New bus service gets a thumbs-up

Rodney Rose, cabinet member for transport

Rodney Rose, cabinet member for transport

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by

WEST Oxfordshire schools and residents have praised bus operators that stepped into the breach after a local transport firm closed down. Witney-based RH Transport announced it was going into administration due to financial problems last week.

The firm operated services between Witney and other West Oxfordshire towns, scores of school buses and the Cotswold Line Railbus routes.

But Oxfordshire County Council’s public transport department agreed new operators on affected routes by the following afternoon.

And residents in Charlbury, where RH Transport ran the X9 buses between Chipping Norton and Witney, were full of praise.

Edward Fenton said: “I was impressed by how quickly they stepped in.

“It would have trapped a good number of people, particularly young families and the elderly, if they hadn’t done anything. It would have had serious implications.”

Denise Summers, 69, said: “It would have been awful if Charlbury didn’t have a bus service.”

Richard Fairhurst, Charlbury Town Council transport representative, said: “Everyone has been incredibly impressed with how Oxfordshire County Council stepped into the breach and sorted out replacements pretty much within 24 hours.”

RH also ran bus school bus services across Oxfordshire, including in Eynsham, Burford, Witney and Chipping Norton.

Andrew Hamilton, headteacher of Bartholomew School in Eynsham, said: “The local authority has been very efficient in replacing the bus service that was affected. Everything is going smoothly.”

Jim Meridew, business manager at Burford School, said: “The buses turned up on Monday as they said they would. Nothing changed for students.”

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County Hall said replacement bus services that began on Monday will run through until next July, when a tendering process for the routes will begin.

The council says it has not yet calculated the cost of bringing in new firms to take over the RH Transport contracts.

Rodney Rose, cabinet member for transport, said: “It was an awful lot of work for our public transport team, who I think really deserve medals for the fantastic work they have done.

“Nobody has really noticed a difference. I have had no emails complaining, and believe me I usually get them.”

He said RH Transport, which the council had been using since 2003, was on an approved list of firms and the council had gone through due process in awarding contracts.

Up to 70 former RH Transport staff lost their jobs when the company, which administrators said will not be sold as a going concern, went into administration.

Comments (8)

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11:02am Sat 13 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Perhaps if the various local authorities keep this PR up, people might forget who made the poor decision to engage RH Transport in the first place.

*If* RH Transport was ever engaged in the first place...

Back in 2011, RH Transport Services became RH Coaches. A new company was created called RH Buses around the same time, in August this year RH Buses became RH Transport Services.
Perhaps if the various local authorities keep this PR up, people might forget who made the poor decision to engage RH Transport in the first place. *If* RH Transport was ever engaged in the first place... Back in 2011, RH Transport Services became RH Coaches. A new company was created called RH Buses around the same time, in August this year RH Buses became RH Transport Services. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

3:36pm Sat 13 Oct 12

West Oxon Webwatcher says...

Andrew:Oxford obviously does not understand the laws that Oxon C.C has to comply with when letting contracts. The primary consideration is the price the bus company offers to provide the service for as it is almost impossible to make cash calculations on the quality of buses used with any value being a judgement that would leave to much disagreement amongst critics. We who have used RH services know its fleet mostly came from the big company's throwouts with low standards of interior cleanliness. That is how it could win its contracts and prices that were almost certainly too low or the company would not have gone bust.
Andrew:Oxford obviously does not understand the laws that Oxon C.C has to comply with when letting contracts. The primary consideration is the price the bus company offers to provide the service for as it is almost impossible to make cash calculations on the quality of buses used with any value being a judgement that would leave to much disagreement amongst critics. We who have used RH services know its fleet mostly came from the big company's throwouts with low standards of interior cleanliness. That is how it could win its contracts and prices that were almost certainly too low or the company would not have gone bust. West Oxon Webwatcher
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

West Oxon Webwatcher wrote:
Andrew:Oxford obviously does not understand the laws that Oxon C.C has to comply with when letting contracts. The primary consideration is the price the bus company offers to provide the service for as it is almost impossible to make cash calculations on the quality of buses used with any value being a judgement that would leave to much disagreement amongst critics. We who have used RH services know its fleet mostly came from the big company's throwouts with low standards of interior cleanliness. That is how it could win its contracts and prices that were almost certainly too low or the company would not have gone bust.
Oh I do. And some of the contracts were without subsidy

What I find fascinating is how some services came to be provided by a different ltd company from the one detailed in the tender...

Is it normal for a local authority to roll a contract over in a phoenix?
[quote][p][bold]West Oxon Webwatcher[/bold] wrote: Andrew:Oxford obviously does not understand the laws that Oxon C.C has to comply with when letting contracts. The primary consideration is the price the bus company offers to provide the service for as it is almost impossible to make cash calculations on the quality of buses used with any value being a judgement that would leave to much disagreement amongst critics. We who have used RH services know its fleet mostly came from the big company's throwouts with low standards of interior cleanliness. That is how it could win its contracts and prices that were almost certainly too low or the company would not have gone bust.[/p][/quote]Oh I do. And some of the contracts were without subsidy What I find fascinating is how some services came to be provided by a different ltd company from the one detailed in the tender... Is it normal for a local authority to roll a contract over in a phoenix? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

9:36am Sun 14 Oct 12

daretocare says...

Andrew you are wrong on every count. First of all the RH business wasn't a limited company bus a partnership. Secondly the company only changed its trading name to rhbuses.com and added the trading name rhcoaches.com The companies legal name was still always RH Transport Services. So the council nor RH did anything wrong as you claim they did!
Andrew you are wrong on every count. First of all the RH business wasn't a limited company bus a partnership. Secondly the company only changed its trading name to rhbuses.com and added the trading name rhcoaches.com The companies legal name was still always RH Transport Services. So the council nor RH did anything wrong as you claim they did! daretocare
  • Score: 0

11:06pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Man on the Green says...

Congratulations are indeed due to the public transport team (the hard-working public servants who once again have put the Council's incompetent and self-serving senior management to shame). Practical, purposeful and pragmatic, as opposed to pompous, pontificating and pusillanimous, the difference could not be more stark. The really good news is that they are backed in this dossier by an exceptionally competent cabinet member, a rare combination indeed.
Congratulations are indeed due to the public transport team (the hard-working public servants who once again have put the Council's incompetent and self-serving senior management to shame). Practical, purposeful and pragmatic, as opposed to pompous, pontificating and pusillanimous, the difference could not be more stark. The really good news is that they are backed in this dossier by an exceptionally competent cabinet member, a rare combination indeed. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Mon 15 Oct 12

King Joke says...

Anything else beginning with P, Man-on-the-Green?
Anything else beginning with P, Man-on-the-Green? King Joke
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Man on the Green says...

Like 'taking the P', King Joke? I acknowledge it was perhaps a tad overworked.
Like 'taking the P', King Joke? I acknowledge it was perhaps a tad overworked. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

9:25am Tue 16 Oct 12

King Joke says...

I was taking the 'P' a little myself!

You're right about the PT Team. Disruption lasted 1.5 days at most and normality was largely restored the following Mon. I'm sure a lot of hard work and late nights went into ensuring the lights stayed on, with may a bit of flickering (!), so well done all involved.
I was taking the 'P' a little myself! You're right about the PT Team. Disruption lasted 1.5 days at most and normality was largely restored the following Mon. I'm sure a lot of hard work and late nights went into ensuring the lights stayed on, with may a bit of flickering (!), so well done all involved. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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