Bourtons Bus Service update

You may have already heard that the Stagecoach 66 service which runs between Banbury and Leamington Spa will cease to operate on 18th December as the subsidy from Warwickshire County Council will not be renewed.  The Parish Council are in contact with the operators to see if it will be possible for the Hanwell Fields service to be extended to cover the Bourtons as well.  As updates become available we will publish them here.  The current service timetable is available here.

There are some other options which Cropredy Parish Council are also exploring and we shall work with them to see if we can share a viable service with them. One of these is the new Comet scheme:

Here is the information received from OCC about the Comet Buses –

“If your community is suffering from reduced (or non-existent) bus services since the withdrawal of bus subsidies in July please consider using the Oxfordshire County Council Comet Buses.

It is a not for profit service, created to allow people without suitable access to public transport to make the journeys they want. The County Council has small buses in depots around the county which are used at the beginning and end of the school or working day leaving them idle during the day.

The Oxfordshire Comet can be booked for any type of trip. Whether it’s to meet friends in town, travel across the county, attend an appointment or pop to the shops. The service is available 10.15am – 2.30pm Monday to Friday (not Bank Holidays).

Dorchester on Thames Parish Council and Witney Town Council have already facilitated the use of Comet buses by their communities but we need to have confirmation that the scheme is working at this end of the county and whether it is affordable.”

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The latest communication from Stagecoach is shown below:

Dear Mr Bowen (Bourtons Parish Clerk)
Many thanks for your e-mail of 28th September and for the information contained.
Regrettably I must advise you that Stagecoach Midlands has made the decision to withdraw the “commercial” section of service 65/66 between Leamington and Southam and has given Warwickshire County Council the required four months notice of its decision to surrender the tendered sections of service 65 between Southam and Daventry and of service 66 between Southam and Banbury with effect from 18th December 2016.
In addition I must advise you that one of the reasons why Stagecoach Midlands made this decision is because  the section 106 monies available to support the tendered extensions of service 65/66 to Daventry and Banbury respectively are close to being exhausted   and it is quite clear to both the County Council and my own company that on the basis of the current passenger usage these sections of route will never be commercially viable , unlike other more successful section 106 developer kick started services.
Warwickshire County Council intends to provide a more limited replacement service between Napton, Southam, Bishops Itchington – Harbury and Leamington after the 18th December and is looking at the feasibility of a limited service between Southam and Banbury , but possibly only on certain days of the week.
The County Council is planning to put out its proposed revised contracts for competitive tender in the very near future and I will, therefore, contact you again as soon as Warwickshire County Council’s new service specxifications are known. 
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but following recent major tender losses in the Leamington area, my company could no longer continue running service 65/66 between Leamington and Southam as the route has become heavily loss making and this has prompted the County Council to review the tendered sections of routes 65 and 66 a little earlier than I believe was originally planned.
In the meantime if you do have any queries or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards.
Steve Burd
Managing Director
Stagecoach Midlands
Main Road
Northampton NN4 8ES
Tel:  01604 662262
Fax: 01604 662286
Email: [email protected]

 

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