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Author Topic: Withdrawal of X90 Oxford to London coach service from 4.1.2020  (Read 1523 times)
grahame
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« on: October 02, 2019, 03:42:11 pm »

From the Oxford Bus Company

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X90 service withdrawal after 4th January 2020

We’re sorry, but from 4th January 2020 we will be withdrawing the X90 service. This decision has not been taken lightly and we will be doing everything we can to minimise the impact of this decision on both our customers and colleagues up to the withdrawal date.

We recognize that many of our customers are in possession of season tickets and 12-trip passes. These will continue to be valid up until the service stops operating. After this date any unused tickets will be eligible for a pro-rata refund and an on-line form will be set up to facilitate this process. Further information will be made available on 2 January 2020. However, we will be unable to refund any tickets prior to this date and we would encourage our customers to use up any remaining tickets before then.

The X90 Oxford - London coach service has a long and proud history, which can be tracked back as early as the 1920s. The express service we operate today has been in place for over 40 years and has carried millions of customers.

We would like to thank everyone who has travelled with the X90 and our colleagues who have worked with us throughout this time. The withdrawal of the service is no reflection on the performance of colleagues, and we are grateful for all the custom given to us.

For the record, here is the current timetable:



The Oxford Bus Company explains

Quote
Since October 2016 when Oxford Parkway Rail Station and the new rail line to London Marylebone opened, falling passenger numbers due to the new rail competition and worsening congestion have made the continued operation of the X90 service increasingly challenging. This unfortunate mix of factors include bus speeds falling by 8% on the London road corridor in two years and passenger numbers on the service falling by 35% since 2015.

Whilst we have introduced several measures to adapt to the above challenges, it is with regret that it is no longer viable to operate the X90 service.

The service now makes a significant loss each year, which cannot be sustained by the Oxford Bus Company. We have tried to develop a niche for the service by offering a high-quality service at more affordable fares to better compete in the market, but this has not been successful. Therefore today, with great regret we are announcing that the service will cease operating after service on 4th January 2020.

Again, we would like to thank all our customers who have travelled with the X90 over the years as well as our fantastic colleagues who have made the service so popular. All our driver colleagues working on the service will be redeployed to other roles within our business and we aim to keep job losses related to this decision to a minimum.
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2019, 03:51:36 pm »

A surprising announcement.  I guess this just goes to show the effect a new rail route can have, even on a very established coach route between a major city and the capital?  Plenty of coaches will still operate on the Oxford Tube service provided by Stagecoach of course.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 04:21:22 pm »

From the Oxford Mail

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Bosses at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire are taking a look at how they can fill the gap left by the scrapping of the X90.

Last week Oxford Bus Company stunned passengers by informing them that the X90 would end on January 4.

The decision put pressure on commuters who use the X90 route to look at alternatives, including taking Stagecoach's Oxford Tube or the train.

Stagecoach has been looking at its options and says it won't put prices up on Oxford Tube tickets until 'spring 2020'.

Today it also announced the possibility of introducing new links to Baker Street in the New Year.

Chris Coleman, managing director for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire and the Oxford Tube, said: “We have reviewed the situation and recognise that our current passengers on the Oxford Tube, along with those affected by the withdrawal of the X90, are concerned about capacity issues and affordability of the service for the future.

“We would like to reassure customers that we are looking at enhancing the current Oxford Tube timetable to increase capacity along with the possibility of introducing new links to Baker Street in the New Year.

“With regards to fares, we will be operating with the current fares and have no plans to change these in the immediate future and will review as part of our annual fares review in Spring 2020.

The fare review in Spring 2020 will, I suspect, be watched with great interest!
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TonyK
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2019, 09:03:33 pm »

The X90 is slightly cheaper than the Tube. Both are timed at a hopeful 2 hours. If both are owned by the same operator, one could view this as a stealth fare increase, probably with another in the new year. The train costs more, although there are bargains to be had, but takes half the time. The big attraction, for me, of train over bus is a greater degree of certainty on your actual travel time.

The volume is another thing. Both the Tube and X90 are coach services, 3 or 4 ph of the former, 2 ph of the latter. There are 4 tph to each of Marylebone and Paddington, far more seats, although trains don't offer multiple stops within Oxford.
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FremlinsMan
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 06:26:56 pm »

I'm a big fan of the X90. It runs back from London at convenient times after going to gigs. It was even more convenient when you could travel into London by train, and use the return half of your ticket on the coach. However, this arrangement was withdrawn sometime in the mid-2000's. Does anyone remember when this happened?
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 06:43:15 pm »

It was even more convenient when you could travel into London by train, and use the return half of your ticket on the coach. However, this arrangement was withdrawn sometime in the mid-2000's. Does anyone remember when this happened?

Probably when Go-Ahead ceased operating the Thames Trains franchise when First took it over as First Great Western Link?  That was the 1st April 2004.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2019, 06:58:38 am »

From the Oxford Mail

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Stagecoach in Oxfordshire has stepped in to boost its Oxford Tube service in the wake of Oxford Bus Company scrapping the X90.

The changes will amount to an additional 13,446 seats between Oxford and London each week, while fares will remain the same.

[snip]

Key changes to the timetable that will come into effect in January 2020, are:

17% increase in number of journeys each week
An extended 10-minute operating frequency Monday to Friday in peaks
Up to 8-minute frequency on Saturdays, compared to 12-minute previously
Up to 12-minute frequency on Sundays, compared to 15-minute previously
Introduction of 12 Express journeys in each direction (Monday to Friday) that will run as an Express between Thornhill Park and Ride and Baker Street, stopping only at the request of passengers at White City (in both directions)
Customers can use both routes on the same ticket so they can travel to Baker Street and return to Oxford from Marble Arch or Notting Hill Gate.
The Oxford Tube service will continue to run 24 hours day with fares remaining unchanged.
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didcotdean
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 02:08:03 pm »

GWR to give rail travel trial for X90 coach passengers (Oxford Mail)
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Existing X90 season-ticket holders who bought a 'time-based ticket' before November 5 are invited to email X90_Offer@gwr.com with their contact details to qualify for free travel with GWR. Standard class off-peak travel between Oxford and London Paddington will be available from 0001 on Sunday, January 5, until 2359 on Sunday, January 12.
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