Community saves bus service – use it or lose it!
A bus route that connects Wallingford and Crowmarsh with South Stoke and Goring has been saved after a campaign by local residents and their parish councils.
Oxfordshire County Council had originally planned to cut the subsidy for the number 134/135 and maybe even cease its operation altogether. Parishes along the route got together, and backed by South Oxfordshire District Council, voiced their support not only to retain the bus route but, by using smaller more economical buses, they proposed an increase in the number of services.
The district council asked the county to consider continuing the subsidy, or at the very least give the local residents time to try and arrange an alternative community led service.
The county council has responded by subsidising a new, improved minibus route on a trial basis for three years. The message from the county is clear; residents should use the service or lose it. If it is successful over the three year trial period, they will look to continue the subsidy for a longer term.
The new route is a direct service between Wallingford & Goring via Crowmarsh and South Stoke, and no longer runs as a circular service via Moulsford and Cholsey. It runs through the village of South Stoke in both directions via Ferry Road, The Street and South Bank. It has been designed to allow timely connections with Reading and London trains at Goring Station and Oxford buses at Wallingford or Crowmarsh.
The new 134 service was launched on Wednesday 6 June.
Cllr Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We’re delighted that the county council have decided to subsidise this improved service. This is a great example of community action having a positive impact for local residents and we’re very happy to have been involved in the process.”