Bath’s U1 student bus to be hit by six weeks over diversions across Pulteney Bridge

Bath is home to a full calendar of entertainment
Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon in Bath -Credit:Chris Dorney

Bath’s U1 bus service, which ferries students up and down Bathwick Hill, is set to be diverted due to a road closure for an estimated six weeks — resulting in a scenic ride across Pulteney Bridge.

The bus between the student area of Oldfield Park and the University of Bath ’s hilltop campus is often called the city’s most used bus, said to account for a quarter of all bus journeys in Bath. It is a route takes it over the North Parade Bridge, but this bridge is set to close for maintenance from May 20, meaning the bus will follow a diversion for the last two weeks of the second semester.

As a diversion, a spokesperson for First Bus said: “The U1 will divert via Great Pulteney Street in both directions.”

READ MORE: Children injured as double-decker bus crashes in Bath

READ MORE: Massive congestion-busting plans to improve transport links across Somerset

It’s a route that will take the bus across Bath’s iconic Pulteney Bridge. Built in its current form in 1800, it is the only bridge in the United Kingdom to have shops running all the way along it on both sides — and one of only four in the world.

The bus route diversion is expected to be in place for six weeks while North Parade Bridge — built in 1836 — is closing for waterproofing and masonry works, with investigations and repairs to the underside of the bridge. But Bath and North East Somerset Council has warned that other defects on the bridge could be discovered which could extend the works.

North Parade Bridge in Bath
North Parade Bridge in Bath -Credit:John Wimperis

Cleveland Bridge — built ten years before North Parade Bridge — closed for an expected three months of repairs in June 2021 but only fully reopened to two way traffic in October 2022 after severe corrosion was discovered in the structure.

As well as buses, North Parade will be closed to cars and cyclists but will be open for pedestrians. The diversion for cars will be across Churchill Bridge.

A temporary pontoon will be set up under the bridge which Bath and North East Somerset Council warned may also restrict the movement of larger boats.