A BUS company is expecting more shoppers to head 24 miles along the A420 to shop in Oxford.

Stagecoach has teamed up with Oxfordshire County Council to almost double the number of bus journeys from Swindon, including new services in the evenings and on Sundays.

On Tuesday, Route 66, as it is called, will go from an hourly to a half-hourly service, from Monday to Saturday.

Additional trips will also run on Sundays, which will increase the current frequency to hourly.

Nathan Griffith-Williams, Stagecoach’s marketing manager, said he would expect people to use it for a number of positive uses from leisure to commuter travel.

He said: “With a final bus travelling from Oxford to Swindon at 11.25pm from Monday to Saturday and 6.45pm on Sundays people will be tempted to go to the City of Dreaming Spires for a drink I would suspect. There is a big benefit for Swindon residents too in terms of Oxford shopping which offers a big range and diversity.

“The average journey would last between 1hr 15 mins to 1hr 30 mins and it is an environmentally sound way of travelling. But that is not discounting the commuters who will also greatly benefit.”

Members of Oxfordshire county council, which is providing some financial subsidy for Sunday’s frequency increase, said the improvements is to cater for the travel needs of Faringdon residents.

Allan Field, bus services manager at the county council, said: “I am delighted to be working closely with Stagecoach to make service 66 more attractive for residents living along the route.”

The entire subsidy for the weekday enhancement is being wholly provided by the developers of the new Park Road development, in Faringdon.