Reading Transport Depots

The company has two depots, one at Great Knollys Street in Reading and the other in Mill Lane in Newbury. The Reading Buses and Goldline fleets are based at Great Knollys Street, whilst the Newbury Buses fleet is based at Mill Lane. The Mill Lane depot in Newbury should not be confused with the company's former headquarters in Mill Lane in Reading. This old site had been operational for nearly 100 years, housing the company's Trams, Trolleybuses and Motorbuses. The company was forced to abandon this site in 1998 to make way for a new shopping complex and cinema. The Great Knollys Street site is however only two minutes walk from the town centre, and is a great asset to the company.

Great Knollys Street

Here is a pictorial look around the company's headquarters in Great Knollys Street. The move to Great Knollys Street commenced on 17th April 1998, and was completed on 19th.

Arial view in June 1999 (191645 bytes)

A unique aerial view of the depot taken in June 1999. Taken at about 7pm on a Saturday evening this photo shows most of the Reading fleet returning for the weekend. A line of vehicles can be seen queuing for fuel and will subsequently pass through the wash before taking up their parking positions, single deckers to the west of the garage and double deckers to the east. Just visible also are members of the Goldline fleet inside the gates (mostly still in the older London Line livery). Interspersed between the double deckers are Reading Mainline Routemasters that had departed their Cardiff Road depot just two months earlier (April). Many thanks to Mac Head for this photo.

Front Entrance March 2000 (31397 bytes)

This is the customer entrance to the depot seen in March 2000.

Depot contruction March 1998.jpg (23073 bytes)

This is the left hand side of the depot seen when construction was being completed in March 1998.

Entrance March 2000 (32898 bytes)

Looking along the side of the depot towards the road entrance on the right hand side of the depot in March 2000.

Busing entering April 2000 (30142 bytes)

Buses coming into the depot in April 2000 after a day in service.

Buses ready to go June 2000 (19739 bytes)

Buses are parked up ready for service the next day in June 2000. The buses at the front go out first.

Buses quing July 1999 (14258 bytes)

At the end of a July 1999 day Buses coming into the depot queue for refuelling, and are seen here from the railway line which runs behind the depot.

The fuel pumps January 2000 (23208 bytes)

The fuel pumps inside the depot are situated behind the offices and workshops. Behind the pumps is the bus wash, seen in January 2000.

GKS on 30 March 2008

During 2008 an underground ethanol fuel tank was installed in preparation for the delivery of the company's first fleet ethanol powered vehicles. Work was nearly complete when seen here on 30th March 2008.

Side of depot July 1999 (12657 bytes)

The back of the depot as seen from the railway in July 1999.

GKS on 30 March 2008

The view from the ground on 30th March 2008 shows that the Reading Buses logo has faded a little with age, but has at least survived the introduction of a new version.

GKS on 30 March 2008

The entrance to the workshops on 30th March 2008.

The bus wash July 2000 (27403 bytes)

The automatic bus washer in July 2000.

Buses being washed July 2000 (23624 bytes)

After refuelling some buses go through the bus washer, a Titan and a Delta are seen here in July 2000.

Workshop exit in January 2000 (22556 bytes)

The exit from the bus wash, fuel pumps and workshops in January 2000. This is the back yard of the depot, buses turn around here and go back around to the front.

Great Knollys Street July 2000 (23524 bytes)

Optare Excels lined up in the back yard alongside the workshops in July 2000. At the time a large proportion of services in Reading were operated by these easy access, low emission buses.

GKS on 30 March 2008

The same location on 30th March 2008 was the home for the Scania OmniDekkas used on route 17.

Back of depot July 1999 (13841 bytes)

A view of the tops of old Routemasters stored at the back of the depot in July 1999.

Staff Canteen in January 2000 (26027 bytes)

The staff canteen in January 2000. There is a window which overlooks the workshop, and the entrance to the depot.

Mill Lane, Newbury

Main Enterance in July 2001 (27385 bytes)

The main entrance in July 2001. The bus wash is on the right, and the garage entrance on the left. At the rear is the carpark extension that is used during the day for the Vodafone park and ride service, and at night to house buses.

Side of Garage in July 2001 (50904 bytes)

A view of the same area but from the other side (inside the extra carpark) in July 2001.

Garage Enterance in July 2001 (29815 bytes)

The garage entrance in July 2001. In the front of the view is the ramp to an extension to the depot yard that was used from August 2001 until August 2003. The extension allowed the whole fleet to be kept together overnight, whilst now (and as before) the Vodafone fleet is kept nearby at the Vehicle Inspectorate's yard. In this scene we see the ramp before it was put into use, and behind Ford Escort van 104.

Exit in July 2001 (27142 bytes)

The main exit from the depot in July 2001.

VI Outstation 180803 (29919 bytes)

The Vodafone fleet outstationed at the Vehicle Inspectorate on Hambridge Lane in Newbury on 18th August 2003, the first night that the site was used for two years. The bus allocated to the Hungerford service is used as a staff shuttle to the site between the peaks, and cleaing and refuelling is carried out at Mill Lane during the day. Thanks to Jon Nutt for this photo.

Mill Lane, Reading

The company was based in Mill Lane when it first started operating electric trams in 1903 until they moved to Great Knollys Street in 1998. The depot was given a compulsory purchase order so that it could be demolished to make way for the Oracle shopping and entertainment centre. Where the depot once stood is now a multi-storey car park, various pubs and restaurants and a 10 screen cinema, with bridges over the canal to link them with the shopping arcades and more pubs and restaurants on the other side.

It is hoped that more pictures of this depot can be added, in particular of the main parking area at a later stage.

Mill Lane on 26 December 1996 (25955 bytes)

The side garage entrance on 26th December 1996.

Mill Lane on 26 December 1996 (18655 bytes)

The main office buildings on 26th December 1996.

Mill Lane on 26 December 1996 (21977 bytes)

The garages which have housed trams, trolleybuses, buses and modern day low floor buses on 26th December 1996.

Kenavon Drive

The Kenavon Drive depot was acquired with The Bee Line's Reading operations in the early 1990s, and was retained by the company to their Engineering depot in order to relieve the strain the extra vehicles would have placed on the Mill Lane depot. The depot was closed a few months after the Great Knollys Street depot was opened in 1998.

Kenavon Drive in December 1996 (17613 bytes)

The entrance to the depot in December 1996.

Cardiff Road

The Cardiff Road depot was acquired with the operations of Reading Mainline in 1998, but was closed on expiry of the lease in 1999, with the vehicles being transferred to the Great Knollys Street depot. Only Reading Mainline Routemasters were ever parked and maintained there.

Cardiff Road Line Up (19850 bytes)

Vehicles lined up in the depot before take-over by Reading Transport. On the right is a Routemaster that was acquired from Strathtay.

Cardiff Road Line Up 2 (26300 bytes)

A view between the rows of vehicles lined up in the depot. On the left you can see a driver training vehicle, and behind that preserved Reading Transport AEC Regent fleet number 3. Photo taken before take-over by Reading Transport.

If you think that there is anything about the company that has been missed, please feel free to email. All contributions for the site are welcome.