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REDUCED FARES AND EASIER TICKETING TO MAKE PARK & RIDE FIRST CHOICE FOR DRIVERS VISITING OXFORD

Park & Ride services in and around Oxford are now offering a combined parking and bus ticket to make services cheaper and more attractive for customers.

Working together, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach have made the changes to encourage more people to choose the Park & Ride over car travel and so help reduce traffic congestion in the city, while supporting the city centre’s economic recovery.

A new combined parking and bus ticket is now in place at all Park & Ride sites in and around Oxford. These are:

As part of the offer, passengers can now buy a combined ticket at a reduced price which covers both parking and return bus travel at a rate of £4 for a car with only 1 adult and £5 for a car and 2 adults. With both options, up to three children under 16 can travel for free.

The combined ticket at a reduced-price offer is part of a six-month trial, which is taking place until 31 March 2023 and is subject to review by both councils and the bus operators. However, the combined parking and bus ticket approach is a permanent change.

The trial offers a saving of £1 per person (20%) for an individual ticket, and £1.80 per two people travelling together (26%). Previously, other than a combined £6.80 family ticket, drivers had to pay separately for both parking and bus travel. The new combined ticket also provides a lower cost alternative to the existing £6.80 family ticket. 

Drivers are encouraged to purchase a combined ticket through the RingGo parking app, or at one of the onsite ticket machines. Ringo users are able to purchase a combined virtual ticket through the app. Users are encouraged to download the RingGo app in advance of their arrival. Ticket machines at the Park & Ride sites have been updated to reflect the trial.

The trial does not impact the prices of annual, quarterly, or 28 day permit holders, and free parking remains for blue badge holders. Drivers using Hozah who would like to use the combined ticket offer will need to pause their membership and use either Ringo or the onsite ticket machines.

In addition, a permanent change has been made to the parking periods at all Park & Ride sites around Oxford, so that customers needing to park for longer, such as those working longer shifts, pay less.

The changes, which also come into effect from 30 September mean the £2 tariff will now cover 1-16 hours, extended from 1-11 hours and the £4 tariff will now cover 16-24 hours, extended from 11-24 hours.

The change follows discussions with major employers, including city centre retailers, which identified that the 11-hour time charge created a ‘cliff-edge’ for shift workers. The change aims to better support these drivers to continue to use the park and ride services. Aside from these changes, all other car-parking charges at these sites will remain the same.

The Park & Ride financial incentive was agreed by cabinets at Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council. As part of an Enhanced Partnership agreement the councils and bus operators Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Stagecoach are working together on initiatives to bring bus passenger numbers back to pre-pandemic levels.

Park & Ride passenger numbers have not fully recovered post COVID-19 following changes in passenger habits. The six-month pilot scheme is designed to encourage people to use the service, as a cost-effective and sustainable way to visit Oxford.

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company Interim Managing Director said:“This is a fantastic offer for people visiting Oxford and represents the best value for commuters, shift workers and leisure visitors. Thanks to key stakeholders working together we have jointly created an excellent special offer for an extended period designed to encourage people to return to, or try out, the Park & Ride service. 

“We appreciate times are challenging and the reduced prices represent tremendous value for people to park and travel in and out of Oxford. We are committed to making bus travel as accessible and convenient as possible and the joint ticket combined with extended parking times and reduced prices is a big step forward in our strategy. The Park & Ride service is a sustainable and cost-effective way to travel into Oxford and can be a vital part of the city’s vision to reduce congestion and carbon emissions.”

Rachel Geliamassi, Managing Director at Stagecoach West, said:“We’re really pleased to be introducing this Park & Ride ticket offer to Oxford. For those looking to travel from Oxford Parkway to the hospital sites in Headington, as well as into Oxford City Centre, this ticket offer will provide brilliant value and convenient travel, with extended parking times.”  

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Health and Transport, Oxford City Council, said: “Park & Ride services are essential for travelling into and across our city. In partnership with the bus operators and the County Council. We are working to ensure services are easy to use and affordable for as many people as possible. We hope that the combined ticket offer and amended parking tariff will encourage more people to travel into the city by Park & Ride for work, leisure, and tourism. It takes the worry out of trying to find a parking space in the city centre and it’s much easier to leave your car at the Park & Ride and hop on a bus instead.”

Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “This new deal will make it cheaper and more convenient for many people to use the park and ride services instead of driving all the way into Oxford city centre. More people on the buses will reduce car use and cut congestion and pollution.”

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