Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Tickets to be used on rival buses in Oxfordshire

Buses in Queen street
The new ticketing system will be introduced in the autumn

Bus passengers in Oxford will soon be able to use the same ticket to travel with two different operators in a "ground-breaking" deal.

The Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach have agreed to start accepting a new smartcard from the autumn which will reduce the number of buses on the road.

The idea is part of a county council scheme which will also see £10m invested in improving buses.

It is hoped the improvements will lead to fewer people using their cars.

'Cut emissions'

The authority said its figures had shown Oxford has one of the highest levels of bus use in the UK, with around 50% of all journeys in and around the city being made by bus.

Steve Howell, head of transport at the county council, said: "This ground-breaking agreement is a first for the UK and is another important milestone in delivering our vision to transform the centre of Oxford for everyone using the city.

"It will ensure cleaner, safer streets, better air quality and a sustainable bus network for the future.

"We aim to have a quarter less buses on the High Street, delivering a significant cut in carbon emissions."

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