Bicester Village shuttle service goes electric

1 month ago Mon 25th Mar 2024

Oxford Bus Company

Oxford Bus Company has launched an electric vehicle into the Bicester Village – Bicester North shuttle service, to help further improve air quality in Oxfordshire.

The introduction of the zero-emission vehicle further underlines the combined commitment of Oxford Bus Company, Bicester Village and Chiltern Railways to providing sustainable travel solutions for shoppers and staff at the world-renowned luxury shopping destination.

Manufactured by Wrightbus in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, the Electroliner GB Kite single-deck vehicle has 38 seats and a 454kwh battery pack, and an expected range of more than 200 miles per day on a single charge. 

The Bicester Village shuttle service has been operated by Oxford Bus Company since 2020. It connects Bicester Village Station and Bicester North Station to each other, as well as a direct connection to the Village as part of the service.  

The service, which is jointly funded by Value Retail PLC and Chiltern Railways, operates 364 days per year, whenever Bicester Village is open, to provide a sustainable mode of transport for visitors and staff.

Oxford Bus Company was recently awarded a further three-year contract to operate the shuttle service and the additional Park & Ride bus service, which serves Bicester Village on busier shopping days, until April 2027.

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, said: “It is fantastic to see our relationship with Bicester Village and Chiltern Railways go from strength to strength based on shared values and a commitment to providing joined-up, sustainable travel solutions.

“The investment in launching an electric vehicle into the shuttle service is another exciting step forward in the partnership for the greater benefit of visitors to Bicester Village and the wider community.”

Zach Bailey, Regional Growth Manager at Chiltern Railways. said: "We're delighted that the Oxford Bus Company will be operating a zero-emission electric bus connecting Bicester North and Bicester Village stations."

“This builds on the recent introduction of recycled vegetable oil to our fleet, which now fuels our locomotive hauled trains instead of diesel and is another step in the right direction as we look to decarbonise and modernise our operations. We are committed to improving integrated travel links between our stations and key destinations as leisure travel continues to grow across the network."

Bicester Village spokesperson, said: “As more of our guests choose to travel by rail, we are delighted to see the launch of the first electric shuttle to Bicester Village.  There will be further electric vehicles added to the fleet serving Park and Rides in the summer.”   

Earlier this year it was announced that Oxford will host the biggest fleet of electric buses in the UK, outside London. The £82.5 million project will deliver 159 new battery-powered buses into service in Oxford and fund two associated electric charging hubs at the city’s bus depots. 

The project has been funded via a collaboration between Oxfordshire County Council and bus operators Oxford Bus Company, owned by The Go-Ahead Group and Stagecoach. The Council was awarded £32.8 million from the government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme and contributed £6 million directly, while bus operators invested £43.7 million.