Three month trial on OX3 and OX7 services
OX3 and OX7 Football Special Buses
Oxford United would like to clarify the situation regarding the Football Special Buses that have run to the Kassam Stadium ever since the club first moved here in 2001.
The club recognises that these buses, which run from Carterton, Witney and from Kidlington on matchdays, offer a convenient service to and from games for supporters from these areas and we would like to see them continue to operate them for the coming season.
Therefore the buses will continue to run for the first three months of the season, from August to October.
However, the buses are subsidised by the club and even last season when the team enjoyed a highly successful season the buses ran at a loss.
New regulations, specifically the Euro 6 regulation which concerns bus emissions, mean that the cost to the club of a double decker on these services has increased by £75 per bus. To further add to the costs, deregulation means that although Seniors receive free travel the bus operator can only reclaim a fraction of the fare: many local services have been cut as a consequence.
Because of these new regulations the buses for the new season will be single deckers for most games, with double deckers in operation only for the very biggest games if demand is expected to warrant it. Reluctantly, the club will have to increase adult fares by £1 and child prices by 50p, starting this Saturday against Chesterfield.
Finally, since numbers travelling were far lower for midweek games the buses will only run for afternoon home league matches and not those with evening kick-offs.
There is a frequent bus service from the City centre to the local area and the Oxford Bus Company are offering a ‘bus add-on’ which offers a season ticket on the regular city5 service that runs between Oxford station, the city centre, Cowley and the Kassam Stadium. This is available for just £35 a season for adults, £25 for under 18s £60 for a family of two adults and three children. To book call the commercial department on 01865 337513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition a new service 3A has just been introduced jointly by Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach. Two buses per hour will operate from Oxford City Centre to Oxford Science Park and the Kassam Stadium, via Littlemore, Sandford and Iffley Road on Mondays to Saturdays.
Managing Director Greig Box Turnbull said:
“We have been actively reviewing our whole transport strategy, looking at things like car parking, access on matchdays and the bus services. We are pleased to have introduced the city5 season ticket with the Oxford Bus Company but we also recognise that the OX3 and OX7 buses have been an important way for fans to get to games and we will do all we can to keep them running.
“Unfortunately there has been a significant loss in doing this ever since we moved to the new ground and as it stands, with the new regulations, the services may turn out to be unsustainable. Therefore we will underwrite the costs for the first three months and urge fans to use the buses as much as possible. If more people use them then they will continue; if not we may have to withdraw them.
“Meanwhile we will continue to investigate every alternative to make it simple for fans to come to games and get behind the team.”