New 10 Minute Frequencies
The latest round of service changes commenced today, combining a number of changes to services funded by Reading Borough Council with some other changes to the Reading Buses network. The biggest changes affect the Green Park, Madejski Stadium and Kennet Island corridors, which move to turn-up-and-go 10 minute frequencies from their previous 7-8 minute frequencies. The big winner is Kennet Island which receives a 20 minute peak service and new 30 minute evening service as more houses in the estate continue to be completed and occupied.
65725 displaying new route number 50 for the Madejski Park & Ride FastTrack.
Services to Kennet Island are now operated as part of the FastTrack network, with 1034 seen here working route 41.
At the same time Reading Buses have increased two of their routes up to 10 minute frequencies. The first is route 9 which has a straight increase from every 15 minutes following a continued positive trend in patronage, although it has been hit recently by the new traffic lights on Shinfield Road which have been causing long delays. Remedial work is being carried out to the carriageway this week in attempt to improve the situation. The second route is Route 6, where route 4, a diversion off route 6 to Reading International Business Park, has been replaced by more 6s in order to concentrate on the busier Whitley Wood section.
848 with modified branding to reflect the withdrawal of the 4 and the resulting 10 minute frequency on route 6.
Friar Street East Preparations for Revamped Reading Station
The next stage of preparatory works ahead of the redevelopment of Reading Station started this week with the temporary closure of Friar Street East for remodelling and resurfacing. Buses have been diverted via Station Road and Blagrave Street, with a temporary stop located in Blagrave Street for services that normally stop in Friar Street East.
1002 doubling back onto Forbury Road. Route 1 had to carry out a number of loops around here to serve it's stop at the Station as normal.
1102 on diversion on route 17 this afternoon.
First's 33143 on diversion past the Station's South entrance.
822 and 841 loading at the temporary stop in Blagrave Street.
Once this phase is completed in November the diverted buses will revert to their normal routes, but they will return to Station Road and Blagrave Street again permanently in 2011 when the rest of the works around the Town Centre have been completed. As part of this the direction of travel along Friar Street East will be reversed to create a new terminal loop and bus interchange to replace Station Hill. From November work takes place on Blagrave Street and Valpy Street (with a break for Christmas), and finally work moves to Blagrave Street outside the Station from January 2011 until April.
The plans for the Town Centre led to a complication with the recent switch of provider for bus shelters - the current shelters were to be removed by the existing contractor, but the new shelters were only to be installed on the 2011 routes - in the case of Friar Street East on what would be the wrong side of a one way road until sometime in 2011. Reading Buses have therefore stepped in to purchase the existing shelters from the previous contractor to ensure continuity of provision, and are using the commercial advertising space to display adverts for their own products.
Friar Street East this afternoon, with two of Reading Buses' own adverts on view in the shelters.