Bus Service Proposal to go to Executive Meeting

Bus Service Proposal to go to Executive Meeting

News: 13.02.23

The information below featured in the agenda for the upcoming Wokingham Borough Council Executive meeting on Thursday 16 February 2023, in relation to agenda item 89, 'Contracted Bus Services’.
Local Bus Service contracts which are currently operated by Thames Valley Buses and Reading Buses were retendered in Winter 2022 for the same level of service within the existing budget. No valid bids were received.
Agreement is now sought to extend the existing services for five months (1st April 23 to 31st August 23), at an uplifted rate, whilst a further tender process takes place.
The services affected include local bus services for the villages which lie south of the M4 (Shinfield, Spencers Wood, Swallowfield and Riseley).
Based on the bids which were received, further budget is required. The Executive Committee are requested to agree to the recommendations above.
The Council has secured S106 funding from developer contributions. Sufficient S106 funding is available to cover the additional pressure from uplifted costs for a three-year period plus the five-month extension, subject to permission from Reading University. It should be noted that S106 is finite and will not currently extend beyond the above tender period. A growth bid will need to be submitted and approved if services are to be continued beyond September 2026.
The next steps are:
• February 2023 – Draft tender documents
• March 2023 – Tenders out for bidding by operators
• April 2023 – Evaluation of tender bids
• May 2023 – Tender awards and start of mobilisation period
• June & July 2023 – Mobilisation period
• September 2023 – Start of new services
Cllr David Lamont, Vice-Chair of Swallowfield Parish Council, said: “We will be watching events later this week and promptly sharing the outcomes with residents. We continue to engage positively with Wokingham Borough Council and very much hope that short-term funding can be put in place, whilst a viable longer-term solution is sought.”
Cllr David Lamont, Vice-Chair, Communications Lead and Environment Lead

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