New A2 service makes it even easier to get to the airport
Created: 31st Jan 2014
Whether you’re jetting off to foreign shores, travelling for business or simply commuting to work in the terminal building, getting to and from Bristol Airport is now even easier, as a new bus service linking the airport with other parts of North Somerset has been launched.
The new A2 bus service, funded by North Somerset Council and operated by First in West of England, officially began operating last November, but the buses on the service have recently been given a new look – both inside and out. And earlier this month the service was officially launched when the Head of Ground Transportation at Bristol Airport, Pete Downes and Councillor Alan McMurray, Chairman of North Somerset Council joined First West of England’s Managing Director Paul Matthews to see the newly refurbished buses in action.
They took time out to see the new livery on the buses, and experience the new-look interiors.
Running hourly during the Monday to Friday morning and afternoon peak periods with a limited number of off peak journeys too, Service A2 links Nailsea, Backwell, Langford (for the Vet School), Congresbury, Claverham and Yatton with the airport.
Journeys on the service are designed to link up with the rest of North Somerset’s bus network, while departure times have been specifically designed to appeal to shift patterns for workers at Bristol Airport and those studying at Langford College.
Talking about the new service Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council's deputy leader and executive member for highways and transport, says: "The new A2 bus service is the missing link for anyone already working in and around the central villages of North Somerset, and also those people looking for employment in these areas.
"As well as serving Yatton, Cleverham, Congresbury, Langford, Bristol Airport, Backwell and Nailsea, the bus service links with already existing major bus and rail routes connecting with Weston and Bristol. This means that employers can open up job opportunities and more people can find employment in previously hard-to-reach areas, widening the pool of potential staff and boosting the local economy."
Adding Paul Matthews, Managing Director for First in West of England, says: “We are thrilled to be running this service on behalf of the Council. It began at the end of last year but we have just introduced some specially branded buses onto the route, offering customers access to free WiFi while they’re travelling. These elements make travelling by bus even more of a draw. Customers simply have to sit back and relax while our drivers take the strain on their behalf, while they can use any travelling time they have to check their emails or surf the web!
“Since it began in November the service has got off to a flying start. Almost 1300 passenger journeys were made in the run up to Christmas – with a 55% increase in journeys made in the second month of operation compared to the first – and we’re now trying to build on that further, running a marketing campaign in conjunction with the Local Sustainable Transport Fund to make sure that even more people are aware of the service and all that it can offer them.”
Adding, Pete Downes, Head of Ground Transportation, Bristol Airport, says: “Bristol Airport is committed to improving surface access for passengers and staff alike, and so we’re delighted to be supporting this great partnership between North Somerset Council and First. A lot of work has gone into the planning and ongoing communication of the new service both at the airport and to local businesses and communities, and the sight of these distinctive buses in their new livery is sure to raise the profile of the A2 Link even further.”
During February First, in conjunction with the Local Sustainable Transport Fund team, will be running a series of road show events targeting those commuters who could benefit from travelling on the new-look A2 Service. Collectively they will be out talking to users and potential new bus users to encourage even more people to swap the car for the bus, seeing all it has to offer them. Underpinning this work, customers will given the chance to use the bus for less, as vouchers offering half price bus travel have been given out on the buses.
Customers wanting more information First in West of England or wishing to view or download bus timetables for local service should log onto www.firstgroup.com/bristol.