ALMOST 60% of Oxford Mail readers think more people would use the bus if car parks and rides were free.
In an online poll, 59% of 1,441 readers think if the service were free more people would use it, while 40% said it wouldn’t.
The remaining 1% voted “I don’t know”.
Combined parking and bus tickets for the service cost no more than £6.80.
READ ALSO: Would You Take The Park And Ride Bus To Oxford If It Was Free?
Phil Southall, chief executive of Oxford Bus Company, said he hoped new incentives to encourage use of the park and rides would soon be introduced.
He said: “Our park-and-ride services are the most sustainable and cost-effective way for people to visit Oxford.
“We have ensured that bus fares remain excellent value for money and work closely with Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council who operate the parking and walking car parks .
“The partnership has enabled the introduction of joint ticketing offers and discounted season tickets, and we hope to be able to introduce further incentives in the near future to support the resumption of park-and-ride and encourage more people to travel to Oxford in a sustainable way. ”
A City Council spokesperson added: ‘Oxford’s five parks and rides, run by City and County Councils, in partnership with ODS [Oxford Direct Services]offer a practical and economical alternative to city driving.
“Users can take advantage of combined parking and bus tickets for families, and those who visit regularly can purchase discounted passes.
“We believe the fee at Park & Ride locations provides competitive parking rates and takes the misery out of queuing for downtown parking spots.”
A county council spokesperson said parking fees and ticketing at park ride sites were something being monitored.
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At the county council meeting on April 5, Councilor Liam Walker introduced a motion calling for free parking on park-and-ride lots.
The motion read: “This council recognizes the need to improve public transport in Oxfordshire to reduce emissions, tackle congestion and ensure that our bus services are more sustainable.
“The park and ride sites are important transport hubs in Oxfordshire, reducing the need to drive into the city of Oxford. »
The motion then called for the creation of a cross-party task force to “explore the viability” of marking free parking at parks and rides.
The motion also called for writing to the leader of the city council, Susan Brown, asking the local authority to join the multi-stakeholder working group.
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