Save our No. 9 Bus
On the 1st of November 2021, the Stagecoach bus service ceased their number 9 route which connected Risinghurst with Oxford city centre. The number 9 bus service is the only bus service that connects Risinghurst with the Headington shops and Oxford city centre. It provides an inclusive, accessible, affordable and environmental form of transport that connect people with: employment, essential services, families, community services, community groups, volunteering roles and leisure activities.
The Oxford City Council and District Data service released in January 2021, states that 21% of households in the Risinghurst and Sandhills area do not have a vehicle, and are therefore dependent on alternative forms of transport, such as the number 9 bus service. The removal of the Stagecoach bus service has resulted in the reduced frequency of services. Furthermore, the continued hourly service offered by the Oxford Bus Company has also been reduced in travel with the last service ceasing at 7.58pm. The service provided after 3pm is more than an hour apart and members of the local community feel that it lacks reliability. The removal of the number 9 bus service offered by Stagecoach has negatively impacted on how the community is able to link with one another, and on wider social and support services. The number 9 bus service is an essential service that facilitates a strong and healthy community.
The Risinghurst community and the wider public that benefit from the regular number 9 bus route, feel that this decision was made without community consultation and minimal communication. Stagecoach have stated that this decision was made due to the inability for two bus companies to operate the number 9 route in a profitable manner. Stagecoach has also stated that this decision was made in consultation with Oxfordshire County Council.
This petition has five aims:
- To demonstrate to Stagecoach, the Oxford Bus Company and the Oxfordshire County Council, the public and community support to reinstate the number 9 Stagecoach service, so that there is a reliable, half-hourly bus service in Risinghurst.
- We call on the Oxford County Council to recognise our communities need and to provide their support by helping subsidise a decent bus service for Risinghurst as part of their bid for 56 million pounds from the National Bus Strategy Fund.
- The Risinghurst Community Association would like to call for a community meeting with Stagecoach to express the impact and consequences of the removal of this service. We wish to discuss in full, the options of reinstating a more frequent bus service as offered by Stagecoach and the Oxford Bus company.
- Oxford Stagecoach have been recipients of £23. 5 million of subsidized national support over the last 11 years through the Bus services Operators Grant. This scheme helps subsidize fuel costs to help keep fares down and enable operators to run services that might otherwise be unprofitable and could lead to cancellation. As recipients of such high support, we call on Stagecoach to demonstrate how these funds have been responsibly used in line with their purpose: to keep unprofitable bus services open and prevent the closure of services such as the Number 9 bus route.
- Finally, we call upon Anneliese Dodds, the MP for Oxford East to support our cause and to ensure that the national financial support provided to Oxford Stagecoach has been used to its maximum capacity.
We hope to present this petition to Stagecoach, the Oxford County Council and Anneliese Dodds in the new year (2022). We hope to gain as much community support and signatures in the interim. Thankyou for your support
Risinghurst Community Association.