Oxford Bus Company will be withdrawing the X90 Service from 4th January 2020.
The decision has not been taken lightly and the company will be doing everything possible to minimise the impact on customers and colleagues up to the withdrawal date. Season tickets and 12-trip passes will continue to be valid up until the service stops and from January 4th any unused tickets will be eligible for a pro-rata refund.
The X90 coach service between Oxford and London has a long and proud history, which can be tracked back as early as the 1920s. The current express service has operated for more than 40 years and has carried millions of customers.
Falling passenger numbers due to new rail competition and worsening congestion have made maintaining the X90 service challenging. This has seen the time it takes to complete a journey between Oxford and London worsen by up to 50% in two years and passenger numbers drop by 35% since 2015.
Oxford Bus Company introduced several measures to adapt to the challenges, including new timetables and lower fares, but it is with regret that it is no longer viable to operate the X90 service. All X90 drivers will be redeployed to other roles within the business and Oxford Bus Company aims to keep job losses relating to the withdrawal of the service to a minimum.
Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director said: “We would like to thank everyone who has travelled with the X90 and our colleagues who have worked with us throughout this time. The withdrawal of the service is no reflection on the performance of colleagues, and we are grateful to everyone who has travelled on the service. We are aware that we have many loyal customers who will be inconvenienced.
“This was a difficult decision that was taken to safeguard the overall sustainability of the company. Unfortunately, the service makes a significant annual loss, which cannot be sustained. We have tried to develop a niche for the service by offering a high-quality service at more affordable fares to better compete in the market, but this has not been successful.”
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 London, 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.