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Campaign for Joint Ticketing On Buses in Oxfordshire

December 14, 2011 6:22 PM

Liberal Democrats have long argued that a joint ticketing system on the buses in Oxfordshire would help to improve public transport in Oxfordshire and help the environment. Liberal Democrats therefore welcomed the introduction of Smartzone in Oxford city which brought with it joint-timetabling and joint-ticketing. This has helped to reduce traffic congestion and the city's carbon footprint so now seemed a good time to extend the benefits to other areas of the county.

Cllr. Zoé Patrick, Leader of the Opposition, proposed a motion to the County Council yesterday to call on the Cabinet to extend joint-ticketing outside Oxford to other areas of the county where more than one bus company operates. Unfortunately, the Conservatives defeated the motion and so the opportunity was lost.

Cllr. Patrick said "The system is really working well within the city centre and so it would be really good to extend the benefits to those residents who live in the more rural areas of Oxfordshire, where more than one bus company operates, sometimes on subsidised services. This would lead to increased bus patronage, contented passengers, better value for money and more joined-up services. Above all, it would also lead to a reduction in Oxfordshire's carbon footprint. Many of my constituents tell me that it would be so helpful if they could buy one return ticket and use it despite a different bus company turning up."

Cllr. David Turner, shadow portfolio holder for Transport, seconded the motion and said "A joint-ticketing system in Oxfordshire is long overdue and I welcome the system which is now operating in the city of Oxford. It does, of course, make logical sense to extend this to the whole of Oxfordshire, not only for the bus routes which have more than one operator, but also for the routes where a change of bus is also required."

Liberal Democrats in Opposition were disappointed that this motion was not agreed, but have not given up and look forward to continuing to campaign for joint-ticketing in the future.

Cllr. Patrick stated "I remember standing in the council chamber in April 2008 with a similar motion calling for joint-ticketing to be introduced in Oxfordshire, but the Tories argued it couldn't be done - it was all too difficult as the technology was not available. I have always insisted that it was not the technology that is needed - indeed one can actually use paper bus tickets which is what is happening in Oxford. What is really needed is the political will - and this was lacking in the council chamber yesterday."