Reading reduces rural route
Reading Buses has had to shorten its rural lime 2 route between Mortimer and Reading as part of its 1 September service changes. The service will now terminate at Burghfield Common. CEO of Reading Buses, James Freeman, said, ‘Earlier in the year West Berkshire Council withdrew their grant aid towards the evening and Sunday 2/2a service. Reading Buses said we would carry on without the subsidy to see whether sufficient more passengers would travel on the service to negate the effect. This has not happened and we have found that the cost of running the service beyond Burghfield to Mortimer is prohibitive. To cover the last little stretch between Burghfield and Mortimer we need to use two buses, not one, on the service, thereby greatly inflating the cost. On average we have been carrying about 30 passengers over the section to and from Mortimer each Sunday. With 12 journeys each way that equates to less than three people per trip.
‘We cannot justify the cost with these numbers. Obviously we regret the inconvenience to those people who will lose their service, but in reality this is as a result of the decision by West Berkshire Council not to carry on their subsidy for the route. By taking this action now, the company can maintain a regular hourly service on Sundays over the rest of the route between Reading Town Centre and Burghfield Common, entirely funded from the fares collected. And by making this change from 1 September we hope to ensure a sustainable long term future for the lime 2 Sunday service between Burghfield and Reading Station.’