Rival starts new bus route battle
Bus firm Wessex Connect will be launching two new routes in Bath next week, going head to head with existing First services.
From Monday, its new Royal Bath brand buses will operate low-floor services to Twerton, Whiteway and Southdown, and new buses will also soon be introduced on the firm's existing University of Bath and the Royal United Hospital route.
Wessex Connect business development manager Dave Rooney said the firm wanted to provide an alternative for the people of Bath with the option of cheaper travel.
He said: "We are looking to bolster the services which already exist and create a recognisable network, offering an alternative for the residents of Bath to the existing public transport, a cheaper alternative and giving them better value for money."
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The No 5 to Twerton and Whiteway will be operating Monday to Saturday at frequencies of up to every 20 minutes, while the No 10 service from the centre to Southdown will run Monday to Saturday every 30 minutes.
The 20A/C service from the city centre to University of Bath and the RUH operates once an hour from Monday to Saturday.
This service will also benefit from a new fleet of vehicles towards the end of the year.
The firm is offering Dayrider tickets from £3, a week pass for £15, a month's pass for £55 or a year pass for £550.
This compares with First's prices which see a day pass costing £4, a week pass £16, a monthly pass £61 and a year pass costing £660.
Wessex Connect also operates the UniConnect service, which Mr Rooney said carried 6,000 passengers a day, and these services were being enhanced.
Timetables, maps and more information can be found at www.royal-bath.co.uk.
Wessex Connect, part of the Rotala group, operates more than 60 commercial and subsidised bus services throughout B&NES, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.