Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Reading Bus Changes

Reading Buses is conducting a consultation on proposed changes to routes that they intend to implement on January 11th 2010. The routes in Caversham that have changes are number 22, 24 and 27. You only have until the 4th November to send feedback and can find out more information on the Reading Buses website by clicking here

The number 62 bus is going. Similarly the 63/64 'These services will be withdrawn and replaced by new Premier Routes 65, 65a, 66 and 67.

It will be replaced by the 65. 'New service between Central Reading and Woodley via Shepherd’s Hill, Reading Road, Howth Drive, Beechwood Ave, Headley Road, Butts Hill Road, Glendevon Road,
Tippings Lane and Headley Road East returning to Central Reading via reverse of Woodley bound route. The frequencies will be every 30 minutes during the daytime on Mondays to Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. The Monday to Friday peak period service will be enhanced. The Reading bound route will operate via Forbury Road to Blagrave Street stop FW.'

Please send any comments to arrive by 4 November 2009.

Comments can be sent by e-mail to:-

or by post to:-

Reading Buses
Great Knollys Street

In my opinion any changes will disrupt and annoy customers. Reading Buses should be clearer in which services are actually being cut, most bus users wont have seen their consultation before they find the service has changed. I expect many annoyed commuters will be very unhappy with this.

Also it was announced on the 22nd October, with a finish date on 4 November! With a postal strike on some people wont get their comments in on time. I cant see any mention of it on the website. They changes the service only a few months ago in August

A couple of weeks ago the council finally noticed that the bio ethanol buses were not as green as they had been saying, and with the cost going up have abandoned them, at great cost to us.

hattip Cllr Dave Luckett


digitaltoast said...

Sorry I'm a bit late to the party, I've been away but I'm totally surprised on returning to read that Reading Buses and Council had "only just" found out that their fuel was not what they thought - because I told them this in June 2008!

After getting no-where asking direct questions to Reading Buses, I spoke to Peter Watson of British Sugar on 24th June 2008, and he followed up with an email clarifying that it was never "sugar waste".

I then forwarded this to Reading Buses and Reading Borough Council - about 3 days later I got a very, let's say "robust", phone call from Sam Simpson from Reading Buses. He proceeded to launch into a hatchet job on Dr Paul Bardos (more on him later) basically saying he was Tory and therefore biased and incorrect and he hated the environment and wanted to kill fluffy bunnies and kittens with hoses run from exhaust pipes into their warrens etc (or something along those lines), and that bioethanol was definitely a waste by-product of growing sugar beet.

I also had the following reply from Reading Buses board member Warren Swaine in reply to "were Reading Buses conning us?":

"As far as RTL is concerned, conned is not the right word. There was a misunderstanding which wasn't cleared up until after the initial publicity had gone out. Reading Buses acted in good faith when putting together the publicity as they were under the impression at the time that it was actually waste product."

Also, in the Reading Forum, on 24th June 2008, he also wrote in reply to further questioning on this:
"I will ask. They cannot lie, spin or whatever you wish to call it to me... I'm a director!"

It appears they were always going to be safe though - when I contacted the Advertising Standards Authority explaining that I felt this "sugar waste" claim to be misleading, I received a reply dated 22nd July 2008 explaining that they do not cover:

"statutory, public, police and other official notices/information, as opposed to marketing communications, produced by public authorities and the like".

I did try and persue this explaining that I felt the sign was a marketing communication, but they we steadfast.

I got a reply from Reading Trading Standards with an almost identical position - as Reading Buses was a council owned company, they could do nothing.

Around this time, I also made contact with this Paul Bardos who Sam Simpson had mentioned. Dr Bardos appeared to have had a similar experience to me - asking lots of questions but getting a lot of brush-offs in the process.

All of this, multiple emails etc, happening across June and July 2008 - unfortunately I moved and changed jobs at around that time, and having tried the best I could, this got pushed to the back of my mind.

But I don't believe for one second that this is a "surprise" to anyone at RTL or RBC - unless they had a two month long "flash forward" style amnesia moment during June and July 2008!

If anyone wants copies of the relevant notes and emails, feel free to ask.

Adrian Windisch said...

Cheers digitaltoast, do you have contact details so people can take you up on your offer?

Personally I want lots more people on buses, even if we have to subsidise them and only charge £1 per journey.

I think collecting waste oil is the green answer to fuel problems, if they had done this the council would have reduced waste and secured a supply. Not to mention reduce emissions.