Stagecoach to divert Wroughton bus service through Wichelstowe

Stagecoach bus on East Wichel Way
Stagecoach ran route 73 through East Wichel on its way between Swindon and Wroughton from April 2011 to September 2012.
Bus company Stagecoach have announced that, from 6th November, they will be diverting their bus service 9 through Wichelstowe. The bus service presently runs direct between Old Town and Wroughton along Croft Road via North Wroughton. From early November it will instead run through East Wichel to Waitrose, then along Mill Lane and Wharf Road to Wroughton High Street. Journeys from Wroughton to Swindon will run via Ridgeway Hospital and Perry’s Lane, then along Wharf Road and Mill Lane back to Waitrose in Middle Wichel.

Journeys on the Stagecoach route between Wichelstowe and Swindon Town centre will be about five minutes quicker than the existing Thamesdown service 15, as the route along Croft Road is more direct. The service will run every 15 minutes during the day, Monday to Saturday, and less frequently in the evening, with no service on Sundays.

A combined bus timetable is on our website, showing all buses through East Wichel. At the time of writing, Stagecoach’s fares were cheaper than Thamesdown’s. Dayrider tickets are £3.50 on Stagecoach, £4.00 on Thamesdown. Single tickets to the town centre are £2.00 on Stagecoach, £2.10 on Thamesdown. The single zone fare that will get you from Waitrose back to East Wichel loaded with shopping is also cheaper, £1.40 on Stagecoach, £1.60 on Thamesdown.

Stagecoach previously ran a service between Swindon town centre and Wroughton via East Wichel from April 2011 to September 2012, well before the Waitrose store in Middle Wichel was built. That service — subsidised by Swindon Borough Council to provide links between East Wichel and Wroughton — was not a success, gaining few passengers between East Wichel and Wroughton but taking passengers from the competing Thamesdown service between East Wichel and Swindon, which was also subsidised. The new Stagecoach service appears to be an entirely commercial venture. Though Stagecoach will hope to gain extra passengers between Wroughton and Waitrose, the new service will once again threaten the viability of Thamesdown’s service 15 beyond Nationwide Building Society headquarters into Wichelstowe, as the Stagecoach service will provide a faster route to Old Town and Swindon town centre than the Thamesdown service.

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Matthew Heath
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Matthew Heath

I really hope Thamesdown don’t cut the service past Nationwide. Working at Intel, and my son attending croft school, we rely on the #15 to get us up Pipers Way to the Marriott hotel. Removal of that service will impact our ability to get to work/school as the #9 will only service the Croft Road/Devises Road side of Old Town.

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At the moment it’s just speculation, but seven buses an hour between East Wichel and the town centre seems to us to be more than is justified by passenger numbers, for most of the day. Peak time services are more likely to be commercially viable.

Matthew Heath
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Matthew Heath

I realise it’s just speculation, but my point is that because the #9 will go to old town via Croft Road, that isolates East Wichel from High Street side of Old Town. Getting to the Town Centre is not my concern. It’s Pipers Way passed Nationwide. Purely for selfish reasons, it would impact my ability to get to work at Intel. My 6 year old son would have to walk to Croft School. With no #9 service departing Fleming Way after 8:50pm, I would lose my ability to return home from the County Ground after football matches, or from the… Read more »