Note: You can save money by purchasing a return bus ticket, and since 24 July 2011 the Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach, and Thames Transit have operated a joint ticketing system, which means that you can return on a bus run by one of the other two companies during the day: news article
If you are going to be making twelve or more single journeys, it is well worth buying a SmartCard. Available here from Oxford Bus Company; but if you want it immediately, go to the office at the east end of the High Street or at the top of Debenham’s in Magdalen Street.
Buses running between Headington and Oxford
During the day buses are so frequent and there is such a choice of services that you do not need to check the times: nearly everything going westwards from the London/Headington Roads will end up in Oxford centre. You can catch any of the following:
- No. 8 from Barton and No. 9 from Risinghurst. These are run jointly by Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach (replacing the former 7C)
- Brookes bus (run by the Oxford Bus Company) is available for everyone, not just Oxford Brookes University students. The U1 bus runs between Wheatley in the east and Harcourt Hill in the west via Headington and the City Centre, while the U5 bus picks up in Cowley and Marston. Beware of university vacations, when there is a reduced service: scroll to the foot of the online timetable for vacation service.
- Park & Ride (run by the Oxford Bus Company). These fast 800 buses operate between the Thornhill and Seacourt car-parks, but will also pick up and drop passengers at just two stops in Headington: (1) Headington shops (near Kennett Road for Oxford, new stop before the main traffic lights coming back) and (2) Gipsy Lane (for Oxford Brookes University). Note that on the way back to Headington the only stop is a special one just at the start of the Headington shops near Morrison’s. These buses also stop at intervening bus-stops after 6.50pm in the evening. There are charges for parking at Thornhill for more than one hour
- Arriva bus from the county picks up locally between Headington and Oxford, but is less frequent and so it is not advisable to get a return ticket.
If you want to get straight to the centre, it is best to avoid the No. 10 bus, which takes a long route via the John Radcliffe Hospital and north Oxford.
If you want to go to Summertown, you have to get a separate bus going to Kidlington from Magdalen Street in the city centre (Stagecoach No. 7A or 7B, or Oxford Bus Company No 2).
The City 4/A/B/C serves Wood Farm from Abingdon & Botley (this replaced the City 15 service on 7 May 2011). The revised route provides a new link between Oxford Rail Station and the Churchill Hospital. Wood Farm now has an increased frequency during weekdays with services operating up to every ten minutes. You pick this up on the opposite side of Castle Street to the other Headington buses
The City 13 runs from the John Radcliffe Hospital to the city centre via either Oxford Brookes University or the Marston Road (as indicated on the destination display).
The City 23 runs between the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Redbridge Park & Ride, and from 8 May 2011 operates via Headley Way, not Osler Road.
Where to get the bus in Oxford
- Stops E3 and E2 on Castle Street for the 7c and 8 & 9 Headington buses
- Stop G5 on St Aldate’s for the Thornhill Park & Ride.
If you catch your return bus from Queen’s Lane in the High Street, you have more options (Park & Ride and Wood Farm bus in addition to the London Road buses)
Local buses going east from Headington
Direct buses to Abingdon from Headington
- The X3 and X13 (Oxford Bus Company) are intended to bring hospital staff into Headington, but can also be used by local people to get from the John Radcliffe Hospital to Abingdon. The 300 Park & Ride Service from Redbridge (Oxford Bus Company) dovetails with the X13 bus, thus providing a 15-minute service.
Hospital Park & Ride
See detailed information provided by hospitals (which includes new services introduced in September 2013):
- Bus travel to the Churchill Hospital
- Bus travel to the John Radcliffe Hospital
- Bus travel to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
Free Oxfordshire County Council bus services
The H1 free bus service operates just twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday mornings, to enable people from Marston and Headley Way to get to the Headington shops:
- H1 timetable (Marston to Headington shops: change button at top to get return journeys)
The H2 free bus service enables people from Sandhills and Headington Quarry to get to the Headington shops on weekday mornings.
- H2 timetable (Sandhills to Headington shops)
Two No. 8s: left operated by Stagecoach, and right by the Oxford Bus Company
Oxford Bus Company Park & Ride
Thames Travel bus services
Thames Travel runs buses in South Oxfordshire, Reading, Chalgrove, Watlington, Wheatley, Wallingford, and Abingdon.
Free bus passes for older people
These are now supplied by Oxfordshire County Council. You can apply online here (make sure you have a scan of a passport-type photograph available before you start): or if you do not have a computer, go to the top floor of the Central Library in the Westgate.