Back to Bus campaign launched in Oxfordshire

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A campaign has been launched in Oxfordshire to encourage people to return to using buses this month. Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Stagecoach have joined forces to help encourage residents to return to using buses during September, including offering 30% off the cost of 12 trip tickets purchased through the operators’ websites or apps.

The campaign, backed by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council, is designed to coincide with the latest phase of recovery from the pandemic. September will see the return of university students to physical lectures, pupils going back to school, workers returning from furlough and many employers taking the next steps in relaxing work from home guidance to encourage employees back to the office for at least part of the week. The operators hope that the special offer on 12 trip tickets will encourage people to swap private vehicles for buses for their commute, and joint social media campaigns with positive messages on the benefits of taking the bus will also take place.

The month-long campaign culminates on World Car Free Day on September 22 when all residents in Oxfordshire will be encouraged to leave their private vehicles at home and use buses to help reduce congestion and carbon emissions and enhance air quality.

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Managing Director said: “More and more people are already coming back to bus and we hope to welcome back more passengers this month. September is a big month for us to better understand what the ‘new normal’ is, so we can plan our services for the future with more clarity. Bus travel remains one of the most sustainable modes of transport and is key to improving congestion and air quality in our communities.”

Rachel Geliamassi, Managing Director at Stagecoach West, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Oxfordshire’s local councils to promote the huge benefits that bus travel offers to the community. Buses play a vital role in keeping Oxfordshire residents connected to the things that matter to them and offer a cheaper, more convenient, and more environmentally friendly alternative to car travel. As part of the campaign, we will be offering 30% off our 12-trip ticket in Oxfordshire throughout September. The ticket can be used for any 12 journeys, making it a perfect option for those returning to the workplace on a part-time basis. We can’t wait to welcome more passengers on board and support residents to return gradually and safely to work, school, and leisure activities.”