Rural Oxfordshire bus route to be saved which serves Witney

Rural Oxfordshire bus route to be saved which serves Witney

Updated: 1 month, 21 days, 6 hours, 56 minutes, 35 seconds ago

The future of the 210 route was in doubt due as it was becoming financially unviable.

Oxfordshire County Council has now stepped in to provide financial support.

Community transport group West Oxfordshire Community Transport (WOCT) told the council it was no longer able to continue operating service 210 as a result of rising costs and reduced passenger numbers arising from the pandemic.

The service links the Wychwood villages, Leafield and Crawley with Witney, running Monday to Friday. 

Many of the villages have limited, or no, alternative bus provision.

The council has now agreed to provide funds to maintain the existing level of service until August 2024.

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This will protect continued access to Witney for employment and education as well as retail and leisure activities, the council said.

WOCT is a community-owned co-operative, running six bus routes across the district and providing vital transport links to rural communities.

The county council supports the development of not-for-profit community transport groups and services as a solution to fill the gaps left in public transport.

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.”

The new contract will begin on 3 April and there will be no changes to the timetable.

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.

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

In 2016 Oxfordshire lost nearly half of its subsidised bus routes.

Fifty-four routes were lost out of 118, following the end of council funding.

The county council said government cuts meant it had to make savings.

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



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