Oxford bus companies to get integrated services

Bus travellers in Oxford will get a more efficient service from next month, according to bus operators.

On that date Stagecoach, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel launch integrated timetables and ticketing.

Passengers in the city's "Smartzone" will be able to travel on different operators' buses using the same ticket from 24 July.

Noam Bleicher from the Oxford branch of Bus Users UK said it would be a "great benefit to passengers."

There will be special deals available for people coming into Oxford from surrounding towns into the city's Smartzone.

Technical complexities

New legalisation enacted in the Transport Act 2008 made it legally possible for the council and bus companies to work together.

Councillor Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "This is the first agreement of its kind to be put in place in the UK.

"The bus companies have been working very hard with the council on this and I look forward to seeing the new system unfold in coming weeks and months."

The scheme was first announced in January 2010 and was expected to be running that autumn but the technical complexities pushed it back until now.

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