PENSIONERS in the Walton Street area are calling for the road closure to end as it has affected vital bus services.

The route was closed earlier this year for resurfacing and the county council then decided to keep it closed on a trial basis and is consulting the public on the proposal.

Walton Street is now closed off at the junction with Worcester Street and Beaumont Street.

Now a group called Jericho Connections has staged a meeting with a view to getting the street reopened.

READ AGAIN: Jericho residents say reopen Walton Street

It says it wants the street reopened for six months while baseline data is collected prior to a formal consultation.

Oxford Mail:

Former printer David Barker, 78, who lives in Great Clarendon Street, said he agreed.

He added: “We have lost the 17 service which was a lifeline for pensioners - I know about 30 pensioners who feel very angry about this.

“Some of them are having to get taxis and they really can’t afford it.

“I’m with Jericho Connections on this one - I would like to see the street reopened because then we might get a bus service back.

“Perhaps the people who want the street to stay shut are not affected in the same way.”

Oxford Bus Company said its app-based PickMeUp bus service was being withdrawn from Jericho from January 5.

The company said the service was being suspended as the prolonged Walton Street road closure made continuing impractical.

Hugh Jaeger, a spokesman for the Oxford branch of Bus Users’ UK, called for the street to reopen for buses.

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He added: “The 17 was run by Stagecoach until 2017 and then it was run by Thames Travel.

Oxford Mail:

“It was very useful for Jericho residents as it used to go down to Canal Street and back out again.

“The council could keep the road closed to other traffic but create a bus gate (at the Worcester Street junction).”

At a meeting on Monday more than 35 people attended a My Jericho meeting at the community centre to discuss the issue.

Jericho resident John Mair, who helped to organise the meeting, said: “All in all it was a very fruitful, much needed discussion on looking to the future of Jericho.

“The alternatives - a little bit of near-carless peace in the centre of Oxford with traffic as visitors, or back to the free for all as before.”

Oxford Mail:

He added there would be another My Jericho meeting on January 8 at about 5.15pm so the issue could be discussed further.

Last month the council said: “The formal consultation will run for six months during which time if problems are identified then we could abandon or alter the restriction in place.

READ AGAIN: Walton Street is set to remain closed

"Any decision to make the closure permanent would be taken by the cabinet member for transport at a public meeting.”