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June 2011

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Recent Thames Travel Developments


6th June saw Thames Travel's latest service developments go live with the introduction of an increased frequency and more reliable timetable on route 144. Along with Reading Buses route 9, reliability had been badly affected by the new traffic lights on Shinfield Road installed last September, not only affecting buses on the route but also on the X39 to Oxford which buses on the 144 interwork with. In addition to significantly more running time, the new timetable also breaks most of the inter-dependence on the X39, creating a greater separation between the company's Oxfordshire and Berkshire operations.

356 on 23 May 2011

356 loading in Butter Market on 23rd May.

Reading Buses have responded to the increase in competition on Shinfield Road with some changes behind the scenes designed to refine their offering. A new team of dedicated drivers have been selected from the main rota to create a closer rapport with the customer, with regular meetings to discuss how things are doing and ideas for further improvements. A new 1.80 return ticket was introduced on 6th June matching the fare that Thames Travel have been charging, and last week dedicated ticket rolls appeared on the route to advertise the saving that this represents.

1025 on 12 May 2011

1025 at the new Station Road terminus on 12th May.

Thames Travel were acquired by the Go-Ahead group last month, so now have much stronger financial backing, so it will be interesting to see whether this situation develops any further. Reading's route 9 has been the scene of impressive passenger growth in recent years with frequencies being increased to every 10 minutes last October, and Thames Travel are now every 20 minutes to Arborfield with hourly extensions to Wokingham funded by Wokingham Borough Council. New housing developments planned at Arborfield may lead to further growth on the 144 from 2012-3 onwards, a revenue source not covered by Reading's route 9.

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