The Villager – a rural lifeline

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The Villager has been providing bus services to villages in rural West Oxfordshire and bordering Gloucestershire since 1982. Richard Sharman visited the Section 22 operator to find out how it provides a network of services in a deeply rural setting

The Villager was formed in 1982, as a direct result of a government report that revealed that rural areas were suffering from severe depopulation.

Chair, Keith Gowing, recalls: “Our founder, Trevor Baxter, wanted to find a way to help transport people from the remote rural villages to nearby towns. In 1982, with the support of Gloucestershire County Council he purchased a second-hand Dormobile minibus, with wooden slatted bench seating that carried six people. The first service operated from his home village of Oddington, to the town of Stow-on-the-Wold. […]

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