History of the Villager

The Villager Bus has been running since the spring of 1982 providing transport services to small, often isolated Cotswolds villages which have no other public transport facilities.

The service began as a direct result of a Government Inquiry into the causes of depopulation of rural areas, a major factor in the Inquiry’s report being lack of access to shops and medical facilities, which is still just as relevant today.

The report sparked a private initiative to provide regular bus services to local towns for those living in more remote communities and without their own means of transport, so as to enhance their quality of life and support more people to remain living in their own homes and maintaining local rural communities.

Back then it all started with one minibus. Today The Villager has six 16-seater mini-coaches offering scheduled services on routes serving a multitude of villages and on average around 300 passengers per week in direct coordination with local Councils.

In 2004 The Villager received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service: “For providing extensive, reliable and economical transport for 65 villages in the North Cotswolds.”

Timetables

From 25th July there have been some changes to our timetables.  
Please see the red notes below for more details. 

Routes without a red note remain the same.

There may be some changes to the timetables which are out of our control (for example, weather conditions) - please see Latest News for any updates

Day Route  Timetable 
Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays V26 - Oddington, Moreton in Marsh, Chipping Norton, Combe, Stonesfield, Leafield, Witney V26 Timetable
Monday - Friday V1 - Witney Deer Park Circular (Cancelled - now included in other routes thanks to a grant from Witney Town Council)  
Monday - Friday V3 - Chipping Norton Rotary Good Neighbour Shuttle Service) V3 Timetable
Monday and Tuesday (from Jan 3rd 17) V19 - Bledington, Wychwoods, Chipping Norton (New Timetable) V19 Timetable
Tuesdays V22 - Oddington, Icomb, Stow on the Wold, Condicote, Longborough, Moreton in Marsh, Chipping Norton V22 Timetable
Wednesdays V2 - Oddington, Longborough, Bledington, Stow on the Wold, Chipping Norton (New Timetable) V2 Timetable
Wednesdays V4 - Oddington, Chipping Norton, Bourton on the Hill, Chipping Norton V4 Timetable
Wednesdays V21 - Oddington, Stow on the Wold, Bourton on the Water, The Rissingtons, Fifield, Wychwoods, Leafield, Witney (New Timetable) V21 Timetable
Wednesdays V25 - Bledington, Kingham, Burford, Shilton, Carterton,Witney V25 Timetable
Thursdays V20 - Bledington, Swinbrook, Witney V20 Timetable
Thursdays V6 - Oddington, Bledington, Stow on the Wold V6 Timetable
Thursdays V23 - Evenlode, Oddington, Shipton under Wychwood, Leafield, South Leigh, Witney V23 Timetable
Fridays V8 - Oddington, Chipping Norton V8 Timetable
Fridays V9 - Oddington, Chipping Norton V9 Timetable
Fridays V12 - Oddington, Stow on the Wold, Burford, Chipping Norton V12 Timetable

Volunteer Drivers

Help WantedThe Villager Community Bus is managed and run entirely by volunteers. We are always looking for new volunteer drivers, male or female, who can spare and commit to one morning or afternoon every fortnight. The driving duties are not onerous and certainly provide a worthwhile opportunity to “give something back” to your local community.

Our drivers have some common characteristics: an affinity for helping others (as many of our passengers are elderly and return from shopping trips with heavy bags and trolleys, many of our drivers help them off the bus and more often than not to their front door) and for driving. You will of course also need a full clean driving licence. Age is not necessarily a barrier although our more senior drivers once they reach 70 are required to obtain medical clearance to carry on driving for The Villager.

Our buses are 16-seater predominantly Ford Transit-based, so HGV licences are not required. Initial instruction is provided in relation to the buses and their operation, plus how to keep to a route and timetable, collect fares and generally look after passengers in a safe and caring way. Formal instruction and assessment is provided through the MIDAS training course, which all our drivers must pass and re-sit every 3 years.

All drivers are assigned a regular route which they share with a co-driver on a fortnightly basis. Many of the routes themselves are picturesque regardless of the weather, which only adds to the sense of satisfaction at the end of a drive. And if you have the time, we run a number of hirings which also need drivers during the week and at weekends.

For more information contact Keith Gowing (Tel:01608 658579) or Roger Formby (Tel: 01451 830439).

Subcategories

BusThe Villager Community Bus is an established scheduled service operating in parts of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

The registered office for The Villager Community Bus Services Ltd is Ross House, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Glos GL54 1AF