Service cut worries raised at bus meeting

Your Bus Matters
Your Bus Matters

Bus users who attended a Your Bus Matters meeting in Banbury voiced their 
concerns about the threat of cuts to town services.

Stagecoach managers and Oxfordshire County Council officials were on hand outside Castle Quay shopping centre last Friday answering people’s questions and responding to concerns about the bus services.

One issue raised was the imminent threat to the Sunday services on the subsidised B1 and B2 routes, which take in Easington, Bodicote and Cherwell Heights to Banbury town centre.

The county council’s contract with Stagecoach ends on May 23 and the council has proposed to withdraw the service to focus funds on the Monday-Saturday services.

Easington resident Barry Payne, 59, said: “One of our main worries is that they are going to take services away on Sundays. If they don’t run a bus then a lot of people would not be able to get out. A lot of older people live up our way and they really rely on these services.

“Also people wouldn’t be able to visit friends and family who are at the Horton hospital.

“I just want to make my voice, and everyone else’s, known and tell them that we won’t be pushed about.”

Hugh Jaeger, chairman of Bus Users Oxford, organised the meeting. He said: “It was our suggestion to reach out to the other towns in Oxfordshire.

“Banbury is right on the border of Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and for subsidised bus services this could be a weak point. This may be the calm before the storm as the county council is looking at more cuts. So far the officers have been brilliant at making savings without cutting services but we just don’t know how they’ll be able to keep that up for the next round of cuts.”

Those keen to get involved should see http://bususersox ford.org.

A decision on the future funding will be made on March 19. Bus users can comment via the ‘contact us’ page on www.oxfordshire.gov.uk