CONCERNS have been raised that elderly people risk becoming socially isolated due to the lack of a regular bus service on a village cul-de-sac.

Oxford city councillor for Marston, Mary Clarkson, made the comments about people living in Mill Lane, which is not on a daily bus route.

Oxfordshire County Council has operated the H1 bus service which has left from the top of Mill Lane since 2010, but it operates only once a day, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Stagecoach also runs a service which stops near St Nicholas Church, in nearby Elsfield Road, but it has no plans to extend the service to Mill Lane.

Mrs Clarkson said elderly and vulnerable residents would benefit from a more frequent service as the walk to Elsfield Road was a struggle for some.

She said: “It has the potential for people to become isolated and cut off. I think people have resigned themselves to the situation and they realise that nothing will be done.”

Her comments were echoed by Mill Lane resident Marie Smith, who said she would benefit from a service which stopped closer to her home rather than walking to the stop in Elsfield Road.

The 81-year-old said: “I would definitely benefit from a bus that came and stopped here.

“As you get older you don’t want to do as much walking about.

“I have to walk right down to the church. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes.

“I think a bus service would be very well used, but we don’t seem to have had a lot of luck.”

There is already a bus shelter in Mill Lane – a relic from a service Oxford Bus Company ran until 2005.

But the firm’s operations manager, Phil Southall, said there were no plans to reinstate the service.

He said: “It was no longer viable to operate a service in Mill Lane.

“It is a cul-de-sac and the buses used on the route could not turn safely at the end of the road.”

Stagecoach Oxford runs the hourly 14A service through Marston. But its business development manager, Karen Coventry, said there were no plans to extend its service to Mill Lane.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Dominic Llewellyn-Jones said residents who struggled to walk to the pick-up point could ask to be picked up from home.



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