Oxford's open-top bus tour and park and ride 300 service will return on Monday, in a boost to the city’s recovery from lockdown.

The popular City Sightseeing Oxford tour will operate every half an hour on Mondays to Thursdays and every 20 minutes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Non-essential shops can reopen from Monday, while pubs and restaurants are allowed to serve customers outdoors.

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The bus company has announced its park and ride 300 service which connects Pear Tree and Redbridge with the city centre is restarting on 12th April. It will operate every ten minutes. It also confirmed the park and ride 400 service will continue to its current timetable, providing a frequency of every 15 minutes.

Civic leaders on a City Sightseeing bus in 2020

Civic leaders on a City Sightseeing bus in 2020

The return of pre-pandemic park and ride timetables are designed to support people returning to work and leisure activities.

Both City Sightseeing Oxford and the park and ride 300 were suspended in January after the Government announced the third national lockdown. The reinstatement marks the start of lifting of national restrictions and is designed to help Oxford reignite its economy.

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A ‘ComboSaver’ ticket is available for park & Ride passengers who wish to enjoy the open-top bus tour of the city. City Sightseeing tickets will be available to purchase on the bus, from our travel offices, or via sellers at Oxford rail station and the Carfax Tower, or via an app.

Phil Southall, the company’s managing director, said: “We are pleased to announce the return of more services, which means all our city and park and ride services will be operating their ‘new normal’ frequencies, many of which are operating at levels seen before the pandemic starting in March 2020. We are looking forward to welcoming more customers back on board as people return to travelling to work.”

“It is important people re-embrace public transport as they return to activities to help prevent congestion and to protect air quality.

A bus driver working on the City Sightseeing bus

A bus driver working on the City Sightseeing bus

“Our team are proud to continue to play an important role in supporting Oxford’s economy, our communities, and the overall collective effort to bounce-back together.”

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Hayley Beer-Gamage, CEO of Experience Oxfordshire, said: We are delighted to see the return of these services from Oxford Bus Company. As Oxfordshire reopens we want to instil confidence in the public in returning to the fantastic city of Oxford.

"It is great to see that City Sightseeing Oxford is VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ accredited in recognition of their hard work on maintaining safety and hygiene protocols.”

Phil Southall with a City Sightseeing bus in 2020 Picture: Ed Nix

Phil Southall with a City Sightseeing bus in 2020 Picture: Ed Nix

The City Sightseeing tour, owned by Oxford Bus Company, takes in the city’s famous sites, including the Oxford Castle, Christ Church College, Magdalen Bridge, Sheldonian Theatre, and Ashmolean Museum. On-board audio commentary is available in 14 languages, and a version for children, which includes quizzes, is also available.