Possible disruption to bus services during January 2023

Read about the impact of icy weather, heavy rain and road closures on students and staff travelling to campus by road or rail, especially for in-person exams.

22 bus route changes

First Bus, like many other bus operators, is facing challenges including changing passenger numbers and the national shortage of drivers.

Since 27 September Abus has been operating the 22 service that runs between our University’s Claverton Down campus and Twerton.

Since Monday 28 November they have made some further changes to the times of journeys to help with the busy roads. Please be patient with any teething issues on this new service. This is a positive development and we’re grateful for all the work behind the scenes to achieve this outcome. Of course, we will continue to monitor the situation.

You can find out more, including the new timetable, on the Abus website. The service can only take cash payments, card payments are not accepted.

The new 20 bus route from The Big Lemon

A new bus service, The Big Lemon, was introduced from Monday 28 November on the 20 route from the Claverton Down campus to Twerton via the Royal United Hospital. The 20 service runs Monday to Saturday (excluding Bank Holidays). Find out more about the route and timetable.

All BathRider and AvonRider tickets issued by other bus operators will be valid for travel with The Big Lemon.

First U1 and U2 routes

The timetables and routes for the U1 and U2 services are available on the First Bus website.

If you don't have the First Bus app you can use their ‘Tap On, Tap Off’ system to pay for your travel. Use a contactless card or device and you'll only be charged £1.50 for a single journey, £2.70 for two trips in a day, and no more than £4.20 for a whole day (the Bath Student Day price). Find out more about Tap On, Tap Off.

University response

We understand that reliable and affordable bus routes are vital for our students, staff and visitors as previous surveys have shown that more than half of those who travel to our campus do so by bus.

As we continue to monitor the effect of any changes on our staff and student communities, can we please ask for your help:

  • if you're a student, please update your SAMIS record with your new term-time address. This will give the University better information on the number of students who may be affected by any route or timetable changes this year
  • if you are a staff member, please ensure your home address is up to date on iTrent as this will give us similar information for staff.

We are also looking at what other options might be available to alleviate the particularly busy start-of-Semester period for the short term.

In addition, we continue to liaise closely with First Bus about bus routes, frequency and capacity across the academic year and will continue to work with B&NES, WECA and others, including the Students’ Union, to support sustainable transport solutions.

Alternative travel to campus and study spaces

We fully appreciate that alternative travel to campus may not be possible or realistic for everyone. However, for those who are able to walk or cycle to the University, our guide includes details of secure cycle storage and free shower facilities. Students can also borrow a free bike from the SU, while staff can save money on a bike through the Cyclescheme.

Additionally, if you're not coming onto campus for lectures or timetabled activity, remember the University has other spaces you can use for studying and meeting with others: the Virgil Building in the city centre and at Dartmouth Avenue in Oldfield Park.

What you can do to help

Every year, the start of Semester is very busy. To ensure you reach campus when you want to, please leave extra time for your journey for the first few weeks of the academic year, particularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the teaching timetable looks particularly busy.

We recommend that you download the SafeZone app. The University will send alerts through SafeZone if we know there are unexpected problems with the bus service. You can also use the app to contact our Security team if you feel like you’re in an unsafe situation.

Contact First Bus

If you have feedback for First Bus, please email them at bath-uni.feedback@firstbus.co.uk.

Let’s treat each other with respect; we know delays can be frustrating, but the bus drivers are working hard to keep our community on the move.