How social media helped keep Oxfordshire commuters on the move

Banbury Cake: Allotments off Botley Road in Oxford inundated with water during the recent floods Allotments off Botley Road in Oxford inundated with water during the recent floods

COMMUTERS across Oxfordshire have hailed the impact of social media in keeping them moving through the flooding disruption.

The Oxford Mail’s live blog logged hundreds of thousands of hits and has been thanked for providing a wide array of information.

Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxford Bus Company were also praised for answering individual inquiries through Facebook and Twitter and providing updates.

Oxford Bus Company operations director Phil Southall said: “We used social media to keep our passengers as fully informed as we could with updates every few minutes when required.”

He said the number of users attempting to access the company’s Facebook page rose by 874 per cent week on week during January and the website pages had 59,000 page views.

Mary Ellis, a childcare worker from Pegasus Road in Blackbird Leys, said: “I was constantly checking my phone for news as I was panicking about my bus being cancelled.

“You never had this when the floods came in 2005 and although it’s a miserable time it has helped.”

And Graham Huth, 46, from Kennington, said: “I needed to get to the JR fairly urgently in January so was constantly refreshing the Oxford Mail website and checking the bus company’s Twitter page. You wonder how we got along without it before.”

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8:52am Thu 27 Feb 14

Myron Blatz says...

Yes, whatever did people used to do in Oxford and across the County, before the arrival of news 24/7, the mobile 'phone and 'instant everything' provided by Facelessbook and Twittering? You can't even go into your bank (where they still have a local branch open) without being assailed by soundless live news coverage on wall-mounted tv screens - it worse than what they have done to our bookies! Fortunately for the likes of my Aunty and her staunch band of fellow bingo and bus users, the original version of 'social media' in the form of inter-community verbal gossip and tongue-wagging has certainly NOT been replaced by modern technology, but simply enhanced!
Yes, whatever did people used to do in Oxford and across the County, before the arrival of news 24/7, the mobile 'phone and 'instant everything' provided by Facelessbook and Twittering? You can't even go into your bank (where they still have a local branch open) without being assailed by soundless live news coverage on wall-mounted tv screens - it worse than what they have done to our bookies! Fortunately for the likes of my Aunty and her staunch band of fellow bingo and bus users, the original version of 'social media' in the form of inter-community verbal gossip and tongue-wagging has certainly NOT been replaced by modern technology, but simply enhanced! Myron Blatz

12:11pm Thu 27 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Your Aunty is certainly a very talented lady Myron, if she can tell a bus five miles away is running 30 min down, simply by the power of tongue-wagging!
Your Aunty is certainly a very talented lady Myron, if she can tell a bus five miles away is running 30 min down, simply by the power of tongue-wagging! King Joke

5:36pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Myron Blatz says...

How right you are 'King Joke' about Aunty - and apparently more reliable than those 'realtime' bus information boxes which some bus shelters have! As she told me once "wot's the use of all that technology, when we have printed time-tables the buses are supposed to keep to?" Although some might think she and her friends are all old people living in the past, in a time before bus deregulation and when we still had public bus services, Aunty and her friends are all pretty switched-on Senior Citizens, with mobile 'phones, and some with betting shop and supermarket apps, too. Well, that's what Aunty says!
How right you are 'King Joke' about Aunty - and apparently more reliable than those 'realtime' bus information boxes which some bus shelters have! As she told me once "wot's the use of all that technology, when we have printed time-tables the buses are supposed to keep to?" Although some might think she and her friends are all old people living in the past, in a time before bus deregulation and when we still had public bus services, Aunty and her friends are all pretty switched-on Senior Citizens, with mobile 'phones, and some with betting shop and supermarket apps, too. Well, that's what Aunty says! Myron Blatz

10:59am Fri 28 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Right - so publicly-owned buses never ran late, and your aunty's friends have clairvoyancy which is more accurate than the County's RTI boards? Hmmmm.
Right - so publicly-owned buses never ran late, and your aunty's friends have clairvoyancy which is more accurate than the County's RTI boards? Hmmmm. King Joke

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