Bath park and rides could stay open until midnight under new plans

Buses could run to Bath Park and Rides until almost midnight in a major service shake-up.

Lansdown, Odd Down and Newbridge facilities which currently do not operate after 8.40pm Monday to Saturday and just after 6pm on Sunday.

The West of England Combined Authority is asking potential contractors to price ongoing services to and from the city center until 11.40pm weekdays and Saturdays or until 10pm Sundays.

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There is currently an hourly service to the Royal United Hospital from Odd Down, but the new eight-year contracts could link the hospital to Lansdown and Newbridge parks and rides.

Tender documents show that in 2020/21, at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, 319,564 passengers used the three services, bringing in £237,080 in revenue. By December 2021, passenger numbers had recovered and more than doubled to 767,956, with combined spending of £635,461, almost half of which at Lansdown. Figures for 2019/20 are not given.

The Weca tender suggests the price of an adult return ticket could be reduced from £3.60 a week to £2.50, while up to five people could travel together on a group ticket for just £5.40 in the first year of the new contract.

It also offers the idea of ​​a £4 per day ‘pay before parking option’ for up to seven people, payable before boarding the bus, and possible overnight parking options.

A Weca spokesperson said: “Bath’s current park and ride contract ends on August 27. In order to award a new contract, the West of England Combined Authority, in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council, must issue a new tender to bus operators.

“In the tender, operators are asked to provide prices for different operating models – for example, operators were asked to bid for passengers to pay individually, per group ticket or for pay per car (this is a price per car for the bus trip and no parking which will always be free for bus passengers).

“The tender also includes options for services to run later in the evening, which is a combined authority aspiration for all services in the region. Until the bidding process tenders will be completed later in the year, we are unable to comment on exactly what the new service delivery will look like.

B&NES council has previously revealed plans to turn park-and-ride sites into transport interchanges that would act as stepping stones between the city and the rest of North East Somerset, with options for bike hire or electric scooters and custom buildings with lockers and showers.

The tender documents state: “The park-and-ride sites will be developed as transportation hubs during the term of this contract. Other scheduled services may call into the site for travel to destinations other than Bath city centre. It is not expected that this will result in a significant removal of passengers from the contracted services.

Companies can express their interest in contracts by clicking on here .