Bus route change may leave people ‘stranded’

Stagecoach bus SUS-161213-173332001
Stagecoach bus SUS-161213-173332001

Bus users in Hanwell Fields have expressed concern over the launch of a new route which is expected to replace two already serving the area.

The B8 and B10 routes are expected to be scrapped and replaced with a new service, the B9.

One bus user, who does not want to be named, said she was concerned the proposed new route would leave two-thirds of the estate without a service, with some people more than half-a-mile away from a bus stop.

She added the placement of the new service would also leave pupils who use the buses to get to school with an extended journey and workers with a longer commute.

Regular users of the B10 include staff and students from Blessed George Napier School, North Oxfordshire Academy, Banbury School, Dashwood Banbury Academy, Hanwell Fields Community School and various parents who use the service to take their children to nursery. Several students from North Oxfordshire Academy also use the B8 to get to school.

She said: “The loss of the B10 also means there would be no services to Tesco.

“This will negatively impact a wide range of people, particularly pensioners who use the service to and from the retirement communities in town.

“The changes seem to assume people are able to get to the new stops, taking no account of disabled users or those who struggle with mobility.”

She added during the summer, someone from Stagecoach is believed to have counted the number or passengers on each route, but it would have led to a decision being made based on ‘flawed data’ as those using the bus to get to and from school would not be on board during busy times due to the school holidays.

Martin Sutton, managing director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, did not confirm the changes but said: “We are still finalising the details of the changes with Oxfordshire County Council and we will be in a position to provide further information on all of the changes affecting Banbury services early next week.”