IT’S all change on West Oxfordshire’s buses this weekend with new routes and new operators on many services.
And Burford residents are among the big winners, with two buses an hour to and from Witney, from Monday to Saturday, instead of one every 90 minutes, and a new hourly link with Chipping Norton via the Wychwoods villages.
New timetables come into force from Sunday, after Oxfordshire County Council reviewed its subsidies for routes in the district.
Burford’s mayor, John White, said: “The town has been under-served by buses for years and years, with the very infrequent and patchy services to Witney, so we were delighted when the results of this review came out.
"It will give much-needed freedom of choice and it will make an enormous difference to people who do not have access to other forms of transport.”
The new services will be run by Stagecoach and Abingdon-based not-for-profit operator Go Ride.
Stagecoach’s revised 233 service will replace their current irregular service linking Burford with Witney and the Wychwoods, and will now run between Burford, Witney and Woodstock, replacing the current route 242 between Witney and Woodstock.
Go Ride’s X10 service will run hourly between Witney, Burford, the Wychwoods and Chipping Norton.
On Sundays, Go Ride will run a subsidised route 233 service between Witney, Burford and the Wychwoods only.
Hugh Jaeger, the chairman of Bus Users UK’s Oxford branch, said: “To look forward to two buses an hour between Burford and Witney, with one continuing to Chipping Norton and the other to Woodstock, is an even bigger improvement than we hoped for.
“I think this is what Burford has deserved for a very long time.
“It’s really important to provide people with a way to get into the town that does not involve driving a car. We really welcome this improvement.”
Significant cuts in services were avoided as Stagecoach, Go Ride and the Villager community bus service will now run eight of the routes on a commercial basis, without council subsidies.
The council budgeted to spend £1,222,643 in subsidies in 2013-14. From June this will fall to £925,891 a year, a saving of £296,752.
Other changes include the Witney town routes 213, 214 and 215 transferring to Go Ride, which will renumber them as W1, W1A, W2 and W3.
David Nimmo Smith, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “I’m pleased we have been able to maintain the network of buses in West Oxfordshire without major cuts to services.
“There will be some minor changes that reflect low patronage but most passengers should see little change.
“I’m grateful to both Stagecoach and Go Ride, who have taken over some previously-subsidised services on a commercial basis.”
- Stagecoach’s S1 and S2 routes between Carterton, Witney and Oxford and the S3 between Chipping Norton, Woodstock and Oxford are already operated on a commercial basis and are not affected by this weekend’s changes.
Bus services in West Oxfordshire from Sunday:
11: Witney-Hanborough-Oxford. The 4.35pm bus from Oxford is extended from Freeland to North Leigh on weekdays and Witney on Saturdays. Operated by Stagecoach.
18: Bampton-Eynsham-Oxford. Continues unchanged, operated by Stagecoach.
19: Carterton-Bampton-Witney. Continues unchanged, operated by Stagecoach.
64: Carterton-Filkins-Lechlade-Swindon. Will now be operated by Pulhams Coaches, of Bourton-on-the-Water.
233: Revised to run hourly Burford-Witney-Woodstock, Monday to Saturday, replacing 242 east of Witney, but journeys via Windmill Road (North Leigh) and Freeland withdrawn, operated by Stagecoach. Sunday and bank holiday service, running Witney-Burford-Wychwoods, will be operated by Go Ride.
802: Kingham railway station via Fifield and Idbury or Stow-on-the-Wold to the Rissingtons and Bourton-on-the-Water. Revised and extended service, offering new links connecting with trains and with the X8 Kingham Railbus to Chipping Norton. Replaces X8A journeys to Fifield and Idbury. Operated by Pulhams.
811: Salford-Chipping Norton-Wychwoods-Bourton-on-the-Water-Cheltenham. Saturdays only. Morning service withdrawn, afternoon service unchanged. Operated by Pulhams.
C1 Charlbury Railbus: Continues to run in morning and afternoon peaks only, most journeys extended to serve Burford (by request in afternoons) and Witney. Operated by Go Ride. NB: T1 on-demand, off-peak service withdrawn.
V17: Replaces 23A Wednesdays-only Steeple Aston-Great Tew-Chipping Norton. Operated by Villager community bus.
V24: Oddington-Chipping Norton-Kingham-Wychwoods-Leafield-Finstock-Fawler-Stonesfield-Combe-Witney. Replaces 243 Thursday service. Operated by Villager.
V25: Oddington-Kingham-Fulbrook-Burford-Carterton-Witney. Runs Wednesdays only, replaces 113 between Fulbrook, Burford and Carterton. Operated by Villager.
V26: Oddington-Chipping Norton-Charlbury-Combe-Stonesfield-Leafield-Witney. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, Replaces 243 between Combe and Witney and gives Taston a bus service. Operated by Villager.
W1, W1A, W2, W3: Witney Town services. Replace 213, 214 and 215 and will be operated by Go Ride.
W10, W11, W12 Woodstock Wanderer: Woodstock-Shipton-on-Cherwell-Kidlington; Woodstock-Bladon; Woodstock-Wootton. Replace 203, 200 and 242A. W10 extended to Water Eaton park-and-ride. Operated by Go Ride in place of Heyfordian.
X8 Kingham Railbus: Kingham station-Kingham village-Churchill-Chipping Norton railbus. Largely unchanged but with earlier 8.53am arrival at Chipping Norton Hospital. Operated by Pulhams.
X9: Witney-Charlbury-Chipping Norton. Largely unchanged but service via Ramsden cut to morning and afternoon round trips to/from Witney. New service from Witney to Charlbury at 7.05pm. Late-night Friday and Saturday services withdrawn. Will now be operated by Pulhams.
X10: New hourly service, Witney-Burford-Wychwoods-Chipping Norton (school-time journeys will run via Churchill). Replaces X8A/X8 link between Wychwoods and Chipping Norton via Kingham station. Operated by Go Ride.
X15: Witney-Standlake-Southmoor-Marcham-Abingdon. Enhanced timetable with early-morning services between Witney and Standlake and new 6.15pm Witney to Abingdon service. Operated by Stagecoach.
- New timetables will be available at the operators’ websites, or see traveline.info or call 0871 200 2233.