Press release -
BUS OPERATORS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR COORDINATED BUS TIMETABLE RAMP UP
As England gears up for the next stage of unlocking on 12 April, Stagecoach Oxfordshire and Oxford Bus Company have announced that their coordinated bus services will be operating to a new full level of service in order to support the re-opening of non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality and personal care businesses.
From Monday 12th April, services 1/5 on Monday to Saturday will be increased. The new frequencies will be up to every 4 minutes on Monday to Friday daytimes, up to every 5 minutes Saturday daytimes and up to every 7-8 minutes during the evenings. No changes will be made to the Sunday timetable.
Shared city services 2, 3, 8 and 9 will see the regular Saturday timetables reintroduced from Saturday 17th April. The additional connections to the vaccination centre at Kassam Stadium on the 3a service which were introduced in January will remain, to continue to provide crucial daily links.
Both operators are taking the opportunity to thank people for their continued co-operation in following all the guidelines in place. In line with the advice from the country’s health advisors, all people travelling on public transport will need to continue to follow the legal rules around wearing face coverings for the full duration of the journey, washing/sanitising hands before and after travel and maintaining social distancing. Both operators are also reminding customers not to close any open windows to help with natural ventilation and take their litter away when leaving the bus.
Other Covid-19 secure measures put in place by both operators include the ability to check how busy individual buses are (via an app or website) to help customers travel at quieter times, encouraging people to pay by contactless or through operator apps to reduce cash handling, social distancing measures in place with a reduced number of seats available, regular touchpoint cleaning as well as fitting anti-virus air filters to buses in the fleet.
Martin Gibbon, Operations Director at Stagecoach Oxfordshire, said: “As we gear up for the next stage of unlocking in England with many leisure and hospitality facilities opening up, our bus services will continue to play a crucial role in helping people to re-connect with the things they enjoy doing.
“All of our services are fully Covid secure with extra measures in place to help people feel fully confident as they return to public transport. We’ve all worked so well together, and as the country starts to unlock, it’s still important that people continue to follow all the guidelines in place as they travel on our services.
“We’d like to thank our customers for their support and co-operation over the past year. As the vaccination programme continues at pace and as more of the country starts to open up in line with the Government’s roadmap, people are desperately keen to return to some kind of normality and our bus services will make sure they get to where they want to easily and safely.”
Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, said: “Our bus services will be operating at 'new normal' frequencies, many of which are operating at pre-pandemic levels.
“We are ready to welcome people on-board and looking forward to playing a key role in helping Oxford bounce back. Our team are proud to play an important part in supporting Oxford’s economy and our communities. Rest assured our services remain safe and secure.
“Public transport is vital to preventing a return to severe congestion and a reduction in air quality and we hope people re-embrace it.”
Rachel Wileman, Assistant Director for Strategic Infrastructure and Planning at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Buses and public transport play a vital role in our sustainable local economy and in connecting communities across the county. As we begin the process of safely returning to workplaces, shopping and leisure activities, local bus services will play a vital part in our county’s recovery. We’d urge travellers to follow all safety guidelines bus operators have invested in to keep us safe and allow extra time to familiarise yourself with all advice offered.”
The Oxford Bus Company has kept the people of Oxford moving since 1881. Our services now span the width and breadth of Oxford and also take passengers to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. In addition, our City Sightseeing Oxford hop-on, hop-off open topped bus company provides enjoyable tours of Oxford. And our sister companies, Thames Travel and Carousel Buses provide convenient travel services across South Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire respectively.