West Oxfordshire bus service secured

A vital bus service in west Oxfordshire will continue after Oxfordshire County Council stepped in to provide financial support.

As a result of rising costs and reduced passenger numbers arising from the pandemic, West Oxfordshire Community Transport (WOCT) told the council it was no longer able to continue operating service 210 between Milton-under-Wychwood and Witney, which serves a string of villages that have limited alternative provision.

The council has now agreed to provide funds to maintain the existing level of service until August 2024, protecting continued access to Witney for employment and education as well as retail and leisure activities.

Andrew Lyon, Head of Operations at WOCT, said: “Like many community transport providers we have seen a reduction in passenger numbers together with a significant increase in costs. We had been encouraged by the growth of service 210 following its introduction and we are grateful to the county council for working with us to maintain the service whilst we rebuild patronage after the pandemic.”

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Bus services that people can rely on are a vital part of our transport strategy. That is why we have acted quickly here – as we have done in other parts of the county – to ensure that this important route is not lost.

“We are proud that our commitment to public transport is resulting in positive action for the people who need it the most.”

The new contract will begin on 3 April and there will be no changes to the timetable. Further information on the service, and the work WOCT do to provide community transport services across the district, can be found on its website at woct.org.uk

Click Sign up to hear from us and receive the latest news and updates thanks to our fortnightly newsletter, Your Oxfordshire.