BUS service contracts for routes in Witney, Woodstock and Chipping Norton are being reviewed and some could face the chop.
Oxfordshire County Council has launched a two-month long consultation on 30 services where contracts with companies end in May 2014. It is part of a regular review.
Four services are being put forward as the most likely contenders for withdrawal, including the X9 between Chipping Norton, Charlbury and Witney, on a Friday and Saturday evening; the 113 bus between Burford and Carterton; the 233 service between Chipping Norton, Kingham, Fifield, Milton, Shipton, Burford and Witney; and the C1 and T1 services serving Charlbury, Finstock and Leafield.
Witney East councillor Duncan Enright said he was concerned what impact any changes would have on Witney town centre and also its nighttime economy.
And he explained:“At the moment there are a lot of people who are relying more heavily on public transport as they have to make savings and get rid of their cars. It might also make it much harder for people in villages to get into Witney and shops could suffer.”
County Council spokesman Sam Henry said: “Reviews of subsidised bus services take place in each part of Oxfordshire once every six years.
“This periodic review of subsidised bus services has taken place since bus services were deregulated in the 1980s.
“In other words, these reviews are not set up to make savings, but to review current contract arrangements and assess whether those services covered by these contracts need amending.
“By this process some bus services are created, some are discontinued and others are altered, based on the passenger numbers using services and the budget available.
“The subsidised bus service review in West Oxfordshire is no different to what is described above. It would have been taking place at this point in time regardless of the financial climate.”
Services that are being examined
- 11 between Witney and Oxford.
- 18 between Bampton and Oxford.
- 19 between Witney and Carterton.
- 64 between Carterton and Swindon.
- 213 between Witney town centre, Farmers Close, Madley Park, Cogges Estate.
- 214 between Witney town centre, Cogges Estate, Madley Park, Farmers Close.
- 215 between Witney town centre, Apley Way, Springfield Oval.
- 233 between Milton-under-Wychwood and Witney.
- 242 between Witney, Long Hanborough, Bladon and Woodstock.
- X15 between Witney, Southmoor and Abingdon.
- 14, 20, 21, 23 and 24 – the Villager Community Bus route: villages to Witney.
- 223/224/224A between Yarnton, Wootton, Woodstock, Begbroke and Kidlington.
- 203/220/242 between Kidlington, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Tackley, Woodstock, Bladon and Glympton.
- 23A between Steeple Aston, Tews and Chipping Norton.
- 243 between Combe, Leafield, Witney.
- 811 between Salford, Chipping Norton, Wychwoods, Idbury, Cheltenham.
- X8 Kingham Railbus.
- X8A between Kingham Station and Ascott-under-Wychwood.
- 98 between Didcot, Great Western Park and Spine Road.
- To respond to the consultation by November 15 write to Bus Services Team, Highways and Transport, Environment and Economy, Speedwell House, Speedwell Street, Oxon, OX1 1NE, call 01865 815587, or email firstname.lastname@example.org