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First Bus faces more complaints as general frustration for “unreliable” services is at an all-time-high

First Bus is once under fire for “appalling” delays, this time regarding Metrobus lines going from Emersons Green to Cribbs Causeway. The routes connecting Bristol City Centre to UWE Frenchay Campus, have affected many UWE students.

The company has received countless tweets from frustrated customers in the last few days. People have complained about buses failing to show up and constant delays. Some pointed out that some buses were so full, drivers refused to let anyone in, and people were left waiting for over an hour before being able to get on a bus.

The delays coincided with the introduction of a new timetable, but First Bus’ West of England commercial director Rob Pymm blamed excessive roadwork on the Metrobus route that ultimately caused delays. The city invested £230 million of public funds in Metrobus, and they were “largely wasted if the service is not running properly” he stated.

First Bus Managing Director James Freeman has issued an open letter to the community earlier this week with a “sincere and heartfelt” apologies to anyone who has been affected.

“Not only is that frustrating for those on board, arriving at work late, in all probability, but it also means that the buses weren’t getting back to Emersons Green to operate their next trips” he said, calling for urgent action.

A council spokesman told BBC News that Bristol City Council has invested £160m in roadworks to help reduce congestions, but until then it is unclear whether delays in Metrobus lines will see significant improvement.

It is not the first time the South-West branch has received backlash due to unreliable service. In Autumn 2018, it faced protests for constant delays and online app crashes, which caused its revenue to slow to 4.2% from September to January.

Featured photo: Louis Parry-Jones

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