Day of Diversions
The junction of St. Marys Butts and Broad Street was closed from 0500 on Sunday for essential roadworks. Work appears to have been done on the manhole cover, whilst some damaged cobbles have also been replaced.
St Marys Butts early this morning. Only road access from St. Mary's Butts was blocked.
Services from Gun Street and Bridge Street were diverted via Castle Street, the IDR and Chatham Street Roundabout to Friar Street. Services from Castle Hill went straight down onto the IDR, whilst those from Oxford Road could operate as normal via West Street. The junction was reopened just after 1300 today.
814 heading around the diversion at the bottom of Castle Hill.
1005 at the other end of the diversion rejoining it's normal route down Grey Friars Road from Friar Street.
Also today Oxford Road is reported to have been closed from about 1115 following an accident near Beresford Road. Estimates were that it would take about 4 hours to clear, whilst buses were diverted via Grovelands Road, Water Road, Tilehurst Road and Russell Street in both directions. (Source Reading Buses website).
These diversions were in addition to gas works on Oxford Road that started on 20th June where traffic by the Battle Hospital is being controlled by temporary traffic lights for two weeks, and the closure of the Beansheaf bus link for rectification work from 15th June which sees services diverted via the main Bath Road for around four weeks.
All Change for Madejski Stadium Services
A revised network of routes serving the Madejski Stadium Park and Ride, Green Park and MCI was launched yesterday. The overall result is a rationalisation of the frequency to the Stadium, with the FastTrack and DayTrack services now providing a fully integrated service every 7-8 minutes. MCI sees it's number of buses reduced to every 15 minutes, whilst more of the buses to Green Park travel there directly still at the previous 7-8 minute frequency.
737 on new route 53 direct to Green Park today. The DayTrack vehicles now display route numbers again to help passengers differentiate between the different routes. The original idea to omit the route number was to try to set the service apart from ordinary bus routes.
Existing route 51 (Reading - Madejski - Green Park) will now only operate in the mornings, whilst the existing route 52 (Reading - Green Park - Madejski) only operates in the afternoon. The other half of the journeys become new route 53 (Reading - Green Park), meanwhile FastTrack operates at roughly the same times to the Madejski and MCI. Full details can be found on the Reading Area Bus Route History page. New timetables have been produced in a similar style to those produced for Reading Buses' new route branded quality corridors, and can be downloaded from the Reading Travel Info website.
In terms of buses, Reading should continue to have six Spectras out on DayTrack (Monday - Friday), whilst First's requirement reduces from six to three on FastTrack (Monday - Saturday). A small fleet reshuffle therefore seems likely in the near future. 65630 was noted amongst those in use today.
Low Floor Sprinter for Thames Travel
Thames Travel's long awaited Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 616CDi has finally entered service, some 7 months later than expected. It was ordered in July 2004 for delivery in October 2004, but for some reason was significantly delayed before finally being delivered on Thursday 26th May 2005. The vehicle is primarily for use on Oxford service 17, a route which serves a number of narrow suburban roads and is tendered by Oxfordshire County Council.
As the contract commenced before delivery of the vehicle was expected, Vario 847 (the shortest 'normal' vehicle in the fleet) became an early regular on the service. Somewhere along the lines dealer Evobus made demonstrator BU53 AYC available to make up for the delay in delivery, although MPDs seemed to become regulars on the route instead. The demonstrator was returned on 2nd June.
305 at Oxford Rail Station having completed it's duties on service 17 today. The vehicle is fitted with LED destination displays on the front, side and rear.
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