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May 2005

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RBH Park & Ride

29-05-05

Reading's third dedicated park and ride service, route H1 commenced operations on Monday 16th May. The service connects the existing Madejski Stadium park & ride site with the Royal Berkshire Hospital every 15 minutes Monday to Friday.

The service is operated by Thames Travel using two brand new dedicated MAN 14.220 / MCV Evolution single deckers.

105 on 16 May 2005 (56399 bytes)

105 at the RBH on it's first day in service. Thanks to Stephen Wise for this photo.

105 on 27 May 2005 (50181 bytes)

105 again, but at the other terminus on 27th May. Thanks to Mac Head for this photo.

With the H1, Reading now has three different park & ride services operated by three different companies, plus the DayTrack combined commuter / park & ride service:

Centre FastTrack 500 Reading Centre - Loddon Bridge Reading Transport
Centre FastTrack 501 Reading Centre - Madejski Stadium First
H1 RBH - Madejski Stadium Thames Travel
DayTrack 51/52 Reading Centre - Madejski Stadium - Green Park Reading Transport

Elton Visits Town

26-05-05

A performance by Elton John and his band at the Madejski Stadium this evening saw a fleet of extra buses operating special shuttle services for the fans. It is the first time ever that an artist has performed a solo concert at the Madejski Stadium, and over 24,000 fans were expected  along with the inevitable traffic chaos.

Reading Station 26 May 2005 (28932 bytes)

From 4pm Weavaway Travel and Reading Transport supplemented the usual FastTrack service from the station with a special shuttle service from stop SA. A special return fare of 3 was charged, and ten vehicles, numbered R1-R10 were in use before the event:

  • R1 - Weavaway OU05 KLA
  • R2 - Weavaway OU05 AVY
  • R3 - Weavaway OU05 KKB
  • R4 - Weavaway OU05 AVD
  • R5 - Weavaway OU05 KKB
  • R6 - Reading Buses 17
  • R7 - Reading Buses 705
  • R8 - Reading Buses 709
  • R9 - Reading Buses 707
  • R10 - Reading Buses 16

OU05 KLA on 26 May 2005 (58136 bytes)

OU05 KLA at Reading Station this evening with OU05 KKB and OU05 AVD behind.

The Weavaway vehicles showed "VIP Charter R1" (or R2-R5) on their destination displays, whilst Reading's Spectras showed "Madejski Stadium" or "PRIVATE HIRE", and Reading's Olympians showed "Football Stadium" or a blank. All vehicles had yellow papers in the windows showing "Elton John Service R1" (or R2-R10), and staff from Reading Transport and Weavaway were on hand with the concert staff to help supervise the loading.

The publicity for the event states that additional vehicles would be added after the concert to get everybody back to the town centre. Fans were also able to use FastTrack for the normal 2.30 fare, and indeed First had members of staff on hand at the station too.

707 on 26 May 2005 (53031 bytes)

707 waiting for the last stragglers along with 16 behind.

A park and ride service was operated from Foster Wheeler (Shinfield Park) with space for 500 cars. The service was scheduled to start at 5pm with free parking and a bus fare of 3. It is not currently known what vehicles were used to operate this.

Parking at the stadium itself was sold out before the event, so additional spaces were made available at neighbouring locations within walking distance:

  • Hewlett Packard, Imperial Way parking for 1000 cars from 5.30pm at 8
  • Greyhound Stadium parking for 400 cars from 4pm at 10
  • Costco, Green Park parking for 200 cars from 5pm at 10

Completing the transport arrangements, a special taxi rank and pick up area was arranged in the Costco car park for use after the concert.

Some news items related to the event:

Reading Football Club
Reading Evening Post 25/05/05

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