Much depends on whether the bus company can recruit a driver. Permission for the new service will also have to be sought from the Traffic Commissioners. The managing director of the company, Mike Ward, said: “I am reasonably confident that I will be able to make these changes to the service and run buses on three days, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays”.
Last November, Thames Travel withdrew the unsuccessful Didcot-Culham Science Centre-Berinsfield service because of poor demand and driver shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The proposed new Going Forward services will not be receiving any financial support from Oxfordshire County Council and the company will have to foot the costs and risks.
Mr Ward says he hopes the public will support the proposed new expanded service. If not, he says it will not survive in a very difficult bus operating climate. It was hoped that Thames Travel would provide an alternative service with financial support from developers of the expanding Ladygrove estate north-east of Didcot, but this has not materialised.
Meanwhile the growing Ladygrove development continues to be served by the X36 service between Didcot and the Southmead Industrial Estate but it does not serve Long Wittenham and surrounding villages.
A county council transport spokesman said: “In the future it may be possible to once again serve Long Wittenham, but at the moment the main focus is on the on the stability of our network at an unpredictable time”.