Renewed Thames Travel partnership
Published on 22 January 2024
New bus contract set to boost sustainable commutes
Commuters to Milton Park are set to benefit from improved bus services throughout 2024, following a renewed partnership.
Thames Travel has announced the new contract with Milton Park will enable it to increase the frequency and capacity of its services to Milton Park, in response to a growing demand for bus travel and the popularity of the Park’s £20 employee bus pass.
The news follows Milton Park’s survey of over 1,000 employees which, for the first time, found over 50 per cent were opting for more sustainable methods such as bus, bike and car sharing to travel to work, compared to single occupancy vehicles.
The survey also found a significant 18% uplift in bus usage since the pandemic, enabled by Milton Park’s commitment to sustainable commutes, ongoing partnerships with local providers and incentives such as the Park’s £20 employee bus pass.
The subsidised pass, which can be used on all bus services to and from the Park to home throughout 2024, is available for those working at Milton Park and commuting from Didcot, Drayton, Great Western Park, Ladygrove, Milton, Northbourne, Steventon or Sutton Courtenay.
Commenting on the announcement, Veronica Reynolds, Sustainability and Community Manager at Milton Park, said: “The latest survey shows people are becoming increasingly climate-conscious when choosing how they want to travel to Milton Park, with buses playing a significant role in that shift away from single occupancy car-usage.
“We know from the travel survey that the £20 bus pass has been particularly popular in this regard and provides excellent value for occupiers. With an improved frequency of services in 2024, Milton Park is delighted to renew its partnership with Thames Travel.
“The Park looks forward to seeing how employees and residents alike will benefit from these improved services in the new year, in the hope it will encourage even more people to leave their cars at home.”
Luke Marion, Managing Director of Thames Travel, said: “Whilst roadworks across Oxfordshire have caused problems with congestion in recent months, this significant investment from Milton Park will allow Thames Travel to work closely with Milton Park’s team to improve the punctuality and reliability of timetables and services, especially on the X32 route.
“Performance has been monitored closely through a real-time tracking system, which shows the route needs greater capacity, which is why an extra bus will be added to the service from 7th January 2024. Thames Travel hopes the improvements will bolster reliability, giving the service extra resilience and in-built capacity to cope with future traffic conditions.”
In addition to the increased frequency, 13 Milton Park-branded buses will now operate on routes across the county, with double-decker buses becoming more widespread on the route from March 2024, as single-deckers are gradually phased out.
Commenting as part of the travel survey, a commuter to Milton Park who uses the bus pass added: “I absolutely love the bus pass – it’s a massive incentive to get the bus every day even though I own a car… [the bus pass is] the best travel perk that I’ve ever been offered to commute into work.”