Hospital bus from Carterton to JR stops a half-mile walk away

Cllr Andrew Coles lobbied the county council and Stagecoach for the S7 service                  Picture: OX68533 Mark Hemsworth

Cllr Andrew Coles lobbied the county council and Stagecoach for the S7 service Picture: OX68533 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

BUS PASSENGERS face a half-mile walk to the John Radcliffe hospital after a new dedicated service stops short of the entrance.

Stagecoach announced last week it will begin running the S7 service between Carterton and Headington from Monday, July 28.

It followed a campaign launched in May last year by councillors and residents, who said it took up to two-and-a-half hours to get from Witney to the county’s main hospital.

But the service will only stop in Headley Way, Headington, leaving passengers up to half a mile away from the hospital.

Enid Huttel, 87, who has lived in Witney since 1977, uses a walking stick and said it would be a difficult journey.

She said: “I don’t relish the walk up Headley Way. It’s no good just dumping people like me that far away when we can’t walk it.

“A bus service is essential for people like me to get to the various hospitals and we don’t necessarily go to one hospital. I go to the Nuffield and Churchill as well as the JR.”

Witney resident Heather Stanbridge, 82, said: “I can definitely see it would be a problem to people who have difficulty walking.

“It should go to the hospital and it seems rather ludicrous that it doesn’t. About 70 to 80 per cent of people are on that bus to go to the hospital.”

West Oxfordshire District Council member for Witney Central, Andrew Coles, and Witney South and Central county councillor Laura Price lobbied the county council and Stagecoach for the S7 service. Mr Coles, who has been a bus driver for 10 years, said he was pleased with the service but felt it did not go far enough.

He added: “We’re a little bit disappointed that it doesn’t completely meet our objectives. We’re very hopeful that this is just the start and we can persuade Stagecoach in the long run to go to the hospital.

“This is the first stage of what we hope will be better connections, to not just the JR but other hospitals like Nuffield and Churchill.

“There’s an awful lot of workers at the JR who live in West Oxfordshire so the bus could also alleviate congestion on the A40, which is a massive problem.”

Stagecoach business development manager Karen Coventry said the company hopes to expand the hours and frequency of the service in the future.

She added: “We are not currently running the service into the hospital due to the congestion we are experiencing with other services on the site of the JR.”

ALL CHANGE

  • CHANGES will also be made to Stagecoach’s S1, S2 and S3 services.
  • There will be more S1 journeys to and from Carterton at rush hour, while there will be a more frequent service leaving Witney Market Square in the morning and a new 8.36am service from Eynsham to Oxford.
  • New double-decker services will replace minibuses from Carterton to Witney at 7.40am and 8.40am as part of changes to the S2 service. The S2 will no longer stop in Minster Lovell or Tower Hill in Witney, which will be served by the S7, but will stop by the A40 slip road by Minster Lovell.
  • Daytime frequency between Oxford and Woodstock on the S3 will increase from every 30 minutes to 2every 0 minutes and there will be a new journey from West Street in Chipping Norton at 8.10am and Charlbury at 8.25am.
  • For details visit stagecoachbus.com



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Comments (5)

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4:14pm Thu 17 Jul 14

West Oxon Webwatcher says...

I was considering using the new S7 service to get to the JR. However if it is not going to leave Headly Way and will require hospital patients to get off on the nearest Headly Way bus stop I am afraid that I will not be able to use it as I cannot walk that far up hill. I will have to continue to go to Watereaton P R for the 700 service that does go close to the hospital entrance - not the greenest travel mode. Let us hope that the people who have persuaded Stagecoach to provide this service can persaude it to meet the potential users' needs. When potential hospital staff use is also considered, it could be well used as there are currently no direct bus services from West Oxon to East Oxford.
I was considering using the new S7 service to get to the JR. However if it is not going to leave Headly Way and will require hospital patients to get off on the nearest Headly Way bus stop I am afraid that I will not be able to use it as I cannot walk that far up hill. I will have to continue to go to Watereaton P R for the 700 service that does go close to the hospital entrance - not the greenest travel mode. Let us hope that the people who have persuaded Stagecoach to provide this service can persaude it to meet the potential users' needs. When potential hospital staff use is also considered, it could be well used as there are currently no direct bus services from West Oxon to East Oxford. West Oxon Webwatcher
  • Score: -1

6:03pm Thu 17 Jul 14

The New Private Eye says...

Enid Huttel, 87, who has lived in Witney since 1977, uses a walking stick and said it would be a difficult journey.

She said: “I don’t relish the walk up Headley Way. It’s no good just dumping people like me that far away when we can’t walk it.

But Enid, isn't it much better than walking from out in the sticks where you are from? I can think of two options, buy a house on a bus route to the hospital, or get off the bus and take the next one that goes into the hospital. It is not rocket science, and as I am paying for it with my Tax dollars, just be thankful that u have a service. Good old stagecoach, caring and sharing with our tax money
Enid Huttel, 87, who has lived in Witney since 1977, uses a walking stick and said it would be a difficult journey. She said: “I don’t relish the walk up Headley Way. It’s no good just dumping people like me that far away when we can’t walk it. But Enid, isn't it much better than walking from out in the sticks where you are from? I can think of two options, buy a house on a bus route to the hospital, or get off the bus and take the next one that goes into the hospital. It is not rocket science, and as I am paying for it with my Tax dollars, just be thankful that u have a service. Good old stagecoach, caring and sharing with our tax money The New Private Eye
  • Score: -5

9:09pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Bladder says...

I take it by your concern for the elderly that you must be more of a
japs eye than a new private one, because you sound like a right pr*ck..
I take it by your concern for the elderly that you must be more of a japs eye than a new private one, because you sound like a right pr*ck.. Bladder
  • Score: 8

9:35am Fri 18 Jul 14

jennie65 says...

and Stagecoach - you need to update the timetables in your bus stops as they are way out of date now.
and Stagecoach - you need to update the timetables in your bus stops as they are way out of date now. jennie65
  • Score: 2

8:26am Sun 20 Jul 14

H.J.Harris says...

I wonder if there is a limit to the number of buses allowed onto the JR site ?
I wonder if there is a limit to the number of buses allowed onto the JR site ? H.J.Harris
  • Score: 0

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