A resident has complained that a lack of buses on a route which services a village is making vulnerable people and parents suffer.

The number 26 bus is operated by Stagecoach and runs between Kingsmere and Bicester.

The service is meant to meant to arrive every 30 minutes, however one resident - who did not wish to be identified - said the buses were not turning up and this was having “a serious impact on the Kingsmere community”.

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They said: “There are mums that rely on the buses to get their children to school. Some parents are forced to get the 7:50am bus just to be near the school when it opens which means being in Bicester town for 8am - nearly an hour before school starts.  

“Some of these children have health issues or even the parents have health issues and are unable to walk.

“The bus to get back home after school is even worse parents are stood waiting for the bus nearly an hour or sometimes even longer.”

The resident added they feel the infrastructure for the service is not up to scratch, pointing out the bus stop is too close to the road compared with other stops and it does not have seats.  

They allege when they spoke to Stagecoach and the bus drivers they were told “there is nothing [the company] can do to solve this situation”.

The resident equally alleges a bus driver told them there is a spare bus in the depo which is not being sent out by Stagecoach because it could “lose money” – an accusation the company denies.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach West said: “The 26 runs as an extension of our 29 and H5 services and so is dependent on the punctuality of these services.

“Unfortunately, roadworks in Ambrosden are causing delays on these routes and subsequently impacting the timetable for the 26. 

“This is a situation outside of our control and is in no way related to how this contracted service is funded.

“We know how important local bus networks are in connecting people to jobs, education, and skills, as well as ensuring access to key public services so where resource allows, we are running an extra bus to ensure the 26 service is unaffected by the disruption.”


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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