Many Caversham Heights residents in my Ward were very concerned at Reading Buses' proposal to divert the No 22 bus to travel via Hemdean Road and Oakley Road instead of Priest Hill and the southern end of Albert Road.
My colleague Cllr Richard Willis (Conservative lead for Transport), together with many local residents attended a meeting on Monday 5th September to which Chairman of Reading Buses, James Freeman, was guest speaker. Further to this meeting, as well as discussions with Rob Wilson MP, Reading Buses is now going to make a small diversion to its new service, operating via Hemdean Road, the lower part of Oakley Road, Kidmore Road, before resuming its present route at The Mount going on into Albert Road. This means that people who live on The Mount area and the southern section of Albert Road will not after all be losing their service. The new arrangement operates in both directions.
You can see the map here
Rob said: "I am delighted that Reading Buses have listened carefully to the concerns I put to the company and have made a change that is significant in providing a better service to residents in the Priest Hill, Mount and Kidmore Road area. I know that from the huge correspondence I had that many people were concerned about this change and it was important for me to ensure that Reading Buses understood this and reacted positively, which I am delighted to say they have."
Councillor David Stevens said: "I understand the financial pressures on Reading Buses, but it is important that we continue providing a decent service in an area with a significant number of elderly residents that depend on the bus service. I am pleased that we Conservatives have managed to achieve these important changes to the route and that Reading Buses have listened."
Reading Buses registered the change with the Traffic Commissioner yesterday (12th September) using a special short notice provision so that it will come into force on 26th September
“We are pleased with these last minute changes, which show that we do listen and are willing to respond to what people tell us,” said James Freeman, Chief Executive Officer.