Professor Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Dr David Prout, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) and Paul Goffin, Director of Estates, took part with Thames Travel Managing Director Phil Southall and Liz Kitchener, Head of Estates at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which sponsors the service alongside the University.
Thames Travel has been awarded a three-year contract to run the service, connecting central Oxford with Harwell Campus and other sites including Wytham and the Headington hospitals. Linking these sites facilitates scientific collaboration and provides easy access to the research infrastructure at Harwell, including Europe’s largest synchrotron. The move followed a three-year pilot scheme to establish the service’s viability.
‘Our cutting-edge research in physical and life sciences requires access to state-of-the-art facilities and collaborations with centres of expertise around the world,’ said Professor Grant. ‘The Science Transit Shuttle pilot showed that strong transport connections supported interactions between the University and organisations at Harwell. Establishing this route as a public service, providing a fast and frequent connection between the campuses as part of the wider regional network, will continue to improve the ability for commercial connections and innovation opportunities to flourish from these innovation centres.’
The company has invested £1m in a new fleet of six ultra-low emission buses to serve the two Science Transit Shuttle routes; the buses have much higher capacity than the minibuses formerly used on the route, are fully accessible to disabled passengers and offer much more flexibility in how to pay for tickets. To find out more, visit the Science Transit Shuttle page of the Thames Travel website.
For staff commuting to work, the Science Transit Shuttle offers a half-hourly connection from Redbridge Park & Ride to the city and the Science Area, and an hourly connection from Seacourt Park & Ride to the city, Science Area and Old Road/JR Hospital. If your department would like to open a corporate account with Thames Travel to use the Science Shuttle please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.