Fares please! Taking a trip on the Filton Flyer

January 17 2014
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The Filton Flyer - the town’s very own bus service - is up and running and Filtonvoice has taken a complete round trip to try it out.

The Filton Flyer - the town’s very own bus service - is up and running and Filtonvoice has taken a complete round trip to try it out.
On a grey, overcast day at the end of the Christmas holidays we hailed the red bus at the bottom of Braemer Avenue. It was right on time, according to the timetable on the special Filton Flyer pens which were distributed with Filtonvoice last month.

As the doors opened we were greeted by friendly and courteous driver Tony Ward who took the £1.50 fare and asked where we were heading.
“A complete circuit please” ... and we were off.
We got chatting to Margaret Hooper who was heading to Southmead Hospital to visit a friend.
She told us how she had recently moved to Patchway from Filton and didn’t know about the Flyer but was pleasantly surprised when she saw it pulling up at Parkway Station, where she had originally planned to catch a regulation service.
She said: “I will certainly be looking out for this again - it’s a friendly service with such a nice driver and once  people get used to it, they will use it.”
Margaret, who lived at Newleaze House until it
closed last year, got off at the Monks Park end of the hospital and we were on our way
again.From Monks Park Avenue, the bus headed towards Filton Avenue then turned left towards the George Pub and Filton Abbeywood station. This gave us time, at stops, to chat to Tony  Ward who told us that the bus was consistently running on time despite some sticky spots at Gypsy Patch Lane, Filton Avenue and Southmead Road.
He said that while people were getting used to the service, he was keeping a close eye on people waiting at the pavement to make sure they didn’t miss the bus.
After Abbeywood Station the bus went to the retail park and Asda, then to Sainsbury’s and on to Parkway Station.
The final stretch for us took the bus back past SGS College into Conygre, the area of the town which has suffered most without a bus service.
We were joined by another passenger who wanted to share her views but who didn’t want to be identified.
She said that the service was “wonderful” but she wondered if the circuit was too big.
She said: “It’s great but I think the route is too wide.
“If people want to go to the Shield Centre from Conygre that works fine but it takes too long for the bus to come back.”
She said the route should focus on the bits of the town without a service and link up to other services.
After the leg of the journey to the Church View shops, the bus went on to Elm Park and the Leisure Centre before returning down Braemar Avenue where we got off.
It was a pleasant hour on a comfortable bus with a fantastic driver, one of two who work the route at the moment.
The Flyer runs during the day Monday to Friday, costing £1.50 for a journey of any length with the fare free for Diamond Pass holders.
But organisers have warned that Filton people, who had made calls for the service, need to use it to make it viable.

Have you tried the Flyer? Write to richard@filtonvoice.co.uk.