Hospital link secured by council funding

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A vital bus service linking Kidlington and Summertown with Oxford’s hospitals and park and ride sites has been saved. The 700, which serves the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and Thornhill and Oxford Parkway park and rides, was set to be withdrawn as it was not commercially viable.

As a result, Oxfordshire County Council stepped in with financial support to enable Oxford Bus Company to operate the service – which was used by more than 350,000 passengers in the past year – until 30 August 2024. The change followed a tendering process and will come into effect from 3 July 2023.
Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “This will be a great relief to the hundreds of people who use this service every day, including many who use it to access the city’s hospitals. We appreciate the importance of an effective bus service in helping people to get where they need to be and reducing the number of cars on our congested roads.”

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, said: “We are pleased to be commencing the operation of service 700 from 3 July via a contract with Oxfordshire County Council. This ensures continuity of the service and we look forward to welcoming passengers on-board.”

This service will operate up to every 30 minutes, Monday to Friday, to the same route and timetable as the current service.

Significantly, it takes Oxford Bus Company back into operating along the Banbury Road corridor and into Kidlington, both areas that were withdrawn from when most of the jointly operated services in the city ended in December 2021.