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Oxford Tube and Oxford Espress
Oxford Tube and Oxford Espress are two bus companies that offer frequent connections between Oxford and London-Victoria. It is a very convenient way to travel between the two cities. Oxford Tube runs a little more often (up to every 10 minutes!), but both will make the trip in 90 minutes provided that traffic is running smoothly.
Even better: They run the whole night through, so if you decide to go clubbing in London and want to be back in Oxford for breakfast, take the bus at 3.30am or so and you'll be fine. Prices are £8 return for children, £13 return for students and £16 return for adults. There's also a ticket that allows you to return later than on the same day.
Oxford Tube leaves Oxford from Gloucester Green and stops at High Street, St. Clement's, Brookes University, Headington, Thornhill Park and Ride and (outside Oxford) Lewknor Turn. Getting out in London is possible at Hillingdon, Shepherd's Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Marble Arch and Victoria.
Oxford Espress stops at the same stops in Oxford except Lewknor Turn. Getting out in London is possible at Hillingdon, Baker Street, Marble Arch and Victoria.
Check this link for Oxford Tube and this link for Oxford Espress
Different bus companies in Oxford
If you are in Oxford for a longer time, you might want to get a weekly pass for the bus. In that case, be careful! There are quite many different bus companies in Oxford, and tickets for one company are not valid in buses of another. The two biggest companies are Oxford Bus and Stagecoach. They at least have just agreed to create a fare system that allows people to change buses without buying a new ticket every time - unfortunately only from late 2010 on.
Most buses run through the city centre, specifically High Street and St. Giles.
Coming from a northern backwater, where it would take all day to get to London by bus and only if there was a sevice available, I found it hard to grasp the concept of being able to hop on an express bus from Oxford to London, that ran every ten minutes. Known as the Oxford Tube, the buses run twenty four hours a day.
These buses are large, with two decks and even have wi-fi connection. They are extremely noisy to pedestrians as they crawl their way through Oxford city centre, sounding more like an aeroplane than a bus.
Some of our party left after the meal to catch this service and I kept wondering why they didn't appear to be tied to a set time. Now I know why, if they run every ten mins!
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We decided not to do the hop on hop off city sightseeing open top bus as Oxford is a city that is easily walkable. The bus takes an hour in total with a live guide & multi-lingual commentary several of these buses passed us while we did our walking tour at GBP11.50, senior or student GBP9.50 Child GBP6 I am not sure it would be worthwhile doing unless of course you were extremely pressed for time.
Wheelchair access on some departures enquire when booking.
Our walking tour with a blue badge guide took 2 hours and cost GBP7 & I can highly recommend it
Park and ride
Oxford is probably the most resolutely anti-car city in England. In addition to mind-mendingly difficult one way systems, traffic wardens trained by Pol Pot and sky hire parking charges Oxford also seems to suffer from a complete lack of useful directional signs for motorists.
It would seem that the only real option is to either stomach the charges, or save a bit of dough and use the extensive 'Park and ride' scheme. There are half a dozen sites around the edge of the city where you can park up and take the big green bus in.
Oxford 'tube' / Oxford express
Despite it's name the 'Oxford tube' has nothing to do with the real 'tube' or underground network in London. I guess a few people may be misled by this. Their website has title like 'tube times' and 'tube stops'.
The Oxford Tube and its competitor the Oxford Express run coaches from various points in the centre of Oxford through to London Victoria. With such a busy route to service departures can be avery five - six minutes, and the standard of the coaches is high with free wi-fi on both services.
The only real downside of these services is that they can take 100 minutes to make the journey, whereas the train will take about an hour. On the downside a single on the 'tube' is twelve pounds, but the train ticket is nearly nineteen.
Be sure to check conditions on your ticket. e.g Children are not always free on some services (especially Saturdays)
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Oxford Espress and Oxford Tube
There are currently two competing companies that run buses from Central London to Oxford, Oxford Espress and Oxford Tube. It was slightly more expensive than getting advance tickets on the train and took slightly longer but you can't beat it for convenience.
The buses run every 10-15 minutes in peak hours, you can purchase your tickets from the bus driver so no need to prearrange, the cost for a return trip was £15. We picked the bus up from the stop near Marble Arch, both buses stop there so you can stand in between stop 14a and 14b and wait for whichever one comes first. The websites list the other stops where you can pick it up.
We took the bus to it's final stop at Gloucester Green in Oxford but you can also get off along Queen/High Street right in the middle of what you want to see. The bus stops are more central than the train station.
ALERT: Two bus companies!
Although bus coverage is comprehensive around Oxford and its immediate surroundings, visitors should know that there are TWO bus companies that cover the area: the Oxford Bus Company (generally red buses) and Stagecoach (blue & orange). Some routes are similar, others are quite different. Also, if you purchase a return journey (round-trip), one-day, or multi-day pass for one company, know that it will not work on the other.
In addition, the city centre is the "hub"...i.e., you'll find very few buses that go through the centre, from one end of the city to another. Instead, most routes begin/end here.
Finally, know that unlike some American cities' transport, "transfers" are not known here. Unless you have a return ticket, or a one- or multi-day pass, you pay each time you board a bus. Drivers will make change, but don't tend to like large bills.
Hop on and off
If you have little time for sightseeing in Oxford and know little about the town itself, this bus service is for you. The tour starts at the Oxford Railway Station and will take you around most of the main tourist attractions. It lasts just an hour but you can hop on and off to explore the most interesting places - the ticket is valid for 24 hours. Probably the best thing about it is the live English guide or multi-lingual commentary in many languages. In addition, on producing your ticket, you can get discounts at some major tourist attractions.
But if you are not in a hurry and want to see as much as possible, you might as well walk, which doesn't cost anything - Oxford is not big, and you won't have to spend any time waiting for the buses, which arrive every 15-20 minutes.
Tour prices: Adult - 9.50 GBP, child under 16 - 4.50 GBP, OAP/student - 8.50 GBP, child under 5 - free
- Historical Travel
Coaches TO Oxford
Best ways of getting TO Oxford is by the Oxford Express, the Oxford Tube, Megabus (cheapest if you purchase tickets ahead of time) and if coming from the airports, the Oxford coach to and from Heathrow and Gatwick. All these buses go straight to Gloucester Green (central bus station), which is in central Oxford, in the city centre. It's the cheapest AND most convenient way of getting to Oxford.
To and from London, take the Oxford Express or the Oxford Tube, which are just about the same. The Oxford Tube is a double decker bus, takes more people and I believe it makes more stops than the Oxford Express, which takes fewer people as well. If you're a student, make sure to mention this when purchasing your tickets as you get a discount. It takes about 1.5 hours to get to and from London. Tip, if you head to London from Oxford after 3 or 4pm, you pay 6 pounds roundtrip, as opposed to 10-11 pounds roundtrip. (student discount).
If you're coming with luggage, the taxi station is just a few yards from Gloucester Green, across the square and there's always a queue of taxis coming thru so waiting for one won't take long. And there's a cash machine nearby if you need to get cash for the taxis.
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Taking the buses are great if you're heading out of the city centre, but useless if you're travelling within the city centre (which is where most tourists stick to when visiting). The bus schedules are listed at each stop, which you'll notice by the red awnings. You pay for your ride when you board the bus. You let the bus driver know where you want to go, or if you're unsure, obviously, you ask and the bus driver will calculate the price of your trip.
Make sure to bring small change with you as the drivers typically cannot break bills larger than a fiver. To signal for a stop, press the little yellow buttons on the holds, but if you're travelling at peak times, the driver will stop at each stop.
Park and Ride
The centre of Oxford is closed to private cars, only buses and taxis are allowed for instance in the High St. Those cars that venture anywhere near the centre risk being unable to park and standing in enormous traffic jams in, for example, Abingdon Rd. There are no car parks even near the Bus Station: my friends would just drop me off there with my suitcase when I was leaving for Heathrow and couldn't stop long enough to wave me goodbye.
Oxford is not big - you can visit all the major colleges and other places of interest just walking. Reaching Oxford is easy as well - trains and buses stopping here are frequent and go from various parts of England. What you shouldn't do then is come here in your own car. And if you do, you'd better leave it in one of the five big car parks by the ring-road and take a bus to the centre. The system 'Park and Ride' works extremely well - the buses are frequent and not too crowded. Use it and spare the city some fumes, its beautiful ancient listed buildings will only be grateful.
- Road Trip
Oxford Sightseeing Bus
If you like to take a tour around Oxford, hop on Oxford Sightseeing Bus.
First journey starts at 9:30 and runs for 2 or 3 hours around the city.
Adult ticket: BP9.
You can get off at anytime you want, then catch another Oxford Sightseeing bus. But be aware when the last bus operates, so you can catch it.
Live English tour guide available on each bus and multi-lingual tour guide are provided in headphones in Japanese, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish and other main languages.
You can catch this bus at Carfax Tower close to Green Gloucester station and next to Cormwall St.
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from London to Oxford
The fastest and cheapest way to get to Oxford from London is take the bus; either Megabus or Oxford Tube.
Return ticket: BP10 + booking fees (0.50p).
Group booking receive discounts on booking fees.
For megabus, you must book online. Cash is not acceptable. Visit their above link for more information on timetable.
Oxford Tube departs to London every 10 minutes. You can buy your ticket on bus but it would a bit more expensive: BP12+.
Both buses depart from Victoria coach station in London and arrive at Green Gloucester station in Oxford.
The bus trip takes around 1-2 hours.
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stagecoach in oxford
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire also operate the Oxford Tube, log-on to the dedicated Oxford Tube website for more information and to buy on-line.
Our fleet of buses operates throughout the area and represents one of the most convenient and best value for money means of travelling around the region. Whether for shopping, commuting or catching up with friends, there's a Stagecoach bus going your way, so why not leave your car at home and take the Stagecoach bus.
Stagecoach is one of the largest bus operators in the UK and is playing a leading role in driving passenger growth on public transport across the country.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire carries over 13 million passengers a year and operates over 10 million miles. With over 400 employees and a fleet size of nearly 180, the company is one of the largest operators in the county.
Operating in the University City of Oxford and the surrounding market towns, bus usage has been seen to continually grow, with more and more people opting to take the bus rather than the car. This growth has been achieved through continued investment in new vehicles and improved timetables, working in local partnerships (such as with Oxford Brookes University to provide Brookesbus), the introduction of new products & services, and through a number of other improvements to existing routes.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire also runs the high frequency super luxury coach service between Oxford and London – The Oxford Tube. This award winning route recently had it’s fleet of coaches replaced with state of the art low floor luxury super coaches, so that we can continually offer more comfort, more value & more space to our customers. Why not log on to the dedicated website of Oxford Tube for more information and to buy on-line.
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