Bus company says axe to Chacombe route is an ‘improvement’

The 500 bus service, between Banbury and Brackley, in Chacombe village. NNL-170905-134719009
The 500 bus service, between Banbury and Brackley, in Chacombe village. NNL-170905-134719009

Changes to the Banbury to Brackley bus service will mean Chacombe villagers will be marooned, they say.

Students, the elderly and staff and relatives of loved ones at Chacombe Park home will lose their half-hourly Stagecoach bus service in June.

Chacombe Parish Council is holding a special meeting for worried villagers at the village hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday.

Parish Clerk Sally Gliwitzki said: “We have no shop here and no library. Many of the older residents don’t have cars and depend on the bus to get to Banbury or Middleton Cheney for the things they need.

“My own son uses the bus every day to go to college in Banbury and to get to his part time job at weekends.”

Mrs Gliwitzki said care home staff depend on the bus service to get to and from work from Banbury and Brackley.

Stagecoach says the change will be an improvement, cutting journey times for other passengers between the two towns. The changes begin on June 25.

A letter sent to villagers from the parish council says: “There has been no communication or consultation on this change which will have a significant adverse impact on our village, its residents and people who come into the village to work.

“We have been told by Northants Highways: ‘Stagecoach in Oxfordshire have informed the council that with effect from June 25 service 500 will no longer operate via Chacombe due to there no longer being sufficient time in the schedule for the village to be served’.

“Some residents in the village have already taken quick action to challenge this change and the parish council has been in direct contact with our new county councillor, Rebecca Breese. However, the best chance to get this decision changed is for everyone in the village to get involved.”

The parish council has urged residents to contact Stagecoach, district councillors, county councillors, Northamptonshire Highways and MP Andrea Leadsom.

A Stagecoach statement said: “The route between Middleton Cheney and Banbury will change. Buses will run between Middleton Cheney and Banbury via the A422 instead of via Chacombe, via the A361 to give a more direct journey and avoid much of the traffic congestion at peak periods.”

The company said the changes would offer more coverage to Banbury Gateway, Wildmere Estate, and Radstone Fields, Brackley though it will no longer serve Pavillons Way.