West Oxfordshire District Council is to send a ‘strong’ message to Oxfordshire County Council regarding the future of rural bus services in our area.
Following the county council’s decision to hold a consultation exercise into future provision of subsidised services in Witney, Woodstock and Chipping Norton, WODC is to argue for the protection and maintenance of the subsidies, which it argues are the ‘absolute minimum’ required for a rural county such as Oxfordshire.
Of the services, WODC leader Barry Norton said,
“For many people in our rural district, they are an essential lifeline for accessing shops, getting to work and visiting health and other service centres. They are tremendously important to prevent people feeling isolated and for community cohesion.”
The consultation run by Oxfordshire County Council looked at subsidised service contracts that are due to expire in May 2014.
The closing date for public responses was 15 November – WODC made the decision to send a response to OCC at its cabinet meeting on 13 November, but only made its opinions public via a press release yesterday.
The services being studied include the X8 Kingham rail bus, the 233 from Chipping Norton to Witney via Kingham, the Wychwoods and Burford (Sundays only), the Saturday 811 service from Chipping Norton to Cheltenham, and the X9 from Witney to Chipping Norton via Charlbury.