June/July 2020

Back on the road again
from Monday July 6th 2020

Our services are currently suspended, but we're hoping to be running again soon - the latest plan is to start running a limited service on all our routes but using just one bus from Monday July 6th.  We've planned an 'emergency timetable' which will probably apply until September when the situation will be reviewed.  We won't be running any buses on Saturdays (or Sundays and Public Holidays) until further notice.

However, please note that the government advice is still NOT to use public transport unless it is absolutely essential - you should use alternative means of transport, such as walking, cycling or car instead.  For health and safety we'll only be able to carry a few passengers on each journey so if too many want to use our services we may have to leave some people behind.  Current Government regulations mean that a suitable face covering MUST be worn on all buses and trains, so if you're not wearing a face covering we won't be able to let you travel.

In normal times we would be encouraging you to use our services as much as possible, but the current arrangements with the Local Authorities mean that we have been given a guarantee of concessionary pass income regardless of how many people travel, so we would be grateful if you would follow the government guidelines and refrain from using our services until the situation changes.  Social distancing rules means we can only carry a very limited number of passengers, so please do use any alternative you have to help make more room for those who don't have any choice.  

We don't have the technology to accept contactless payments, so if you need to pay the fare there is a flat fare of £4 for any journey, which should be put in the red box at the front of the bus.  We can't give change.  If you have a concessionary pass you can use it as normal; please always be ready to show it to the driver when boarding.

The proposed emergency timetables are now on the website on the coronavirus emergency timetables page and also on the individual route pages, but are subject to change.  A summary of the proposed services is shown below.  These services are subject to the approval of the Traffic Commissioner, so please keep checking the website for any updates.  Copies of the timetables will be available in July on the buses, at Goring Railway Station and other usual outlets when they re-open. 

Please also note that our drivers may not be able to offer all the assistance they usually do as there needs to be as little contact as possible.  If our driver falls ill we may not be able to run services at all, so please do help us to minimise any risks to health for both the passengers and the driver.
134 Goring to Wallingford
Our bus will be covering all our routes, a different route each morning.  This means that the 134 Goring to Wallingford service will mostly only operate in the afternoons.  The timings change each day because of the different routes the bus is operating in the mornings - please check the timetable carefully to make sure you have got the right day.  There will also be two services on Friday mornings.  There won't be a Saturday service for the time being.
133 Moulsford service
We're only using one bus for the time being, so Moulsford will only be served by one journey to and from Wallingford on Mondays.  It will run direct from Moulsford (northbound) at revised times, leaving at 09.20 (please note the change of direction and make sure you are waiting on the west side of the A329), returning from Wallingford Market Place at 11.05.  The M1 (Cranford House School) service is suspended for the time being.                         
137 Watlington service
Our Friday morning service will run, but please note the change of timings:  The bus will leave Watlington Library earlier at 09.55, returning from Wallingford Market Place at 11.55.
138 Home Park service
Because we're only using one bus, the service from Berinsfield to Wallingford won't be operating for the time being.  However, we will be running services between Home Park and Wallingford Market Place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  All timings are revised.  There will also be a service from Home Park to Didcot on Mondays at 09.39 (via Dorchester village), returning at 12.43.  Berinsfield village will be served on Wednesdays only by the D1 service to Didcot.
142-8 Reading service
Because we're only using one bus for all our services for the time being there will just be one return journey on Tuesday mornings, at revised times.  Some additional journeys will operate between Tesco Kings Meadow and Blagrave Street in Reading town centre.                         
D1/D2 Didcot services
Because we're using only one bus, for the time being Berinsfield village will only be served on Wednesdays starting from Leach Road at 11.14, running anti-clockwise round Berinsfield, and returning from Didcot at 13.20.  Long Wittenham and Clifton Hampden will be served by the D1 on Mondays and Wednesdays at revised times.  The Moretons will continue to be served on Mondays and Wednesdays by the D2 at revised times.
H1/H2 Henley services
Because we're running all our services with just one bus for the time being, there will be just one journey on Thursday mornings from Goring, Woodcote, Checkendon and Stoke Row into Henley, at revised times.  There will also be a service from Sonning Common to Henley and back at revised times.  We're sorry but we're unable to serve Shepherds Green or Highmoor Cross at the present time.
Thanks to our District Councillors!.
In 2019 each of the South Oxfordshire District Councillors had a discretionary grant fund that they could allocate to worthy causes, and we are very pleased that just before 'lockdown' we were awarded just over £8,000 to buy a replacement bus, including £2,000 from Goring's District Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers.  You might know that we already have two sets of 'twin' Bluebird buses with one other that did not have a twin.  By complete coincidence, the missing twin appeared for sale on the internet and we were able to purchase it just in time.  Watch out for it - YX61 BGO - out and about as we resume operating.  We'll be able to release at least one of our older buses; the 'new' one has much fewer miles on the clock and a rather smart wheelchair ramp at the back which will allow us more flexibility in who we can take on private hire trips.  Thanks to the Councillors for their kind contribution which will also help us to keep up the reliability of our services, and hopefully once things return to normal expand our operations in the future!
How can we help you?
If you live on one of our routes and have an essential travel requirement which is not catered for in our emergency timetables. please let us know.  We can't promise we will be able to help, but we will certainly any consider possible changes that might assist you.  Please get in touch, preferably by email to littlebluebus@yahoo.com
Please stay safe and well!
Please do heed the government's advice on limiting travel and staying indoors; we will miss having you on board but your continued health is most important.  Hopefully when things get back to normal, we'll also be able to run our full service again.
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