Push is on for more hospital bus services after new route from West Oxfordshire to Headington launched

The Oxford Times: Cllr Andrew Coles has fought for more than a year for a bus service from West Oxfordshire to the John Radcliffe Hospital.  Picture: OX68533 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo Cllr Andrew Coles has fought for more than a year for a bus service from West Oxfordshire to the John Radcliffe Hospital. Picture: OX68533 Mark Hemsworth

A BUS service is “just the first stage” of better connections from West Oxfordshire to Oxford’s hospitals, according to a victorious councillor.

Witney Central councillor Andrew Coles has fought for more than a year to get the hourly bus service to the John Radcliffe hospital.

The S7 will run between Carterton and Headington, carrying passengers from Monday, July 28.

It follows a campaign launched in May last year by councillors and residents, who said it took up to two-and-a-half hours to get from Witney to the county’s main hospital.

The West Oxfordshire district councillor said: “There’s an awful lot of people who work at the John Radcliffe Hospital who live in West Oxfordshire so we’re very grateful the staff will be able to use the bus and alleviate congestion on the A40, which is a massive problem.

“It’s a very rural place so it will make things a lot easier for people to get to the hospital and Oxford Brookes University.

“The car park in the John Radclife is exceptionally limited so it will hopefully take a few spaces out, making it a win-win for all.”

He now wants to see connections to other hospitals.

He said:“This is the first stage of what I hope will be better connections to not just the John Radcliffe but other hospitals like the Nuffield Hospital and Churchill Hospital.”

Mr Coles, who is also a bus driver, worked with Witney South and Central county councillor Laura Price to lobby the county council and Stagecoach for the S7 service.

He said the lack of a direct link was regularly brought up when visiting residents in his ward.

Mr Coles said: “People always mentioned having to take two long bus journeys to the hospital. My nan was in hospital and when I made that journey it took two-and-a-half hours.

“Witney and Carterton are two big towns so why shouldn’t we have a direct bus service to the hospital, like places such as Abingdon have?

“When you’re visiting relatives, have a day appointment or working there, two-and-a-half hour is not a realistic amount of time to sit on a bus and get everything done.”

Stagecoach business development manager Karen Coventry said: “We are delighted to be launching a new link between Carterton, Witney and Headington.

“The timetable will operate hourly to begin with, in the hope that increased usage will lead to Stagecoach being able to expand the operating hours and frequency in the future.”

The service, which is not subsidised, will call at Carterton, Minster Lovell, Witney, Oxford and Headington between Monday and Friday.

Comments (6)

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8:15am Fri 11 Jul 14

maysie says...

I got excited about this till i saw the times. I hope they expand this in time. i would have missed my last 4 appointments going by this timetable as it starts too late. First bus from west Oxfordshire does not get there till nearly 10. If they want NHS workers coming from west Oxfordshire coming off the roads i don't think they times will work well either unless they are part-time. First bus gets in 9.57am and last one leaves 3.08pm.
I got excited about this till i saw the times. I hope they expand this in time. i would have missed my last 4 appointments going by this timetable as it starts too late. First bus from west Oxfordshire does not get there till nearly 10. If they want NHS workers coming from west Oxfordshire coming off the roads i don't think they times will work well either unless they are part-time. First bus gets in 9.57am and last one leaves 3.08pm. maysie
  • Score: 3

10:42am Fri 11 Jul 14

icba1957 says...

Only one slight problem - it doesn't actually go to the JR! The stop is on Headley Way, so let's just wait for the moaning about having to walk up the hill.
Only one slight problem - it doesn't actually go to the JR! The stop is on Headley Way, so let's just wait for the moaning about having to walk up the hill. icba1957
  • Score: 0

1:00am Sat 12 Jul 14

H.J.Harris says...

This is a really good start, here's hoping they can make the last journey back from Headington after 15.05 (or have I got it wrong ? ) as that would be very useful but all credit to Andrew Coles for pushing this issue.
This is a really good start, here's hoping they can make the last journey back from Headington after 15.05 (or have I got it wrong ? ) as that would be very useful but all credit to Andrew Coles for pushing this issue. H.J.Harris
  • Score: 0

6:34am Sat 12 Jul 14

the wizard says...

icba1957 wrote:
Only one slight problem - it doesn't actually go to the JR! The stop is on Headley Way, so let's just wait for the moaning about having to walk up the hill.
If you are pushing an adult in a wheelchair then there is every right to comment.

It's a brilliant start and I take nothing away from those involved to piloting the scheme, but the times do need to be expanded, and surely driving onto the site is not a big deal, or is it ? as The Oxford Bus Co seem to have the monopoly which is a shame.
[quote][p][bold]icba1957[/bold] wrote: Only one slight problem - it doesn't actually go to the JR! The stop is on Headley Way, so let's just wait for the moaning about having to walk up the hill.[/p][/quote]If you are pushing an adult in a wheelchair then there is every right to comment. It's a brilliant start and I take nothing away from those involved to piloting the scheme, but the times do need to be expanded, and surely driving onto the site is not a big deal, or is it ? as The Oxford Bus Co seem to have the monopoly which is a shame. the wizard
  • Score: 0

10:11am Sun 13 Jul 14

addbod says...

It's not surprising that people have misread the timetable The timetable is a bit confusing. The top half shows that there are S7 buses from Brookes at 1605 and 1705 into Gloucester Green, continuing (same bus) as S2 to witney and Carterton
It's not surprising that people have misread the timetable The timetable is a bit confusing. The top half shows that there are S7 buses from Brookes at 1605 and 1705 into Gloucester Green, continuing (same bus) as S2 to witney and Carterton addbod
  • Score: 1

1:35pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Northboy says...

An excellent start in terms of improving patient access to the John Radcliffe from West Oxon, however as an NHS staff bus commuter there will be no benefits and the congestion will remain the same along the A40 for all the JR and Brookes (and Ox Uni) workers. As the shifts here (JR) start at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00am and conclude respectively 7.5 hours later both the start and stop times are outside the remit of the service.

Still this is a big step in the right direction.
An excellent start in terms of improving patient access to the John Radcliffe from West Oxon, however as an NHS staff bus commuter there will be no benefits and the congestion will remain the same along the A40 for all the JR and Brookes (and Ox Uni) workers. As the shifts here (JR) start at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00am and conclude respectively 7.5 hours later both the start and stop times are outside the remit of the service. Still this is a big step in the right direction. Northboy
  • Score: 0

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