Councillor resists changes to Banbury’s B5 buses

Councillor Mark Cherry at the newly-installed bus stop on Fairway, Banbury, which was the victim of vandalism and grafitti for five years. NNL-140112-161259001
Councillor Mark Cherry at the newly-installed bus stop on Fairway, Banbury, which was the victim of vandalism and grafitti for five years. NNL-140112-161259001

A Banbury councillor says he will not accept changes to a Bretch Hill bus route that will inconvenience residents.

Oxfordshire county councillor Mark Cherry, said changes to the B5 route to cover a new housing estate must not bypass Hastings Road and other stops.

He said changes to the service are being mooted to provide a service to the residents of Bloor Homes’ new estate, Banbury Rise.

Funding, made as a condition of planning consent, would fund the route’s extension for two years.

Mr Cherry said: “I’m awaiting the feasibility study on access and it’s quite possible a Stagecoach-sized bus might not be able to turn in the new development.

“That would mean a different route that could cut out Hastings Road and bus stops near Sandford Green and Ferndale Road on the Fairway. This would put the long term viability of the B5 in jeopardy. Developer funding only lasts two years, hence it’s a non-starter.”

Mr Cherry said alternatives were being looked at such as a community bus service or increasing the B5 timetable that would not exclude current bus stops.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said: “There are no current plans to change the B5 service.

“There is some developer funding associated with the Bloor development which will be used to provide some form of improved bus service. Officers will work with the county councillor to consider best use of this funding.

“The road through the new estate was not designed to cater for buses. It is important to ensure the developer funding is used in a way that provides benefit to the new residents.”