Oxfordshire buses see boost to ridership during rail replacement

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The Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel have revealed that passenger numbers increased ‘significantly’ during the area’s recent rail engineering works.

Extra buses entered service to support Chiltern and Great Western Railway, helping to keep rail passengers moving during works between Oxford and Didcot Parkway stations last month.

Tickets were accepted across a range of routes, and a dedicated ‘bike bus’ was introduced, with additional interior space and external racks to carry bicycles.

Additional staff also appeared at Oxford railway station, assisting customers and managing the increased demand for buses.

The Oxford Bus Company Park & Ride 500 service, which stops at Oxford Rail station, the city centre, Summertown, Oxford Parkway, Blenheim and Woodstock, carried twice as many passengers as normal during the rail engineering works.

Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Managing Director, Phil Southall, said: “Our rail replacement service was quite an operational challenge and our staff responded superbly, with professionalism and a fantastic customer service-focused attitude.

“It was important we did all we could to keep Oxfordshire moving during this period, and we successfully worked in partnership with Chiltern Railways and Great Western Railway to do exactly that.”

Chiltern Railways’ Commercial Director, Eleni Jordan, added: “Our strong partnership with Oxford Bus really helped us to help our passengers complete their journeys as efficiently as possible during recent engineering works near Oxford.

“We are very grateful to Oxford Bus for the professionalism their team demonstrated while our service pattern was altered.”