A NEW Science Transit Shuttle bus service has been launched to connect key sites in Oxford with Harwell science campus.

Thames Travel was awarded a three-year contract by Oxford University to operate the Science Transit Shuttle service to connect key sites in Oxford and to connect Oxford and Harwell.

Managing director Phil Southall, finance and commercial Director Luke Marion and commercial manager Pawel Polewski turned out today to greet the first passengers.

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The company is investing £1m in a new fleet of six ultra-low emission Euro VI vehicles to connect Oxford with Harwell Campus, and the university’s science area with the John Radcliffe Hospital, Old Road Campus and Wytham.

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Mr Southall said: “Our new Science Transit Shuttle Connector services will connect Oxford with key employment sites and forms part of our continued investment in supporting the economic growth of the county. "The new service will be open to everybody and demonstrates what can be achieved when key stakeholders work together on shared objectives. "This vital new service would not have been possible without the support of our partners.

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"This latest investment in the new fleet of environmentally friendly, high-spec Connector branded vehicles further demonstrates our commitment to the region.”

The service continues the pilot project set up by Oxford University and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council at Harwell.

The express service between Oxford and Harwell helps collaboration in research and enables the university to access the cutting-edge scientific infrastructure at Harwell.

The new service will now be open to the public.

Until today the service could only be used by university staff and students and Harwell employees.