A new bus service will halve the time taken to travel between Oxford University’s science corridor on South Parks and the John Radcliffe hospital, transporting “thousands” of students and staff.
The 600 will run from Pear Tree Park and Ride through to the John Radcliffe Hospital via Woodstock Road, Banbury Road, St. Clement’s and Headley Way. The service will cut a 30 minute journey, including a walk to the High Street, to just 14 minutes. The service will be available from September 29th and will run from Monday to Friday between 9.50am and 3.20pm.
The University has greeted the new service with enthusiasm, with William James, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor of Virology, stating, “the new 600 service is an excellent initiative that I hope will enable not only further collaboration between our medical sciences departments and a closer partnership with the NHS, but also help reduce traffic and parking in Oxford.”
Ed Wigzell, travel officer for Oxford University, said, “the main aim is to provide a link between the science area and the Headington hospitals. There’s more than 4,000 staff and many more students working and studying here in the science corridor and many of these need to travel to and from the hospitals.”
If it proves popular, the Oxford Bus Company may increase service to run during peak times and at weekends.
While the service will clearly benefit residents of North Oxford by providing them with direct links to the hospitals, Medical Sciences students remained less convinced. Ealish Swift, a 3rd year medic at Jesus, thought that it might help “the hit-and-miss nature of trying to catch a bus to the JR from the High Street from lectures” but added, “I probably won’t benefit this year. However, those who are doing research projects based at the hospital might appreciate this.”
Gareth Davies, a Wadham 4th year, was more skeptical, telling Cherwell,“I can’t see myself ever using it. The fact it’s only 9:50-15:20 means that most medics won’t find its service hours useful.”
Sam Skillcorn, a second year medic, echoed this cynicism, saying, “the only time I’d ever get this bus is if I fall over on my way to a lecture and need to go to A&E.”