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‘National bus stop may be just the ticket here’
A BICESTER councillor plans to write to bus companies calling for airport and London city services to stop at the town’s new park-and-ride.
Les Sibley said once Bicester’s £3m, 580-space park-and-ride is up and running, the Oxford Tube, and Heathrow and Gatwick airport services should run from there.
He said the park-and-ride interchange, which will be built at Kingsmere, just off the A41, could also be used to create more direct links to Oxford’s hospitals.
Last week county councillors approved plans for the park-and-ride – the first new one in the county for a decade.
It will take passengers between Bicester and Oxford and to designer outlet centre Bicester Village (BV).
But Mr Sibley said the park-and-ride could go a step further than becoming a hub for transporting BV shoppers, if a regular London bus service was introduced.
The Independent town, district and county councillor said: “We want the national services to stop there. The Oxford Tube has four buses an hour.
“Perhaps they could divert one from Oxford each hour. You are talking 15 minutes to get out from Oxford and then straight down the M40.
“The Oxford Tube could drop off Bicester Village shoppers, from London, via the park-and-ride facility.
“Their cars would be left at home and would avoid traffic congestion around Bicester.
“There are lots of benefits to be had for the people of Bicester and the bus companies.”
Mr Sibley said he would take up the matter with Oxfordshire County Council, but any decision to run extra service would lie with bus operators.
County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said a start date for work on the park-and-ride had yet to be set. He said: “The county council has consulted the two major public transport operators (Stagecoach and Oxford Bus) and they will ultimately decide whether it is commercially viable for them to run particular services from the site.”
Miranda Markham, BV community relations director, said: “BV is supportive of this new piece of public transport infrastructure and is paying for the capital cost of its construction as part of its plans to expand the village on to the existing Tesco site. We currently operate a dedicated coach service from London which last year delivered approximately 40,000 passengers.”
- The park-and-ride is part of £11m of traffic measures planned in the A41 and Pingle Drive aimed at combating congestion at peak periods. It is hoped the car park facility will open before Christmas