Saturday, 25 September 2021

Evening bus under threat

AN evening bus service linking Goring and surrounding villages with Reading could be axed within weeks if passenger numbers do not increase.

Going Forward Buses, a not-for-profit company launched earlier this year, is planning to scrap the last section of its 142 route, which leaves Goring at 5.15pm and returns from Reading at 6.15pm.

The bus was introduced on a trial basis in the summer but is not covering its fuel costs and the company says its volunteer drivers are “discouraged” by the lack of interest.

The service will stop running on November 13 if it can’t attract an average of five people per trip.

This will not affect any other journeys on the 142 route, which runs from Goring to Streatley, Pangbourne, Whitchurch and Whitchurch Hill, Crays Pond, Caversham and Reading.

However, the whole service could be reviewed in future as it is struggling to break even.

Going Forward director Mike Ward said: “People say they want a bus but many rarely use it, if at all.

“Concessionary pass-holders can use most services for free, including the 6.15pm from Reading, so more support from them would help.

“We also need more passengers on the four daytime services.”

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