There was a 20 per cent increase in bus use reported last month following a campaign to encourage people back.

Bus operators Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Stagecoach offered 30 per cent off the cost of 12 trip tickets bought through the operator websites or app in September.

The campaign, backed by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council, was designed to coincide with university students returning to the city, pupils going back to school, workers returning from furlough and many employers relaxing their "work from home" guidance.

Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel reported a 20 per cent increase in overall passengers in September, meaning three in four passengers have now returned to using buses compared to pre-Covid levels.

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel managing director, said: “It is great to see more people coming back to bus in recent weeks. September was an important month for us to better understand what the ‘new normal’ is to help us plan services with more clarity. Bus travel is vital for our economy and remains one of the most sustainable modes of transport and is key to improving congestion and air quality in our communities.”

Oxford Bus Company's services span Oxfordshire including the city, Park&Ride and airline services. Its sister company Thames Travel operates in South Oxfordshire and Berkshire.