Lewknor is a small village in Oxfordshire with a population of about 665; why then does it have an express coach service to London with a service frequency of 15 minutes for much of the day and an hourly service 24/7? The reason is that it  happened to have a pair of bus stops that could be used conveniently from the nearby M40 by the Oxford London Coach services. The coach initially stopped there initially for tax reasons. Stopping there allowed the operator to claim Bus Service Operators Grant which is only available for routes, or parts of routes with stops less than 15 miles apart. However, the coach then actually created significant demand which in turn created a parking problem near the bus stops they used.

Since then a shared-taxi service being established to ferry people to suitable parking places. This can either be seen as a problem, of parking mainly, or as a success in that fewer people driving to London. The images below show the junction layout, the road next and the stops using Google Streetview complete with yellow lines to stop people ‘fly-parking’. You can read more in ‘An investigation into the role express coaches could play in supporting a sustainable economic recovery‘ (Ben Staite, Transport Policy and Delivery, Swindon Borough Council)

Here is the map:

Lewknor map


Lewknor coach stop

Clearly one needs to think carefully about the local transport links. Personally I think it would be good to get the bus stop for the coaches away from the main road and it would also be more comfortable to people on the coach if the route off the motorway and back on again didn’t make two 90 degree bends. Both could be achieved by straighting out the slip roads and installing the coach stops on laybys on the sliproads rather than the main road as shown on this next map.

Lewknor map with adjusted slip road and coach stop


About PeterEastern
Amongst other things I am interested in the overlap between information technology and personal travel and how we can remain mobile whilst also greatly reducing the negative effects of our travel.

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