Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Bus route on trial without subsidy

A BUS route serving Goring is to continue on a trial basis despite losing its funding

A BUS route serving Goring is to continue on a trial basis despite losing its funding from Oxfordshire County Council.

Go Ride’s 134 service, which goes to Wallingford via South Stoke, North Stoke and Crowmarsh, will run as a purely commercial service but with increased fares and fewer journeys.

Last month the council approved £3.7million in cuts to its transport services budget, removing the subsidy from all 118 supported routes.

From April 1, the 134 will leave Goring station seven times a day between 8.15am and 2.45pm in the week and five times from 9.15am to 1.45pm on Saturdays.

An adult return ticket will now cost £6, or £5 from South Stoke, and 10-trip tickets will no longer be sold.



A Go Ride spokesman said the route needed at least 70 passengers a day to stay viable. It is currently used far less than this on Saturdays.

He said: “This is a leap of faith which must be rewarded with consistent passenger numbers if the service is to continue. Please use it as much as possible, especially on Saturdays.

“It is hoped that you will continue to support your local bus service as much as possible so that it can be retained.”

Go Ride intended to terminate the service but agreed to conduct the trial following talks with Goring Parish Council.

Council chairman Kevin Bulmer, who is also the village’s county councillor, said: “This is welcome news. I’m pleased to see they were willing to do it, even with a reduced service.

“All credit to them for agreeing to look again and I hope they’ve come up with something that’s workable in the long run.”

Thames Travel has not yet decided whether to terminate its 143 service from Reading to Whitchurch Hill.

West Berkshire Council still subsidises the Reading leg of the journey but the company could terminate it at Pangbourne instead.

Thames Travel says it has received many enquiries from passengers but is still considering how to proceed.



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