Don’t make me use my car!

Dr Jos Darling is just one of the inner city regulars using the First Bus U1 Bath University service but – he tells Bath Newseum – plans to change the route might force him back into his car.

He writes:

‘It has come to my attention that First Bus intends to re-route their U1 university bus service to avoid the city centre. As a resident of Henrietta Place to the east of the city, this changed route will add considerably to my morning walk, along with anyone else who lives in the north or east of the city.

Queues for the​ university bus at the Abbey stop have often stretched down West Gate Street.

There is little point in walking to the bottom of Bathwick Hill as the majority of U1 buses are full by this stage of the journey and it is likely that I will revert to using my car for the short journey up the hill thus adding to air pollution and the need for campus parking.

It seems odd to me that a bus service that should serve city centre residents is being removed from the city centre. This does not seem to be a sensible way to encourage the use of public transport and a failure on the part of the council in maintaining what is currently an excellent service.

The Abbey bus stop is now a pretty dangerous place.

I can understand the council’s wish to reduce city centre pollution but this might be better achieved through lower emission buses rather than merely cancelling a route that passes through the city centre. Using this logic one might as well cancel all buses as then Bath will be completely zero emission!

Yours sincerely,

Dr Jos Darling’


  1. It may be an expense, but they could re-outfit the busses to run on electricity or cooking oil or something, as many places have done, or buy one that runs more cleanly for city center use–

  2. Often wondered if there was anything to be gained from just having a little shuttle bus running up to the top of Bathwick Hill from the roundabout at the bottom?…..

  3. The hybrid buses cannot cope with Bath Hills and are being replaced with new CAT6 diesel that are much more reliable. Electric buses might work but untested on such steep inclines.

    However the bus stop is being moved to pick up at the Odd Down P&R bus stop, a walk of a whole 5 minutes from the current bus stop. This does mean that the bus avoids having to negotiate the whole of Dorchester Street and Manvers Street and will gain significant amounts of time.

    I suspect the proposed new 10 bus route running 9:00-14:30 every 30 minutes between the Abbey and Bathwick Hill won’t come to anything as the U1 is a better service and “only a 5 minute walk” away. It would be better for First to consider a Larkhall (via Abbey) to Bathwick Hill service (and one from Weston (via Milsom St) to Bathwick Hill). Both would remove significant numbers the 1600 people that live in Bath that drive to the University.

    While we’re at it, the U2 should be bi-directional rather than just a circular route and any employee of the University should get a free U2 bus pass. There are about 700 employees that drive to the University living within walking distance of the U2 route. Oh AND the U2 should stop at the Odd Down P&R.

  4. I can’t see that that proposed change of route for the U1 is likely to inconvenience many of its users. The U1 is only normally full at the bottom of Bathwick Hill at peak times (and in term times, they run every few minutes).

    I applaud a change of any bus route that will reduce traffic in the city centre – in particular, the current U1 route (which goes from Manvers Street around the Guildhall and back again) only adds to pollution levels in the centre.



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