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Caversham Consultation - revised proposal

We are currently part way through a consultation to test ideas on changes to our Caversham bus network which are necessary to reduce costs as the current routes lose money. We launched with some initial proposals that would allow us to reduce costs to ensure that these services became financially viable. The intention of these proposals was to understand from the community whether they would still serve our customers needs and to gain feedback from people affected.

The initial proposals would have seen some lightly used bus stops (in the region of 0-5 passenger boardings per day) taken out of service due to lack of use. We have listened to a number of concerns raised by Caversham residents, particularly over serving the older population and access to the GP surgeries and Caversham Centre from Caversham Park.

It is clear that our initial plans would not meet the needs of the community as a whole and, though we still need to ensure that we can reduce costs, we have re-drafted our plans to allay some fears from residents and customers alike.

The proposed changes are still designed to get the routes onto stable financial foundations for the future, but to also reflect the feedback from residents.

Below outlines the new proposals which have been shaped in part by the great feedback we have been getting from the residents of Caversham.

new route maps

Please click each map below to see a larger PDF version. These now show the proposed revised routes - with a clearer section in Reading Town Centre. For the avoidance of doubt, we confirm that pink 22, 23 and 25 will all still run via Reading Station North and along Friar Street in Central Reading.

Caversham routes

Lower Caversham routes


Pink 22 - Caversham Heights

The pink 22 Caversham Heights loop will revert back to its current route including Woodcote Road and Highmoor Road.  This is in direct response to customers fears that the removal of these stops would isolate a large number of people. 

The proposed enhancement will use double deck buses to operate every 20 minutes (rather than every 30 minutes), which will provide plenty of capacity on both decks for all users. 

We still propose the re-routing of pink 22 along Oakley Road and Hemdean Road as a critical link in joining pink 22 to replace the remainder of the existing pink 24 - which will now have a completely new route (please see the plans for pink 24 later on in this leaflet). We appreciate that some view this road as not suitable for buses, but having done risk assessments, we are confident that this road poses no more significant issues than many others around our network and is already served by other large buses such as our school services.

Pink 23 - Caversham Park

Pink 23 will now be re-routed to run via Caversham Centre 7 days a week, along Gosbrook Road and into Reading via Caversham Bridge following many requests from residents. Pink 23 will still run via Station North after crossing Caversham Bridge.The new route will allow people to have a direct bus to Caversham Centre, rather than having to interchange with pink 25 at Kiln Road. 

On morning and evening weekday peak time ‘commuter’ journeys from Caversham Park, pink 23 will operate fast via Reading Bridge to Station North.  Route 29 will continue to operate South over Reading Bridge from Gosbrook Road.

Pink 24 - Emmer Green

We have listened to all the feedback about the removal of pink 24. Whilst we are not able to keep this route in its current format, we have proposed a new route based on the feedback received so far.

In direct response to customer feedback and requests, we are now proposing to introduce a brand new pink 24 route, specifically designed for concessionary pass holders/off peak daytime customers. This service will only run during the weekday daytime after the commuter peak. It will run to and from Emmer Green, Caversham Centre and Caversham Heights, Albert Road in a loop - please note, this route will not run into Central Reading. 

This will enable access to both Balmore Park and Emmer Green surgeries from Caversham Heights and Emmer Green. The new service will serve St Barnabas Church, Rotherfield Way, along Hemdean Road into Caversham Centre (for the Surgery, shops and other amenities) and continuing into Caversham Heights to link The Mount and Albert Road for both the Cloisters and the new A2 Dominion Extra care home property. Blenheim Road and Priest Hill stops will also be served, as they are today, by the ‘Going Forward’ 142 bus and morning peak journeys on the Thames Travel X39/40. 

Pink 25 - Emmer Green and Peppard Common

We are still proposing to slightly re-route pink 25 to cover the removal of the direct pink 24 link from Emmer Green to Central Reading.  This re-routing will use Evesham Road and Grove Road and then Kidmore End Road and Courtenay Drive in both directions. Capacity on pink 25 will be kept under review, with greater use of double deck buses if loadings require. 

Lower Caversham Shuttle 27/29

We are still proposing to revise the route of the Lower Caversham Shuttle to operate a clockwise 27 and anti-clockwise 29 providing a link to and from Caversham Town Centre in both directions from Amersham Road. 

Buses will still run to/from Central Reading. 

Early mornings would see route 29 do a short run into town and back similar to current arrangements.  

How to feedback

We have had some great feedback already on our initial proposals and this has helped us shape these new plans. We have listened to concerns over older customers losing bus stops in Caversham Heights and have reinstated all these stops. We have linked Emmer Green and Caversham Heights with the surgeries and shops in Caversham Centre with our new off-peak pink 24 proposal—as well as addressing concerns that the new development on Albert Road would not have a service when open.

Your feedback is really important to us, so we urge you to read through our revised plans and let us know any further thoughts. 

You can still email us at ideas@reading-buses.co.uk

Or write to us at Caversham Consultation, Reading Buses, Great Knollys Street, Reading, RG17HH.

Consultation period extended

Due to these revised plans, we are extending the consultation by a further 10 days—you now have until Friday 10th November to respond.