BUS passengers in Woodstock will soon be spoiled for choice when it comes to travelling between the town and Oxford.

Stagecoach has announced that on Wednesday it will launch a new route 7, linking Old Woodstock, Woodstock town centre, Kidlington, Oxford Parkway railway station, Summertown and Oxford city centre.

The move comes just over a week after the Oxford Bus Company extended its route 500 from Water Eaton park-and-ride and Oxford Parkway through Kidlington to Woodstock.

Stagecoach’s route S3 already links Woodstock and Oxford every 20 minutes, running via the A44 and Woodstock Road.

Both companies are aiming to attract custom from rail passengers using Oxford Parkway, including tourists travelling on Chiltern Railways’ services between London Marylebone and Oxford who want to combine a city visit with an excursion to Blenheim Palace in Woodstock.

The new services also restore public transport links between Woodstock and Kidlington lost in July, when the W10 route, run by Go Ride, was withdrawn after Oxfordshire County Council cut subsidies for some bus services.

The 7 and the 500 will both serve Woodstock every 30 minutes for most of the day.

Route 7 will also replace a number of journeys on Stagecoach’s route S4 between Oxford and Banbury that serve Oxford Airport.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire's business development manager Karen Coventry said the aim of route 7 was to open up new journey opportunities for passengers.

She said: “We have been working on a number of schemes to introduce new links that aren’t currently available.

"A link between Woodstock, Kidlington, Oxford Parkway, Summertown and Oxford city centre has been part of our plans for a long time, so we’re delighted to make this announcement.

"We’re always looking at ways to improve to ensure our passengers are taken where they need to be comfortably and on time. "With that in mind, we will be talking to passengers in the new year on this new service and asking them if it meets their needs.”

Woodstock town councillor Brian Yoxall said: “We’re very pleased to have additional public transport between Woodstock, Kidlington and Oxford Parkway station, plus a connection with the hospitals bus at Water Eaton park-and-ride.

“However, it does seem a bit of nonsense we now have two half-hourly buses on this route when some parts of the county lost all their services in the cuts.

“I think the county council should intervene to see if some more sensible arrangement could be made, but [county council leader] Ian Hudspeth says these are commercial decisions for the operators.”

He added: “One concern we have is that the Oxford Bus Company services are turning round in the town centre, which is causing some problems, so we have suggested that they turn round at Old Woodstock as well.”

All buses on route 7 will feature contactless payment, wi-fi and USB charging points for passengers.

For timetable information, visit www.stagecoachbus.com/timetables