The first Scania OmniDekkas to wear the silver generic livery - 801 and 803 - entered service this evening on the 25/26 following repaint from grey. The livery application has been modified to allow T-shape side adverts, with 803 already having had the relevant frames fitted. 801 still retains its rectangular frames for now.
803 on route 26 this evening - the destination display had been knocked onto the wrong setting as this was a normal working to Calcot. Apparently it is very easy to do on these vehicles due to the location of the control unit.
Reading Rock Festival
The Reading Festival once again opened its doors to revellers over the bank holiday weekend, and this year Reading Buses operated a revamped service on their special rock festival route 98 with higher frequencies and a £1 flat fare. Also for the first time the service commenced on Wednesday afternoon for the early arrivers. The service was operated by step entrance Spectras 710-3 which are now normally restricted to school workings and private hires.
711 having dispatched another load from Rivermead this morning.
The weekend service which used to run to Tesco via the Station, and the Monday service through to Calcot (for National Express) did not run this year, allowing the buses to be refocused on the service to the station. Certainly the loadings seemed to justify the improved frequencies as there were sufficient vehicles to ensure that there was always a bus on stand to attract people onboard.
As in previous years the Caversham bound stops at Caversham Road fire station, Swansea Road and The Moderation were suspended on the Thursday and Friday due to the queues of traffic affecting routes 9, 24 and 27. A temporary bus stop was located on the south side of Caversham Bridge. Meanwhile today at the Station, the row of bus stops nearest the station was closed to accommodate people queuing for trains, with buses departing from the nearest stop on the central island.
The queue for trains this morning stretched well beyond The Three Guineas.
"Service 98, the Reading Festival shuttle service, will be running again this year.
Wednesday 20 August 2008
Thursday 21 and Friday 22 August 2008
Monday 25 August 2008
Reading Station (stop SA) is located just beyond “The Three Guineas” public house.
A flat fare will operate on this service - £1.00 single, per person."
Repaints of the former route 17 branded Scania OmniDekkas are now picking up pace as two have returned in dark green for route 5. Route branding will be applied to the vehicles in September following schedule changes that will allow the six deckers to be dedicated to route 5. The remaining Wright Solars will run the 4/6 and certain journeys on the 5, mainly in the evening, so their branding will not be altered.
810 heading back to the depot after a day in service today.
The livery has been modified from previous OmniDekkas with a larger coloured area to allow T-shape adverts to be applied on the offside without compromising the silver swoop. Generic grey OmniDekkas 801-4 are about to go away for repaint into silver, and are expected to be treated in a similar fashion.
Meanwhile three of the dark green Wright Solars have been de-branded for use on rural services, pending repaint.
Green, but not such a giant, 1010 on route 143 today.
Meanwhile another 'giant' has returned to Reading for a period on loan to First to help with vehicle availability and heavy summer loadings. The vehicle, tri-axle Volvo T702 JLD was new to the Reading RailAir service before being replaced by the current fleet of Scania / Irizars.
A giant that isn't painted green, 20202 outside Reading Station today.
New Life in Essex
Several vehicles have been cascaded out from First Berkshire following recent arrivals, including Scanias 60755/6/8 which have followed former FastTrack Scanias 65626-32 to First Essex.
60756 and 60755 in the First Essex Basildon yard on 29th July. Thanks to Terry Clark for this photo.