OXFORDSHIRE bus companies have ramped up services today in response to the latest government Covid-19 recommendations.

Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Stagecoach are introducing changes to start to increase the number of journeys during daytime hours on Mondays to Fridays.

Customers are advised to check operator websites for full details of new timetables including changes to times to some services on Saturdays and Sundays.

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The increase in services is in line with the government’s recovery strategy to cope with growing demand for travel as more people return to work following the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after a reduction in bus services during lockdown. The companies have implemented reduced vehicle capacities to help maintain social distancing for people who need to travel.

This includes taking some seats out of use and signs to encourage passengers to sit apart.


Phil Southall, managing director of Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel, said: “We’ve introduced a number of measures to give people the confidence to return to work and to travel on our buses. We’re increasing our services to respond to the expected increases in demand as lockdown is gradually eased, and to ensure our customers can remain two metres apart wherever possible.”


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Customers are still asked to pay using contactless payments or purchase tickets from the apps available.

All three operators have also introduced and are maintaining enhanced cleaning regimes on all vehicles. The regimes are carefully monitored, with a continued greater focus on high-touch areas. Extra PPE and cleaning equipment have also been provided to colleagues to ensure drivers and customers stay safe during this time.

From today all variations of the SmartZone ticket will be valid for journeys made in the city on all three operators services but the temporary ticket acceptance of single operator tickets brought in to mitigate the reduction in the services available at the height of lockdown will be withdrawn.

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Chris Coleman, managing director of Stagecoach, said: “The safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority. With the extensive measures we have taken and the support of our passengers, they can be confident our buses will be clean, safe and ready to go.”


Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “The council is working with the local authorities and the bus operators to ensure public safety for walking, cycling and use of the bus across Oxfordshire.

"In the coming weeks people will see the result of work that the county council has been doing with partners from the bus companies, districts and city council on plans designed to boost bus transport and sustainable modes such as cycling and walking.”