Banbury councillor to meet bus boss in search about route cuts

Cllr. Tony Ilott at a B8 bus stop in Sinclair Avenue, Banbury. NNL-171031-142510009
Cllr. Tony Ilott at a B8 bus stop in Sinclair Avenue, Banbury. NNL-171031-142510009

A town and district councillor is to meet a bus company boss today (Friday)) in a bid to find a solution to the closure of two Banbury bus routes.

Cllr Tony Ilott has arranged a discussion with Martin Sutton, managing director of Stagecoach about the ending of the B8 and B10 services around Hillview Estate and Hanwell Fields on Sunday.

The routes will be replaced by a new B9 service that will service Hardwick Estate and the new Hanwell Chase estate.

But the lost services will leave hundreds of residents without easily accessible public transport.

Mr Ilott is also investigating the possibility of a different provider should Stagecoach refuse to budge on its changes.

“I am having a meeting with Mr Sutton on Friday. Also I have had a conversation with another supplier which could be promising,” said Mr Ilott.

Stagecoach says it cannot make the B8 or B10 profitable. Pensioner bus passes are only reimbursed at half the fare value and Stagecoach is not allowed to accept top-ups.

The B9 will be subsidised by developer money from the Hanwell Chase houses.

Regular passengers have expressed anger and frustration at the axeing of their buses, with pensioners and families with student children hardest hit.

Sandra Gascgoigne said: “I know many who rely on this bus. I cannot understand why the new service will go over the same ground twice. I thought we were to be encouraged to use public transport.”

Vickie Jenkins said: “Pensioners and people with disabilities are becoming more and more isolated. They can’t afford taxis all the time.”