A NEW bus route has been introduced connecting Swindon to Witney after a successful campaign.

The 64 service was added to Pulham Coaches' list of routes on November 27 which the travel firm says "provides a rare cross border bus route, serving three counties".

It will serve communities on the route including Highworth, Greenbridge, Lechlade, Burford, Carterton, Brize Norton and Minster Lovell.

There will be four buses per day between Mondays and Saturdays operating between 7.15am and 6.30pm, except on bank holidays, with school time journeys timed to provide connections to and from Burford School.

Read More: 'Cut-off' villagers keep up fight to reinstate axed Swindon bus route

The new timetable is good news for bus users, after a previous service that operated between Swindon and Carterton was withdrawn in 2016 due to a loss of funding.

After it was cut, locals along the route began a campaign to get it reinstated, led by Lee Bennett. 

At the time, he said: "I’ve been lucky enough to live in a town and a city which have the luxury of public transport, connecting services and amenities. 

"Since moving back to Filkins, I am now my elderly mother’s full-time carer and adult support worker.  

This Is Wiltshire: Locals campaign for the 64 bus route to be reinstatedLocals campaign for the 64 bus route to be reinstated (Image: Newsquest)"The biggest factor I have encountered when speaking to many people of the village is since the pandemic, the ever-increasing feeling of isolation and feeling trapped."

He added: “The older residents of the community want to get to banks, shopping and leisure, especially for those who don’t own computers, smartphones or don’t want to rely on family members. 

"People I have spoken to have said that the ability to access transport links without having to rely on parking, fuel costs, taxis and lifts is missed."

The new service is funded by the government via the national Bus Service Improvement Plan, which was bid for by Oxfordshire County Council to help improve rural and community transport.

In a further boost to customers, the route will be part of the government’s £2 fare cap scheme to help towards the cost of living and encourage more people to travel by bus.

Luke Marion, managing director of Pulhams Coaches, said: “This is excellent news for bus users and for the various communities on the route.

“It will help more people get out and about, travel in a sustainable way and support local economies. We’re pleased Oxfordshire County Council has worked in partnership to help secure investment in improved bus services for the benefit of rural communities."