Catching up with the Summer
Last month, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers held a recruitment display in Broad Street featuring a Scimitar tank. The tank's departure from the Town Centre in the early evening made for some surreal views.
231 on 29th June 2013. Thanks to Richard Mallet for this photo.
Meanwhile most of First Berkshire's recently repainted Beeline liveried Mercedes Citaros are now in service on local services in Bracknell, and Courtney Buses are increasing their competitive presence with lemon & lime liveried Optare Solo SRs.
64012 in Bracknell Bus Station on 21st June 2013. Thanks to Gary Baxter for this photo.
YJ13 HJY with MX57 MDZ on 21st July 2013. Thanks to Charlie Gould for this photo.
Closure of Station Road
Today saw the closure of Station Road for the repair and relocation of a fire hydrant. This also meant the closure of the eastbound section of Friar Street, and therefore lengthy diversions for services from the South and West of Reading via Caversham Road and Vastern Road. Routes 1, 17 and 18 were also diverted via Cheapside instead of running along West Street for reasons which were unclear, whilst route 2 ran via Greyfriars Road to access Caversham Road to allow it to pick up at the side of Sainsbury's. Routes 22, 23, 24, 27 and 29 used a temporary stop opposite Sainsbury's before turning right into Greyfriars Road.
1102 turning into Greyfriars Road.
153 at the temporary stop in Friar Street.
222 turning into Blagrave Street.
Routes 9, 19, 19A, 20, 20A and 21 ran directly to the Station via Queens Road and Forbury Road. Greenwave routes 41 and 41A were diverted to the Old Bus Station as per Mondays to Fridays instead of the Saturday route along Station Road.
414 passing the Apex Plaza on Forbury Road.
Unfortunately Vastern Road was reduced to one lane ahead of the opening of the new northern interchange at the Station, which combined with the usual Saturday shopper traffic led to some considerable delays whilst on diversion. Spare generic liveried buses were deployed onto a number of routes to help keep services running, whilst other vehicles laid over in Valpy Street.
Despite being in generic livery, hybrid 209 rarely strays beyond hybrid operated routes Purple 17, Claret routes 20, 20A, 21 and Yellow 26.
Thankfully, although scheduled to take two days the work had been completed by 1230 and the road was reopened a couple of hours later allowing services to return to normal.
Station Road at 1240.
Today was also the last day of operation of route 16a, ahead of an increased frequency on route 16 from Monday. It was also the last day of Reading Transport using the old bus station for regular services (the 82K was scheduled to divert there tomorrow, but will no longer need to), although Football/Rugby services will continue to stop there for the time being along with Oxfordshire County Council routes 132, 142, M1 and M2.
A final opportunity for a view of a 16A, 844 on diversion heading for Caversham Road.
BTS Annual Tour
Yesterday was the British Trolleybus Society's annual tour of Reading by preserved bus. This year saw Alder Valley Leyland National 217 and Reading Transport Leyland Titan 69 take part.
The tour proceeded with a run out to Caversham Heights on former route 29, and then running cross-town to the other terminus in Erleigh Road. The Titan departed at that point, with the National continuing back into Town and out on Alder Valley route 117 to Calcot via Oxford Road, Overdown Road, Pierce's Hill and Langley Hill, and returning to Reading Bus Station as route 102.
69 at an approximation of the Caversham Heights terminus of former route 29.
With all but three infrequent Oxfordshire County Council services re-abandoning the old bus station from Monday, the opportunity was taken to pose 127 there.