So, we have a new fixed-route bus service for the Chew Valley starting on April 8. Hurrah!

Given that most people we surveyed who commute to Bristol were driving in a single occupancy car, this is a potential of 29 cars off the road each day.

Less pollution, congestion and a lower carbon footprint for individuals and the Chew Valley. Please get on board and be part of this journey to decarbonisation.

The success of this bid in winning WESTlocal funding hinged on getting a clear evidence-based argument for the need for this route, drawn from surveys of the Chew Valley carried out last year..

But this is not a case of ‘job done’ for the Chew Valley CIC Sustainable Transport Partnership, who are managing this project, it is just the beginning.

It occurs to us that if people have their commuting needs covered by a bus journey and have perhaps dug out their bike or plumped for an e-bike to give some active travel to get to the bus stop, then maybe they can look to this mixture of active travel and public transport for other needs too, and even give up a car in their household. As the cost of living crisis continues to impact this could be a significant saving: no wear & tear on a vehicle, no insurance costs, no filling up the tank or forking out for parking.

For young people travelling to study or looking for their first job this new route could mean they decide not to get on the treadmill of car ownership but instead connect via public transport. South Bristol College and the City of Bristol College both become places people without car access can now apply to for their studies and as more people live at home when studying at University, the Universities of UWE and UOB are within reach.

Westlink zones of travel have been redesigned and will roll out from April 8. By curbing how far people can travel on WESTlink and returning it to its original purpose of short hops and linking journeys, there may be more rides available in the Chew Valley than is currently the case. In addition, the X91 Chew Valley Sprint will take the pressure off WESTlink delivering the peak of commuter journeys.

We don’t see the X91 as an end in itself but rather the first step in getting really useful fixed-route bus services that serve the people of the Chew Valley.