Issue date: 14 September 2007
The University of the West of England has launched a new high quality low cost bus service called 'Ulink' for students and staff. 'Ulink' has been developed in collaboration with 'Wessex Connect', the company that provides the park and ride service in Bristol.
Seven brand new 'Ulink' branded buses will ply three routes every day linking all of UWE's campuses via routes along the main city arteries. The 'Ulink' services will mean that for the first time a reliable, regular and cost efficient service is offered that will encourage more people in the UWE community to leave their cars at home.
Steve Ward, UWE's Travel Planner explains, “We want to provide a bus service that is without rival in Bristol so that students and staff can get to the university on time and travel between the campuses for a reasonable price. The 'Ulink' buses are run and owned by Wessex Connect, a company we are proud to be associated with. The buses are single floor, low deck models with good access for all and plenty of room for wheelchair users and buggies. The buses have the latest Euro-4 engines, making them amongst the lowest emission buses in the UK.
“The University has invested significantly to provide low cost transport. Students living on campus have already had the cost of transport factored into their accommodation rent. Others can buy a range of passes. A weekly pass costs just £7 which means travel to UWE has been cut to just 50p a day, a much more realistic sum for a cash strapped student! There are also one term, 3 term and annual passes. An annual pass (valid 52 weeks) costs £187.20.”
Ian Pollard, Wessex Connect's Commercial Manager, said, “We are proud to be associated with UWE and pleased they have chosen Wessex Connect as their partner in this exciting opportunity. It is our belief that these services will provide a quality transport option for UWE' students and staff and look forward to operating the Ulink services. Our aim is to provide a high quality service to the UWE community and we hope that this first stage provides a huge success to all involved.”
UWE has already won a silver award in the West of England Travel Plan awards run by the Avon area local authorities, and the 'Ulink' buses will be used to transport other award winners to the Winter Gardens in Weston Super Mare on 19 September for the prize giving ceremony.
The 'Ulink' buses serve the routes that students and staff have identified as most needed. Service U1 and U2 run from Frenchay Campus to Bond Street via Gloucester Road. U2 continues via the Centre to Broad Weir and U1 continues to Bower Ashton Campus via Brunel Way. The U3 service runs from Frenchay Campus to Blackberry Hill and Fishponds, then to Broad Weir and returns by the same route. U1 and U2 services run from 0700 to 2130 and U3 service from 0720 to 1831 (2027 on Sundays).
John Rushforth, Deputy Vice Chancellor, said, “This is another important step in our sustainability strategy - we are already rated the eighth greenest campus in England but we know that we can go further. We have been working on this with our students and our staff and they told us that one of the key areas was transport, because they want alternatives to cars. So we have listened and are certain that this will deliver a significant improvement both to our carbon footprint and to the staff and student experience. However, this is a beginning - if 'Ulink' is a success we will be doing more work to see if we can extend it. Other recent transport innovations at UWE include a car share scheme, widely regarded to be one of biggest such schemes in the South West, and a tax free cycle purchase scheme.”
For more information about the 'Ulink' go to http://www.ulinkbus.info
Jpeg image available upon request from the Press Office.