Frustrated residents have formed a campaign to save a bus route which is their only means of public transport to reach the city centre.

Residents from a cluster of villages around Bicester have created an online petition to save the 250 bus - which has been serving its route for over seventy years - from being shut down at the end of the year.

The route sweeps through Heyford Park, Upper Heyford, lower Heyford, Kirtlington, Bletchingdon and Hampton Poyle before heading to Oxford City Centre.

Many residents of these areas rely on this bus route as the only way of reaching Oxford on public road transport.

The current service is paid for by Dorchester, the developer behind Heyford Park, as part of their planning proposal.

As of the end of this year, the service will become more frequent, continuing its route through the villages, but will cease to head into Oxford and instead terminate at Bicester Village station.

Setareh Campbell, a resident of Upper Heyford who started the petition, said: “If we don’t have a bus going through the villages, then a lot of us have no way of getting into Oxford.

“Some people don’t have cars, or are unable to drive, what are they supposed to do?”

Another resident of upper Heyford said: “We are going to have to sell the house and move away.

“My daughter is autistic and starting college in Oxford next September. With no direct bus route, she has no way of getting to college.

“She can’t cope with the suggestion that’s being proposed – walking to Heyford Park, catching a bus to Bicester, changing and catching another bus to Oxford.”

A third resident of Upper Heyford, Paul Round, said: “I’m dependent on the 250 bus for my job, which is in Oxford City Centre working for a homeless charity.

“I moved to Upper Heyford because of the bus connection.”

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Councillor Ian Corkin, Deputy Leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “The loss of the route is awful for the surrounding villages.

“A lot of people depend on this bus service, and if we’re to live up to this idea of a more sustainable society, we have to have public transport through rural communities.

“The problem is, they are difficult to make commercially viable because not as many people use them as in a big city.

“I hope there will be a service that supports villagers, but I don’t think there will be a bus service that runs to Oxford.”

Ms Campbell further argued: “People say the rural buses don’t make enough profit. But if the bus service is only about profit, then it may as well be a private taxi.

“Public services are supposed to be there for the people.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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