Rose Hill residents are celebrating victory following an eight-year campaign to get a bus link to Cowley Centre.

Residents welcomed Stagecoach managers and county council cabinet member for transport Rodney Rose to The Oval on Monday for the launch of the new subsidised No 20 service, which links the Oxford estate with Templars Square.

Labour city councillor Ed Turner said he and Oxford East MP Andrew Smith had been campaigning on behalf of the estate’s 3,000 residents for the past eight years.

He said: “I started as a councillor eight years ago and it has been the most frequently asked-for facility for the estate.

“People want to be able to visit their local shopping centre and the Cowley Centre is more than a mile away, which is too far to walk if you’re elderly or with young children. The county council has now come up with the subsidy and I’m delighted that there’s a successful end to this long-standing campaign.”

Morning and afternoon peak services will run from Rose Hill to Cowley Centre then to Unipart, while the service on Saturday will continue to Cowley Retail Park, where there is a Tesco superstore and a large number of other shops.

Margaret Smith, 75, of Desborough Crescent, said she would use the bus several times a week.

She added: “The new service is absolutely brilliant. I haven’t been able to get to Cowley Centre from here to do my shopping, so I really appreciate it.”

Neighbour Terry Kirkby added: “I have been campaigning for some time, so now we have got the service to Cowley Centre it’s a complete bonus. By running on to places like Tesco, it really opens up the places Rose Hill residents like to shop in Oxford.”

Stagecoach Oxfordshire managing director Martin Sutton said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide this service for the people of Rose Hill.

“The estate is changing, with new housing, people moving in, and a lot of positive things happening.”

l People in Greater Leys will also have direct access to the city centre seven days a week after the Stagecoach No 12 service was extended to run on sundays as well as the rest of the week Sundays.

The services are being provided as part of a series of changes to bus routes in Oxford following the redistribution of £133,000 of county council subsidies.