Villagers in the Middle Barton have rallied together to launch the first community bus service in the county.
Villagers took the step after Oxfordshire County Council withdrew subsides for lesser used bus routes in recent cost cutting measures.
OurBus Bartons was due to take its maiden voyage from Middle Barton this morning (Wednesday) at 6.40am and will allow villagers to travel to and from such places as Duns Tew, Deddington, Steeple Aston and Chipping Norton.In addition the service will include routes to both Kidlington and Oxford Parkway.
OurBus Bartons bus company is owned by and ran for the local community and operated by a dedicated team of volunteers.
OurBus Bartons chairman, Richard Brown, said: “We’ve been told we’re the first village in Oxfordshire to organise our own bus service, following the County Council’s withdrawal of subsidies, so we really want to make this work for everybody here in the Bartons, and in all the neighbouring villages.”
Reaction to the new service has been positive, Village resident Verity Roberts said: “Without this bus, so many people would be unable to get to work or college, access healthcare, or do their weekly shopping, let alone enjoy many leisure activities.”
To find out more about the OurBus service, its routes and timetables or information about volunteering for the service visit their website at ourbus.co/bartons, or call 01869 699 699.