SO farewell, then, the X90 coaches to London – set to be withdrawn in the new year because the service just won’t pay its way.

A fond farewell? For some, but for others it’s more good riddance. Who wants to sit for two hours or more stuck in traffic when it takes half the time by rail and is often cheaper?

The appalling traffic jams at either end of the journey at peak times make the road-or-rail? choice a no-brainer. It doesn’t help that the X90’s passage to Victoria takes it grinding through Baker Street to its notoriously congested junction with Oxford Street. The Oxford Bus Company’s Stagecoach rival, The Oxford Tube, travels more directly to Park Lane through Notting Hill.

But one problem is of OBC’s own making. Why did it introduce to the service coaches in which only the upper deck is used?

The stairs to this level, curving vertiginously behind the driver, are punishingly difficult to climb.

But I am tempted to think that OBC is not especially bothered about its customers with mobility problems.

I cite as evidence of this what has been going on with Osney Island’s two bus stops in Botley Road. These have been shut now for two months while the infernal gas repairs drag ludicrously on, with nobody showing much sign of doing any repairing.

Writing here, I have twice taken a pop about this, since it seems to me – and not a few of my neighbours – that these closures may not have been entirely necessary. This is certainly the case with the stop for westbound services, with a bus lane running up to and beyond it.

Blame for the closure has been laid at the door of the local authorities, but it seems they have only been doing OBC’s bidding.

Proof of this came in a letter from a city council official, forwarded to Osney Islanders by our councillor Susanna Pressel.

He told her: “Dear Cllr Pressel. I did ask for the bus stops to be reactivated last week but Oxford Bus spent an hour on site and wasn’t happy with the situation.”

So now we know.