IN 2016-17, people made 41.4 million bus trips in Oxfordshire. That is more than double the total number of train trips made to and from stations in our county.

Bus use in Oxfordshire increased every year until 2013-14, when it peaked at 43.2 million. Since then unwise transport planning, plus in 2016 our county council axing all bus subsidies, have reduced Oxfordshire bus use by 4.2 per cent. The decline is despite the county’s population growing. Bus use per head in Oxfordshire was 6.5 per cent lower in 2016-17 than it was in 2013-14.

Two opposite factions attack buses. One wants the car to remain supreme. The other seems hostile to any motorised road transport.

West Oxfordshire District Council embodies the car faction. It recently wasted council tax on a 139-page report on car parking. It gave its consultants the wrong terms of reference, which ensured it got the wrong answer.

The report barely considers sustainable transport to reduce car use and parking. It glibly dismisses what buses could do for West Oxfordshire. It wrongly claims the district ‘needs’ 1,000 more car parking spaces, including 600 in Witney.

The county council’s proposals for Oxford city centre embody the opposite faction. It misrepresents buses as dangerous, wants them banned from Queen Street and George Street, perhaps also from St Aldate’s and Worcester Street, and halved in High Street.

Worsening already inadequate bus connections through central Oxford would increase car use. And it would disadvantage people with impaired mobility who use buses.

Bus Users Oxford