Bus company Stagecoach have introduced a number of improvements to the service in and around Banbury.

The company has made changes to the 200, 500, B9, S4, and 505 services between Brackley and Bicester that will come into effect on June 4 and have been designed to improve punctuality and better coordinate services.

The timetables for services 200, 500 and B9 will be revised to provide a combined frequency of a bus up to every 15 minutes between Banbury town centre, Middleton Road and Ermont Way.

There will also be significant changes to the 500 around Brackley, meaning this service will now operate a new route in and around the town, extending to Elmsbrook and Bicester every hour.

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The new route will serve Banbury Road, Pavilions Way, Halse Road, Poppyfields Way, Northampton Road, High Street, Market Place and Bridge Steet. 

This route replaces the E1, currently operated by Grayline Coaches and Stagecoach service 505, and opens new and improved transport links for customers in the area.

Evening journeys between Banbury, Middleton Cheney and Brackley will also be improved with the last departure towards Brackley leaving Banbury at 11.30pm and Middleton Cheney at 11.47pm.

There will be changes throughout the timetable to allow the route to run to better time with no change to the current frequency.

The S4 service to Oxford will also see a new timetable with some Monday to Saturday evening journeys altered to run to and from Oxford Airport, offering an improved frequency to Langford Lane in conjunction with the S3. 

However, the 6.02am service leaving Deddington on weekday mornings will no longer run due to low passenger numbers. 

Rachel Geliamassi, managing director of Stagecoach West, said: “We’re constantly reviewing routes, services and passenger habits.

"Following these changes and improvements in and around Banbury we expect our customers using these services to notice an improvement in timekeeping on their journey with us.  

“The coordination of services to and from Banbury Gateway and extended evening journeys between Bicester and Brackley will also work to make bus travel more appealing.”

Service 200 and some journeys on the 500 and S4 are operated with financial support from Oxfordshire County Council.

The enhancement to the 500 service between Brackley and Bicester is funded by the UK Government through Oxfordshire County Council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan.

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Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “People up and down the country deserve a clean, reliable, and affordable public transport system.

"That is why we have provided Oxfordshire County Council with almost £13million to boost its bus services.

“Supporting Stagecoach West to help punctuality and better co-ordinate services is great for local residents, who will now benefit and be able to make the most of the fantastic work, business and leisure opportunities Oxfordshire has to offer.”

Cllr Andrew Gant, cabinet member for highways management, added: “Helping to provide reliable public transport is one of this council’s aims, so we are delighted to be able to fund routes in this area that people rely on.

"With the extension of the government’s £2 bus fare promotion, now is the time to get on board and see where the bus could take you.”