Bristol

Bristol night buses could be replaced by shared taxis

The inside of a bus
Image caption The N7 and N8 night buses will be replaced by taxis on Fridays and Saturdays during the pilot scheme

Two night bus services in Bristol could be replaced by a shared-taxi scheme along the same routes.

Passengers who would have used night buses to Avonmouth and Henbury would be able to catch a taxi from the same bus stop for a £4 fare.

If given the go-ahead, the six-month trial scheme could save the Liberal Democrat-led city council £50,000 in bus subsidies and boost the taxi trade.

The council's cabinet is set to approve the plans on Thursday.

During the pilot, the N7 and N8 buses - which charge a flat rate of £3.50 - would be replaced by taxis between midnight and 04:00 on Saturdays and Sundays from December.

'All round win'

Councillor Guy Poultney said it would be "dramatically" cheaper than running buses and the only subsidy would be for the additional taxi marshals at the city centre bus stops.

"This will be something good that we can do for the taxi trade in Bristol, it should save the taxpayers a bit of money and actually provide a better service to the public as well - if it works this will be a good all round win," he said.

Tim Lloyd, chairman of the Bristol branch of the National Taxi Association, said that taxi drivers had indicated they were eager for the pilot to start.

"With the recession, work is low and people cannot afford to go out so this will just give a boost to the taxi economy," he said.

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