Campaigners say Airport bus services should not be dependent on expansion plans
PUBLISHED: 07:55 17 August 2019
Campaigners have said new rural bus services to Bristol Airport should not be dependent on its expansion plans.
The 24 hour 'on-demand' bus services will run from Nailsea and Backwell train station while another service will start in Clevedon, stopping at Yatton train station and Cleeve en route to the airport.
The new pre-booked services will be run in line with flight times and worker rosters at the airport.
The trial in 2020 will last for six months for the airport to gauge interest in the services.
Although campaigners welcomed the new services, they said massive investment in public transport was already required to serve the existing capacity.
A spokesman for Stop Bristol Airport Expansion said: "It has fewer public transport options than any other airport in Europe, so these additional local bus services are welcome news for communities such as Yatton and Cleeve should they survive the 'trial' period in 2020.
"However, these additional services cannot be conditional on planning permission being granted for the expansion of Bristol Airport when massive investment in all forms of public transport is already required to serve the existing capacity of 10 million passengers every year and mitigate the chaos of traffic congestion, emissions and car parking at and around the airport."
The airport claims the new Nailsea and Clevedon service forms part of a multi-million pound package which it hopes will mitigate the impact of additional traffic associated with its controversial plans be able to handle 12 million passengers per year by 2025.
James Shearman, head of sustainability at Bristol Airport, said: "We continue to listen to feedback from our local communities on the need to improve public transport services to the airport and since 2011 we've invested £8million in transport improvements.
"We are committed to exploring new public transport alternatives where these are economically viable.
"The Bristol Flyer started life as a minibus when the service commenced and has grown to the extent that in 2018 over 800,000 journeys were made and we are hopeful the trials will prove to be as successful."
Rural communities suffered big cuts to bus services earlier in the year. Yatton lost its connection to Clevedon and Nailsea, while Kenn's services were also decimated.