Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 17:17 UK

Anger over cut school bus route

Reading Buses
Reading Buses is also withdrawing or changing some other school bus routes

A Berkshire council has criticised a bus company's decision to cut a service used by many pupils to get to school.

Reading Buses has decided to withdraw the 83 bus route, which runs from Lower Earley to Bulmershe School in Woodley.

Wokingham Borough Council said it was "extremely disappointed". Thames Travel is to run the 83 route next term until the council finds a long-term solution.

Reading Buses said school services were "running at a loss" and the "economic climate" meant changes were necessary.

The 83 service is one of several school bus routes being withdrawn or changed from the autumn.

The firm has also made changes to its normal public bus routes from 28 September.

Community 'lifeline'

Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and transport, said the council was "extremely disappointed at Reading Buses' decision to withdraw the 83 bus route".

"[It] predominantly takes pupils from Lower Earley to The Bulmershe School in Woodley and is much-valued by the school and parents.

"Public transport is a lifeline for many communities and it is very important for us to have these routes maintained."

He said Wokingham council was "urgently" making representations to Reading Borough Council and Reading Buses for them to keep the route running.

A short-term arrangement has been set up with Thames Travel for a replacement service while the council "seeks to resolve the longer term situation", Mr Baker said.

Reading Buses said: "Many of these special services have been running at a loss for some considerable time.

"Where routes have been withdrawn this is due to the economic climate and the considerable loss these services were making.

"In many cases there are alternative buses."



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