SAVE THE 250 BUS!
SAVE THE 250 BUS!
Why this petition matters
SAVE THE 250 BUS!
At the end of this year, 2022, the 250 bus service will come to an end. A bus bus route that is over seventy years old will vanish, leaving residents of Heyford Park, Upper Heyford, Lower Heyford, Kirtlington, Bletchington and Hampton Poyle with NO PUBLIC TRANSPORT by road to and from Oxford.
Save our bus route! No 250 will mean:
· No way of getting to and from work, risking loss of much needed income in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
· No way of seeing friends and family in Oxford leaving many isolated and at risk of mental ill health at time just when people are reconnecting after Covid.
· No way of getting to school and college, pushing our young people further back than the pandemic has already done.
· No independence for disabled people and older people with mobility problems leaving them socially isolated and unable to even do food shopping.
Sign this petition to tell Oxfordshire County Council that we want our bus!
Sign the petition to save people having to leave their homes! ‘Levelling up’ has a hollow ring when people are being forced to move from their homes in villages, unable to get to work and earn a living – it is happening now. While the climate crisis is leading Oxford City and County Councils to discourage people using their cars through high parking charges people are being simultaneously encouraged to use their cars by having their public transport cut. Stop this happening by supporting us in saving our bus service.
Despite the increase in population in the area with well over a thousand houses built in Heyford Park recently, and ever expanding villages, the ongoing difficulties of Oxford employers in recruiting people for their posts, our essential transport to and from the city is being cut. Please sign this petition to stop this happening!
We ask Oxfordshire County Council and Diamond Bus to rethink their decision and save this essential service.
If you want to read more details about the consequences of the withdrawal of the 250 bus, please see below:
Cutting the 250:
1. Completely cut off residents of Heyford Park, Upper Heyford, Lower Heyford, Kirtlington, Bletchington, Hampton Poyle, from a direct public transport route into Oxford.
2. Discriminate against those who cannot afford or are physically able get to alternative transport (e.g. railway station or S4 bus).
3. Force those with access to cars, and who can afford fuel and parking costs, to travel to Oxford by car, increasing the carbon footprint of Oxfordshire and Oxford city, contradicting the Council’s ‘Climate Action for a Thriving Oxfordshire’ commitment. (See: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/sites/default/files/file/about-council/CIimateActionDeclaration.pdf ) This is also true for people wishing to trave to villages to see friends and families.
4. Force working people who cannot afford transport costs without public transport to leave their homes in these villages – this is happening already, people are leaving. Villages will become increasingly only habitable by retired, wealthy, car owning people or working, multi-car households, or those who can work from home, resulting in the ongoing rise in house prices.
5. A missed opportunity. Oxford is an expensive city to live in so many people in lower paying jobs live outside and travel in. Oxfordshire County Council recognises the lack of services for some rural areas (see OCC Oxfordshire Bus Service Improvement Plan October 2021BSIP; s 4.1.4, p. 29 https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/sites/default/files/file/roads-and-transport/OxfordshireBSIP.pdf ) and considers population size as a factor in decision making. With the growth of 2800 properties being built by Dorchester Living at Heyford Park (see: Dorchester Regeneration https://www.dorchesterregeneration.co.uk/project/heyford-park/ ) it is hard to see why a bus service to Oxford going right through the development is not beneficial to the needs of the City as well as the needs of people living in rural areas.
6. Affect mental, emotional health, social and family relationships leaving people isolated and at risk of deterioration in mental health, especially young (See: https://rsnonline.org.uk/images/publications/rural-as-a-region-the-hidden-challenge-for-levelling-up.pdf p 7, and https://www.rsnonline.org.uk/hidden-region-rural-england-forgotten-in-governments-levelling-up-white-paper )
7. No safe alternatives for cyclists and pedestrians to access other bus routes or trains: eg the canal towpath is damaged and dangerous in many areas; impassable at many points due to deep mud in autumn and winter. Roads have no foot/cycle paths with cars travelling at 60 mph). This contradicts the Council’s ‘Climate Action for a Thriving Oxfordshire’ commitment (See: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/sites/default/files/file/about-council/CIimateActionDeclaration.pdf The S4 bus route is outside of Lower Heyford village and too far for people with mobility issues to walk to, as well as dangerous: the bridge foot path is very narrow and there are no footpaths at all at the cross roads, where it is necessary to cross in order to get to the secluded bus stop in the wooded area, which is very dark in winter, has no seating or shelter, and feels unsafe.
8. Reduce the frequency of times people can travel to and from Oxford by public transport, making it less likely to be used
9. Any transport, funded by businesses, to take people from rural locations to Bicester, so that they could travel to Oxford by bus, will mean two journeys. Why would anyone want to take two buses to get to and from Oxford (adding another 5.6 miles if you were to travel from Upper Heyford to Bicester) when there is a bus travelling directly to and from your village?!
10. Cutting essential public transport makes a mockery of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. The Rural Services Network highlights features of the experience of rural communities which are overlooked, including:
- House price relative to local earnings
- Frequency of public transport services to access key service
- Distance to Further Education provider and the range of courses available