Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has welcomed a response from the Labour West of England Mayor, Dan Norris, after writing to him for an update on the long-awaited Metrobus service from Hengrove to central Bristol via Withywod, Highbridge and Asthon as the bus lane on the South Bristol link road remains empty following years of delay under the previous Conservative Mayor.
When Metrobus was launched in 2018, the promised Hengrove to Long Ashton leg had disappeared from the route map. Metrobus claimed the route had disappeared as it would not be built until housing development had been undertaken in the area.
The route was reinstated following campaigning from Karin Smyth. Hundreds of families now live close to the proposed route, including at the Copper Box in Hartcliffe, Jessop Park in Whitchurch and Urban Quarter in Hengrove. It is clear that bus services along this route are now needed more than ever.
In his response to Karin, Dan Norris, the West of England Mayor, wrote that a tender process is taking place where bus operators will be invited to price for a supported service. This will conclude in Spring when it will also be known what funding has been allocated to the Bus Improvement Plan.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“Public transport is facing very significant challenges at this time, and I welcome that the Labour West of England Mayor is working to find a solution for the promised Metrobus service on the South Bristol Link Road after substantial investment was made to provide the infrastructure needed for this vital link.
“I appreciate the Mayor’s assurances that he is actively considering how best to secure a service that best meets the needs of communities in Hengrove, Withywood, Highbridge and Ashton, including a project to improve bus infrastructure and connections in south Bristol focused on Hengrove Park and the surrounding area as part of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.
“After years of delay under the previous Conservative Mayor, I look forward to working with Dan Norris going forward to find a solution to this issue that best serves the needs of communities in south Bristol.”