A DISTRICT councillor has called for more bus links from Bicester to the Horton Hospital in Banbury after services to Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital got a major boost this month.
Councillor Les Sibley, leader of the opposition at Cherwell District Council, says as many Bicester people travel to Banbury for hospital appointments as to Oxford.
His call for a direct Horton Hospital bus service came weeks after Stagecoach relaunched its S5 services between Bicester and Oxford.
Councillor Sibley said: “There is no direct link to the Horton Hospital, but at least now the JR2 will have one.
“The Horton can be a big problem for people to get to. At the moment they can go to Banbury by train, but that means getting to the station in Bicester and then catching a bus or taxi at the other end.”
He added: “And if you don’t want a long wait at A&E, then the Horton is the best place to go.”
Councillor Sibley said he would raise the matter with Cherwell District Council and local bus operators.
Earlier this month, Stagecoach doubled the number of buses running on Sundays and made some slight alteration to evening journeys to suit Bicester Village opening hours.
A new direct service to the John Radcliffe Hospital was also brought in.
The January changes saw the introduction of 11 new luxury buses and a 25 per cent boost to services, meaning passengers can get a bus between Oxford and Bicester every 15 minutes.
Stagecoach bus manager Carole Stevens said: “We are carrying many more people from Bicester to Oxford and these changes will help to meet the extra demand anticipated from new housing developments and the redevelopment of the town centre.
“We are delighted with the introduction of direct buses to the JR Hospital which is going to be a real advantage to people living in Bicester and working at the JR.”
For new Stagecoach timetables, visit www.stagecoachbus.com/oxfordshire. Bus stops will change from January 30 for the town centre redevelopment.