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The driver at the Oxford Station was extremely rude at trying to correct me in the proper way to talk to him. The dialogue followed like this:Oxford Station at 20:10, January, 5 - 2011(Me):- Excuse me, what time does it go? (pointing to the bus)And the driver:- Excuse me, or please? ...I'm aware that english is not my primary language, but I did talk to him in a very polite manner, and he was very very rude in the answer, not providing me the information and attempting to correct me!Me and my wife went by train, that's what happened. I hope that OxfordTube teach the driver a proper way to talk with potential customers.
Disappointing for the following reasons: I was cheated (in my opinion) of £8 by an extremely rude driver: Informed by the driver of the Oxford tube that an open return journey would cost £20. Having a long queue behind me, I apologised to the driver as I could not find my other £10 note (I took an additional 1 min to check my wallet which I already held in my hand) and the irritated driver told me that a single was £14. I got the message - paid up and found a seat, worried I had lost my note. Within 5 min I had located the missing note - safely tucked behind my oyster card and waited patiently for the next stop. I approached the driver to let him know that I had found my note and to ask if he could refund the single and issue me a return ticket? Now I have been on this coach a few times before where I have had to wait until the end of the journey for my change and been absolutely fine with this. I have never had a problem with 'losing' my money before but it's when you find yourself in a situation like this that you can really see what the customer service and staff training is like. The driver had a serious attitude problem and suggested that if I wanted to buy an additional £20 return ticket he could help me, otherwise he could not (mocking me perhaps?) Surely the drivers are able to reverse a transaction and reissue me a return ticket? The drivers reply to this was 'No, my till will be out by £14 so your too late - you bought your ticket 15 minutes ago'. This does not make a lot of sense - a driver should be able to reverse a transaction (what if he had made a mistake?) - I was still on my journey and of course there was time lapsed from the purchase of the single to when I was able to safely speak to the driver i.e. when the coach next stopped. Extremely bad customer service, totally unnecessary and avoidable in my opinion. TAKE MY ADVICE: check for cheap rail tickets - I found several tickets for my single journey back for various times, priced at £4, £5, £10, £11 & upwards to London Paddington (go to nationalrailenquiries or thetrainline.com) If you can be flexible with your time its always worth checking - the journey is more comfortable and a lot quicker.
The oxford tube is the most flexible ways of getting from oxford to london and its one of the best value services. I've never waited more than 15 minutes for one to come in either direction which makes it better than some local london bus routes. And if that all wasn't enough, it also runs 24 hours (though obviously much less frequently at 2am). Unlike many other coach services on the same route, the Oxford Tube doesn't require you to book a specific coach time. That means you can show up at one of their stops at any time and get a coach without worrying about being late which is great if you'd prefer flexible travel times. You can buy a single ticket or one of two types of returns. The first is cheaper and allows you to return within the next day and the other gives you return within three months. I will say that at £16 for a next day return ticket, its not the cheapest price out there. The cheapest services will get you there and back for under £10 if you book early enough but will charge you extortionate prices if you want anything like the flexibility offered by the Oxford Tube. Also, there are concession prices available and discounted passes if you travel back and forth frequently. So even though its not the cheapest form of travel, its still one of the best value. In terms of the service, its a perfectly comfortable coach ride. Legroom is decent, there's wifi on board and the coach rides are surprisingly quick. It stops at convenient locations in central london and in oxford. All in all, its the best option I've seen for this particular travel route.
I most recently used the Oxford Tube to get to Oxford from London for dinner with some friends from uni - I was able to get out of work relatively early, and had more than three hours to make my way to the city, so I didn't have to make the familiar panicked rush to Paddington to catch my train. Furthermore, I was returning to London immediately after my dinner - I knew the coach wouldn't be battling rush hour traffic as I returned to the Big Smoke, and as the service runs throughout the night, I'd be able to relax at dinner, not worrying about the last train. For these two key reasons, I chose to take the Tube over the train. I only waited about 15 minutes at the Marble Arch pick-up station and easily got a seat at about 4.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon. The Oxford Express bus came with the same frequency, I'd say. The ride was pleasant enough, though I do know it's at least an extra 15 minutes longer than the ride on the Express, as it makes the stop at Lewknor. But the bus was clean and the ride was pleasant - the lights were dimmed, and my fellow passengers were quiet. It took me just over an hour and a half to get to Oxford, and a little less than that to make my way back to London, though I did have to wait a little longer in Oxford for the coach (around 11.30pm), but because I was returning within 24 hours, my ticket was only 16 quid - and I had the flexibility of leaving dinner a little late, not having to rush to catch the last train. If under more severe time pressures, I would probably take the train back, but if gifted with another leisurely day, then I would consider taking the Tube again. I would recommend it to anyone on a budget, not under severe time constraints who wants the flexibility of returning late into the night. It was very clean, and got the job done!
The Oxford Tube is a 24 hour bus service between Oxford & London, provided by the Stagecoach bus company. Coaches run as frequently as every 10 minutes during peak times. To call this a bus service is probably a little unfair as it is a fairly comfortable coach with a toilet on board. The service is popular with daily commuters travelling to London & as a added bonus you can now benefit from wifi on board allowing you to catch up on work during your journey. I normally use this service when going on nights out to London at the weekend. What makes this ideal is it runs all the way through the night making it easy to get back at whatever hour. After midnight, the service does run hourly so best to check times ahead. The coach leaves Oxford from the main coach depot at Gloucester Green and stops at the High Street, a number of stops in Headingdon as well as the Thorniill Park & Ride before departing for London. Within the capital, you also have a selection of stops to choose from. These include Hillingdon, Notting Hill, Marble Arch & Victoria. This is an alternative to the train & although slower, it's probably more comfortable & offers slightly better value especially if buying tickets on the day of travel. You can get a day return for £16, whilst on the train this would set you back roughly £45.
A bus service this frequent (they claim to be the most frequent coach service in the world) has no right to exist in Oxford, especially as the rival service the X90 runs a similar timetable. It picks up and drops off at very convenient stops in both Oxford and London. Its usually on time (although sometimes not at rush hours) and is comfy and the drivers are usually friendly. It basically puts Oxford on the map. USE IT - IT IS BRILLIANT!!
Having arrived at the wedding late due to the late trains and slow bus replacement services, I was intrigued to find out that there was a quicker and cheaper way back to London the next day. The Oxford tube. So the next day we ordered a taxi, arrived at the bus station and saw the famous Oxford tube. It is very easy to recognise as it has 'London to Oxford 24 hour service' scrawled all over it. We bought our tickets from a group of men in red jumpers huddled around the front of the bus and jumped aboard. The prices were very reasonable and I was impressed to learn that students, OAPs and children all get a reduced rate. The standard adult rate was £8.50 single/£9 return. The reduced rate for the students, OAPs and children was £6.50 single/£7 return. So looking forward to a relaxing and speedy journey back to London we found some seats (you can sit where ever you like) On boarding the bus two things struck me. Firstly that I couldn't stand up straight as the ceiling was so low and secondly that the air conditioning was not yet on. We decided that the air conditioning would perhaps be activated by the driver once we started to move. It wasn't. We sat with our knees around our ears in unimagineable heat, sweating, cursing our decision not to take the train for nearly 1 hour and 30 minutes. Absolutely ridiculous. As a student who has travelled around europe on some fairly ropey transport services I thought I would easily cope with all that civilised England had to offer. I was wrong. The bus was huge but the actual space inside was comical. I felt like the clown getting into the tiny car at the circus. The heat was close to unbearable and I will never use the service again. Anyone with any sort of a fear of small spaces should stear well clear.
There is a very good joke in Yes Minister, the political satire series, where the minister wants to drive to Cambridge and cannot understand why there isn't a direct road. His civil servant, Humphrey, explains to him that the reason is the Department of Transport has for years been largely run by former students at Oxford, who saw no reason to build a road to Cambridge. A joke it may be, but it is certainly true that there is no direct road to Cambridge and it's a nightmare to drive to, Oxford has been blessed with a spanking new motorway that links it directly with London. And I am tempted to think that similar logic lies behind the establishment of this service. I have no idea why the Oxford Tube exists. There's really no other service like it. The first thing to say is that it is nothing whatsoever to do with the London tube. It's not even a train. Basically it's a coach service that runs between Oxford and London. So far, so common place. The thing about the Tube is that it departs every fifteen minutes, costs just £8 return and - get this- is 24 hour, thereby trumping the standard National Express service from Victoria and the train by being cheaper and a better service. The Oxford Tube starts from Victoria but can be caught from a series of stops through West London. To find it at Victoria, go the tube/train station, locate Campus travel which is just up from the london bus are, on your way up to the bus station. DO NOT go to the bus station, the Tube does not go from here - an understandable error that many make. Locate Campus travel, stand outside and you'll see to your right just down the street a small park-type area, and beside it a series of bus stops and generally (bit of a giveaway this) a large red bus with Oxford Tube in large letters on the front. These days, I live in Earl's Court and generally collect it from Notting Hill - it's a bit difficult to locate the bus stops, but there's one just up from the tube station if you walk along Notting Hill Gate back towards Victoria. The buses are large, double decker and comfortable. They are also very clean, and have helpful drivers. You don't have to buy a ticket in advance, and indeed there's no need, you simply pay the driver (who can also sell you a return), park yourself in a large, comfy seat and about 1 hour and 40 minutes later, get off in the middle of Oxford. To return, you simply go to the bus terminal in Oxford, which is in the centre of town, and do exactly the same thing. Or, once again, you can pick it up en route - there's an especially useful stop just by St Edmund's Hall college just before Magdalene Bridge. Simple. There's really not much more to say about this service, except to report that it's punctual, reliable and quite the best way to get to Oxford from London, especially the state the trains are in at the moment. I use it all the time as my sister and one of my best friends lives there, and I'm forever bombing up to see one or other of them. The Tube, I can report, has never let me down. I find the 24 hour aspect especially useful, as I really hate having to worry about last trains or buses. It is, as I said at the start, a strange but wonderful service, and comes highly recommended.