Update from West Oxfordshire Community Transport (WOCT)

The 210 service has now been operating for a year (started 12th February 2018).  We have used this milestone to review the service to date and plan for the future to ensure that we put our resources to best use.  In the coming months we need to ensure that the service is economically viable.  The latest stats show that the 210 services continues to show steady growth and we believe will continue to show growth for another 6 months or so.

What is clear from our review is that whilst growth is steady and continuing, about 97% of passenger journeys are made between Witney and the Wychwoods.  We have very few (1 or 2 a week, and sometimes none) passenger journeys for the entire length of the route and journeys between intermediate stages and Chipping Norton are very low – on many occasions the bus runs empty between Milton and Chipping Norton and vice versa.

We have therefore decided to close the Milton to Chipping Norton section of the route and to use the ‘liberated’ resources to introduce a further service between Witney and the Wychwoods.  We will submit our change of timetable to the Traffic Commissioners within the next few days.   We expect the new timetable will come into effect once it has been cleared by the Traffic Commissioners in about 6 weeks’ time.  We are really disappointed that we have had to take this decision but the reality is that whilst we are a not-for-profit organisation, we must equally be a not-for-deficit organisation and in our view putting our resources into improving the Wychwoods to Witney section is the best use we can make of them to meet the demands of the passengers.  Should circumstances change in the future, we would certainly reconsider this decision.

We would also once again, like to consider the possibility of introducing a Saturday service sometime later this year.  This would be dependent on the service continuing to show steady growth and regularly breaking even.

We trust you have had good feedback from your residents about the service we provide.