Wednesday, 19 September 2018

New bus service to be unveiled

New bus service to be unveiled

A NEW bus service for Henley will be launched on Saturday

It will be unveiled at 10am in Market Place with free giveaways and trips around town on the day.

Reading Buses will run services from the town centre, replacing Whites Coaches’ 151 to 154 routes with a new timetable starting on Monday.

The new service run from 7am to 7pm every weekday compared with the current times of 9am to 2.30pm.

There will be three routes in operation, all which start from Market Place and are hourly throughout the day.

They are:

. The 151 bus route will cover Elizabeth Road, Greys Road and Gillotts School during term time

. The 152 bus route will serve the railway station, Tesco and the Greys Road shops

. The 153 bus route serves Townlands Memorial Hospital and the Abrahams’ estate

The route will be served by a modern gas-powered bus instead of an older diesel vehicle.

As well as stopping at the designated bus stops, the new buses will also be operating a ‘hail and ride’ system, enabling customers to hail the bus anywhere on its route, as well as a hop-off service – assuming that it is a safe location.

All buses will be cleaned internally and externally every day. They are also wheelchair accessible, with a ramp and designated wheelchair space.

Councillor Stefan Gawysiak, chairman of Henley Town Council’s bus working group, said: “There will still be other bus companies and routes travelling through Henley town centre, but we would encourage residents to support the new Henley town bus; it is a more frequent service with longer running hours.

“We really do need your help to keep this service viable. Hopefully with the new station bus stop to attract rail commuters and the Townlands Memorial Hospital stop we can achieve this. If the bus routes prove to be popular, a Saturday service will also be investigated.”

Customers will have the ability to track the progress of the bus on the Reading Buses’ website, or see when the next bus is due using a smartphone app.

Funding for the new routes is provided through the town council with contributions from new building and housing developments in the town. This funding will pay for the service for the next few years and the council hopes that if more people use the bus, it will counter the impact of the extra houses and improve the air quality in the town.

Tony Pettitt, chief finance and information officer from Reading Buses, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to run the local bus routes in Henley. We are looking to bring our knowledge and expertise to the town to encourage more residents and visitors to choose the bus by providing a great on-board experience and ensuring customers have all the information easily available on our website and app.

"We will be using one of our single deck buses that runs on compress natural gas which means buses emit very few emissions when in service – and the natural bio-gas we buy is from a sustainable source meaning we can continue to contribute towards cleaner air in Henley well into the future.”

All new bus timetables can be found on www.visit-henley.com and on www.readingbuses.co.uk

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