The Oxfordshire Comet goes into orbit weekdays between 10.15am- 2.30pm | Oxfordshire County Council
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The Oxfordshire Comet goes into orbit weekdays between 10.15am- 2.30pm

Published 12 July 2016

The first sighting of the Oxfordshire Comet was in Stanton Harcourt today as Oxfordshire County Council launched a new bookable transport service for the county. It has been created to allow people without suitable access to public transport to make the journeys they want, at an affordable price.

For more information, visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/comet or to make a booking, call

The Oxfordshire Comet uses county council vehicles that normally take children to school and adults to day care centres. Oxfordshire County Council’s transport planning team identified the times of the day when they weren’t being used and are making them available to residents.

Transport from your door to destination
The Oxfordshire Comet is a pilot service that utilises the council’s minibus fleet when they are not in use, to the benefit of residents and communities. It has been designed to fill the transport gap in areas where people may not have suitable access to public transport and for people who have mobility issues.  Residents in all parts of Oxfordshire can benefit from this service from Banbury to Witney to Wantage to Henley to Didcot – this service is for the whole county.

Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Ian Hudspeth said:  “This is a fantastic example of us thinking outside the box and offers an affordable, pre-bookable, pre-paid service that can be used by individuals or groups if they don't have access to public transport. It has been developed following feedback by parishes, residents and councillors across the county.

“It is a cost effective solution for the people of Oxfordshire because we already own the vehicles and therefore only have to cover running costs, meaning we can keep costs down for passengers.”

Welcome additional facility
Oxfordshire County Councillor Charles Mathew said:  “This is a most welcome additional facility to the Lower Windrush Valley, which is losing its county council subsidised bus (the number 18) on July 20. Many people in Standlake, Northmoor, Bablockhythe and Stanton Harcourt will welcome a service to Eynsham, from where buses to Oxford or to Witney can be caught, especially those without their own transport. This service will now again provide a reliable lifeline to the doctors/opticians, to the hospitals, and to shopping facilities, and such like, albeit only on Tuesdays and Fridays.”

Who is it for?
Oxfordshire residents who don’t have access to suitable public transport. The service is also open to wheelchair users or those with mobility issues.  It is a membership scheme that can be booked by individuals, groups, schools, organisations and local communities.  The service is available 10:15am - 2:30pm Monday to Friday (unfortunately not on Bank Holidays).

Flexible service
It can be booked for any type of trip - to meet friends in town, travel across the county, attend an appointment or pop to the shops. It’s been designed so that it is easy to book, with a pre-paid account that can be set up on the phone.

The Oxfordshire Comet can do one-off journeys, regular and group trips. We can also offer regular routes for local communities (similar to a traditional bus route). We are already in discussions with a number of Parish Councils and other groups over the setting up of such routes. A fund of £200k has been set aside that Parish Councils and other organisation can apply for to trial the Comet service for an initial period.

The 16-seater Comet vehicles are fully wheelchair and pushchair accessible. 

Find out more
For more information, visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/comet or to make a booking, call 01865 323201 between 9am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday to book a trip.

 

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