Oxfordshire County Council is no longer subsidising the No. 4 bus route between Abingdon and Oxford via Wootton. However the Oxford Bus Company has agreed to fund the service on a commercial basis.
We hope you have noticed our new purple buses and the increased frequency through the village, and that you will be able to take the opportunity to make use of them. The advantages of the improved service include:
- Buses every 30 minutes (daytime Monday to Friday)
- Hourly evening and Sunday service
- Late buses back from Abingdon and Oxford
- Better timings for schools and commuters
- The 4B routed directly past Abingdon College and Secondary Schools
- The 4 still routed to serve Shippon and Dalton Barracks
- Access to the Churchill Hospital
- Free Wifi, Eco-friendly low-emission vehicles, CCTV, air-conditioning
- Low-floor for easy access for wheelchairs and pushchairs
It should be noted that the continuation of the improved service will depend on the service being used.
The Parish Councils welcome your views on the new service (good or bad!) via the dedicated Facebook page at www.facebook.com/woottondrysandfordshipponno4busservice. We will use your views to continue to liaise with the Oxford Bus Company to improve the service to our villages.
You can download the new timetable that came in to effect from the 31st May 2015 by clicking here.
A direct link to the Oxford Bus Company’s dedicated City4 bus page can be accessed by clicking this link.
Find real-time information on the No.4 bus location by clicking these links:
An interactive Google Map of this bus route is below:
UPDATE: October 2016
Wootton and St Helen Without Parish Councils hosted a useful and positive meeting with the senior management of Oxford Bus Company (OBC) on 11 October. The audience registered their satisfaction at the improved service and asked a wide range of questions which were openly responded to by OBC. We discussed route variations such as extending the service to Marcham Road Health Centre and Tesco’s but OBC has looked at this and it would involve putting on an extra bus which would have a detrimental effect on the financial viability of the route.
Don’t forget Oxford Bus Company have introduced the great value cityzone EXTRA ticket – available on the key or the app (app includes discounted products for young people). The ticket gives you unlimited travel on the city4, cityX13, cityX3 and all local services around Oxford. For more information visit oxfordbus.co.uk/cityzone-extra. We can expect to see incremental improvements in on-board facilities and punctuality as the traffic situation in Oxford improves particularly in the city centre and near the Churchill.
There remains a warm climate of cooperation between the two Parish Councils and Oxford Bus Company and a strong commitment by the bus company to retain the improved service within the boundaries of financial viability. As a community we must continue to play our part by making a habit of using the service for our trips into Oxford and Abingdon so please continue to ‘Pick the Purple’.
UPDATE: August 2016
The improved bus service is doing well and the Parish Council is keen to encourage its use. There will be an opportunity for residents to meet the senior management of Oxford Bus Company on Tuesday 11 October 2016 at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start at the Wootton and Dry Sandford Community Centre. This will be an ideal opportunities for residents to tell the company about their experiences of the improved service and to make suggestions for improvements. If we are to retain the improved service it is important that we maintain a close working relationship and dialogue with the company and the Parish Council hopes that residents will make every effort to attend the meeting.
UPDATE: June 2016
Representatives of the two parish councils had a useful and positive discussion with the management of the Oxford Bus Company on 6th June. The statistics showed that the introduction of the half hourly service had resulted in a 50% increase in the usage of the service to and from Wootton; this has since dipped a little to 40%. We very much hope that this increase can be maintained and if at all possible increased so please ‘Pick the Purple’.
– Date for diaries
The Parish Council plans to hold a public meeting on Tuesday 11th October with the senior management of Oxford Bus Company. This will provide an opportunity for a two-way discussion between local residents and the Oxford Bus Company about our bus service, how well it is being used and how we can ensure that it remains viable.
UPDATE: March 2016
Oxford Bus Company have introduced a 18 year and under product for the No.4 bus route. The prices are as follows:
1 week £17.50
4 week £52.50
13 week £139.50
12 trip £17.50
These represents around a 25% discount on the adult equivalents.
The OBC app is intended to make the experience more convenient, help to improve boarding times and reduce the need for carrying cash. Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day – even whilst you’re waiting for the bus. The ticket types available are a selection of period passes and multi-trip passes, similar to those on the key. You can buy tickets in the app to use immediately, or save for later – you can even gift mobile tickets to other people. Payments are made securely with your credit or debit card, as well as PayPal or Pingit.
The App is available from the App Store or Google Play. You can find more information on the app by downloading the mobile app ticketing leaflet using this url: OBC-app-leaflet.
UPDATE: 18th January 2016
The Wootton and St Helen Without Parish Councils have continued their dialogue with the Oxford Bus Company with a view to ensuring the continuation of the improved No 4/4b bus service. Oxford Bus Company followed up the public meeting on 29th September 2015 with a letter welcoming the feedback it received at the meeting and commenting on the points raised. They were unable to change the Cityzone/Smartzone Boundary which currently includes Cumnor but not Wootton and without employing extra buses could not vary the route to include Marcham Road Heath Centre and Tesco’s.
On the positive side they will be introducing a new product for the under 18s which will represent a 25% discount on the adult fare. This will not be offered on the key but will be available on their new mobile ticketing app from the end of January. Both we and Oxford Bus Company were somewhat disappointed that the use of the service had only registered a 7% increase compared with a 50% increase in resources. However, there were a number of factors which may have influenced the review period including the traffic situation in Oxford, the summer holiday period and the newness of the improved service.
It was also of interest that usage from Wootton had increased significantly but had been offset by reductions in Cumnor and elsewhere. As a result Oxford Bus Company has withdrawn the 4b service on Saturday so we will return to an hourly service on that day. This illustrates the need to make full use of the improved service. Every time you choose to take the bus you will be contributing to our retaining a half hourly service during the week together with the evening and Sunday service.
Oxford Bus Company has asked us to let it know if drivers are not punching return tickets as this will underplay the statistics, so if this happens please let us know including the date and time of the bus so that we can inform OBC. Please see the letter from Oxford Bus Company below:
UPDATE: Public Meeting 29th September 2015
The two Parish Councils hosted a Public Meeting on Tuesday 29th September 2015 at 7.30pm at the Wootton & Dry Sandford Community Centre. The event was packed with people and gave those attending a chance to quiz OBC staff on the service. OBC are now reviewing the comments and we’ll let people know any outcomes when they occur.