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Caversham timetable changes

The consultation on Caversham ended with a huge amount of feedback. We were heartened by the strength of feeling by members of the community who saw our buses as a lifeline for some, a necessity for others and generally a great thing to have in the area for many others!

We can now confirm that after a lot of work behind the scenes, talks with many stakeholders and community groups, we have arrived at a solution that will hopefully work for everyone!

The new timetables will be in operation from Monday 19 February.

the need for change 

The routes in Caversham have been running at a financial loss for a number of years as costs have risen and passenger numbers have reduced. With the rest of our network in growth, we had to look at reducing costs and so held a consultation to try and find the best way that routes could still service the needs of the community whilst reducing our overheads. After lots of feedback on our initial plans, we put forward a revised proposal that also attracted a lot of comment. We have since refined our offering and after addressing as many concerns as we could, we now have timetables that will both allow us to reduce costs whilst still offering a similar (and in some cases improved) experience for the area. 

what has changed?

Whilst 'reducing costs' sounds very much like a dramatic reduction in service, we have actually been able to make our routes more efficient which means most people will still have the same, or better, level of service than current. This will allow us to better match current demand and bring in a number of improvements which we hope will prove popular. 

  • Pink 23 and pink 24 have been joined to produce circular routes that link Caversham Park and Emmer Green – something that was highly requested in the consultation process to allow residents from either area easier access to Doctor’s surgeries and schools.
  • More direct buses have been added from Lower Caversham to Caversham Centre – again something that was requested through the consultation.
  • The service on Albert Road and the Mount in Caversham Heights has been maintained, despite the low usage of these stops. We are also delighted to be able to continue to provide a Sunday service in Caversham Heights.
  • The half hourly service to Caversham Heights has also been maintained from afternoon school times right through to the evening peak.
  • Route 22 (not pink anymore, see below!) will now provide a much-requested direct link from both Caversham Heights and Central Caversham to the Royal Berkshire Hospital on Mondays to Saturday.

The main details of what is changing route-by-route are below - you can also click on the timetables to see when you can catch your bus!

Across all routes there will be revisions to some early morning and late evening buses to better meet demand and take into account the revised routes. However, the times of the last buses of an evening will not fundamentally change.

Times are also being adjusted to improve connections from London trains and give better spacing between journeys to/from Caversham Centre and back into Reading again.

Pink (now red) 22 – Caversham Heights

  • This service will be combined with the 19 in Lower Earley to provide a much requested hourly link to the Royal Berkshire Hospital – with buses continuing to Chalfont Way ASDA.
  • The new route will be renamed ‘red 22’ to reflect this change and ensure that the route is noticeably different to the ‘Caversham only’ services. 
  • Red 22 will continue to operate with two buses per hour during weekday commuter peak times to provide the same level of commuting service to/from Reading Station and town centre as today, as well as providing additional journeys for the afternoon school day peak around 3:00 pm
  • Off peak journeys, including on Saturdays, will operate hourly reflecting demand at quieter times of the day
  • An hourly Sunday service will continue to be provided, but to a slightly revised timetable and using smaller vehicles
  • A new joint ticketing agreement will allow return tickets to be used on the daily Thames Travel River Rapid’s X39 and X40 services along St. Peter’s Hill and Woodcote Road, providing additional nearby journey opportunities

Click here for your new timetable. Please note the maps for this route will follow. 

Pink 23 and 24 – Caversham Park and Emmer Green

  • Pink 23 and 24 will be combined to improve connections between the two areas, especially for access to schools and doctor’s surgeries and provide ‘town bound’ journeys from both sides of the roads served.
  • Both services will continue to run up to every 20 minutes as current. 
  • Pink 23 will become the anti-clockwise loop serving Reading Bridge, Caversham Park, Emmer Green, Hemdean Road and Caversham Bridge before returning to town.
  • Pink 24 will become the clockwise loop serving Caversham Bridge, Hemdean Road, Emmer Green, Caversham Park and Reading Bridge before returning to town.
  • The special schooldays journeys to/from Highdown School are now covered in the main timetable as the revised route directly links the school to/from Caversham Centre.
  • A new timetable will aim to further improve reliability.
Click here for the new pink 23 timetable.
Click here for the new pink 24 timetable.
Please note, a combined timetable of the two routes will be available, along with the new route map, shortly.

Pink 25 – Peppard Common

  • The route will remain unchanged, including maintaining the faster ‘main road’ link along Peppard Road.
  • There will be some minor timetable changes to improve reliability.
  • Buses will continue to run up to every 30 minutes as current.

Click here for the new timetable.

Lower Caversham Shuttle 27 and 29 – Lower Caversham

  • These routes will become circular providing more direct journeys between Reading, Caversham Centre and Lower Caversham - with route 27 operating anti-clockwise and route 29 clockwise. 
  • Both routes will run hourly giving a combined 30 minute service between Reading and Lower Caversham. 
  • There will be a minor timetable change including some enhancements
  • There will also be minor timetable changes to the Sunday service which will continue to operate as per today’s routing. 
Click here for the new timetable.

a sustainable future

We are pleased that we have been able to take many of residents’ suggestions on board and at the same time deliver a number of improvements. We now hope (and encourage) the people of Caversham to get on board their local bus service – they continue to receive the same levels of promotion and ticket offers as the rest of our network. We hope that these changes will allow the Caversham bus network to be sustainable in the first instance and then encourage growth thereafter. 

There will also be the introduction of newer, refurbished buses to further improve the offering on these routes.

As mentioned above, we were very encouraged by the strength of feeling that the local community has shown in response to our consultation, but remember that we need people to get on board and use the buses to help maintain the service in the face of dwindling customer numbers. 

If you have written, tweeted, phoned or emailed - we now ask you to get on board the buses so that they are well used to ensure their long-term future.