As you will be aware, last year both students and staff reported significant issues and inconvenience due to the bus service run by First Bus, particularly when the routes serving campus were altered. The University is firmly of the view that there needs to be a sound basis for a sustainable bus service in the long term and fully recognises student and staff concerns about increasing fares.

We have been engaging with First Bus over the last year to ensure everyone has a thorough understanding of the needs of the University community with regard to the scheduling, routing and frequency of bus services to and from campus. We are pleased to see the bus routes serving the University have now been registered by First Bus.

The University has intensified discussions with First Bus over the summer months with the aim of ensuring a smoother start to the year for both students and staff.

You may have seen the announcement First Bus has made on improvements to the University bus services, including providing more frequent services and running more buses.

The University welcomes this progress and will continue discussions with First Bus about the detail of improved performance and reliability of service over the coming months.

As well as the improvements First Bus is introducing, the University is also taking other measures including:

  • The development of an enhanced mechanism for sharing University timetabling, social activity planning and event information in order to let First Bus plan more effectively;
  • The complete remodelling of Arrivals Square in time for September, which should help the efficiency of the bus operation on campus by improving access for both buses and pedestrians, adding additional stops and supporting passengers with disabilities.

Alongside the actions outlined, we will continue to look at a range of medium term options in order to achieve the best and most sustainable transport plans for the future.

Of course, the start of term is always extremely busy and we would advise our student and staff community to leave extra time for journeys in the first few weeks of the year. We will be working with the SU and First Bus to monitor the situation closely.

With best wishes,

Steve Egan, Vice-President (Implementation)