A BUS service from Wantage to Oxford will be rerouting to include two more roads due to developer funding.

The X1 service will soon include Wootton Road and Dunmore Road in Abingdon due to section 106 funding, which is an agreement between a developer and a local planning authority about measures that the developer must take to reduce their impact on the community.

County councillor Nathan Ley, who represents North Abingdon, said he has been “pushing for this for a long time” and wanted to make sure the funds weren’t returned to the developer.

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He said the additional routes will bring “much needed bus coverage to a neglected part of the division”.

The service will also be running twice every hour rather than once per hour. Oxford Road will be removed from the route but will remain served by the X2 and X3.

Improvements to the service was announced at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (12) this week as compensation for the lack of a new service.

Submitted before the meeting, Mr Ley said: “In North Abingdon, we watch as a thousand plus new houses are being constructed due to decisions made under the previous Conservative-controlled district council.

“Some of these houses are now beginning to be occupied. Separate from the A34 Lodge Hill junction imminently due for planning permission submission, it’s essential that we don’t lock in car dependency, and we must therefore promote improved active and public transport links.

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“Section 106 funding was agreed to provide for bus services to link up with these developments around 12 Acre Drive and Dunmore Road.”

Councillor Andrew Gant, cabinet member for highway management, said that the “enhancement and diversion of a service to serve 12 Acre Drive and Dunmore Road” is not possible due to “post-pandemic changes in travel”.

He said: “As an alternative, the council will be issuing a tender shortly for an improvement to service X1 between Oxford, Abingdon and Wantage to operate every 30 minutes on Monday to Saturday daytimes and to operate via Dunmore Road and Wootton Road instead of Oxford Road in Abingdon.

“This also protects service 34 between Abingdon and Harwell Campus from withdrawal as this has been declared non-commercial by its operator and improves connectivity between Abingdon and Wantage – including a doubling of frequency for Marcham.

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“It is intended that this improvement will commence from August 28 on a six-year contract. Bus stops are being constructed on Dunmore Road at the present time to serve the development.

“The eastern half of the development, to the east of Oxford Road, will be served by new bus stops intended to be provided to the north of Peachcroft Roundabout.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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