End of an era at Swanbrook

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Swanbrook ended operation of its Oxford service in July. Richard Sharman finds out why, after 35 years, it was time to move the service on to another operator

On 25 July 2020, at 1800hrs, the final 853 service to be operated by Swanbrook departed Oxford for Gloucester. The route, which can trace its origins back to 1930, has been operated by Swanbrook for the last 35 years.

In recent years the service has offered three departures in each direction Monday to Friday, with an additional trip on Saturdays and a trip in each direction on a Sunday evening. The service provides an important link for passengers wishing to travel between Gloucester and Cheltenham and Oxford city centre. Additionally, the service calls at Burford and Witney.

Swanbrook was well known for its fleet of Duple 425s, which would become the regular vehicles for the service as it would also work to London. The service was renumbered to 425 whilst these coaches were in use on it. RICHARD SHARMAN

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