Friday, 15 December 2017

Residents want new Woodcote bus stop

RESIDENTS of Woodcote are being urged to lobby a bus operator for more services to the village.

RESIDENTS of Woodcote are being urged to lobby a bus operator for more services to the village.

Thames Travel’s X40 service from Oxford to Reading calls at the village as it travels along the A4074.

However, the X39, which follows a similar route, bypasses it despite serving smaller villages along the way.

Woodcote Parish Council has previously asked for the X39 to stop in the village, near the primary school and Langtree School in Reading Road, but the company refused, saying it would have to provide an additional bus and driver.

Now Thames Travel has said it will be reviewing all its timetables over the summer and will be consulting parish councils.

Parish councillors are asking villagers to write to the company asking for the X39 to stop in Woodcote.

In a statement to residents, they said the current arrangement was “illogical and unnecessary”.

The council said: “You’d expect that Thames Travel would want to provide the best possible bus service for all South Oxfordshire residents, maximising income and always putting the needs of its customers first. A reliable bus service should be their top priority. What can be the commercial logic of providing Woodcote, one of the largest villages between Reading and Oxford, with a second-class service while Ipsden and Cane End currently get twice as many buses a day?”

A Thames Travel spokesman said the company had offered for the X39 to stop on the A4074 near the Oratory School, just outside the village entrance, but the parish council declined this.

He said: “Unfortunately it is not possible to divert the X39 service into Woodcote village as the extra time this would take compared with staying on the main road would require an additional bus to be added to the service.

“This would increase operating costs by a six-figure sum each year that would not be covered by additional revenue from the village and would increase journey times.

“However, we remain keen to explore options to improve services to Woodcote and are meeting with the council again in the coming weeks.”

To comment, write to: Thames Travel, Wyndham House, Hithercroft Industrial Estate, Wallingford, OX10 9TD or email office@thames-travel.co.uk



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