrobus – a review

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After delays of over a year the Metrobus has finally started running its first route around Bristol. Having little faith in the transport around the city in general, I decided it was worth a trip to see whether the Metrobus is the service that Bristol needs.

Waiting for the bus, I started with high expectations – firstly that it might turn up on time, at the timetabled 10:40.  However, time passed and it wasn’t until 15 minutes after the scheduled time that it finally pulled up. I have spoken to a number of other people who have experienced Metrobus services being late, suggesting this may have been more than a one-off. This is also after Travelwest had suggested that the bus couldn’t be late because of ticket purchases before boarding and its use of exclusive lanes.

Nevertheless, boarding was far quicker without the wait for ticket purchases. The buses inside are clean, open, and well ventilated – certainly a change from some of the buses around the city. They are also quiet and have a smooth ride.

Overall, I would suggest that this brings Bristol’s transport into 2013  – only five years behind where it should be. Many other cities around the country and across Europe have far more advanced and successful systems that have been in place for years. Admittedly, there is still more to be unveiled for the Metrobus – namely, the (scheduled) addition of two more routes within a year. However, I suspect that it is unlikely the two other routes will provide anything very game changing. Metrobus, at least at this stage, is far from being the solution to Bristol’s transport needs that many of us were hoping for.

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