New improved cross town links for Banbury bus services
Changes to bus services in Banbury will see improved links to new developments and the main employment sites at the Wildmere Industrial Estate, Horton Hospital and Southam Road sites from Monday October 12.
Supported through Section 106 funding agreed with Oxfordshire County Council, the changes will also result in better cross town links and changes to times will mean all Banbury town services will depart from the town centre at standard times throughout the day, Monday to Saturday. This will simplify the service offering and make it easier to connect to different routes to travel across town.
The new north – south link will combine the current B3 service from Longford Park with a revised B4 service to Hardwick Hill, providing a half hourly link. The service will operate as route number B3 and will also operate a revised route in Hardwick Hill serving more of the estate. The frequency will be greatly improved and will provide a new Saturday service for the additional leg originally covered by the B4.
In the east, the current B6 to Banbury Gateway will be replaced by an extended B9 service from Hanwell Fields and Hardwick.
The B9 will extend across the town centre to Banbury Gateway via Middleton Road, Ermont Way and Wildmere Road to provide an east to west link every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays. The B9 to Banbury Gateway will start earlier than the current B6 on Sundays providing early morning links to the Industrial Estate, in addition to the existing early journeys on the 500 from Brackley. Evening connections to the town centre from Hardwick will improve, but the last bus from Bridge Street will now leave slightly earlier at 11.15pm.
From the east towards town, two evening trips will now run via Horton Hospital Monday to Saturday on the 500, providing links for hospital staff and visitors. There will be some changes to the times towards Banbury from Farthinghoe and from Oxford on the S4 as the last three Monday to Friday journeys from the city will be retimed to match Saturday.
The new Bretch Hill north development will benefit from an improved service due to the rerouting of the B5 via Bretch Hill, Stratford Road, Warwick Road and Ferndale Road.
Buses will no longer run via Hastings Road but will provide greater accessibility to the schools and housing north of the estate. Services will run every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday day times and every 20 minutes Sunday day times.
Cllr Mark Cherry, member For Oxfordshire County Council for Banbury Ruscote, which includes Bretch Hill, said: "I strongly feel that the new extended B5 Stagecoach services with additional section 106 funding from Bloor homes Banbury rise housing developments will safeguard a bus route that the people in Ruscote community rely on going forwards, that otherwise could feel financial pressure during the ongoing Covid-19 virus pandemic."
County Cllr Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment and transport, added: “We welcome the service improvements announced by Stagecoach for Banbury.
"These changes come to two particularly important locations at this challenging time; to the Horton Hospital, where the improved link will benefit hospital staff and visitors, and to a key area of employment in the town at the industrial estate. Bus use in Banbury and indeed across the county forms an important part of our strategy to reduce traffic and improve air quality.”
Chris Coleman, managing director of Stagecoach Oxfordshire, said: “In order to connect passengers to the people and places that matter most it is vital that the network of services we offer work together to accommodate our passengers needs so that travelling by bus is an attractive choice.
“The extension of two services across town means that the need to switch onto another service is reduced but where this is still necessary, the simplification of departure times from Banbury Bridge Street makes this connection much smoother.
“Improved connections and accessibility will encourage greater bus travel, which means cleaner and greener air for Banbury town.”
Details of the new timetables can be found at stagecoach.com