Municipally-owned Reading Buses have held a consultation on proposals to change the routes serving areas north of the River Thames. The consultation led to Reading East MP Matt Rodda convening two Public Meeting to enable constituents to have their say on the bus company's planned changes.
Further to another meeting with Reading Buses' Chief Executive Officer Martijn Gilbert where Matt discussed the ongoing concerns of constituents in relation to the bus routes serving the Caversham area, and the subsequent publication by Reading Buses of their revised timetable, Matt released the comment below:
"I am pleased that the meetings I have held have encouraged Reading Buses to preserve all of the Caversham and Emmer Green bus routes, however, there are still concerns about the frequency of buses on one of the routes and I will be working with the bus company to seek further improvements."
Original plans from Reading Buses were to axe the 'pink 24' route serving Reading to Emmer Green completely, leaving many people in some of the hillier parts of Caversham in the Rotherfield Way area without any nearby bus link. This route has now been preserved.
The 'pink 25' route serving Reading to Sonning Common remains unaltered, although it has undergone some timetabling tweaks to the frequency. Reading Buses say that this is to 'improve reliability'.
The route with frequency issues is the 'pink 22' which will now be renamed the 'red 22'. The original '22' route was to have been drastically altered leaving many elderly and vulnerable constituents without a bus link; this has now been preserved thanks to the work of Matt Rodda MP and local campaigners. Additionally, the route also has an hourly extension to the Royal Berkshire Hospital to enable passengers a smooth transition to their appointments.
Matt hopes to continue to work with Reading Buses to address the constituents' concerns over the bus frequencies on this route with a view to seeking further improvements on the revised timetabling.
The revised timetable and frequencies are due to come into effect on Monday 19 February 2018.