Our company

about us
We are part of the Go-Ahead Group plc, one of the five major groups involved in running buses in the UK. The Go-Ahead philosophy is for each subsidiary company to run as an autonomous business in tune with the local market. In Oxford, this policy has enabled us to double the use of buses in the last ten years.

We run 160 buses and coaches on a variety of services:

  • Local Bus: an intensive network of local bus routes in Oxford and the surrounding areas of Kidlington, Abingdon and Didcot
  • Park & Ride bus connections between the city centre and each of the five Park & Ride car parks at the edge of Oxford
  • the airline frequent, high quality coach services from Oxford to Heathrow and Gatwick airports
  • Oxford espress a frequent, high quality coach service from Oxford to central London

We are one of Oxford’s largest employers with 550 staff, and operate from a purpose built site on Watlington Road, Cowley. As services have been improved over the last ten years, the number of drivers required to run them has risen by 50%

today’s buses
Each year, we invest heavily in new vehicles for our services. Around half of our local buses and all our Park & Ride buses are easy access low floor models so that people with pushchairs, prams and wheelchair users are welcome aboard. In addition, we have fitted controlled exhaust systems to our fleet which cuts out a large proportion of harmful emissions. We run the lowest emission bus fleet of its size in the UK. The average age of our fleet is around five years – half of what government guidelines suggest.

fare deals
We offer value-for-money fares, and the driver can offer single and return fares. In addition, we offer a wide range of fare deals for the frequent and not-so-frequent customer.

In 2004, we are changing our ticketing system to keep pace with the tremendous advances which are being made in technology. Our new ‘smartcard’ system will offer a new dimension in the way you pay for your bus travel. More details will be available soon.

working in partnership
We work in close partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council. Since 1973, both authorities have been promoting a pro-public transport policy and have introduced traffic management measures which give buses priority in the urban area.

Working together, we have achieved a remarkable result – 44% of people travelling to and from central Oxford use buses!

In partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, we intend to introduce a ‘Real Time Information’ pilot scheme in Banbury Road in 2004. This will give customers a clear indication of when their bus is due.

Bus services outside London operate as a deregulated market. Once a company has an Operator’s Licence, it can register any route: these are run commercially. If a local authority believes that a social need is not being met by commercial services, then it can offer a contract to run such services, awarded by competitive tender.

We do not receive huge subsidies from central or local government to operate our services: in fact we receive payment for less than 2% of our network, and that is to operate non-commercial services on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council. We believe strongly that, wherever possible, bus services in urban areas should be developed so that they can be run without subsidy.

oxford bus and the community
Having been around for nearly 125 years, we are certainly part of the Oxford scene. We are actively involved in a number of local initiatives, including:

  • OX1 (Oxford City Centre Management Company). Aiming to make central Oxford work better, for business and users.
  • Oxfordshire Employers’ Race Equality Network. Encouraging local employers to reflect local ethnic minorities within their workforce.
  • Expressway Oxford.Promoting a guided busway scheme which would give congestion-free links between Park & Ride sites and central Oxford.
  • Oxford Children’s Hospital.Sponsoring events including charity football matches and free travel to and from events.
  • Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce Supporting the Chamber’s Transport Group.
  • Local Charities. Sponsoring a number of local groups and events, such as the Oxfordshire Deaf Children’s Society.


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